Pedestrian accidents don't always involve a collision with a motor vehicle. If you were hurt taking evasive action to avoid being struck by a car or truck, you may still be entitled to compensation via a personal injury claim.
How Accidents Can Occur
Although it's more common for a pedestrian to be directly hit by a vehicle, injuries can still occur when a pedestrian takes action to prevent a more serious accident. For example:
- A driver loses control of his vehicle and jumps a curb. You are not struck by the vehicle but suffer a broken ankle trying to avoid the collision.
- An inattentive driver runs a red light. You're in the crosswalk and dive out of the way to avoid being hit. You suffer a mild concussion and are experiencing continuing back pain.
- A drunk driver going the wrong way down a one-way street hits another vehicle. The force of the collision pushes both vehicles toward you. Your friend pulls you out of the way, but flying debris causes several cuts that require stitches and leave scars on your face.
In all of these cases, the motorist could be held responsible for damages that occur. Even though he didn't directly hit you, his lack of care and failure to obey traffic laws are the reasons you were hurt.
If you were jaywalking when the accident occurred, it's possible you might be found partially at fault. However, this does not mean you're ineligible to file a claim. Someone who is partially at fault simply has his settlement proportionally reduced by his assigned percentage of fault.
A personal injury claim for this type of pedestrian accident can include compensation for:
- Medical expenses related to the care of your injuries
- Any applicable lost wages from the time you were unable to work due to your injuries
- Pain and suffering
Medical expenses and lost wages are called economic damages because the value can be supported by invoices, bills, bank statements, or pay stubs. Pain and suffering damages are referred to as noneconomic damages because this type of compensation can't be objectively measured. However, it is common to use a multiplier of medical expenses to calculate the pain and suffering compensation an injured person should receive in a personal injury claim. The multiplier is assigned based on the severity of the injury, typically ranging from 1 to 5 with the highest multipliers reserved for permanently disabling injuries or injuries that require extensive recovery periods.
Protecting Your Right to a Fair Settlement
After any accident, it's vital that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if you feel that your symptoms are minor and may resolve on their own, you could be more seriously injured and not realize it. You also need to have medical records that verify your injuries were caused by the accident.
In addition to seeking prompt medical attention, some of the other ways you can help build a successful personal injury claim include:
- Take photos and/or a video of the accident scene from as many different angles as possible.
- Photograph your injuries immediately and as they heal.
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident and the evasive action you took that caused your injury
- Write down a detailed description of how the accident happened while it's still fresh in your mind.
- Request a copy of the law enforcement officer's report for your records.
Louisiana has a one-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, but it's best to contact an attorney as soon as possible. As time passes, it becomes harder to locate the necessary evidence to build a successful case.
Personal injury attorneys accept cases on a contingency fee basis. Your attorney will accept a percentage of the final settlement as a fee for his services. This allows you to obtain representation without any upfront expense.
Have You Been Involved In A Louisiana Pedestrian Accident?
If you've been injured in a pedestrian accident you need to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.