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Establishing negligence in pedestrian accident cases

| Feb 23, 2021 | Pedestrian Accidents, Personal Injury

A pedestrian is killed in a motor vehicle accident every 90 minutes in Connecticut and around the country according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a distracted, impaired or reckless driver is often responsible. Pedestrians often lose their lives when they are struck by vehicles as they walk along roads without sidewalks or cross busy streets, but they are also killed while standing on footpaths or sitting on benches.

Killed while waiting for a bus

Just such an accident took place in New Haven County on the morning of Feb. 12,2020. A 57-year-old man and a 59-year-old man were struck by a Jeep SUV as they stood in a bus shelter on Dixwell Avenue in the town of Hamden. According to media reports, the 31-year-old woman behind the wheel of the Jeep attempted to leave the scene but was unable to do so because her vehicle had flat tires. A police officer apprehended her as she attempted to flee on foot.

Both men killed

Emergency workers pronounced the 59-year-old man dead at the scene. The 57-year-old man was seriously injured and rushed to a nearby trauma center. He succumbed to his injuries on March 13. The woman faces charges of reckless driving, operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license, evading responsibility and failing to maintain a single lane. A police representative said additional charges could be forthcoming.

The burden of proof

Road users injured in motor vehicle accidents who pursue civil remedies must usually establish that their injuries were caused by a negligent act, but the burden of proof is placed on the defendant in certain situations. When pedestrians are struck by cars while they are walking on a sidewalk or standing in a bus shelter, experienced personal injury attorneys could argue that the legal principle of res ipsa loquitur applies and it is up to the defendant to prove that they did not act negligently. This is a Latin phrase that means things speak for themselves.