Every year, thousands of people die in pedestrian accidents, and tens of thousands are injured. Pedestrian accidents can be accidents in which a pedestrian is killed or injured by a vehicle or non-vehicular: the result of poor property maintenance, sidewalk or parking lot defects, or construction or other debris. Pedestrians injured as a result of someone else’s negligence may be entitled to recover damages for their injuries.
Negligence means the failure to do (or not do) something that a reasonable person in similar circumstances would have done to protect others from foreseeable risks. In a pedestrian accident, the pedestrian and his attorney must prove that: 1) the defendant owed the pedestrian a legal duty, either not to strike him with his car or to exercise a reasonable standard of care in maintaining his property; 2) the defendant breached that legal duty; 3) This breach of duty was the cause an accident involving the plaintiff; and 4) that the plaintiff suffered substantial injuries as a result of the accident.
When a person is injured in a pedestrian accident, there may be more than one party that can be held liable, including the driver of a vehicle, a commercial trucking company, the owner or party responsible for maintain a sidewalk, parking lot, or roadway, or the pedestrian him or herself. An Colorado attorney experienced in pedestrian accidents and personal injury can help sort through these issues and identify all possible defendants.
Colorado Pedestrian – Auto Accidents
The outcome of an accident involving a pedestrian and an automobile depends on the duty of care owed by each party involved. Both drivers and pedestrians must adhere to the rules of the road and exercise reasonable care. If a pedestrian has engaged in careless behavior such as darting in front of a vehicle, jaywalking, or ignoring a “Don’t Walk” sign, it can prevent the pedestrian from collecting all or part of the compensation otherwise entitled him. Contributory negligence may be assessed against the pedestrian for contributing or causing his or her own injury.
Driver’s are expected to exercise “reasonable care under the circumstances.” A failure to use reasonable care is considered negligence. Some common causes of driver negligence include:
- Not obeying the speed limit
- Not obeying other traffic signs and signals
- Not stopping for pedestrians at cross walks
- The driver is not paying attention or is preoccupied
- Not paying attention to weather or traffic conditions
- Failure to signal while turning
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
In addition to his or her normal duty of care to any pedestrian, a driver owes a special duty of care to children. Children represent the greatest risk of being hit by a motor vehicle, and their very presence is a warning to the driver to exercise greater care. This is especially true when a driver is driving through a school zone, near a park, or through a residential area where children are known to play.
Non Vehicular-Pedestrian Accidents in Colorado
In Colorado, those in control of land, including public land, have a duty of care to maintain their property and warn people of hazards on them. In order to prove the legal liability of a property owner, or premise liability, a plaintiff and his attorney must show that that there was a dangerous condition on the property and that the owner knew about the dangerous condition. A dangerous condition exists when something on the property presents an unreasonable risk to people on it, and the risk is not an obvious one.
Should I Hire a Colorado Personal Injury Attorney?
If you’re injured in a pedestrian accident, those legally responsible for your injuries might try to claim that you were negligent and were the cause of your own injuries. Call the police immediately, don’t leave the scene of the accident before help arrives, gather the names and phone numbers of any witnesses, do not make any statements to anyone, and contact a Colorado attorney experienced in pedestrian accidents and personal injury. An attorney can sift through the facts of the case, protect your rights, and get you the compensation that you deserve.
For more information about pedestrian accidents and Colorado car and pedestrian accident attorneys, view here.