Pedestrian accident personal injury claims involving midblock crossings can present some unique challenges. However, you should never make assumptions about your eligibility for compensation without contacting an attorney.
About Midblock Crossing Accidents
A midblock crossing is a crossing that occurs outside a lighted or signaled intersection. Often, this type of crossing occurs when a pedestrian is in a hurry to get to his destination and cuts across the street instead of using the crosswalk at either end of the block.
The types of injuries associated with midblock crossing accidents can include sprains, strains, lacerations, broken bones, back injuries, internal bleeding, and head trauma. Accidents occurring at higher speeds are most likely to result in disabling injuries, but even a car traveling 10 miles per hour can cause serious injuries. Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to disabling accident injuries, since they often suffer from brittle bones and existing health problems that complicate the healing process.
Midblock crossing accidents can occur at any time but are more likely in the evening and nighttime hours when visibility is poor. Weather conditions can also play a factor in this type of accident.
Liability for Midblock Crossing Accidents
Legally, pedestrians have a responsibility to cross at a lighted or signaled intersection when one is available. If you are injured in a midblock crossing accident, you will likely be found partially at fault.
The driver's responsibility for the accident depends on his specific actions. A driver who was speeding, texting while driving, or under the influence has more responsibility than one who was simply unable to stop in time.
A partially at-fault pedestrian can still seek personal injury compensation under Louisiana law. However, his settlement will be reduced by the assigned percentage of fault to reflect responsibility for his injuries. For example, in a case where the pedestrian is 40% at fault, he only receives 60% of the settlement he'd be entitled to if the driver was solely responsible for the accident.
In cases involving injured children, the pedestrian's liability is based on age. A child is only expected to act with the level of care that would be shown by any child of the same developmental age, which means that young children are unlikely to be found at fault for a midblock crossing accident.
Protecting Your Right to Compensation
A personal injury settlement typically includes the following damages:
- Immediate medical needs related to the injuries suffered in the accident
- Anticipated future medical expenses for permanently disabling injuries
- Lost wages from the time you were unable to work due to your injuries
- Loss of future earning potential due to permanently disabling injuries
- Pain and suffering
If a midblock crossing accident results in a fatality, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death claim. This is a type of personal injury case seeking compensation for:
- Medical care up to the time of death
- Loss of future earnings to support the family
- Pain and suffering in the final moments
- Loss of the deceased person's care and companionship
- Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
Only certain individuals have the standing to file a wrongful death claim under Louisiana law. Typically, a surviving spouse, parent, or adult child must initiate the legal action.
The vast majority of personal injury cases are settled out of court. However, this does not mean you should forgo legal representation. Insurance companies are focused on protecting their bottom line, not fairly compensating you for your injuries. Without someone to advocate for your rights, you risk receiving a settlement that's too low for your accident-related expenses.
Since personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, there is no upfront cost for legal representation. Your attorney will accept a percentage of the final settlement as the fee for service.
The experienced attorneys at Neblett, Beard & Arsenault are committed to advocating for the rights of injured Louisiana pedestrians. Contact us online or call our office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation initial case review to discuss your legal options.