Some of the most severe injuries can arise in pedestrian accidents. People walking on sidewalks and crosswalks don’t have any protection to prevent them from sustaining life-altering injuries. Unfortunately, thousands of pedestrians suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries each year because of negligence.
Whenever someone else’s actions cause you harm, you should recognize your right to pursue compensation. Our team at 'Maggio | Thompson, LLP is here to provide you with a comprehensive guide regarding pedestrian accidents so that you know what to expect when you need to seek compensation after a severe injury.
Below, our team will explain:
- When pedestrian accidents are more likely.
- Who is liable for a pedestrian accident?
- The dangers of turns.
- What compensation can pedestrians seek?
- The most effective ways to file a lawsuit.
When Pedestrian Accidents Are More Likely
Pedestrians are at risk at any time, but the likelihood of a crash increases in the later hours as it becomes darker and visibility lessens. Pedestrians are more susceptible to severe accidents if drivers cannot see them, which is often why it’s advisable to wear brighter clothing to stay visible. However, walking at night isn’t the sole problem.
Driver negligence increases at night. It’s more likely for a driver to be fatigued or intoxicated in the later hours of the day. Distractions remain a potential cause of pedestrian accidents at night as they do during the day.
Keep in mind that pedestrian accidents can occur at any time of the day. It’s crucial to stay as safe as possible, but pedestrians cannot completely prevent negligence. If an accident occurs, it’s vital to safeguard your rights.
Who Is Liable For a Pedestrian Accident?
Make no mistake about it; some situations can make a pedestrian liable for an accident that occurs. However, drivers are more likely to be responsible for the damages that arise. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the right of way and who has the legal responsibility to wait for the other.
The right of way is one of the most common ways to determine fault. A pedestrian who is at a legal crosswalk (marked or unmarked) would have the right of way to cross the street. If the driver fails to wait for the pedestrian when they have the legal right of way, the driver is responsible for the collision and subsequent injuries.
The Dangers of Turns
One of the biggest dangers is when a driver is attempting to turn and is impatient. This means the pedestrian is walking either in the same direction of the vehicle or opposite (but not perpendicular to it). The pedestrian would cross the intersection as the vehicle is waiting to turn. Here are some things that drivers and pedestrians should know when it comes to turns and safety:
- For left turns:
- If the pedestrian is walking in the same direction as the vehicle turning, the driver should wait until the pedestrian has fully crossed the street.
- If the pedestrian is walking in the opposite direction, the driver should wait until the pedestrian has crossed at least halfway and is not stopping.
- For right turns:
- Drivers should wait for the pedestrian to cross the street fully before turning.
Pedestrians should also pay close attention to the signs. If the pedestrian doesn’t have a walk signal, it could make them liable for an accident.
What Compensation Can Pedestrians Seek?
Compensation is similar to any accident as long as the pedestrian can show someone is liable for the crash. Drivers would often factor in vehicle damage, so this doesn’t apply to pedestrians. However, pedestrians can seek damages for medical expenses and lost wages, as well as the significant mental trauma that arises because of this situation.
Proving pain and suffering can be difficult on your own, so it always helps to have legal counsel. Pain and suffering often requires a professional diagnosis that details just how much the accident has impacted your life. These damages fall under non-economic compensation.
In some cases, punitive damages can come into play. Speak with a lawyer to determine if your situation fits.
The Most Effective Ways to File a Lawsuit
Whenever you need to file a lawsuit and seek compensation following a pedestrian accident, it’s vital to have legal counsel. With a lawyer on your side, you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance provider or file a lawsuit against the person responsible for your harm. By hiring a lawyer, you protect yourself from insurance adjusters who try to take advantage of a vulnerable situation.
At 'Maggio | Thompson, LLP, we know how devastating a pedestrian accident can be. Pedestrians don’t have the same amount of protection as drivers, and it’s easy to see how they can suffer catastrophic injuries. Proving negligence is what we do, and it’s our utmost priority to fight for justice when our clients need it most.
Our Jackson pedestrian accident attorneys commit to you and your best interests. We go above and beyond to give you a voice against negligence. Trust that we will seek maximum compensation on your behalf to help you move forward after a severe injury.