Walking near Ann Arbor’s roads can be devastatingly dangerous. In the blink of an eye, an errant driver can veer onto a sidewalk, or motorists fail to yield to pedestrians when they are legally crossing the street. The results of these instances are nothing short of tragic. Victims of pedestrian accidents can suffer serious injuries that can have life-long consequences. Many of these victims are left with permanent disability or disfigurement, and the emotional trauma imposed upon them is significant. Their financial losses can be severe, too, quickly amassing from medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and even lost wages.
Sadly, one University of Michigan student may find himself in this position after being struck while in the crosswalk between Ingalls Street and Thayer Street. Police say a 17-year-old motorist failed to yield to the man while he was in the crosswalk, causing the vehicle to slam into the 21-year-old victim. The pedestrian was taken to the hospital with serious injuries. He is listed in critical condition.
The exact cause of this accident remains under investigation. The police, however, do not suspect that drugs, alcohol or distraction played a role, which is an interesting position. Since the victim was legally in the crosswalk at the time of the accident, the only other explanation is that the motorist was simply unaware of his surroundings despite being attentive. Even if this is the case, though, it is no excuse for causing this accident.
All motorists owe other drivers and pedestrians a duty of care to act reasonably while driving so as to ensure the safety of others. When this duty is breached and injuries result, then legal action is likely justified. Here, simple inattentiveness may be enough to breach that duty of care. Therefore, the victim in this case, and others who find themselves harmed by the negligence of others, may want to think about the best way to impose liability and recover compensation for damages suffered.