With warm weather and plenty of shops within proximity to neighborhoods, the roadways in Decatur, AL are commonly used by pedestrians. Unfortunately, as reported by WSFA 12 News, pedestrian accidents across Alabama have dramatically increased over the past decade as more vehicles have filled the roads, and drivers have become increasingly distracted by cell phones.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, a Decatur pedestrian accident attorney from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC can explore your legal options for obtaining compensation for your injuries and provide more information about the services the firm can provide to assist you with your claim.
How to Seek Compensation After a Decatur Pedestrian Accident
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a pedestrian dies in the U.S. about every 88 minutes, resulting in nearly 6,000 deaths a year. Additionally, around 137,000 people are treated in emergency rooms across the nation for non-fatal pedestrian accident injuries.
Individuals who have incurred injuries as a result of a pedestrian accident that was caused by a careless or reckless roadway user can seek compensation for their injuries through the personal injury claims process.
For a free legal consultation with a Pedestrian Accident lawyer serving Decatur, call (800) 537-8185
What Is the Personal Injury Claims Process?
The personal injury claims process in Alabama generally begins when an attorney submits a demand package to the at-fault party’s insurance provider. This package provides details of the pedestrian accident that the claimant experienced, documentation of their expenses, and a demand for the full value of the claim. What happens next, depends on the decision of the insurer.
- If the insurer accepts the claim, it will be submitted for processing and the case will be resolved.
- If the insurer denies the claim, they must notify the claimant of the reason for the denial and the claimant and their attorney will likely begin preparing to submit the claim in court as a personal injury lawsuit.
- If the insurer accepts some liability on the part of the insurer but disagrees with the amount of the demand, they will offer a settlement. This often begins the process of settlement negotiations, when the attorney will attempt to get them to increase their offer in order to provide fair compensation for the injuries that the claimant has suffered.
Proving Liability for a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian accidents are more likely to occur in the hours of darkness, as it can be difficult to see someone walking on the roadway at night. Regardless of what time of day your accident occurred, however, one of the most important parts of a personal injury claim is the claimant’s ability to prove that another party was liable for causing your injuries.
Liability for a Decatur pedestrian accident is proven by showing these elements in the claim.
- Duty: The duty of care is defined as the actions that a reasonable person would take in order to protect the health and property of others. For example, care owed by drivers on Decatur’s roads must operate their vehicle safely and legally.
- Breach: There was a breach in the duty of care owed by a driver, as they took actions that were contrary to driving their vehicle safely and legally, such as texting, which causes a driver to take their hands from the wheel, their eyes from the road, and their mind from the task of driving safely.
- Cause: The breach in care resulted in an accident in which the claimant suffered injuries and subsequently incurred expenses and impacts arising from those injuries.
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Compensation You Can Receive After a Decatur Pedestrian Accident
Individuals seeking compensation through Alabama’s personal injury claims process can recover both economic and non-economic damages. In the legal arena, the term “recovering damages” means obtaining payment in compensation for harm. Economic damages refer to the expenses of the injury, such as medical expenses, wage loss, and loss of earning capacity. Non-economic damages refer to the impacts of the injury, such as physical pain and suffering or emotional distress.
In some cases, punitive damages can also be sought. Punitive damages are a type of compensation you can receive not for the expenses and impacts of the injury itself, but rather as a means to punish a defendant for particularly reckless behavior, such as striking a pedestrian while driving drunk, or intentionally trying to knock a pedestrian off the road.
Why do You Need an Attorney for a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
Many people are tempted after a pedestrian accident to seek compensation without the assistance of an attorney. While this is certainly permitted, it often is a mistake. Pedestrian accidents look deceptively simple until you have an insurance provider who is trying to avoid a big payout by shifting the blame for the accident onto the injured person rather than onto their insured.
Can You Afford a Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
Unlike attorneys who practice in other areas of the law, such as criminal defense or family law, personal injury attorneys usually provide services through a contingent fee contract. What this means is that it costs the claimant nothing to have an attorney begin working on their claim, and they only pay for the services the attorney provided if the claim is successfully resolved through settlement or litigation.
In other words: Yes, anyone who needs the services of a personal injury attorney can afford it because of the contingent fee billing method.
How an Experienced Attorney Can Help With Your Decatur Pedestrian Accident Claim
Personal injury attorneys play an important role in pedestrian accident claims. Some of the services a Decatur pedestrian accident attorney can provide may include the establishment of a value to the claim, determination of all sources of liability, settlement negotiations, gathering evidence and witness testimony, litigation services, and assistance collecting your settlement or award.
Let a Decatur pedestrian accident attorney from Morris Bart & Associates, LLC help you make sense of the legal process of seeking compensation for your injuries. For your free case evaluation, contact us.
Questions?Call (800) 537-8185
to find a Morris Bart office near you.