Motorists are legally required to provide an extra level of care whenever pedestrians are present, or expected to be present, in the area. According to personal injury laws, the driver is legally responsible to provide due care or a high level of safety to everyone in their path. Holding the driver to the standard is based on what prudent individuals would do under similar circumstances. However, not every circumstance can be the same. If you were injured in a pedestrian vehicle crash in RI than contact a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer
When Drivers Are Negligent in Rhode Island
In nearly every situation, when a moving vehicle, truck, van or motorcycle hits a pedestrian, it is usually the result of motor vehicle motorist’s negligence, recklessness or carelessness. Many personal injury claims and Providence wrongful death lawsuits are based on negligence when it can be proved that the driver’s behavior was inappropriate, reckless or negligent. Some types of inappropriate behavior include:
• Driving inattentively or when distracted (texting while driving / cell phone use / web surfing while driving)
• Disobeying traffic lights, signs and signals
• Speeding, red light violations , illegal u -turns
• Reckless driving, racing, distracted driving ,texting and driving
• Operating the vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs (DUI) (drunk driving in RI)
• Failing to provide the right of way to a pedestrian
Most of us automatically assume that whenever a pedestrian is struck by a moving vehicle, car or auto, it is always the driver at fault. This is because we tend to believe that the pedestrian always has the right of way, which from a legal standpoint might not be a correct assumption. Pedestrians are not always without fault when suffering injuries or death in a motor vehicle, truck or car accident. Determining which party is responsible for a Warwick, Cranston, Pawtucket or East Providence pedestrian / car accident in Rhode Island and Providence Plantations often takes more than just eyewitness accounts. In addition, all motorists are legally responsible to provide a higher level of care when operating their vehicle around young children or in areas where child might be present.
When the Pedestrian Is Negligent in Warwick, Newport, Cranston or Woonsocket Rhode Island
Like drivers, pedestrians have a legal responsibility to guard their own safety while walking in crosswalks or on the road or sidewalk. Any pedestrian behaving inappropriately that forces a driver to react with evasive maneuvers can be considered at least partially negligent. Common mistakes made by pedestrians that are considered to be careless, reckless or negligent involve:
• Not maintaining a safe environment by crossing within a marked crosswalk.
• Crossing the road at an intersection when the traffic signal indicates “Do Not Walk”.
• Sprinting or darting out in front of a moving vehicle.
• Jaywalking or walking in prohibited areas along causeways, bridges and highways.
• Ignoring stop signs, traffic signals and other safety devices.
• Running or walking out into the moving flow of traffic.
Rhode Island is a pure comparative fault state. Pursuant to Rhode island General Law § 9-20-4 “Comparative negligence. – In all actions hereafter brought for personal injuries, or where personal injuries have resulted in death, or for injury to property, the fact that the person injured, or the owner of the property or person having control over the property, may not have been in the exercise of due care shall not bar a recovery, but damages shall be diminished by the finder of fact in proportion to the amount of negligence attributable to the person injured, or the owner of the property or the person having control over the property.” http://www.rhodeislandpersonalinjuryattorneyblog.com/2010/09/compartive-negligence-ri/
This means that in Woonsocket, Coventry and Cumberland Rhode Island, if a pedestrian is 98 percent at fault for the collision then the injured victim could still collect 2 percent of their damages such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and compensation for permanent or partial disability.
Pedestrians must obey traffic lights and avoid crossing the intersection during a displayed “Wait” or “Do Not Walk” signal or any other warning or pedestrian safety device. Pedestrians must use the sidewalk when present alongside the road. At locations were no sidewalk is provided along the public roadway, pedestrians are required to maintain their safety by walking along the road shoulder in the direction facing traffic.Even though the pedestrian is generally provided the right of way, they are required to act carefully (prudently), behave reasonably and keep a proper lookout for dangerous circumstances. Common sense is required to stay out of harm’s way.
Some pedestrian accidents are caused by factors other than the motorist or pedestrian. In some scenarios, poorly maintained roads or vehicle equipment failures place a pedestrian in harm’s way. This can include faulty brakes, defective tires or malfunctioning traffic light systems.
Filing a Claim for Compensation in Newport or Providence Superior Court
Showing that the injured party is wholly or partially at fault in a pedestrian /vehicle accident can be difficult to prove. Because of that, many victims will hire a RI personal injury attorney or a Rhode Island personal injury lawyer who specializes in pedestrian accidents. A Rhode Island personal injury lawyer or a RI pedestrian accident attorney may be able to determine that the motorist was not driving appropriately or at a safe speed, or was inattentive or distracted at the time of the incident. Comparative negligence might be involved if the pedestrian was acting inappropriately, making it nearly impossible for the driver to stop in time.
The Providence car accident attorney working on behalf of the victim can file a claim for compensation against all parties at fault for the automobile accident in RI. Their efforts will help resolve the case to secure financial compensation for their client’s accident expenses including medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering and anxiety.
In the event of a fatal pedestrian vehicular crash in RI then the victims’ spouse, family members or parents can pursue a wrongful death cause of action in the Ocean State’s Courts acting through the executor of the deceased estate. A deadly car-pedestrian wreck usually necessitates an East Providence wrongful death attorney with experience in handling a fatal pedestrian crash.
Some important pedestrian accident statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety administration “National Pedestrian Crash Report”:
“Pedestrian fatalities declined between 1997 and 2006. However, the probability of a pedestrian fatality in a crash
increased while the probability of a pedestrian crash declined.
• About two-thirds of pedestrian fatalities were in urban areas. Of the nearly 42,500 cities or towns listed according
the U.S. Geographic Location Codes by the General Services Administration, only 13 percent of them accounted for those
pedestrian fatalities in urban areas.
• Nationwide, nearly two pedestrians died in vehicle crashes per 100,000 population, and a pedestrian crash death
occurred every 70 million miles walked.
• January 1 and October 31 were the two most deadly days of the year, having the highest number of pedestrian
• Pedestrians are more likely to be killed in a crash between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. or during the weekend on Saturday” http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810968.pdf