Maine Pedestrian Accidents Caused by Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian On the Sidewalk When Exiting Your Driveway

The driveway may not seem like a danger zone, but for the pedestrians it becomes the site of a deadly accident. Motorists pull out of their driveways each and every day, often numerous times a day. This rote act can become so mundane that many drivers fail to check in their rear view, side, and front mirrors before exiting the driveway. For the pedestrian crossing at just this moment, the driver’s inadvertent actions can have catastrophic results.

Motor vehicles traveling at even low rates of speed, as is common when exiting the driveway, can inflict severe injury on vulnerable pedestrians. Pedestrian victims may be knocked over by the impact of the vehicle, sweeping them under its carriage and possibly even wheels. Pedestrians can sustain broken limbs, loss of limbs, organ damage, head trauma, spinal cord injuries, and even death.

Children are particularly vulnerable to being hit by vehicles exiting their driveways. With their small size and often quick movements, children can become victims in an instant when an unsuspecting motorist fails to adequately check in his or her mirrors before exiting the driveway. News headlines abound of young toddlers tragically killed in driveway accidents, and researchers estimate that 500 child fatalities are caused in this manner.

Maine’s Laws Concerning Yielding to Pedestrians When Exiting the Driveway

Under ME-29-A MRS § 2056, the operator of a motor vehicle must yield to a pedestrian on a sidewalk. In addition to this safety regulation, Maine law also sets out a due care requirement, which states that all operators of motor vehicles shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian and should give a warning horn if necessary. Proper caution should be exercised when a motorist observes a child pedestrian, or an incapacitated or intoxicated adult.

Establishing Negligence When a Pedestrian is Injured by a Motor Vehicle Exiting the Driveway

Motorists who injure pedestrians while exiting their driveways may be found negligent depending upon the circumstances of the accident. Most often, pedestrian accidents of this type can be attributed to the operator of the motor vehicle being distracted, in a hurry, or simply complacent. All of these actions can lead to a finding of negligence.

Often, one’s driveway forms a portion of the sidewalk. As such, the operators of motor vehicles must yield to passing pedestrians. Even when this law does not come into play, motorists must exercise due care to avoid collision with a pedestrian. Children are afforded particular protection under Maine law.

Fault for a pedestrian accident is not always clear-cut. Sometimes, the pedestrian may have played a role in the accident, such as when a pedestrian darts out in front of the car, giving it no opportunity to stop. A pedestrian’s intoxication or distraction can additionally serve as evidence of his or her negligence.

Under Maine law, a pedestrian will not be barred recovery even if their negligence contributed to the accident or injuries. Maine is a pure comparative negligence state, requiring that the injured party’s recovery be reduced by their proportion of fault, if any.

Peter Thompson & Associates: Providing Excellence of Legal Services to Pedestrian Accident Victims

Peter Thompson & Associates provides unmatched excellence of legal services to pedestrian accident victims across the state of Maine. Voted the best personal injury lawyer, attorney Peter Thompson zealously fights for the maximum recovery of all injured pedestrians. Call us today at 1 800.804.2004 to schedule a consultation at an office meeting location near you. We also offer home and hospital visits for our injured clients.

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