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Proving negligence in pedestrian accidents

| Jul 10, 2020 | Personal Injury |

Pedestrians can be injured by drivers or through the negligence of a property owner. Whatever the situation, they may be compensated for their injuries here in Pennsylvania. However, it requires some amount of legal knowledge to pursue a case and be successful in it. The first thing to understand is the concept of negligence.

Plaintiffs must show that the defendant owed them a duty of care and that certain actions or omissions on the defendant’s part breached this duty and led to their injuries. So, for example, a driver has a duty to follow traffic laws and exercise reasonable care, and a property owner has a duty to provide a safe space for lawful entrants.

Motorists may breach their legal duty by negligent acts like speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, running a red light and failing to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at a crosswalk. Drivers have an even higher duty of care toward children and are thus expected to slow down when passing schools and parks. Property owners, for their part, must ensure that their properties are free of slip, trip and fall hazards like potholes or ice on the sidewalk.

Pedestrians have duties, too. They must use marked crosswalks, obey the “walk” signal at a traffic light and never dart out in front of vehicles.

Assuming that a pedestrian shares little to no fault in the accident, they may succeed in receiving compensation through a personal injury case. A lawyer could help with the process. If the victim took down the name and number of any eyewitnesses, they may have the lawyer gather their testimony in addition to other important proof like the police report and, if applicable, red-light camera footage. The lawyer may speak on victim’s behalf at the negotiation table or in the courtroom.