What Pedestrians Need to Know About Seeking Injury Compensation

person walking through marked crosswalkLouisiana is a dangerous place for pedestrians. In 2018, this state had a pedestrian fatality rate of 3.52 per 100,000 residents, which was near twice the national average. Although the rate got better in 2019, Louisiana’s rate was still the seventh highest in the nation.

These crashes are incredibly dangerous for pedestrians. In 2018, there were 1,470 pedestrian injuries and 165 deaths on Louisiana roads, according to the Center for Analytics and Research in Transportation Safety.

Considering how severely pedestrians often get injured when they get into a collision with a car, it is vital for victims to contact a licensed attorney. You do not need to try to manage the legal process alone when you have a significant injury.

The Lafeyette car crash lawyers at Galloway Jefcoat are here to help pedestrian crash victims. We have helped many crash victims secure compensation – in one case we obtained $1.1 million on behalf of our client. We are prepared to pursue maximum compensation to help you move forward after an unexpected injury.

Pursuing Compensation as a Pedestrian

Louisiana is an at-fault or tort state as far as car crash claims. That means the party that caused the crash should be held liable for the damages that may result.

In a pedestrian accident, the driver is usually the one at fault, although there may be exceptions when the pedestrian bears some fault for the crash. That means pedestrians may be able to file a claim against the liability insurance of the at-fault driver.

If the pedestrian is partially at fault, he or she can still seek compensation. Your compensation award would be reduced based on your percentage of fault. This is different from some states that bar any recovery if your percentage of fault crosses a certain threshold.

When Might a Pedestrian Be Partially at Fault?

Pedestrians are often hit by cars when they have the right of way, such as when they are in a marked crosswalk. The drivers involved in these crashes are often found to be 100 percent at fault.

However, there are times when pedestrians may be found at fault. For example, if a pedestrian ran out into the road outside of a marked crosswalk, he or she may be found partially at fault. If the driver had little to no time to stop, the pedestrian may bear a significant amount of fault.

It is important to remember insurance companies have a vested interest in assigning a victim all fault or a significant portion of fault for an accident. You should not take the insurance company’s word for it about fault for a crash. Even if you think you are partially to blame, you may still be eligible to seek compensation.

Galloway Jefcoat is here to discuss your situation and there is no upfront cost.

Hit-and-Run Crashes

Some drivers think they can escape accountability for a crash with a pedestrian, so they flee the scene. They are hoping the pedestrian will not be able to identify them or their vehicle, leaving them unable to seek compensation from the driver’s insurance policy.

Whenever possible, pedestrians involved in a hit-and-run crash should take mental notes about the car and driver. Pedestrians can call the police and provide any information they have collected, which may help the police locate the driver. If the police catch the driver, you should be able to seek compensation just like you would if the driver had not fled the scene.

Unfortunately, the police may not be able to locate the hit-and-run driver. That raises the question of what to do about compensation.

You might be able to obtain compensation from the uninsured motorist coverage on your auto insurance policy. However, Louisiana does not require insurers to apply uninsured motorist coverage to policyholders who were injured as pedestrians. Some policies provide this coverage while others do not.

This is an issue to discuss with an experienced attorney. Even if your insurance policy applies, these claims can be complicated. Insurers may claim you were not hit by a car and insurance should not apply. No matter how severely someone may be hurt, insurance companies are always looking for a way to deny or underpay a claim.

Another challenge to consider is you may be unable to collect evidence at the scene. Sometimes crash victims are physically able to do things like take pictures, exchange information with the other driver, and talk to witnesses.

However, pedestrian crashes often result in serious injuries. Victims may not be able to stand up, much less walk around. In some cases, pedestrians are unconscious. Victims may not have a chance to collect their thoughts for hours after the crash. They could forget important details about the crash.

These factors can all make it harder to determine the cause of a crash and prove fault. That is why victims need an experienced advocate who knows how to build a strong case.

Need Help After a Crash? Call Galloway Jefcoat Today

There are no upfront fees or legal obligations with our services. That means there is no risk in meeting with us to see how we may be able to help you. We have secured hundreds of millions on behalf of our clients.

You can learn more about what our clients have to say about our services on our client reviews page.

We are prepared to manage the entire legal process on your behalf, so you can focus on your medical treatment.

Galloway Jefcoat. Licensed. Local. Lawyers. Call 337-984-8020.