Pedestrians are completely exposed when sharing the road with motor vehicles and therefore have an increased potential for suffering serious injury in an accident. Drivers should always apply a standard level of care in their actions, but apply a heightened awareness in the presence of pedestrians to avoid creating an unnecessarily unsafe situation.
A motor vehicle accident involving an SUV and several other cars and pedestrians recently occurred at the Yonkers fair in New York. The SUV was leaving a parking spot at the fair and did so at an excessive speed according to witnesses. The SUV struck multiple cars while backing out of the parking spot, then hit more parked vehicles after shifting into drive. After hitting each of the vehicles, the SUV then drove into a group of pedestrians, injuring five people, including two young sisters. One of the girls is currently hospitalized in critical condition, while the other sister died as a result of her injuries.
When a motor vehicle is involved in an accident with a pedestrian, the assessment of liability for any ensuing damages is based on which party was negligent in causing the accident, if any. To prove negligence, an injured victim must show that the defendant owed them a duty to use reasonable care, which is typically assumed on the part of a driver. The victim must also prove that the defendant breached this duty, which caused the accident and resulted in their injuries. A breach of the duty of reasonable care may be found in many actions including driving while impaired or inattentive, speeding and failing to obey traffic signals, among many others.
A pedestrian that is injured by a vehicle may have an action against the driver to collect damages to compensate them for their injuries. The court will apply the elements of negligence to determine which party was at fault and if the pedestrian should share any liability for their own injuries. Injured pedestrians may seek the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney to assist them with any potential action.