Pedestrian accidents are unfortunately all too common and often result in serious injuries. In some cases, the pedestrian is at fault, but often times the driver is to blame. Determining liability in these types of accidents can sometimes be tricky, but it’s important to understand who is responsible so that victims can receive the compensation they deserve. How fault is determine will vary from state to state.
Some states, including North Carolina, follow the doctrine of contributory negligence. This means that if the pedestrian is even partially at fault for the accident, they may barre from recovery, and might not be able to recover any damages from the driver. However, it’s still critical that you consult with legal to investigate the accident and determine who is liable.
Pedestrian Accidents and Their Causes
These types of accidents are surprisingly common and can happen in several ways. One of the causes of pedestrian accidents is distract driving. Drivers who are texting, talking on the phone, or otherwise not paying attention to the road are more likely to hit pedestrians.
Other causes include speeding, running red lights or stop signs, making illegal turns, and DUIs. Provided the pedestrian wasn’t at fault, any of these actions on the part of the driver would likely make them liable for any resulting accidents.
Most of these accidents result in serious, sometimes fatal, injuries to the victims. Because pedestrians are unprotected, they’re more likely to suffer from severe brain damage, spinal cord injuries, and fractures. Other times, these injuries might leave victims with permanent disabilities that require lifelong care. This makes it even more important to hold the at-fault motorist responsible for their actions.
How Do You Prove Negligence and Determine Liability?
Proving that the driver was at fault for the accident is key to recovering damages. To do this, your pedestrian accident lawyer in North Carolina will likely need to review police reports, witness statements, and photographs or video footage of the accident.
Once the fault has been established, your lawyer will move toward determining the full extent of your damages. This will include not only your medical bills and lost wages, but also your pain and suffering, emotional distress, and any other losses you’ve incurred as a result.
Once the full extent of your damages has been calculated, your lawyer will negotiate with the driver’s insurance company to try and reach a fair settlement. Here, it’s important to have an experienced lawyer on your side, as insurers will often try to lowball victims. If a settlement can’t be reached with the at-fault party insurer, your lawyer will take the case to trial.
Overall, there are more benefits to engaging a legal professional to investigate liability in such accidents than not. North Carolina is a contributory negligence state, which can make it difficult for victims to recover damages, if they’re even partially at fault for the accident.
Since many pedestrian accidents are cause by driver negligence, it’s important to have a lawyer who understands, the ins and outs of these types of cases, and can help you get the compensation you deserve.