When we think of pedestrian accidents in winter weather, we typically think of slipping and falling on snow and ice. Don’t forget about pedestrian accidents involving motorists too. Motorists need to take extra care and caution during winter weather. Shorter days, darkness, decreased visibility and snow storms increase the likelihood of a car, truck or SUV accident with a pedestrian.
Slip and falls
These accidents can happen outside or inside of a business or home. We usually think of slip and falls occurring in parking lots or on sidewalks, but the elements are often blown in or tracked in. Slip and falls in RI happen everywhere. Snowflakes outside turn into water inside, particularly around commercial interior entrances where heavy customer traffic brings the winter weather in with it. Owners of commercial property must use due care and caution for the safety of their customers.
Motor vehicles and pedestrians
The primary factor that distinguishes motor vehicles collisions with pedestrians and slip and fall cases is visibility. When visibility is an issue, the ordinary operation of a motor vehicle is influenced by winter elements. “White out” conditions with high winds and blowing snow operate to magnify the visibility issue. When put into the equation with significantly increased stopping distances created by snow and ice, lack of visibility can make winter driving much more dangerous for both motorists and pedestrians.
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The law of negligence
Whether it’s a slip and fall on snow and ice or a motor vehicle accident with a pedestrian, a determination of fault has to be made. In these types of cases, fault is determined by the law of negligence. If a person fails to use due care and caution for the safety of others, they can be held negligent and liable for damages. In order to prove negligence, you’re required to show:
• A duty
• A breach of that duty
• That the breach of duty caused the accident and injuries
If a person claiming negligence and injury can’t prove each and every one of those elements, their case is going to fail in its entirety. They might also be held to be comparatively negligent where the percentage of the negligence attributable to him or her is deducted from the full value of their settlement or award.
Negligence cases involve complicated litigation strategies. Only a knowledgeable and experienced Rhode Island personal injury lawyer can competently litigate these cases. Contact our RI law office for a free consultation and case evaluation.
The Union leader reported: “HAMPSTEAD — Police say they have no plans to bring charges against a Derry teen whose Jeep struck and killed a woman when she got out of her car to make a call after sliding off Stage Road in a snowstorm Tuesday night. There was certainly no criminal intent. It was an accident,” police Lt. John Frazier said. Lori Dawe, 31, of Derry, died at the scene of the accident near the intersection of Stage and Cambridge roads. Frazier said the accident happened on a section of roadway that’s often a trouble spot during winter weather conditions.” Union Leader
According to police, Dawe was driving a 2009 Chevy Cobalt southbound on Stage Road in the area approaching the intersection of Cambridge Road Tuesday night when her car slid on the ice- and snow-covered road.
Per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.