Pedestrian accidents are some of the most devastating accidents on our roads today. Unlike motorists, pedestrians don't have any physical protection, which means that being hit by a fast-moving vehicle can have tragic consequences. Keep in mind that even a slow-moving or turning car can cause some very serious injuries to a pedestrian. According to data from the most recent Crash Facts Book (CFB) published by the University of Alabama, in 2018, 106 pedestrians died from car accidents while hundreds of others suffered different kinds of injuries.
If you have sustained injuries or lost a loved one as a result of a negligent driver, you need to get in touch with an experienced Anniston pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights and ensure that you are properly compensated. At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we have what it takes to provide you with the best legal representation and outcome for your case. Get in touch with us at 256-666-6000 to speak to one of our skilled car accident attorneys.
Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Failure to Yield Right of Way – Alabama law requires that drivers yield the right of way to a pedestrian using a designated crosswalk, however, when a driver is impatient or isn't paying attention, he can fail to yield right of way and hit the pedestrian.
- Speeding – When a driver fails to observe the posted speed limit and over speeds, he may lose control of their vehicle, fail to see a pedestrian, or be unable to stop in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian if a traffic light turns red.
- Driving Under the Influence – Alcohol, and drugs can lead to poor judgment and reduced motor skills, which can have devastating consequences on both pedestrians and the driver.
- Poor Lighting – Poor visibility is one of the main causes of fatal pedestrian accidents. This can be caused by bad weather, poorly lit streets, hard-to-see clothing, and vehicle defects such as malfunctioning headlights.
- Distracted Driving – Driving while distracted has been identified as the leading cause of all kinds of accidents including pedestrian accidents. This can happen when a driver is using their phone, engaging with passengers, grooming, eating, etc.
What Should I Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
If you are hit by a car, the most important thing is your health. If you can do so safely, you should gather also evidence you can use when filing a claim. Here are the steps you should take:
Seek Medical Assistance Immediately
Regardless of whether you feel fine or think that your injuries are minor, it is critically important that you get a full-body examination by a medical professional as soon as possible. Keep in mind some serious injuries such as traumatic brain injury may not manifest symptoms immediately.
Document Your Injuries and the Accident Scene
If you are in a position to do so, take photos of your injuries and the scene of the accident. Also, remember to speak to any available witnesses.
Call the Police
Regardless of the extent of your injuries, you need to report the accident to the police.
Do Not Discuss Fault at the Scene or With the Motorist's Insurance Company
Under no circumstances should you apologize or admit any fault for the accident. In fact, minimize your conversation with them and direct all communications to your attorney.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Notify your insurance company of the accident and your intention to file a claim as soon as possible.
Contact an Anniston Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
The claims process can be quite complex, and there is a high risk of committing mistakes that may jeopardize your case. To avoid these issues and ensure the best outcome for your case you need to get in touch with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible.
How Do You Determine Liability or Fault in a Pedestrian Accident in Alabama?
Fault in Alabama is governed by the law of negligence. Thus, your attorney will need to prove the following elements of negligence:
- Duty of Care – You will need to prove that the driver owed you a duty of care. The law requires that all drivers exercise reasonable care to avoid causing harm to others on the road.
- Breach of Duty – You will need to prove that the driver violated this duty, for instance, by driving while intoxicated.
- Causation – You will need to prove that your injuries were a direct result of the driver's negligence and not something else.
- Damages – Lastly, you need to prove that as a result of your injuries, you suffered legally compensable damages.
While victims of pedestrian accidents may be entitled to some form of financial compensation, you should note that Alabama is a contributory negligence state. This means that if you are found to be even one percent at fault for the accident, you cannot recover any of your damages. Thus, insurance companies will often use this to their advantage and try hard to prove that you were somehow at fault.
How Can a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Assist With My Claim?
Hiring an attorney will make all the difference in your case. It is in your best interest to ensure that you have an experienced attorney from Mike Bell on your side throughout the claims process. Here's how an attorney can help your case:
Investigate Your Case
Your attorney will conduct an in-depth investigation of your case to determine exactly how your accident happened and identify all liable parties. He will gather all the necessary evidence and build a strong case for you.
Calculate the Total Value of Your Damages
Besides, medical bills, there are many other factors used to determine how much your injuries are worth that you don't know about or will miss.
Negotiate with the Insurance Company
Our attorneys have experience dealing with insurance companies and are aware of all the tactics they use to swindle victims. Your attorney will fight aggressively for you and ensure that you get the maximum settlement amount.
Take Your Case to Trial
A good attorney should be ready to defend your rights before a judge and jury. Should the insurance company fail to present a fair settlement offer, we will seek justice through the Alabama court system. Our attorneys have extensive experience tackling cases in court and have a proven track record.
What are the Time Limits for Filing a Pedestrian Injury Claim in Alabama?
According to Alabama Code Title 6-2-38, you have two years from the date of the accident to file your pedestrian accident claim.
How Much Will a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Cost?
One of the best things about hiring a pedestrian accident lawyer from Mike Bell Law Firm is that you have nothing to lose. We offer our services on a contingency basis, which means that you only pay us after we have delivered a favorable settlement or verdict. You don't pay us anything if your case fails.
Once you receive compensation, we will deduct a certain small agreed-upon percentage from the said amount.
Contact an Experienced Anniston Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Have you or a loved one been injured after being hit by a negligent car or truck driver? If so, you need to seek professional legal assistance right away. Injuries from a pedestrian accident can be devastating with long-term consequences. It is only right that you receive fair and maximum compensation. However, this isn't as straightforward as one might expect especially given Alabama's contributory negligence laws.
At Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers, we are fully prepared to help you get your life back on track. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have all the necessary skills and resources to guarantee the best outcome for your pedestrian accident case.