Pedestrian Vehicle Accidents
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Pedestrian accidents are particularly traumatic and devastating, and often cause serious injury or death. Each year nearly 100,000 pedestrians are wounded and nearly 5,000 pedestrians die in motor vehicle related accidents when hit by a car or truck. Children and the elderly are among the most vulnerable. Pedestrians include not only walkers, but also bicyclists, skaters, etc.
People who operate motor vehicles must do so with reasonable care under the circumstances. Failure to do so will constitute negligence and can result in liability. Some common instances related to driver negligence include drivers:
- Who don't observe the weather and lighting conditions
- Who don't take caution in backing up their cars
- Under the influence of medication, drugs, or alcohol
- Who fall asleep at the wheel
- Who are distracted (i.e. eating, talking on phone)
- Who disobey posted speed limits and traffic signs
- Who fail to turn on their headlights
Additionally, since children are especially vulnerable in driving accidents, the law demands that drivers exercise a greater duty of care when it comes to children. Schools and residential zones are areas where drivers must exercise a heightened degree of care.
A pedestrian must also exercise reasonable care for his or her own well-being. The amount of care exercised by the pedestrian must be proportionate to the circumstance of the situation they are in, including any foreseeable dangers and consequences. Failure to exercise such care can lead to a defense of contributory or comparative negligence, which can mitigate or eliminate any damages owed to the pedestrian.
Some common factors raised in contributory and comparative negligence defenses include:
- Pedestrians who cross a street on a red light
- Pedestrians who are impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Pedestrians who rush out in front of moving vehicles
- Pedestrians who stand or walk on or along roadways
- Pedestrians who do not walk in crosswalks
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Last Modified: 12-23-2016 09:32 AM PST
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