One of the most important aspects in recovering damages after an injury is who gets assigned liability. Liability differs slightly in pedestrian accidents compared to car-on-car crashes because pedestrians are much more vulnerable than someone in a vehicle. Thus, there is a heightened duty of care assigned to drivers to avoid walkers and joggers due to the consequences of striking them.
If you need help determining liability in a Manchester, you should consult with a skilled pedestrian accident attorney. Legal counsel could take over the case and advocate for you in court.
Building Evidence for Liability
A plaintiff’s attorney could speak with any witnesses, including the plaintiff, to gather the facts of the accident. They could also confer with the police officers who arrived at the scene, as well as accident reconstructionists who might be able to determine how the accident happened, including who was likely at fault. One of the most important facets of an attorney’s role is to gather evidence such as crash scene videos or the light sequencing from the Department of Transportation. The purpose of this evidence is to determine whether the defendant has liability for the pedestrian accident in Manchester.
Who Determines Liability in a Pedestrian Accident?
In the initial phase of the claims process, the plaintiff’s and defendant’s attorneys usually attempt to determine accident liability if it is plainly evident that one side or the other was at fault. If the defendant was clearly at fault, they may try to settle early so as to avoid a trial. If liability cannot be agreed on, or the settlement offer is too low, the plaintiff could take the case to court where a judge or jury decides who was at fault and how much money to award.
Individuals determine liability by looking at the totality of the circumstances surrounding the pedestrian collision, including what the plaintiff and defendant knew or should reasonably have known. The parties’ choices are weighed against each other until it is decided who was more responsible for causing the accident. Both sides are allowed to make their liability arguments to the judge or jury.
Factors That Can Impact Liability
If a driver is speeding above the legal limit and hits a person as a result, that will be a major factor in the argument and potentially render them responsible for it. Distracted driving has also become a major concern, especially with the rise in cell phone usage. Evidence that proves a vehicle operator was on their phone or otherwise distracted at the time of an accident will be valuable to a plaintiff’s case. On the other hand, if a pedestrian was so distracted that they did not see a car coming, they could be deemed at fault for the accident even if they suffered the most injuries as a result.
One of the common ways to establish liability is to prove that the driver committed a traffic violation. This is referred to as “negligence per se” and can help automatically pin liability on the violator without having to use other evidence to convince the court.
Work with an Attorney to Determine Liability in Manchester Pedestrian Accidents
Establishing which party was at fault for the crash is what a successful civil case must be built around. The plaintiff will have a big part to play in compiling the necessary evidence and should find a lawyer who they can work well with. If you need help determining liability in a Manchester pedestrian accident, get in touch with a legal professional who could help you recover compensation for your losses. Call today.