Who Is at Fault in Nighttime Pedestrian Accidents?
Pedestrian accidents are among the most frequent types of accidents involving vehicles and other elements. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), around 76 percent of pedestrian fatalities resulting from accidents occur at night.
Pedestrians are at a significantly greater risk of getting involved in accidents at night, which is due to a number of factors. The nature of the accident and circumstances leading to that accident can make it harder to prove liability in some cases, but victims may be able to seek compensation if another party’s negligence resulted in the accident.
Depending on who is at fault for the accident, injured parties may be able to recover damages including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Why Are Pedestrians at a Greater Risk of Experiencing Accidents at Night?
There are several reasons why accidents involving pedestrians occur more often at nighttime.
At night in the dark, visibility for both pedestrians and motorists will be lower, as pedestrians struggle to see while drivers need to be able to use headlights. Although certain light sources may switch on at night, others may not work the way they should, which can increase the risk of accidents.
Slower Reaction Times
The lack of visibility makes it harder for motorists and pedestrians to perceive the environment and subsequently react in time to avoid danger. Even while using headlights, visibility may be significantly compromised at night, making it harder for motorists to notice other people and objects that wind up in their path.
Bad Weather Conditions
When it’s difficult to see at night, bad weather conditions may not be as visible. The road may be wet or covered in black ice, and reduce friction. Poor road conditions may also be hard to anticipate, such as potholes that drivers may not see until it’s too late.
If pedestrians wear dark clothing at night, it makes them harder for motorists to see. Pedestrians who plan on going out at night for a run or another activity can prepare beforehand by putting on lighter clothing and reflective gear, such as reflective stickers, hats, or vests.
Another issue that can put pedestrians at risk is impaired driving. More people tend to drink alcohol in the evenings. Subsequently, there’s a greater number of drunk drivers on the road.
Determining Liability in Nighttime Pedestrian Accidents
It’s not always easy to figure out who’s liable for nighttime pedestrian accidents and injuries. In many cases, motorists may deny responsibility and say that there was no way for them to prepare for the accident. They may claim that the pedestrian ignored traffic rules and didn’t have right of way at the time of the accident.
The many potential factors make it possible for either the motorist or pedestrian involved to be at fault in an accident, but motorists are always expected to practice safe driving and remain alert when operating a vehicle at night. All traffic laws still apply, and any violation of them could make motorists liable for any accidents that result from their negligence. Distracted driving, including the use of cell phones while driving, can also make drivers responsible for accidents and injuries.
Regardless of the circumstances of an accident, if you or a loved one is injured in a pedestrian accident and believe the other party’s negligence was the cause, you may be able to recover compensation. Even if you share fault in an accident, it may be possible to seek compensation depending on the state in which the accident occurred.
Some of the most serious injuries result from pedestrian accidents involving vehicles, often leaving victims with life-changing injuries that hinder their ability to resume a normal lifestyle. Spinal injuries resulting in partial or complete paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, and amputations are simply a few of the many potentially devastating injuries that can result from pedestrian accidents. To prove that negligence resulted in the accident, it’s important for victims and their families to gather as much evidence as they can to support their claims.
Consult with an Experienced Accident Attorney
The best way to determine how much compensation you may be able to recover is to consult with a car accident attorney. An experienced lawyer will be able to assess your case and may be able to help file a claim or lawsuit against negligent parties.