Pedestrians injured in motor vehicle accidents often suffer substantial accident-related expenses. As an injured pedestrian, the best way to protect your rights is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to advocate on your behalf.
Types Of Injuries Following A Pedestrian Accident
Types of injuries found in pedestrian accidents vary according to the speed the driver was traveling at the time of impact. The faster the driver is going, the more likely it is that the pedestrian will receive severe injuries.
Common injuries may include:
- Cuts, scrapes, and contusions
- Torn and strained ligaments
- Fractures to the arms, legs, or pelvis
- Concussion or traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injury and paralysis
Determining Liability For Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians are expected to follow the rules of the road and use common sense to help keep themselves safe. This includes:
- Using sidewalks or walking on the shoulder of the road facing traffic if a sidewalk is not available
- Obeying traffic lights, do not walk signals, and other warning devices
- Being aware of your surroundings, even if you have the right of way
If you are found to have acted unsafely or to have disobeyed traffic laws, you will be found partially at fault for the accident. However, this does not mean that you are ineligible for compensation.
Under Louisiana's comparative fault rules, a partially at-fault person can still collect compensation in a personal injury claim. His compensation will simply be reduced in accordance to his specified percentage of fault. For example, if you are determined to be 30% at fault for your accident, you will only be able to collect 70% of the settlement you'd otherwise be entitled to receive. The withheld 30% of funds is to account for your own role in your injuries.
Special Considerations for Cases Involving Children
Children are more likely than adults to be involved in pedestrian accidents due to their smaller size and the fact that they most often travel on foot. However, it is expected that drivers exercise a higher level of care in areas where children are likely to be present such as schools, parks, and residential neighborhoods. A young child is not generally found liable for an accident, even if he behaved in an unsafe manner.
Evidence Used in a Personal Injury Claim
To win your personal injury case, you must be able to prove that the driver breached his duty of care to you and that this breach was the cause of your injuries. Evidence you may be able to use to support your claim for damages includes:
- Copies of your medical records linking your injuries to the accident
- Your clothing from the accident, especially if there is car paint or debris from the vehicle stuck in your shoes, belt, pants, or shirt
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Witness testimony
- Video from any traffic cams or surveillance cameras
- Police reports indicating if the driver was ticketed
Types Of Personal Injury Compensation
A personal injury settlement can include the following types of compensation:
- Medical expenses, including emergency room care, diagnostic tests, hospital stays, surgery, follow-up care, and medication
- Expected future medical costs, if your injuries result in permanent disability
- Lost wages for the time you were unable to work while recovering from your injuries
- Expected future loss of income, if you've been left with a permanent disability that will affect your ability to return to work in the same capacity
- Pain and suffering
Medical expenses are estimated based on the actual cost of the care you've received. Lost wages are reimbursed based on pay stubs or statements from your employer. Expected future costs are calculated using relevant expert testimony. Pain and suffering is calculated based on your medical expenses, with the most serious injuries receiving the highest forms of compensation.
How An Attorney Can Help With Your Pedestrian Accident
Louisiana's personal injury law can be complex, and insurers are typically more interested in protecting their bottom line than providing you with a fair settlement. Your attorney can help assess the value of your case, line up relevant evidence, document your damages, and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
Neblett, Beard & Arsenault's legal team is committed to helping Louisiana residents injured in pedestrian accidents resolve their personal injury claims. Contact us online or call us directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.