As the winter thaws, more people in Wisconsin will likely spend their time outdoors, likely resulting in additional pedestrians on or near the roadways. Unfortunately, some pedestrians become the victims of a car accident. In fact, statistics provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association indicate that approximately 5,000 pedestrians are killed in accidents involving motor vehicles each year. In 2012, an additional 76,000 pedestrians were injured. Those injured — or their relatives in the event of a fatality — have the option of seeking damages in a civil court if it can be proved that the accident was caused by a driver’s negligence.
An act is considered negligent if a driver fails to take the care that a reasonable person would take in order to protect others in a similar circumstance. In order to successfully present such a claim in court, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached a legal duty to the person injured. It must be documented that the breach resulted in an accident that harmed the plaintiff.
Failure to exercise reasonable care can happen in a variety of different circumstances. For example, distracted or drunk driving could form a proper basis for a negligence claim. Additionally, ignoring weather conditions and traffic rules regarding signals and signs as well as failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian could be construed as a failure to show reasonable care.
Those who are killed or injured in a pedestrian car accident in Wisconsin are not simply a number used to configure shocking statistics. They are family members with loved ones who are likely also severely impacted by the loss or injury caused by such an accident. Many people who are harmed in an accident have the option of seeking legal recourse in a civil court. If negligence can be proved, a monetary award could help with the financial consequences of such harm.
Source: FindLaw, “Pedestrian Accidents Overview“, Accessed on March 17, 2015