When a pedestrian and a motor vehicle are involved in an accident, it is usually the pedestrian that bears the brunt of any related trauma. The laws of physics are pretty clear in this, and even the healthiest, strongest people are going to have trouble standing up to a car weighing hundreds of pounds and traveling even a few miles an hour. While both pedestrians and drivers have responsibilities for ensuring safety on the road, drivers might be held liable for pedestrian injuries if they failed to exhibit an appropriate level of care prior to an accident.
A driver’s duty of care is the reasonable care that drivers are expected to give to the safety of others on the road. That extends to pedestrians who might be crossing the road or walking on or near the road way. If an accident occurs and a driver is shown to have given less than reasonable care, then the driver might be held liable for the accident.
Some ways a driver might not show reasonable care include distracted driving that involves use of a mobile phone or other item while operating the car as well as speeding. Drivers who fail to appropriately yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or who disobey signals can cause accidents, and those that do not signal appropriately might cause an accident because a pedestrian thinks he or she has time or room to cross the street.
While drivers are expected to show care, pedestrians must also protect themselves by obeying signs and laws and paying attention to the road when they are nearby or are crossing. Even when following all safety rules, a pedestrian can be hit and injured. In such cases, they might be able to seek compensation from the driver of the vehicle.
Source: FindLaw, “Pedestrian Accidents Overview,” accessed Aug. 21, 2015