Pedestrians are seriously injured or killed every year in Rhode Island as well as in the rest of the nation. In 2012 alone, 76,000 pedestrians were injured in vehicle accidents, and nearly 5,000 are killed every year in the United States.
A pedestrian who suffers an injury due to the negligence of a motorist may be able to recover damages. It will need to be shown that the driver owed the pedestrian a duty of care, that the driver violated the duty and that the pedestrian suffered harm as a result.
There are multiple types of driving behavior that may cause pedestrian accidents. Some of the most common include distracted driving, speeding, not yielding the right of way at crosswalks, running stoplights or stop signs, not signalling when turning, driving drunk and ignoring weather and traffic. Drivers owe a higher duty of care when children are present, as children are smaller, more difficult to see and more likely to dart out into the street.
A pedestrian accident can be particularly catastrophic since pedestrians have no protection around them. When a pedestrian is seriously injured in a vehicle accident, people should try to get the names and contact information of all of the witnesses and call for help. If possible, people should note the make, model and license plate number of the vehicle involved, as unfortunately, a number of pedestrian accidents occurring each year are hit and run accidents. The pedestrian may file a personal injury civil lawsuit against the driver and recover damages to compensate for the injuries suffered. This could include the costs of necessary medical treatment as well as compensation for wages that were lost due to an inability to work.
Source: FindLaw, "Pedestrian Accidents Overview", accessed on Feb. 3, 2015