Road safety is essential because numerous lives rely on our commitment to following laws and adopting best practices. An automobile driver who does not drive carefully and hurts a pedestrian must be held accountable for their negligence.
When accidents happen, a pedestrian accident lawyer from Rand Spear and the accident attorneys at Spear Greenfield can guide victims and their families through this difficult time, helping them navigate the complexities of the law, deal with insurance companies, and pursue justice.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Human error, environmental conditions, and other external influences are at the roots of most pedestrian accidents. Below are more details about the common causes of crashes that harm walkers, runners, and joggers.
The modern world is replete with potential distractions for drivers. The advent of smartphones and sophisticated in-car entertainment systems has exponentially escalated the risk of distracted driving. Drivers absorbed in texting, making calls, using GPS, or any non-driving-related activities significantly heighten the threat posed to pedestrians.
Exceeding prescribed speed limits reduces a driver’s ability to maintain control over their vehicle and increases the distance needed to come to a complete stop. High-speed collisions with pedestrians are often devastating and sometimes fatal.
Using substances such as alcohol and drugs severely impairs a driver’s judgment, reaction time, and ability to operate a vehicle safely. Impaired drivers pose a significant threat to pedestrians.
Failure to Yield
Crosswalks are designated safe zones for pedestrians. However, drivers who ignore or fail to yield to pedestrians at these crosswalks are a leading cause of pedestrian accidents.
Incidents frequently occur under conditions of low light or poor visibility. Rain, fog, dusk, dawn, or poorly lit areas can make it difficult for drivers to spot pedestrians in time to stop.
Types of Injuries Associated with Pedestrian Accidents
Injuries associated with pedestrian accidents often lead to serious complications because of the sheer force of a moving vehicle. These injuries can range from minor to catastrophic and may include:
- Head injuries: These range from concussions, which are generally less severe but can still have lasting effects, to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). TBIs can lead to long-term or permanent cognitive impairment, affecting memory, motor function, and emotional control.
- Spinal cord injuries: These can include damage to the spinal cord, resulting in paralysis, a life-altering condition that dramatically impacts the victim’s independence and quality of life.
- Fractures: Fractures are common, particularly in the legs, hips, and arms. Depending on the severity, they may require extensive medical intervention, including surgery and lengthy rehabilitation.
- Internal injuries: These can damage the internal organs and cause internal bleeding, leading to severe and long-term health issues.
- Psychological trauma: Besides physical injuries, pedestrian accident victims often suffer from psychological conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression, significantly impacting their ability to return to everyday life.
Victims of pedestrian accidents are often eligible to recover damages for the various ways such incidents can affect their lives. These generally include those detailed below.
This involves compensation for all immediate and future medical costs arising from the accident. This can include ambulance fees, hospital bills, the cost of surgeries, prescription medications, physical therapy, and any necessary assistive devices.
If the victim is temporarily or permanently unable to work due to their injuries, they may seek compensation for lost income. This also includes reduced earning capacity if they cannot return to their previous employment.
Pain and Suffering
This non-economic damage covers physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish caused by the accident.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
In severe cases, victims may also claim compensation for their diminished capacity to enjoy life, including hobbies, recreational activities, and relationships with family and friends.
Proving Negligence in Pedestrian Accident Cases
In most pedestrian accident cases, proving that the driver acted negligently to recover damages is necessary. This involves establishing several key elements to build a strong case.
Duty of Care in Traffic Situations
A duty of care refers to one party’s obligation to avoid causing harm to another. In traffic situations, all road users, including drivers, owe this duty of care to each other. They are legally obligated to exercise reasonable care to avoid causing harm to others, including pedestrians, on the road.
Identifying Breach of Duty
A breach occurs when the driver’s behavior deviates from what a reasonable person would do under similar circumstances. Such violations could include speeding, texting while driving, ignoring traffic signs, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or other reckless or careless behavior. Each action represents a failure to exercise reasonable care, creating a breach of duty.
Causal Link Between Breach and Accident
With the duty of care and its breach established, the focus shifts to the causal connection between the driver’s breach and the accident. To successfully prove negligence, it must be evident that the driver’s actions, or lack thereof, were the direct cause of the accident and subsequent harm to the pedestrian.
Establishing Damages Suffered
The final piece in the negligence puzzle is proving that the pedestrian suffered damages from the accident. These damages can be physical, emotional, or financial. Physical damages include the bodily harm the pedestrian suffered, ranging from minor cuts and bruises to serious injuries such as fractures, brain injuries, or spinal cord damage.
How a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help
Victims of pedestrian accidents often face not just physical and emotional turmoil but also a complex legal battle. Engaging a personal injury lawyer experienced in pedestrian accident cases can greatly assist in navigating this process.
A lawyer can help gather extensive evidence to build a strong case. This includes obtaining police reports, arranging for photographs of the accident scene, identifying and interviewing eyewitnesses, securing medical records, and enlisting the help of accident reconstruction experts to prove the driver’s negligence.
Calculating damages is a complex process that includes more than just immediate medical bills and lost wages. A skilled pedestrian accident attorney can help accurately determine the total damages, factoring in future medical costs, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Negotiate with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies often attempt to minimize their payouts. Pedestrian accident lawyers can negotiate to ensure you receive a fair settlement that adequately compensates for your losses.
Represent in Court
The case may go to trial if a fair settlement cannot be reached. Pedestrian accident attorneys will represent the victim, arguing their case effectively to secure the best possible outcome.
Contact Spear Greenfield for a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Building a solid case takes time and experience. Whether gathering evidence, calculating fair compensation, negotiating with insurance companies, or advocating in court, the presence of a pedestrian accident lawyer from Rand Spear and the accident attorneys at Spear Greenfield can make all the difference in your case.
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