When you think of car accidents, you probably picture one car crashing into another. What you may not realize is that, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 5,000 pedestrians are fatally injured in motor vehicle related accidents. This commonly occurs when a pedestrian tries to cross a highway.
When a pedestrian is injured, he or she may be able to recover for someone else’s negligence. Negligence occurs when an individual has a duty of care that they fail to meet, and because of that failure, another person is injured and suffers some form of damages or harm. A standard duty of care is what a reasonable person would do in similar circumstances.
Driver’s Duty of Care
Drivers have a special duty of care to behave reasonably under certain circumstances. When a driver does not do so, that is considered negligence. Common causes of driver negligence include:
- Distracted driving
- Not yielding when pedestrians have the right of way
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failing to signal when turning
- Disregarding traffic signs/lights
- Disregarding the weather
Though we all have many duties of care, sometimes special relationships create a special duty of care. One such special duty of care is a driver of any child or children, who are at the greatest risk of being hit by a vehicle between the ages of five and nine. In this case, the driver must exercise even more care in the presence of children and wherever children are seen or likely to be seen.
Pedestrian’s Duty of Care
Drivers are not the only ones with a duty of care. Pedestrians are also required to exercise reasonable care for themselves. This is viewed on a case-by-case basis as different situations and dangers require different levels of care. Some of the most common factors contributing to a pedestrian’s negligence include:
- Failing to cross in designated cross-walks
- Running in front of a vehicle
- Crossing the street without attention paid to certain signals
- Entering traffic
- Looking at electronics rather than paying attention
- Consuming alcohol and being intoxicated
If a pedestrian is negligent in his or her own injury, he or she may be responsible for contributory negligence.
Premises liability is the duty that a property owner must safely maintain and warn of any non-obvious dangerous conditions. To recover damages in a premises liability claim, a pedestrian must prove that a dangerous condition existed and that the owner of the property knew of the risk by showing one of the following:
- The owner created the condition.
- The owner knew that the condition existed but failed to remedy it.
- The condition existed long enough that the owner should have known of it and remedied it.
Delaware County Personal Injury Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Advocate for Victims of Pedestrian Accidents
If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, it is important that you act as soon as possible to remain within the statute of limitations. At Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C., our Delaware County personal injury lawyers help victims obtain the compensation they deserve. With offices in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients from the surrounding areas including Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County, and throughout the Philadelphia metropolitan area. For a free consultation, call 610-565-3701 or contact us online today.