As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4,735 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States in 2013. Over 150,000 others were treated in emergency rooms. Pedestrians are particularly exposed when hit by a motor vehicle. They don’t have a steel body and frame around them to protect them, and the only crumple zones that they have are their bones and joints. Pedestrians also have no restraint system, and the only thing to cushion the impact is the pavement. Here are some FAQs and answers involving pedestrian accidents.
Can you represent me and sue the driver of the vehicle that hit me?
Yes, a skilled personal injury lawyer Minneapolis MN trusts can sue that driver for your injuries and damages. The most likely cause of action would be negligence. We will need to prove each and every required element of negligence in order for you to be entitled to an award of damages.
What if an immediate family member of mine was killed by a negligent driver?
In the event that an immediate family member was a pedestrian and died in a crash, we can file a wrongful death action. Most wrongful death cases are brought under the law of negligence, so we will still need to prove the elements of negligence to prevail.
Can I collect damages if I was partially at fault?
A person can still collect damages in nearly all states so long as he or she was no more than 50 or 51 percent at fault. In a minority of states a person can still collect damages if he or she was 90 percent at fault. In a smaller minority of states, a person cannot collect damages if any liability at all was attributed to him or her. We will be pleased to discuss any possible issues of comparative negligence with you.
What damages are available in a pedestrian accident case?
Damages consist of both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages might be past and future medical and rehab bills along with past and future lost earnings. Funeral and burial costs are also available in wrongful death cases. Non-economic damages can consist of any permanent disfigurement or disability, pain and suffering, and loss of a normal life.
What happens if the person who hit me had no insurance?
Almost all uninsured motorist insurance covers you and your immediate family members who are residents of your household as pedestrians or bicyclists. If you had uninsured motorist insurance, we can make a damages claim under that. We can also make a claim if the person had insurance but was underinsured.
The driver who hit me drove off. What can I do?
Assuming that you had uninsured motorist insurance, it likely covers you for damages that you suffer as a pedestrian who was hit and injured by a hit-and-run driver. We must first prove contact between you and the hit-and-run vehicle.
What are the common causes of pedestrian accidents?
Driver error like speeding or failing to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian are frequent causes of pedestrian accidents. With the proliferation of cellular and mobile devices, we’re seeing a dramatic rise of pedestrian accidents that are caused by motorists who are distracted while driving.
If you are hit by a motor vehicle, you can expect serious injuries. If the motorist was insured, you can expect his or her insurer to try to shift some or all of the blame onto you. Don’t give an insurer a statement about your injuries or the accident. It will only be used against you in the future. Contact us right away for a free case consultation and evaluation. No legal fees are due unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Johnston | Martineau PLLP for their insight into personal injury practice.