Pedestrian accidents are always terrifying, but they are not uncommon—particularly in Delaware. Delaware is the deadliest state in the U.S. for pedestrians, according to the State Department of Transportation. When a car strikes a pedestrian while travelling at a speed of over 30 miles per hour, injuries are likely to be more severe and fatalities are more common. However, even when a car is travelling 10 miles per hour in a parking lot, a pedestrian accident can be extremely serious.
Fault in any car accident is generally determined by the law of negligence. Under this theory, a person who fails to exercise a reasonable standard of care under the circumstances may be considered negligent and held liable in court. Delaware uses a modified comparative negligence system. This means that both the driver and the pedestrian can be negligent. For example, a pedestrian may be jaywalking, and a speeding driver strikes them because they could not stop in time. If a pedestrian was found to be more than 50 percent at fault, he or she is barred from recovering any damages. However, if the pedestrian was less than 50 percent at fault, recovery of damages is possible, but the award may be diminished depending on what percentage of fault is attributed to the driver.
Delaware is routinely ranked as the worst in the nation for pedestrian deaths on a per-capita basis. In Delaware, what once were rural areas are becoming increasingly urbanized. The increase in high-speed traffic that comes with this urbanization is a significant factor in the frequency and severity of accidents.
Researchers have discovered a national trend between poverty and pedestrian deaths. This is likely because low-income individuals are less likely to drive. Also, many pedestrians killed by cars and trucks tend to live in lower-income housing located near highways, with few safe means to cross in order to get to a bus stop, go to work, or go shopping.
Further, police officers Delaware find it difficult to enforce jaywalking—even across highways. Although the Delaware Office of Highway Safety provides for patrolling of dangerous stretches of roads; and regularly distributes reflective bags and flashlights to pedestrians, regular on-duty police rarely have time to stop pedestrians that are crossing highways outside of crosswalks. This is especially true when they are on their way to handle an emergency situation.
If you have been struck by a moving vehicle, try to remain calm. Move to a safe place off the road if possible and call 911. Exchange contact information with witnesses and the driver, but do not admit fault—even if you are unsure of who was to blame. It is also critical to seek medical attention right away, even if your injuries do not seem immediately severe. Consult an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so they can begin building your case.
If you have been seriously injured or suffered the wrongful death of a loved one in a pedestrian accident in Delaware, contact the experienced and highly skilled Wilmington pedestrian accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow today at (302) 427-9500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. With offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we represent injured pedestrians throughout Delaware, including those in Wilmington, Hockessin, Newark, Glasgow, Bear, Middletown, Smyrna, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Georgetown, and Seaford, as well as those in New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County.