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About 5,000 pedestrians lose their lives every year as a result of vehicle crashes in the United States. In addition, more than 75,000 in 2012 were injured. Pedestrian accidents in West Virginia and other states can easily happen when pedestrians try to cross the road and are hit by a vehicle operated by a negligent driver.

When a motorist’s negligence has caused an injury accident involving a pedestrian, the pedestrian might be able to recover financial damages in light of those injuries. Negligence refers to failing to do something a reasonable individual would have done in the same type of situation in order to protect other people from risks that are foreseeable. Several things must be proved to successfully establish negligence in an accident involving a pedestrian.

First, there must be proof that the defendant breached his or her legal duty, either through inaction or action, to the injured party. There must also be proof that the defendant caused or contributed to the accident and injured the victim. Factors that often contribute to negligence behind the wheel include speeding, distracted driving and failure to yield to pedestrians.

Other common contributing factors are not signaling while turning a vehicle, disregarding traffic signals or signs and paying no attention to traffic or weather conditions. Driving while intoxicated or after taking drugs can also be considered driver negligence. Injured victims of pedestrian accidents have the right to file personal injury lawsuits against the allegedly at-fault drivers, seeking monetary damages that may help to cover their medical costs and address the pain and suffering resulting from these types of accidents in West Virginia.

Source: findlaw.com, “Pedestrian Accidents Overview“, , Oct. 6, 2014