When pedestrians are hit by cars on interstate highways

When you are driving your car down a highway, you may sometimes see a pedestrian standing alongside their stranded car, walking along the shoulder or even trying to cross to the other side of the highway. There is a high level of danger for pedestrians on a highway. Being struck by a car traveling at high speeds can mean severe injury or death.

Accidents that occur on the highway can cause serious injuries-- and serious legal consequences. But if a pedestrian is hit by a car while on the highway, does he still have grounds for a lawsuit?

How do pedestrians end up on the highway?

Some people may wonder why a pedestrian would venture onto the highway in the first place. There are several circumstances in which a pedestrian might attempt to cross a highway. Sometimes a pedestrian simply needs to cross to the other side and has no other way to get there. They may be seeking help after being in an accident, or helping another motorist who has been in an accident. In other cases, there may be drugs or alcohol involved.

Is there ground for a lawsuit?

When pedestrians cross the street, they are expected to use a reasonable level of care to prevent accidents and injuries. If a pedestrian is crossing the street and is hit by a car, the pedestrian may have grounds to file a lawsuit. Attempting to cross a highway is another story. Generally, if a pedestrian did not take adequate care when crossing the highway, or if their own conduct contributed to or caused the accident, they probably do not have a strong claim.

This is not to say that pedestrians are completely precluded from filing lawsuits when struck on the highway. It may still be possible for pedestrians who sustained injuries to pursue a claim and receive damages. However, their damages may be significantly reduced. Pedestrians may also be able to file suit against the state or federal agencies that were responsible for caring for the highway and preventing pedestrian injuries.

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Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne

Attorney Steven H. Dorne is an accomplished lawyer who practices in state and federal courts in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. He brings more than 30 years of experience and a long record of success to each case. His law practice is distinguished by careful preparation and thorough analysis of each case...

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