Running and walking along the roads in Bedford County is a great way to get outdoors for some fresh air and exercise. Unfortunately, careless or reckless drivers sometimes collide with pedestrians, causing injuries and even death.
When a motorist’s negligence injures a pedestrian, the negligent motorist is liable for all resulting damages. If a pedestrian accident impacted your family, consult a compassionate personal injury attorney to learn how you could seek compensation. A Bedford County pedestrian accident lawyer could collect evidence of negligence and negotiate with the driver’s insurance company to ensure you receive a reasonable settlement.
Motorists must always be attentive to his or her surroundings and take care to avoid pedestrians, though pedestrians also have legal obligations they must follow. Following state laws could help keep a pedestrian safe and will reduce the likelihood that a negligent driver could shift blame onto the pedestrian after an accident.
Pennsylvania’s law requires pedestrians to use sidewalks if available, but a pedestrian may walk on the road’s shoulder when there is no sidewalk. Pedestrians must obey traffic signals and cross only at crosswalks. Drivers must yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. If an intersection has no crosswalks, the pedestrian must yield to oncoming traffic and only cross when the road is clear.
Pedestrians also help themselves by taking common-sense safety precautions. Always wear brightly colored or reflective clothing when traveling on the roads on foot. Avoid walking along the roads in low light, and use a flashlight or headlamp and wear reflective clothing if traveling at night is unavoidable. Never travel the roads on foot when drunk, and focus on the road, not on your phone.
Driver error causes most pedestrian accidents. Although motorists usually notice and respond to other vehicles on the road, they are less likely to notice pedestrians. Distracted and impaired drivers often fail to see a pedestrian until it is too late to avoid them.
Sometimes, a mechanical failure with a vehicle’s steering, brakes, or other components could cause an accident that injures a pedestrian. The manufacturer of the defective part could be liable to the injured person. Road conditions such as potholes, poor lighting, an uneven surface, or a narrow shoulder might also contribute to a pedestrian accident. A local government may be liable in such cases. If drunk driving was a factor, the bar or restaurant that served the driver could potentially be liable.
A proactive pedestrian accident attorney in Bedford County could review the police report and other evidence to identify the negligent parties whose conduct contributed to the incident. A diligent legal professional could file suit against all parties that might be liable for an accident resulting in a pedestrian’s injuries.
Anyone injured in a pedestrian accident in Bedford County, or the family of anyone killed, should consult a seasoned lawyer as soon as possible. When a legal professional gets involved early on in a case, he or she could preserve the claimant’s rights by meeting all legal deadlines.
For example, local governments may have liability in pedestrian accidents. Very strict notice requirements apply when an individual has a claim against the state or a local government. 42 P.S. § 5522 requires claimants to give the government they intend to sue written notice of a claim within six months of an injury. Failing to give notice could deprive the claimant of the right to sue.
Adults in Bedford County generally have two years from the date of the injury to bring a lawsuit against any defendants. If the pedestrian was under 18 when the accident happened, he or she has until two years after turning 18 years old to pursue legal action. However, in general, cases are stronger when brought sooner. A parent or guardian could file a lawsuit seeking monetary damages on behalf of an injured minor child in Bedford County.
Pedestrian accidents are emotionally traumatic events that often cause significant, disabling injuries. The negligent parties who contributed to the incident should pay for the harm they caused.
A Bedford County pedestrian accident lawyer at Marcus & Mack could use his or her legal knowledge and sharp negotiating skills to secure a reasonable settlement for an injured pedestrian. Put yourself in the hands of a qualified professional—call today.
Marcus & Mack