While motor vehicle accidents remain a concern in Kentucky and elsewhere, these collisions do not always involve just vehicles. Some accidents involve pedestrians, creating a greater concern for pedestrian safety and the need to reduce this type of serious and fatal collision. Whether the underlying cause is negligence by a motorist, inattentiveness by a pedestrian or a combination of both, when a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, he or she is likely to suffer traumatic or fatal injuries.
Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports fatal pedestrian accidents that near 5,000. Additionally, they report around 76,000 pedestrians suffering injuries in a car crash. While motor vehicle accidents are a primary cause of pedestrian accidents, they are not the only cause. Thousands of pedestrians suffer injuries each year due to poor maintenance, sidewalk or parking lot defect and incidents related to construction or falling debris.
When a pedestrian is harmed, he or she could recover damages for the injuries suffered due to the negligence of another party. In order to hold a party accountable, the injured pedestrian must prove four elements. First, the party must have owed a legal duty to the injured pedestrian. This could be a driver’s duty to yield to a pedestrian or the city to repair a damaged sidewalk.
Next, the party must have breached that duty by either action or inaction. Third, the breach of the duty caused the accident. Finally, the pedestrian suffered harm or injury as a result of the accident. Whether it was a distracted driver, intoxicated motorist or a defective sidewalk or parking lot, holding a negligent party accountable could help a victim recover damages for the harms suffered.
The aftermath of a pedestrian accident can be gruesome. In a car accident, a person cannot standup to the size and force of a motor vehicle. Even when a vehicle is slow moving, serious injuries could still result. Thus, it is important that injured pedestrians understand what recoverable damages they have. A personal injury claim can help assign liability to a party and assess the damages that could be covered if compensation is awarded.