What Should You Know About Pedestrian Accidents?
Over 7,500 pedestrians were struck and killed in the U.S. in 2022. If you are injured while you are a pedestrian, what are your rights, and what steps will you need to take? After you’ve been treated for your injuries, the first step is to consult a Phoenix pedestrian accident attorney.
If a motorist is at fault for injuring you, Arizona law requires that motorist to compensate you for your medical costs, your lost earnings, and your related damages and losses.
But what happens if you are partially responsible for your own injuries? Let’s say that you were distracted by your phone – or just momentarily absent-minded – and you stepped in front of a speeding driver or a driver who ran through a traffic signal. Who pays for your injuries?
What Makes Pedestrian Accidents Different?
Pedestrians are simply the people walking on sidewalks and crossing streets. They do not expect accidents or injuries, and they usually are not wearing any safety equipment. That’s why pedestrians who are struck by vehicles are so likely to suffer catastrophic and disabling injuries.
For pedestrians in Phoenix, awareness and vigilance are constant, absolute necessities. If a driver is texting, speeding, or intoxicated, or if a driver is reckless or negligent in some other way and strikes a pedestrian, the motorist will be held liable for the pedestrian’s injuries.
If a pedestrian survives a pedestrian accident, that person may sustain a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, neck or back injury, and broken bones, abrasions, and bruises. The most serious pedestrian injuries may require multiple surgeries and life-long medical care.
What is Comparative Negligence?
In many pedestrian accidents and other accidents in the State of Arizona, each party may a share a percentage of the fault. When an accident prompts a personal injury lawsuit, Arizona law adheres to the “comparative negligence” principle.
Comparative negligence allows the injured victim in a pedestrian accident to seek compensation even when that pedestrian shares the fault for his or her injury. If you’re injured in an accident in Arizona, you can recover some amount of compensation even if you were 99 percent at fault.
How Does Comparative Negligence Work?
Let’s say that you are looking at your phone, you step off a curb into the street in Phoenix, and you are struck by a motorist who was speeding at twenty miles per hour over the posted limit.
An auto insurance company may assert or an Arizona jury may decide that the driver who struck you was 80 percent at fault for excessive speeding and that you were 20 percent at fault because of your own negligence.
If your damages and losses total $100,000, under Arizona’s comparative negligence standard, your compensation is reduced by 20 percent. You may recover 80 percent, which totals $80,000. If the driver was injured, that driver would be allowed to recover 20 percent of his or her losses and damages against you.
When a Pedestrian Accident Happens, Take These Steps
If you are injured by a negligent or reckless driver while you’re walking on a sidewalk or crossing a street in the Phoenix area, summon or seek medical assistance immediately. Then immediately schedule a consultation with a Phoenix pedestrian accident lawyer.
Do not speak with the driver’s insurance company. Do not sign any insurance documents. If the driver’s insurance company contacts you after the accident, refer all of their inquiries to your lawyer. Once the insurance company is on notice you have hired a lawyer, they are not permitted by law from contacting you directly.
Injured victims of negligent motorists are entitled to compensation for medical expenses and more, but that compensation is not guaranteed. Your Phoenix pedestrian accident attorney may have to prove that the driver was negligent and that your injuries were caused as the result of that negligence.
When Should You Call an Attorney?
For most cases based on pedestrian accidents, the statute of limitations in Arizona gives you two years to file a personal injury claim. However, you should never wait two years – or even two weeks – to speak with a personal injury lawyer.
You should contact a lawyer right away. Your lawyer will examine any evidence before it can deteriorate and contact any witnesses before their recollections fade.
Your lawyer will scrutinize the details of the case and will discuss your rights and options. While you need to act promptly, if two years or more have passed since you were injured, your lawyer can determine if your case qualifies as one of the rare exceptions to the two-year deadline.
What is the Cost of Filing an Injury Claim?
Personal injury attorneys in Arizona represent their injured clients on a contingent fee basis. This means that you pay no lawyer’s fee in advance,
In fact, you will pay no fee to an attorney unless and until that attorney recovers your compensation with a trial verdict or with an out-of-court settlement. Most pedestrian accident claims are resolved out-of-court, so most pedestrian accident victims never have to appear in a courtroom.
However, if the liability in your case is in dispute, or if no acceptable settlement offer is made in the out-of-court negotiations, your lawyer will file a lawsuit on your behalf.
How Can You Choose the Right Accident Attorney?
If you’re injured – now or in the future – while you’re a pedestrian in or near Phoenix, take your case immediately to Moore Injury Law. Arizona personal injury attorney Lewis B. Moore III is a former Arizona Assistant Attorney General and has handled numerous pedestrian auto vehicle cases.
Mr Moore heads up a legal team with decades of experience handling traffic accident cases and representing the injured victims of negligence in Phoenix and throughout the State of Arizona. We provide injury victims with an in-depth case evaluation – without obligation or cost.
If you move forward with a pedestrian injury claim, attorney Lewis B. Moore III and the Moore Injury Law team will fight for the justice you need and the compensation you deserve. To find out more – or to begin the legal process – call Moore Injury Law in Phoenix at 602-780-1616.