Motorists have a lot of responsibility when it comes to protecting pedestrians, cyclists, and others sharing the roadways. For this reason, the driver is often at fault when a car hits a pedestrian, rather than the person traveling on foot. However, this is not always true, as pedestrians are also required to follow certain road rules.
The only way to determine fault in a pedestrian versus vehicle crash is to gather and analyze the evidence to determine what happened and why. If you were hurt in this type of accident, you may want to work with a car accident attorney who can handle the investigation and your insurance claim. Our firm is here to help.
When Is a Pedestrian Liable for a Crash?
While drivers must adhere to higher standards to keep pedestrians safe, there are traffic rules that apply to those on foot, as well. Violating any of these laws could mean a pedestrian is at least partially at fault in a collision case. Examples of when a pedestrian could be liable for an accident include:
- Crossing in the middle of the block
- Crossing against the crosswalk signal
- Being in the street outside of an intersection or marked crosswalk
- Walking while intoxicated or otherwise impaired
- Walking where pedestrians are expressly prohibited, such as along the interstate
Even in these cases, it is unlikely the pedestrian is entirely at fault. An investigation will reveal important evidence and allow the insurer or the court to determine how the parties share responsibility. In many cases, the driver is still primarily at fault, with the pedestrian sharing a smaller percentage of the liability.
For a free legal consultation, call (800) 537-8185
Recoverable Damages in a Pedestrian Versus Vehicle Crash
The injuries a pedestrian suffers when hit by a car can vary from relatively minor to catastrophic. Some common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Other head injuries
- Internal injuries
- Lacerations and contusions
Many require an emergency department visit and treatment, if not hospitalization. Most require at least a trip to the doctor to ensure they did not suffer any more serious injuries. The costs can add up quickly, but an accident victim may be able to demand that the at-fault driver and their insurer compensate them for expenses and losses, such as:
- Medical treatment
- Any future related care needs
- Lost wages
- Reduced capacity to earn a living
- Property damages
- Pain and suffering
- Other non-economic damages
When a pedestrian passes away from their injuries, their surviving family members may be able to recover wrongful death damages, as well.
A Pedestrian Accident Attorney May Be Able to Help Prove Your Case
You may want to work with our personal injury law firm when it comes time to file a compensation claim. You can focus on healing and getting your life back while we:
- Protect your rights
- Investigate what happened
- Determine liability
- Manage the case
- File your claim
- Value your damages
- Negotiate for a settlement
- Sue the at-fault party, if necessary
- Represent you through this process
Letting an attorney from our team handle your claim could greatly reduce the time it takes and the stress you are under throughout this process. Since we work based on contingency, you do not need to pay anything upfront.
Shared Fault and Your Recoverable Compensation
Shared fault can impact your recovery. In some states, including Alabama, it can completely bar recovery. Alabama is one of four states that use pure contributory negligence, per Golden v. McCurry (1980). This means you cannot recover damages if the court determines you contributed to the accident in any way.
Most other states allow those who were 49 percent or less at fault to sue, depending on the specific laws. However, these states only allow you to recover in proportion to your percentage at fault. For example, if you were hit while jaywalking, you may be 20 percent at fault. This means you could recover up to 80 percent of the value of your damages.
Deadlines for Filing a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit
While there are some exceptions, you generally have a strict deadline to sue the at-fault party that is set by the state’s statute of limitations. It is important to discuss this deadline with your attorney since it can differ from case to case. Examples include:
- One year in Louisiana, under Civ. Code Art. 3492
- Two years in Alabama, under Code § 6-2-38
- Three years in Arkansas, under Code Ann. § 16-56-105
- Three years in Mississippi, under Code Ann. § 15-1-49
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Let Morris Bart, LLC, Review Your Pedestrian Accident Case at No Cost to You
You can contact the Morris Bart law office near you to learn more about how our firm may be able to help you seek damages for your pedestrian accident injuries. We represent clients across the Gulf South, and we believe our case results speak for themselves.
Our team provides complimentary case reviews. We will answer your questions and provide an assessment of your options. Call (800) 537-8185 to learn more.
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