Pedestrian Accidents Caused by Motor Vehicles
Lafayette Pedestrian Accident Attorney Fights for You
Pedestrians are much more likely to suffer catastrophic injuries or be killed in car crashes than the occupants of the involved vehicle. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4,700 pedestrians lose their lives in pedestrian accidents in the United States each year. Additionally, more than 150,000 people are hospitalized for injuries as a result of pedestrian accidents. These injuries come with medical expenses and loss of wages, as well as noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering.
At Galloway Jefcoat, LLP, we have represented victims of pedestrian accident injuries since 1996. These injuries can put victims on the hook for medical expenses in the thousands, tens of thousands and sometimes even millions of dollars. However, a Lafayette pedestrian accident attorney from our firm can help you get compensation through an insurance claim and/or personal injury lawsuit. We have handled over 1,000 personal injury cases from our law offices in Lafayette and Lake Charles, as well as nearby Sulphur, Calcasieu Parish and other areas of Louisiana.
Who Is at Fault for Pedestrian Accidents?
It is not always clear at first who is responsible for pedestrian accidents. As in all personal injury cases, liability hinges on the concept of negligence. For a plaintiff to prove negligence in a pedestrian accident case, they must be able to show:
- That the defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty of care
- The defendant breached that duty of care
- That the defendant’s breach of the duty of care caused the plaintiff’s injury
All drivers owe pedestrians a duty of care to act in a reasonable manner to protect pedestrians from car crashes. Liability in pedestrian accidents often falls on the driver of a vehicle, who commits negligence that leads to the harm of a pedestrian. This negligence can involve speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving and more.
Some situations may place liability elsewhere; for example, the pedestrian may suffer injury due to a party’s failure to maintain roads, sidewalks or traffic signs and signals. These pedestrian accidents could result in premises liability claims.
Furthermore, Louisiana is a comparative fault state. This means that the amount of damages an accident victim is able to recover is dependent on what percentage of fault the involved parties have. If a driver is found to be 100 percent at fault for a pedestrian accident, the pedestrian is able to recover 100 percent of the damages as determined in a court of law. If the pedestrian is responsible for 30 percent of an accident, then the pedestrian will only receive 70 percent of the damages.
What Should I Do after a Pedestrian Accident?
The key to proving that someone is at fault for your pedestrian accident injuries is to gather evidence immediately, if possible. Your first phone call should be to the police, so that they can file a report. Unless you require immediate medical attention, you should remain at the scene of the accident until police respond. If there are witnesses to the accident, be sure to get their names and contact information.
After that, your next priority is to seek out medical care immediately. This is true even if you believe that your injuries are only minor. Some pedestrian accident injuries, such as concussions, can have effects that are not apparent right away. Sometimes the shock of an accident can make you unaware of the injuries you have sustained. Have a doctor evaluate you not only for physical damage but also for any unusual symptoms you may feel. These include disorientation, dizziness and confusion.
Once you are well enough to consider an injury claim, call a Lafayette pedestrian accident attorney. Getting legal advice for even the most seemingly routine car insurance claim gives you a much better chance of obtaining a fair settlement. Often, victims of pedestrian accidents will receive a call from insurance companies requesting a statement from the victim. While the insurance company may seem cordial and friendly, you should refrain from offering a statement. Instead, refer the company to your legal counsel.
Hurt in a Car Crash? Call for a Free Consultation with a Lafayette Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If a pedestrian accident caused your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one, you deserve fair compensation. However, insurance adjusters’ first priority is the business they work for, not accident victims. Hiring a lawyer is the best way to ensure that your best interests are protected during settlement negotiations. If you wish to speak to a pedestrian accident attorney in Louisiana, call our team at (337) 984-8020. You can also fill out our online contact form.