Huntsville Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Tens of thousands of pedestrians are injured each year in accidents involving automobiles. When struck by a car, pedestrians can be severely injured, even in accidents where the car was traveling as little as 10 mph. While most pedestrian accidents involve people under the influence of drugs or alcohol or crossing busy lanes illegally, even when pedestrians take every safety precaution, they may be hit by drivers failing to take the necessary care to avoid accidents. If you’ve been injured as a pedestrian in an car accident, the Huntsville pedestrian accident attorneys at Conchin, Cole, Jordan & Sherrod have provided the information you need to make an informed decision in your case.
What are Some Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
Drivers have an obligation to avoid hitting pedestrians, even if they are not in a crosswalk or sidewalk. Almost all pedestrian accidents involve negligence.
Some of the more common causes of drivers hitting pedestrians include:
- The driver is speeding or driving too fast for the conditions.
- The driver or pedestrian fails to obey traffic signals and laws.
- The driver is distracted by a cell phone or other distraction.
- The driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The driver fails to see the pedestrian.
Whatever the cause of your accident, the injuries you suffer in a pedestrian accident can result in months or even years of pain and suffering, medical expenses, and time missed from work.
Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
In our years of experience representing clients involved in pedestrian accidents, we have come to recognize some of the most common injuries suffered when a vehicle strikes a pedestrian. Unfortunately, these injuries are often catastrophic or life-changing for the victim. We have handled claims involving all manner of serious injuries, from permanent brain injuries to quadriplegia. We have the power and personnel at our law firm to demand full compensation for any type of pedestrian accident injury in Huntsville.
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Bone fractures
- Chest and collarbone injuries
- Face and head injuries
- Lower extremity injuries
- Muscle sprains and strains
- Organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Wrongful death
If you suffered injuries that required surgery, put you out of work, caused a disability, were severely painful or caused emotional anguish, you could be eligible for a substantial compensatory award from the driver that struck you. The same could be true if a negligent driver caused your loved one’s death in a pedestrian accident. Another party, such as the City of Huntsville, could also be liable for your injuries. The attorneys at Conchin, Cole, Jordan & Sherrod can assess your case to help you identify all potential defendants.
How to Avoid Pedestrian Accidents
While no amount of precautions can guarantee you will be safe from accidents, there are a number of common sense precautions you can take to avoid being involved in an accident as a pedestrian.
- Wear bright or reflective clothing to improve your visibility.
- Avoid distractions and remain focused on where you are walking.
- Observe and obey all traffic laws and traffic signals.
- Avoid walking near busy streets when you’ve been drinking, or enlist the assistance of someone sober to help you navigate your walk safely.
- Walk defensively. Assume drivers do not see you or will not yield the right of way to you as a pedestrian.
Following these precautions will help keep you from injury in an accident. If you follow the necessary precautions but a negligent driver strikes you, contact a Huntsville pedestrian accident lawyer to hold the responsible parties accountable and recover compensation for your injuries.
How to Prove Liability
To obtain compensation for personal injuries in a pedestrian accident in Alabama, you or your lawyer must prove someone else’s liability. The burden of proof in a civil claim falls on your side of the case. When you hire an attorney, you do not need to worry about proving liability. Your lawyer will do so for you using any available evidence. Proving the liability of a driver, automaker, property owner or another party generally requires four key elements of proof.
- Duty of care. All drivers owe high standards of care to pedestrians. They must come to complete stops, yield the right-of-way when applicable and pay attention to the road.
- Breach of duty. A driver might breach a duty of care to a pedestrian through some act of negligence, such as distracted driving, drunk driving or speeding.
- The driver’s breach of duty of care must have caused or been a substantial factor in the pedestrian accident in question.
- You must have suffered injuries, property damages, lost wages, emotional distress or physical pain because of the defendant’s actions or omissions.
First, your lawyer will need to determine fault to name the correct defendant(s). Then, your pedestrian accidents lawyer will help you serve the defendant with your initial demand letter. If an insurance company refutes liability, your lawyer can help you prove fault based on a preponderance of evidence (the burden of proof in a civil claim). At Conchin, Cole, Jordan & Sherrod, we can take your injury case to court, if necessary, for a fair compensatory award. We successfully settle most pedestrian accident claims without needing to go to trial, however.
Can a Pedestrian Be at Fault in an Accident?
It is a common misconception that pedestrians always have the right-of-way to cross the road. Although pedestrians are at a greater risk of serious and fatal injuries in a traffic accident, they do not automatically bear the right-of-way in Alabama. Instead, they must follow the rules of the road just like motor vehicle drivers and bicyclists do to prevent a bicycle accident. A pedestrian could be at fault for an accident if he or she broke one of these rules, such as by jaywalking or stepping off a curb at an unsafe time, and caused the collision.
Many pedestrian accident lawsuits involve the doctrine of comparative negligence. The driver may try to allege that you caused or contributed to the accident and therefore deserve less compensation. If this is the case, it will be up to your attorney to dispute this defense and prove the driver has the majority fault. As long as your lawyer can prove the defendant was more at fault for the collision than you were, you could still receive compensation under Alabama’s modified contributory negligence law.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hit By a Car in Huntsville, AL
First, call the police to make a report of the accident and get medical help on the way. If you are still on the roadway and in danger of further injury, try to move off the road if you are able to do so safely. Exchange contact information with the driver, and get the driver’s insurance information, including the policy number. While waiting for the police to arrive, avoid too much conversation about the accident and restrict what you do say to the facts, making no speculation as to the cause of the accident or the extent of your injuries.
It’s always recommended that you contact an attorney after an accident. Our Hunstville personal injury attorneys can help you assess the strengths of your case and give you an idea of the amount of compensation that is reasonable for your claim. Contact us today.