The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that over 110,000 pedestrians are injured each year in the United States, and approximately 60,000 people die from those injuries. Almost half of all deaths resulting from pedestrian accidents occur between 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. when children typically are returning home from school.
Children and the elderly are most at risk of being injured in pedestrian accidents, and injuries caused by negligent drivers account for the majority of catastrophic injuries and wrongful death.
Our cities and streets are often busy with activity: cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians have to interact and share public space and roadways. Unfortunately, not everyone understands or observes the rules of the road that govern right-of-way at crosswalks, stoplights, or even stop signs. For this reason, accidents resulting in serious personal injury happen every day on our nation’s roadways.
Pedestrians who are hit by motor vehicles may have a claim against the driver, but they must prove that the driver was negligent and that the negligence caused the accident. The very nature of the circumstances (3,000 pound car versus unprotected pedestrian) suggests that the driver would ultimately be responsible for the accident. However, pedestrians must also adhere to the laws of the road and be aware of the traffic around them.
We represent pedestrians who were injured by motorists who fail to:
- Stop at a crosswalk
- Yield the right of way
- Come to a complete stop at a stop sign
- Travel too fast down neighborhood streets
- Stop before right on red
In general, pedestrians have the right of way, unless they cross the street in non-designated areas or against crossing signals. If a child is the one who ran out into the street, and if there is a school or playground nearby, the driver may have been aware that children were in the area. This can be used to show the driver wasn’t taking proper precautions to avoid an accident.
A third party can also be responsible in pedestrian accidents. If a crossing signal or traffic light malfunctioned, it may be possible to hold the municipality responsible for failing to adequately maintain or repair the light.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed while a pedestrian in Charlotte or anywhere in North Carolina, please contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.