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Pedestrian accidents and civil cases

When someone in Minnesota is injured in a pedestrian accident, it might be the fault of a driver or of the pedestrian. In some cases, both parties might be considered negligent and thus partly responsible. A negligent party has failed to abide by a reasonable duty of care. For a pedestrian, this may mean walking against signals or stepping out in front of vehicles. A driver may be negligent for driving under the influence, driving too fast for weather conditions, not using a turn signal, not yielding to pedestrians and a number of other actions.

A pedestrian who has been injured in an accident should take a number of immediate steps if possible. Calling the police, getting contact information from witnesses, remaining at the scene and avoiding making any statements are all important to help ensure that the pedestrian is not unduly blamed for an accident that is primarily the fault of another party.

An injured pedestrian may be able to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties. Medical expenses can mount quickly, and this may be compounded if the victim has to miss work and lose income due to the injury. The injured victim should not delay because there is a statute of limitations, and waiting too long might mean too much time has lapsed to file the suit. A consultation with an attorney soon after an accident may be helpful in order to determine what the next steps may be.

It is not necessary for the accident to be a hit and run or for the driver to behave in another illegal way for a civil lawsuit to be successful. Even if no criminal charges are filed against the driver, recovery may still be possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Pedestrian Accidents Overview", accessed on Feb. 5, 2015

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