When establishing a personal injury case, you generally have to prove that the person who hurt you owed you a duty of care. When you are a pedestrian, it is your responsibility to show reasonable care regarding your own safety. This includes things such as only crossing the crosswalk at appropriate times, not jumping in front of vehicles suddenly and making sure to only use crosswalks that are clearly marked.
Drivers, however, have a special duty of care regarding pedestrians, especially children.
Children and drivers’ duty of care
Because children are not as visible as other pedestrians, and they can sometimes behave unpredictably, a driver’s duty of care is greater around children. In fact, statistically, children under 10 are at the greatest risk of a car striking them. Areas such as parks and schools, where children frequently play, require drivers to be especially careful and pay attention.
Pedestrians and drivers’ duty of care
According to FindLaw, here are some of the most common circumstances that contribute to negligence on that part of the driver.
- Driving while you are distracted
- Getting behind the wheel after ingesting drugs or alcohol
- Driving over the speed limit
- Driving without taking traffic conditions or weather into account
- Failing to obey traffic signs
- Turning without signaling first
- Driving without yielding to people at crosswalks
If you have sustained injuries from a vehicle as a pedestrian, it may seem pretty cut-and-dry as to who was at fault. Depending on the situation, however, more than one party may hold responsibility for the accident. Aside from yourself and the driver, whoever maintains the property where the accident occurred may also be liable.