It is also important to note that in pedestrian accident cases, insurance companies often like to shift some or all of the blame for the accident to the injured plaintiff.
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What factors affect a pedestrian accident claim?
What are the main factors that affect a pedestrian accident claim?
Pedestrians can be injured in a number of ways, from being hit by a car to falling on a poorly-maintained city sidewalk. In general, a pedestrian may recover damages for injuries if someone else's negligence caused the injury.
To determine if negligence was involved, the injured person must prove that the at-fault person:
- Owed a legal duty to the plaintiff under the circumstances;
- Failed to fulfill ("breached") that legal duty through action or inaction;
- Caused an accident or injury involving the plaintiff;
- Harmed or injured the plaintiff as a result.
Sometimes after a pedestrian accident, more than one person or entity is responsible. This could be the driver of a car, the city department that should have fixed a broken sidewalk, or even the pedestrian who carelessly walks into the path of a car. Courts look at several factors as they determine who is at fault.
Pedestrian accident claims revolve around the need to demonstrate negligence, typically involving the driver of a vehicle. Common factors that contribute to driver negligence include:
- Distracted driving;
- Failure to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks;
- Disregarding traffic laws;
- Driving under the influence of alcohol.
Common factors that contribute to pedestrian negligence include:
- Disregarding traffic signals at crosswalks and intersections;
- Failure to use marked crosswalks and jaywalking.
How premises liability affects pedestrian accident claims
Premises liability claims are claims for damages based on the actions, or in-actions, of property owners who have a duty to maintain their property and a duty to keep the public aware of any dangers. When a pedestrian is injured by a hazard on a property, the injured person must prove that the danger exists, that the owner created the dangerous condition or knew it existed and failed to correct it. If the owner didn't know of the danger, the claim can assert that the owner should have known and corrected it.
What to do after a pedestrian accident
After you have been injured in a pedestrian crash, it is hard to know what to do next. Dealing with medical appointments and bills, missing work and income, and being hounded by insurance adjusters, is very challenging while trying to recover from injuries. It is often best to hand over the legal claim to a personal injury attorney who is experienced in managing pedestrian accident insurance claims, and who can handle all aspects of the case while you spend your energy healing and moving forward with life.
The rule of thumb many have simply adopted out of necessity is to assume that pedestrians have the right of way, but each state may have different regulations.
If a driver is clearly at fault for the accident, the pedestrian will likely be able to obtain compensation through the driver’s insurance carrier for any injuries caused. If a pedestrian bears the blame, he or she will probably not be able to receive compensation for injuries sustained.
Pennsylvania has collected crash facts and statistics in an effort to identify the problems and take measures to rectify them. Here is an overview of statistical findings in Pennsylvania from 2010 to 2014.