Hit-and-Run Driver Kills Pedestrian

| Jun 23, 2021 | Car Accidents, Injuries

For unknown reasons, a driver ran off the road and smacked into a 58-year-old man. The vehicle then barreled into a nearby home.

According to police, a driver was southbound on Russell Cave Road when he ran off the street and hit a 58-year-old man, killing him almost instantly. The driver immediately fled the scene on foot. Police tracked him down about two hours later, thanks to information provided by a passenger in the vehicle.

That man now faces a variety of criminal charges. The house he hit, which was near the corner of Keys and Russell Cave, only sustained superficial damage.

Four Different Types of Pedestrian Accidents

Since they are completely exposed to danger in these situations, pedestrians usually sustain serious injuries in car wrecks. Indeed, if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) was travelling faster than 40mph, the pedestrian death rate is a staggering 50 percent

These wrecks usually involve one of the following scenarios. Fair compensation is available in all of them, yet some of these claims are more complex than others.

Sidewalk

These accidents are the rarest, and often most straightforward, kinds of pedestrian injury claims. Most drivers have no business being on the sidewalk. The only defense which could possibly apply, sudden emergency, only applies in limited situations.

Tire blow outs and other completely unexpected situations sometimes cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles. However, negligence immunity only applies if the tortfeasor reasonably reacted to that sudden emergency. Mounting the curb is probably not a reasonable reaction.

As a result, a Lexington personal injury attorney is usually able to settle these claims quickly. If liability is reasonably clear, most insurance companies have a legal duty to settle claims within a few weeks.

Settlement negotiations usually begin once medical treatment is at least substantially complete. At that time, an attorney can determine a claim’s settlement value. This value usually represents all the economic losses, such as past and future medical bills, as well as a reasonable amount for emotional distress and other noneconomic losses. This amount varies, depending on the facts of the case and a few other factors.

Permanent Crosswalk

Liability is almost equally clear if the victim was in a marked crosswalk and walking with the light. The victim clearly has the right of way in these situations.

However, a green light does not change the pedestrian’s duty of care. These individuals still have a legal responsibility to stop and look both ways before they cross the street. So, defenses like distracted walking could come into play, especially in certain situations.

Assume Matt was on his phone when he stepped into the street. So, he did not see Ben barrelling down the street. A jury could determine that Matt was partially at fault for his resulting injuries. That’s assuming the insurance company proves Matt was so into his phone that he completely ignored his surroundings.

Things get a little more complex if Matt started walking across the street on green, but the light changed before he reached the other side, possibly due to his mobility impairment. Ben technically has the right of way, but the duty of care requires him to avoid accidents when possible. So, he cannot simply ignore Matt.

Virtual Crosswalk

Pedestrians activate virtual crosswalks when they push buttons which turn on flashing yellow lights. If that happens, drivers approaching from either side must yield the right of way to pedestrians who are crossing the street.

Defenses like comparative fault (distracted walking) could apply. Pedestrians cannot simply push buttons and keep walking. They must first stop and look both ways.

Furthermore, not all virtual crosswalks are created equally. Some of them have flashing yellow lights on road signs. Drivers could easily mistake these flashing lights for a school zone or other warning sign. So, if Matt presses the button and he sees Ben approaching, if Ben shows no signs of stopping, Matt would probably breach his duty of care if he stepped out into traffic.

Non Crosswalk

Drivers have the right of way if the victim wasn’t in a crosswalk. However, the duty of care still applies. So, either party could be legally responsible for a wreck.

Insurance companies often try to apply the aforementioned sudden emergency defense in these situations. Frequently, lawyers argue that the victim “darted out into traffic,” so a collision was unavoidable.

This time, the issue is the nature of a sudden emergency. A jaywalking pedestrian is much like a stalled car or a large pothole. Drivers should anticipate these common hazards and be ready to avoid them. That’s a component of driving defensively, which is part of the duty of care. The “sudden emergency” label usually only belongs to lightning strikes, hood fly-ups, and other completely unexpected situations.

Therefore, even if the pedestrian truly darted out into traffic, compensation is usually available. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.

Injured pedestrians are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Lexington, contact the Goode Law Office, PLLC. We routinely handle matters in Fayette County and nearby jurisdictions. #goodelawyers