Accidents between vehicles and pedestrians are not uncommon in Louisiana. If you were injured or if your loved one was killed in an accident with a vehicle in Lafayette, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. A Lafayette pedestrian accident lawyer can stand up for your rights.
According to a Louisiana State University’s report, there were 1,384 pedestrian injuries and 114 pedestrian fatalities in 2019. Anyone can be a victim, and if you are, you’ll need an advocate to stand by your side while you face the insurance companies. That’s where we come in.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian accidents are sudden and jarring. You may be left injured and confused about how to proceed. Unfortunately, it is during this time that you can make mistakes that can harm your claim. For the best chance at compensation, your pedestrian accident attorney in Lafayette will recommend that you do the following:
Seek Medical Attention
Any time a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, the potential injuries could be catastrophic, even fatal. Some victims never fully recover, suffering from one or more disabilities that greatly reduce their quality of life. Some injuries a pedestrian may suffer in vehicle accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Muscle damage
- Ligament damage
- Loss of a limb
- Neck and spinal cord injuries, leading to paralysis
- Injuries to internal organs
- Significant internal bleeding
- Emotional distress
Only a doctor can diagnose all the injuries you suffered in the crash. You should seek medical attention after an accident with a vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so. Even if you feel like you have only suffered minor injuries, it is best to have a doctor diagnose and treat them fully.
Call the Police
Call the police to the scene of the accident. They will document important details in an accident report. If the driver involved in your accident acted negligently, they may be issued a ticket. This could help your case.
Take photographs of the scene of the accident, including any property damage. Be sure to collect everyone’s contact information and witness statements. Your attorney can help you by gathering evidence and working on your case while you focus on your recovery.
For a free legal consultation with a Pedestrian Accident lawyer serving Lafayette, call 800-537-8185
A Lafayette Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help Your Case
When you retain the services of a Lafayette pedestrian accident attorney, we will seek evidence that shows the driver’s negligence caused the accident and your injuries. This evidence-gathering and representation can include:
- Studying police reports
- Studying medical records
- Interviewing witnesses to the accident
- Reviewing the driver’s past driving record
- Studying any photos or videos of the scene
- Hiring accident recreation experts
- Interviewing experts on traumatic injuries
- Interviewing experts on long-term implications of certain injuries
- Interviewing experts on emotional trauma that car and pedestrian accidents cause
- Negotiating with insurers on your behalf
Damages in a Lafayette Pedestrian Accident
When pedestrians are struck by vehicles, you can sustain serious injuries. If you were injured by a negligent driver in Louisiana, you could be eligible to file a lawsuit. Filing your pedestrian accident claim could hold the at-fault driver liable for:
- Property damage
- Medical bills
- Future healthcare needs
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning capacity
You may also be able to claim punitive damages if the driver who hit you was under the fluence of alcohol or illegal drugs. Punitive damages serve to punish the defendant for extremely dangerous behavior.
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Proving a Driver’s Negligence
One of the key components in a personal injury lawsuit involving a pedestrian-car collision is proving that the driver was at fault for the crash. In the terminology of the court, this is also referred to as operating their vehicle in a negligent manner.
Multiple actions taken by a motorist can result in a court’s determination of driver negligence. Some of these actions will be considered criminal under Louisiana state driving statutes. If law enforcement officers ticketed or charged the driver who struck you, this is a key piece of evidence in proving negligence.
Other times, law enforcement may decide the driver’s actions did not reach the level of a crime, issuing no tickets to the driver. A judge or jury could still find the driver behaved negligently based on the facts in the case that you and your attorney present. Driver actions that could be interpreted as negligent include:
- Driving while distracted: where the motorist is not paying attention to the road, because he or she is looking at a smartphone, eating food, or engaging in distracted driving due to something else in the car.
- Driving while drunk or high: where the driver has been drinking alcohol or using drugs to the degree that they cannot safely operate their vehicle.
- Driving recklessly: where the driver is going too fast for the road or weather conditions, or where the driver is aggressively weaving in and out of traffic.
- Driving while tired: where the driver is too tired to operate the vehicle safely, leaving them unable to respond to hazards in the road quickly enough.
- Speeding: where a driver is exceeding the posted speed limit.
- Ignoring traffic signs: where a driver does not stop at stop signs or red stop lights, potentially striking a pedestrian who is crossing the street legally.
Lousiana’s Comparative Negligence Law
Louisiana is a comparative negligence state. This law states that an accident victim’s financial compensation may be reduced by the percentage of fault they contributed. Even if the defendant acted recklessly, the pedestrian’s settlement could be affected if you are found to be responsible for the accident.
Some states will deny plaintiffs any compensation when they contributed to the cause of the accident. Luckily Louisiana is not that strict. If you are partially at fault for the accident, you can still file a claim, but your compensation could be reduced.
Why You Should Speak to a Lawyer Before Insurance
While you are recovering from your injuries after a pedestrian-car accident, you may hear from the driver’s insurance company. The insurance adjuster may offer you a settlement, acting as if they are working on your behalf. Use caution in this situation.
The adjuster may make you a settlement offer that is less than the amount needed to cover your long-term medical needs. Signing a compensation offer from an insurer may also prevent you from seeking legal action against them later if new costs arise. Your Lafayette pedestrian accident attorney will recognize shady techniques insurers use and protect your rights.
How Long You Have to File Your Pedestrian Accident Claim
If you suffer injuries in a Lousianna pedestrian accident, you have a limited time to file your claim. Article 3492 of the Louisiana Civil Code dictates that the statute of limitations is only one year from the date of the accident.
Because some injuries develop slowly or worsen over time, it’s important to act fast. Let a doctor evaluate the severity of your injuries before you let this deadline pass. Your claim can include future medical expenses related to the accident that injured you.
Call Us for a Free Consultation
When you choose to be represented by Morris Bart, LLC, we handle all legal proceedings. We communicate with the insurers and make sure they are presented with the costs of your full losses. If they are not willing to make a fair and reasonable settlement offer, we are not afraid to take your case to court.
Our firm does not accept payment until the case reaches a settlement or ruling in your favor. Contact us today for a free consultation and to get started on your case. We work tirelessly to give our clients a new lease on life.
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