Despite traffic laws and designated paths for walkers and bikers, pedestrian accidents are still common in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4,735 pedestrians died in motor-vehicle accidents in 2013. That means one pedestrian died every two hours on average.
New Mexico is certainly no exception to this unfortunate trend. Our state consistently ranks among the leading cities for traffic-related pedestrian deaths. In fact, according to the Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico had the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in 2014.
If you were hurt in a pedestrian wreck that a negligent driver caused, you may be entitled to compensation for healthcare expenses, time off work and other damages. A personal-injury attorney from The Law Office of Brian K. Branch will evaluate your case to determine if you have grounds for a claim. Call 505-764-9710 to schedule a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Albuquerque.
What Duty of Care Do Drivers Have toward Pedestrians?
A joint report by the University of New Mexico and our state’s Department of Transportation shows that 77 pedestrians were killed in 2016 on New Mexico’s roads. Many of these accidents occurred because drivers had violated their duty of care toward pedestrians.
It is important to note, though, that pedestrians also have a duty of care toward drivers. Let’s take a look at three duties of care that could play a role in a pedestrian injury claim:
- Standard Duty of Care
Drivers are expected to exercise a reasonable degree of care in any given circumstance. If you make a claim, the court will consider the circumstance of your accident and whether the driver did or did not exercise a reasonable degree of care given the situation.
Here are a few ways that drivers could violate the standard duty of care:
- Driving while distracted;
- Not yielding the right of way to pedestrians;
- Breaking traffic laws; and
- Driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Special Duty of Care to Children
The law recognizes that children are less visible than adults and may not understand how traffic works. As such, drivers have a special duty of care toward children, which requires that motorists reduce their speed and behave cautiously when driving in areas where children frequent.
- Pedestrian’s Duty of Care
Drivers are not always at fault in pedestrian accidents. The pedestrian may be found at fault if he or she:
- Ignored the “walk” signal at an intersection;
- Entered traffic illegally;
- Chose not to use marked crosswalks; or
- Darted in front of a vehicle suddenly.
If you were injured in a pedestrian crash, turn to The Law Office of Brian K. Branch. A car accident lawyer in Albuquerque will help you make a claim for the maximum compensation. We can help you avoid delays and mistakes that could harm your claim.
Call 505-764-9710 to schedule a free initial consultation. Visit the USAttorneys website to learn more about car accident injury lawsuits in New Mexico.