The Florida Law Group - Car vs Pedestrian Accident Liability
Disclaimer: This article is meant to provide basic information when it comes to car and pedestrian accidents and is not legal advice. In case you get involved in one, it is best to seek medical attention first and contact your lawyer immediately.
Walking is the most basic type of transportation. It is also the cheapest way to travel from one location to another. Some people do it out of necessity, while there are those who walk to stay fit and healthy.
Sadly, recent statistics show that walking is becoming more and more dangerous. According to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, 2,660 pedestrian deaths occurred during the first 6 months of 2016. For the entire year, there was an estimated 5,997 pedestrian deaths. Pedestrian accidents are becoming more common from 2014 to the present.
Car Versus Pedestrian Accident Liability
Pedestrians are always in grave danger when they are on the road as they have no protective gear such as helmets. These normal people are simply walking to get to where they are going. Sadly, the dangers from vehicles are everywhere.
Pedestrians who are hit and injured because of cars, motorcycles, trucks or other forms of transportation have the right to file claims against the negligent party’s liability insurance.
Finding out who is at fault is important when making claims. The law of negligence helps determine which party is at fault. The negligent party is the one who failed to exercise a reasonable amount of care when needed. Car versus pedestrian accidents may be present in three scenarios:
1) Car is negligent. Every driver is required to practice responsible driving. In this situation, the car is negligent when the pedestrian is crossing the street legally when the car hit him or her. Drunk driving is an example for this scenario.
2) Pedestrian is negligent. Pedestrians are usually cautious and should look left and right before crossing the street. For this scenario, the car hit the pedestrian because the latter did not abide by the streetlights. The pedestrian sign was red and the traffic light was green, but the pedestrian still crossed the street.
3) Both parties are negligent. For this last situation, both parties are negligent because the pedestrian crossed the street illegally while the car hit him or her at a speed exceeding the limit.
Determining which party is at fault is important in order to determine who is entitled to filing damage claims. This is why police investigation and reports are needed. Once the police complete the investigation, they will decide who is at fault based on the parties’ statements, witness accounts and other related evidence.
Tips on How to Avoid Car versus Pedestrian Accidents
Everyone is vulnerable when it comes to car and pedestrian accidents. Exercising caution and implementing responsible driving are some of the ways to avoid such accidents. Drivers and pedestrians have different responsibilities to maintain their safety and keep the roads secure:
If you are a driver:
1) Concentrate on the road. Eliminate all the possible distractions that may affect your concentration. Mobile devices, loud music, food and chatting with your passengers may affect your driving concentration. Avoid anything that can take your eyes off the road.
2) Obey traffic lights. Two people die everyday as a result of beating the red light. Obeying traffic lights is important to keep not only the driver’s safety, but also the pedestrians’. Slow down when the yellow light is flashing. This gives you time to stop when the light turns red.
3) Don’t drink and drive. Drunk driving claims 28 lives everyday. Hours of drinking are not worth the risks when you get involved in a drunk driving accident. If you are planning on drinking, avoid bringing your car. Leave it at home and use other means of transportation instead or have a designated driver.
4) Give way to pedestrians. When in doubt, give way to pedestrians. Even when you are in a hurry, allow the pedestrians to cross the streets, especially if their light is green.
Exercising responsible driving requires a lot of self-control and discipline. Nonetheless, it is a sacrifice worth making if it helps keep others safe.
If you are the pedestrian:
1) Keep your eyes on the road. Some people tend to use their mobile phones while they walk. Always keep your eyes on the road to avoid crossing too early or too late. Focusing on where you are going also keeps you from bumping into other pedestrians.
2) Stay on your side. Always stay in your lane. Avoid walking on the wrong side of the pedestrian lane as this may cause delays and hassle for other pedestrians. Avoid walking on the main roads. Stay on the sidewalk as much as possible to avoid accidentally get hit by moving vehicles.
3) Follow traffic lights. Always wait for the green light before crossing the street. If you find yourself too late, do not attempt to cross the road. This may lead to vehicular accidents.
Diligence on the part of the driver as well as the pedestrian is important when preventing car and pedestrian accidents.
In cases when you’ve incurred personal injuries from any accident on the road, this link will be helpful for you.
About Janine Penn
Janine Penn has been a law writer for more than a decade. She hopes to impart some of her wisdom to others through her written works. She is often reading a new book whenever she has the time.