Every year more than 130,000 pedestrians sustain serious injuries on U.S. roads. Due to the lack of protection, a pedestrian is 1.5 more likely than a car occupant to die in a crash. With almost 800,000 vehicles driving on Mississippi roads, the number of pedestrian accidents is high.
If you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Handling legal matters while you are recovering from serious injuries can be tough. By working with an experienced Southaven pedestrian accident lawyer from Morris Bart, you can improve your chances of recovering damages.
Who Is Responsible for a Pedestrian Accident?
Determining liability can help you get fair compensation from the at-fault party. When it comes to road accidents, it may seem that the fault is obvious. In reality, more than one party may be responsible.
- Vehicle driver – if the vehicle driver runs a red light, gets distracted by the phone, or otherwise breaks the traffic law, they are responsible for the accident. If you can prove that the driver acted negligently, their insurance company should cover your losses.
- Employer – if the car driver was working when they caused an accident (delivery, ride-sharing, trucking), their employer may be responsible for your damages.
- Manufacturer – sometimes an improperly installed or defective part could lead to an accident. For example, bad brakes can prevent the driver or motorcyclist from stopping on time. In this case, the manufacturer may be responsible for covering your damages.
- Government – a federal or local government entity may be at fault for the accident if they fail to provide proper road maintenance. A large pothole or the lack of signs or road markings could cause an accident.
Sometimes, two or more drivers may be responsible for causing an accident and hitting the pedestrian. In this case, all of them are liable for the damages.
Mississippi is a pure comparative negligence state. It means that regardless of the percentage of your liability, you can still recover damages. The amount will simply be reduced by the percentage of your fault.
For example, the car driver runs a red light and hits a jaywalking pedestrian. The pedestrian files a $100,000 claim against the driver. The insurance company or the court determines that the car driver’s fault is 70% while the pedestrian’s fault is 30%.
The pedestrian’s claim size is decreased by 30% (the percentage of their fault). Therefore, they can only get $70,000.
While the goal of the comparative negligence law is to ensure the fairness of payouts, the at-fault party’s legal team can use it to decrease the compensation. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Southaven can help make sure that the fault distribution is fair.
For a free legal consultation with a Pedestrian Accident lawyer serving Southaven, call 800-537-8185
How do I Prove Negligence in a Pedestrian Accident?
Even if you know who is responsible for the accident, it’s not enough to receive compensation. To do that, you would need to prove that that party acted negligently.
- The defendant had a legal duty to act reasonably toward you. For example, a car driver has a legal duty to act reasonably and safely on the road.
- The defendant breached their legal duty. For example, the car driver failed to stop at the pedestrian crossing.
- The defendant’s actions led to injuries. For example, the driver ran a red light and hit a pedestrian. The impact resulted in a spinal cord injury.
- The plaintiff’s injuries led to damages. For example, your spinal cord injury required surgery, recovery therapy, and at-home care. During the recovery period, the plaintiff couldn’t work and earn money.
Proving negligence is the key element of a personal injury case. You would need to collect evidence and speak to witnesses to support your story, demonstrate your injuries, and back the damage amount.
Building a solid case without legal assistance can be complicated. A Southaven pedestrian accident attorney can help take the right steps toward proving negligence and recovering damages.
What if the Driver doesn’t Have Insurance?
What if you determine liability and prove negligence only to learn that the at-fault driver doesn’t have insurance? In this case, you can sue the driver directly. To do that, you would need to file a personal injury lawsuit and present your case in court.
Proving your case to the judge and jury isn’t always easy. A pedestrian accident attorney can help you:
- File all documents on time
- Conduct an investigation
- Present all the necessary evidence
- Argue the case
Even if you win the case, you may not get all the money immediately. Drivers without insurance may not have sufficient funds to make a lump sum payment. In this case, the judge may set a payment schedule that involves monthly installments.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Pedestrian Accident Case?
If you prove negligence, you can seek compensation for damages that reduced your quality of life and caused expenses you wouldn’t otherwise face. Economic damages usually include medical expenses, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, property damages (e.g. a broken cellphone), and therapy expenses.
You can also seek non-economic damages that include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, and other intangible problems you have to live with after the accident. If you lose a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you can file a wrongful death lawsuit and recover damages that include:
- Medical expenses (pre-death)
- Loss of inheritance, support, companionship, guidance, services, etc.
- Funeral and burial expenses
The size of compensation depends on the extent of your injuries, the quality of the presented evidence, expert witness testimonies, and the skill of your attorney.
Speak to a Southaven Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
Fighting for the money you deserve while recovering from injuries isn’t just tough, it can be ineffective. By working with a pedestrian accident lawyer in Southaven, you can maximize your chance of receiving fair compensation.
If you’ve sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident, contact our legal team for a free consultation today.
to find a Morris Bart office near you.