The number of car accidents involving pedestrians is on the rise. Car accidents involving pedestrians often result in severe injuries. If you were a pedestrian involved in an accident, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries.
What to Do After an Accident
After an accident that involves a pedestrian, the following steps can help protect your interests:
1. Ensure everyone’s safety. If you are able, make sure that no one is still in danger after an accident. Try not to move around if you are injured.
2. Contact emergency services. Make sure anyone who is injured gets immediate medical help, and contact the police to report the accident. When the police arrive, make sure you give them an accurate statement of what happened.
3. Exchange contact information. Exchange contact information with the all other parties involved in the accident.
4. Inform your insurance agency. As soon as you can, report the accident to your insurance agency. Be aware of time limitations for filing car accident lawsuits.
5. Get legal help. You may want to seek legal advice before giving a recorded statement to your insurance company. Even if you do not do so, legal advice can be a valuable resource.
Who Counts as a Pedestrian?
More than just people on foot can be considered to be pedestrians. In some communities, people using skateboards, roller blades, or similar devices also count as pedestrians. Pedestrians can even include motor-powered assistive devices, such as wheelchairs. If anyone involved in the accident was using this kind of equipment during the accident, laws affecting pedestrians will likely apply to the situation.
Knowing Who Is at Fault
A driver is not always to blame in accidents involving pedestrians. Depending on the circumstances, a pedestrian may also be at fault. Being aware of relevant laws can help you determine your eligibility for compensation.
Various laws may apply to accidents involving pedestrians, including those dealing with right of way, jaywalking and pedestrians in traffic lanes. The Louisiana Driver Handbook specifies that vehicles must yield to pedestrians at all times, even when the pedestrian is engaging in jaywalking. Knowing applicable local, state and federal laws can safeguard your interests.
Car accident cases involving pedestrians are often decided according to negligence laws. Courts determine negligence by examining the events leading to the accident. A person can be found negligent if they have broken laws meant to prevent injury, such as traffic codes.
Depending on which state you are in, negligence laws tend to fall into one of two categories: contributory negligence and comparative negligence laws.
According to Cornell Law School, contributory negligence laws ban a plaintiff from receiving compensation through the court if they were guilty of any negligence at all in causing the accident.
In contrast, the pure comparative negligence rule is described as allocating a percentage of fault to each the plaintiff and the defendant. The plaintiff will then pay a proportionate percentage of the defendant’s damages, and the defendant will do so for the plaintiff. As described in Louisiana Civil Code 2323, Louisiana uses a pure comparative negligence rule.
Some states use a modified comparative negligence rule. Under this rule, the law sets an at-fault percentage threshold. If a plaintiff’s percentage of fault is determined to be above this threshold, they cannot recover damages from the other party.
If you are seeking compensation after an accident, having a lawyer on your side can increase your net recovery. If you have been injured in an accident in Louisiana, contact the Law Office of Jason M. Welborn today for a free initial consultation.