Pedestrians have the right to use many roadways, as long as they do so in a safe and responsible manner. Being on the same roads as large, fast-moving vehicles often leaves pedestrians incredibly vulnerable to accidents. These accidents frequently cause severe injuries because the pedestrians have nothing to protect them from impacts.
If you have survived a pedestrian accident or you have a loved one who was killed by a vehicle while they were crossing the road, a Horn Lake pedestrian accident attorney can help you file a claim. To get started with a case evaluation, get in touch with a personal injury lawyer from Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi PLC.
Inevitably, some of Horn Lake’s residents will be hit by motor vehicles while they are walking or riding a bike on public roads. Because the roads are saturated with a variety of vehicles and pedestrians, there are countless interactions involving pedestrians and cars every day. Unfortunately, some of these interactions are accidents that result in serious injury.
If you have just been in a pedestrian accident, here are some steps you can follow to ensure that you can file a proper claim against the driver who hit you.
Call the Police
The police must be called whenever a roadway accident occurs. With pedestrian accidents, this is critically important because the driver always has the option to ride away. When the police arrive, they will make a report that includes their observations and any witness testimony.
This police report can be used when you are negotiating for compensation from the at-fault party or their insurance company. Keep in mind that your health and safety are always a priority. If it is not possible for you to wait at the scene due to your injuries, instead head to a medical facility to get treatment immediately. When possible, have someone who was with you or a witness help you collect the driver’s information and take pictures.
If you do not need to leave immediately to seek treatment for your injuries, take pictures of the accident scene. Get pictures of the car that hit you and where it is positioned. Be sure to take a picture of their front and back license plates so you can find them later. If they are willing to, collect their contact information, name, and address.
Also, take note of any road signs or signals. If the at-fault driver ignored these signs and hit you, it will be much easier to recover compensation from them. When the police arrive, inform them of your perspective on the incident and go through the steps to get a copy of the police report immediately.
Protect Your Rights
In general, pedestrians are given the right of way. It is usually the driver’s responsibility to abide by this rule and stop when a pedestrian is using a crosswalk or otherwise crossing the road. Though, in some instances, pedestrians’ negligence can cause them to hold some fault in the accident that injured them.
For example, if a pedestrian suddenly runs out into traffic and is hit, the fact that they gave little warning to oncoming drivers may mean that they are responsible for their own injuries to an extent. Because of this, when you go to file a claim against the driver who hit you, they may attempt to argue that the accident was your fault instead of theirs.
The best thing to do following a pedestrian accident is to contact a Horn Lake pedestrian accident lawyer. With legal counsel, you can gather additional evidence that proves the driver’s negligence is what caused the accident.
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When Are Pedestrians at Fault?
Pedestrians are expected to act in a safe and reasonable manner when crossing the road. If they do not act cautiously, they can be found to be at fault for an accident that injured them. Some examples of instances wherein pedestrians are at fault include the following:
The Pedestrian Did Not Cross Properly
Jaywalking occurs when a person crosses the road outside of a crosswalk. In many states, jaywalking is illegal. Therefore, someone who chooses to cross outside of a proper intersection could be liable for their own injuries. That is, unless the driver purposely hit them or did not exercise reasonable caution leading up to the accident.
The Pedestrian Did Not Yield to Other Vehicles
Although pedestrians usually have the right of way, this does not mean they can suddenly run into traffic and expect drivers not to hit them. When crossing the road, it is the pedestrian’s responsibility to take appropriate caution to avoid getting hit. If they act irresponsibly and an accident occurs, the driver may not be fully liable.
The Pedestrian Was Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
When people are intoxicated by drugs and alcohol, they often make bad decisions. If a pedestrian was drunk or on drugs when they got hit, a court might rule that they were the negligent party in the accident. While being drunk is not enough to eliminate you from recovering any compensation at all, it does make it more difficult to effectively claim compensation from a driver who was potentially following the road rules.
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Consult with a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Horn Lake
Following a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to recover economic and non-economic damages from the party that hit you. These damages cover a variety of losses, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more. You likely will not be able to properly calculate your total damages without relying on the skilled advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
To get your damages assessed and your case evaluated immediately, speak to a pedestrian accident attorney in Horn Lake. By filling out the contact form on this page, you can start the claims filing process today.