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Car accidents involving pedestrian can give rise to legal claim

When a pedestrian is killed by a car in New Hampshire, it is important for investigators to obtain a detailed report on the precise factual events that occurred. In some instances, criminal charges may be brought against the driver of the vehicle. If the incident did not involve criminal activity, it may nonetheless by a situation where the driver was negligent. With respect to car accidents in which a pedestrian was killed due to the operator's negligence, the decedent's family will have a claim for wrongful death damages against the driver.

The New Hampshire State Police have reported a pedestrian fatality resulting from an accident that occurred on Easter Sunday in Shelburne. The 65-year-old victim was walking along North Road in the afternoon when she was struck and killed by a 36-year-old woman who was backing out of her driveway that fronted on North Road. The operator told a television station that it was difficult to back out of the driveway onto a busy road.

However, published photos showed a desolate roadway with no traffic, which is likely the way it looked on Easter Sunday. In any event, there are few conceivable scenarios that could absolve the operator from a finding of negligence. If the pedestrian ran into the rear of the vehicle on purpose, that would be a defense for the operator.

With respect to the New Hampshire rules regarding negligence, a person exiting from a driveway must use due caution and care to make sure that there are no vehicles coming on the roadway. The duty extends to making sure that there are no pedestrians walking by the driveway on the appropriate part of the sidewalk or walkway. Car accidents involving a pedestrian under these facts appear to be fairly conclusive that the driver will have to pay, through her insurance coverage, on account of the civil responsibility that she has for the woman's death.

Source:, "Shelburne, NH woman hit and killed by car", Marissa Bodnar, March 28, 2016

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