It is common, these days, to see people walking and not paying attention to their surroundings. One of the most common, and dangerous, things you see is someone looking at their phone while crossing a street, or walking down the sidewalk.
Something that you should keep in mind when going places on foot: most pedestrians are held liable when accidents occur under a doctrine called “contributory negligence”. This means that the pedestrian should have been paying attention when crossing a street.
Now, imagine that you are driving to the store just after dark. You are in your own neighborhood where everything is familiar to you. Suddenly, someone crosses the path of your car out of nowhere. That person is wearing dark clothing with no reflectors. Thankfully, you react quickly and avoid hitting the pedestrian. The same could happen with a pedestrian looking down at a phone and not paying attention. Are you responsible if you hit this person with your automobile?
Although motorists tend to take the blame for many accidents involving pedestrians, many times the person walking is held liable. This most likely would have been the case with the person jay-walking in the dark.
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident whether vehicular or due to a product defect, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries if the other person was negligent. Negligence is considered to be the failure to do (or not do) something that a reasonable person in the same situation would do.
When you are walking, you must exercise reasonable care for your own safety. Nowadays, that can mean don’t read messages on your phone while crossing streets.
If you’re walking, here are just a few simple things to keep in mind:
- Don’t ignore “Walk” signals at intersections
- Don’t dart in and out of traffic, and
- Don’t jaywalk; always use a sidewalk or path
If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.