Pedestrian Accidents – Often a Result of Negligence

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Traffic Safety Fact Sheet show that, in 2012, there were 4743 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents, while another 76,000 sustained non-fatal injuries.

Anyone, at certain periods of the day, is a pedestrian. It can be a person running or jogging, someone just standing at a street corner, a hiker, or a person who decides to walk to a nearby grocery, to a friend’s house, or to the office.

There are different factors that can put pedestrians’ lives at risk. Though majority of the incidences wherein pedestrians get injured or killed involve motor vehicles, there are also non-vehicular causes, such as poorly-maintained or defective sidewalks and parking lots, faded or lack of crosswalks (especially in rural areas), inadequately lit roads, and debris on walkways.

Most pedestrian accidents occur in rural areas and during the night, when many different factors that compromise pedestrian safety are at work, such as overspeeding drivers (which is common due to the very light traffic), unlit roads, unaccompanied elders, intoxicated drivers, or intoxicated pedestrians.

Both drivers and pedestrians are expected to observe and obey road safety rules as well as exercise reasonable care. While drivers are usually judged as the liable or negligent party in pedestrian accidents, when the case is brought to court, all elements are looked into and there have been instances when it was actually the pedestrian who acted carelessly and caused the accident.

Some of the factors considered by the court in determining acts of negligence include:

a. On the part of the driver:

  • Overspeeding;
  • Failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians, even at crosswalks;
  • Distracted driving;
  • Driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol;
  • Failure to signal, especially when about to make a turn; and,
  • Disregarding traffic or weather conditions

b. On the part of the pedestrian:

  • Ignoring the “don’t walk” signal;
  • Failure to cross at marked crosswalks;
  • Entering and disrupting the flow of traffic; and,
  • Darting in front of vehicles

A pedestrian who gets injured due to the negligent act of a driver or because someone never did a good job in maintaining and keeping roads, sidewalks or parking areas safe, may be able to recover damages for whatever injuries he/she sustains. Being represented by a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer or pedestrian accident lawyer, however, would be a necessity in a civil lawsuit as the liable party will definitely do everything to disprove accountability.

According to The Benton Law Firm, the state of Texas is known for many things, but not necessarily known as pedestrian friendly. Crosswalks and sidewalks serve more as potential “yields” to most drivers, rather than precautionary measures. As a result, many pedestrians are injured and killed each day due to driver negligence throughout the Dallas area. If you have been injured by a motor vehicle in a pedestrian accident, it may be in your best interest to contact a seasoned personal injury lawyer or pedestrian accident lawyer as you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

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