It’s every pedestrian’s worst nightmare. As you are in the middle of a crosswalk, a driver continues to drive and strikes you, with catastrophic pain following after. As you are waiting for medical assistance to arrive, you wonder how this type of accident happened and why. Unfortunately, these types of accidents are prevalent. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that pedestrian motor vehicle traffic accident fatalities have increased by 51 percent in 2019, and are responsible for 17 percent of crash fatalities.
Because pedestrians have little protection against the size and weight of a vehicle, they will sustain the majority of the impact. Sadly, the injuries that pedestrians can sustain from a pedestrian accident can be severe. Some of the injuries include:
With pedestrian accidents, who can be held liable for the pedestrian’s injuries? Many people would assume that only the driver of the vehicle can be held liable for the pedestrian’s injuries under negligence. However, establishing fault or negligence in a personal injury lawsuit varies from state to state. There are two types of negligence that courts use to determine the parties who are at fault for a pedestrian accident. These two types of negligence are contributory negligence and comparative negligence.
Contributory negligence is a law that prevents a plaintiff from receiving damages from a defendant if it has been proven that the plaintiff’s negligence contributed to the accident in any way (including one percent). For example, if it has been proven in a pedestrian accident that a pedestrian’s negligence contributed to the accident in some fashion, the driver will not be held liable for any of the pedestrian’s injuries. There are only a handful of states who follow the contributory negligence rule.
Comparative negligence is a law that distributes fault between both parties. Under comparative negligence, a defendant’s liability can be reduced if it has been proven that the plaintiff is partly at fault for the accident. In the case of a pedestrian accident, if a pedestrian has been found somewhat liable for their accident, the driver’s liability can be reduced but not terminated. There are two types of comparative negligence:
Being involved in a pedestrian accident is a terrifying time for you and your family. You should spend this time focused on recovery and not a legal battle with drivers and insurance companies. Let a Chester County pedestrian accident attorney from Solomon, Sherman & Gabay receive just compensation for you. Contact us today at 215-665-1100 to schedule a free consultation.