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Driver Liability in a Pedestrian Accident

Pedestrian accidents accounted to 13 percent of all motor vehicle accident deaths in the United States. In 2010, 4,280 pedestrians were killed, according to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Eighteen percent of total pedestrian fatalities that occurred during the said year happened in hit-and-run crashes, with 785.

Witnessing a pedestrian accident can be very devastating. Most of the time, the driver is the one responsible for the injuries of the person. However, the turn of events following such an accident may either make the driver liable or otherwise.

A hit-and-run is defined as crashing into a pedestrian and leaving the scene immediately without regard. This falls under civil liability, which is a common issue in pedestrian accidents. When a driver did nothing to help the injured pedestrian and left the scene, he or she can be cited for criminal charges.

Even if witnesses are not present at the scene, traffic authorities would try to determine who caused the hit-and-run through possible leads. If the driver did stop at the accident scene, he or she may have chance to avoid being slapped with traffic or any similar criminal charges.

But then, the pedestrian may sue the driver for negligence. In the negligence lawsuit, the victim must prove that the driver had failed to exercise a duty of care under the circumstance. As a matter of fact, motorists are compelled to follow such a rule as a way to implement safety on the road.

Common driver errors that could lead to a hit-and-run charge or a negligence lawsuit would include the following:

  • Disregard of a crosswalk;

  • Disregard of a traffic control device;

  • Disregard towards a person already crossing the road;

  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; and

  • Failure to pass a school bus with caution.

A victim of a pedestrian accident who files a negligence lawsuit against the erring driver may be eligible to receive compensation for damages he or she sustained. The victim may pursue such claim by retaining the services of a San Bernardino attorney.

The attorneys at the southern California law firm of Peach & Weathers have more than 25 years of experience helping injured people. When a pedestrian is hurt because of another person's negligence or carelessness, the injured person may be eligible to claim compensation. We have helped countless clients obtain payment for injuries, medical bills, and lost wages. Many of these clients have been pedestrians hurt through no fault of their own. To learn how we can help after a pedestrian accident, contact our law firm. For the convenience of our clients, we have offices in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Rancho Cucamonga where we offer free initial consultations.

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