There are several important factors that can help or hinder a pedestrian's ability to pursue a vehicular accident injury claim. These factors deal with whether the motor vehicle driver was at fault or negligent in the collision.
The question of negligence usually is foremost in determining whether the pedestrian has a viable claim for damages. Essentially, negligence in this context means that the motorist did not act reasonably to protect others from foreseeable dangers.
Establishing negligence in a pedestrian accident case
There are four main elements of a successful negligence claim for damages. They are:
- The motorist owed a legal duty - The driver owed the pedestrian a legal duty given the circumstances of the incident. In most scenarios, for examples, drivers owe pedestrians a very high standard of care due to the fact that pedestrians risk getting catastrophically hurt if a car strikes them.
- The motorist breached this legal duty - The motorist failed to fulfill (or breached) his or her legal duty by performing certain actions or failing to perform certain actions. This could involve a motorist who chose to drive drunk and endanger others on the road. It could also involve a motorist who failed to fix his or her bad brakes and thus endangered others.
- The motorist caused the collision - The motorist, through his or her failures or breaches of legal duty, caused a crash that hurt a pedestrian. In this sense, the motorist should be directly at fault for the crash. Sometimes, if it's clear that the pedestrian was at fault, e.g., darting out in the road, the motorist might not be at fault, but this will depend on the situation. Even in some dart-out events, the motorist still may bear some of the responsibility.
- The pedestrian got hurt - Finally, the pedestrian actually needs to have suffered injuries resulting from the crash.
Were you hurt by a motor vehicle while walking?
Chicago is a bustling city that is full of pedestrians. This means that drivers need to be especially alert when driving through the city to avoid hurting people on foot. If you were hurt by a motorist in the Chicago area while walking, learn as much as you can about your legal options. A lawyer can help you understand these options, and if necessary, initiate legal action on your behalf.