Pedestrian accidents have the potential to be some of the most dangerous types of accidents, given the complete lack of protection a pedestrian has from an oncoming vehicle. While pedestrian accidents account for about 10% of the total number of auto accidents nationwide each year, they represent 15% of the total number of auto-accident-related fatalities. Thus, on average, a pedestrian accident results in more serious injuries than an accident with just motor vehicles involved.
Pedestrian accident cases present a number of potential legal issues that may come up in a trial between the injured pedestrian and the motorist who struck them. One of the most common issues is whether the pedestrian was at fault in the accident. This situation may arise if a pedestrian is hit while crossing the street where no crosswalk is present.
New Mexico is a “pure comparative negligence” state, meaning that a plaintiff will still be entitled to recover damages for their injuries even if they are partly at fault. This applies no matter what percentage of fault the judge or jury assigns to the plaintiff. However, the plaintiff’s recovery amount will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
For example, assume a pedestrian is struck while outside a crosswalk, and the jury determines that he was 30% at fault for the accident and that the total damages were $1,000,000. Under New Mexico’s pure comparative negligence framework, the plaintiff would be entitled to $700,000, which is the total amount of damages minus the 30% he was found to be at fault.
Pedestrian Accidents Increasing
The number of pedestrian accidents is increasing at an all-time high rate. According to one national news source, the year-to-year increase of pedestrian accidents across the country is expected to increase by approximately 10%, which represents one of the largest increases since such information was tracked.
According to the report, there are a variety of factors that play into the increase in pedestrian accidents, including a more urban-centered population as well as the increased use of cell phones. Thankfully, in New Mexico, there is a cell-phone ban in place for all drivers, which reduces the instances of distracted driving due to cell phone use. However, nothing can prevent drivers from violating the law and texting while behind the wheel.
Have You Been Injured by a Distracted Driver?
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a car accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Each year, thousands of people are seriously injured or killed in pedestrian accidents, and many due to no fault of their own. The injuries sustained in these accidents can last a lifetime, and they can forever change the course of an accident victim’s life. At the Fine Law Firm, we know how to handle pedestrian accident cases, and we have a proven track record of success. Call 505-889-FINE to set up a free consultation with a dedicated personal injury attorney today.
More Blog Posts:
State Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Accident Victims Injured at Gas Station Walk-Up Window, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 1, 2016.
FDA Issues a “Black Box” Warning for Birth-Control Device Essure, New Mexico Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 17, 2016.