Pedestrian accidents are usually caused by reckless and negligent drivers and cause injuries that can be severe if not fatal. Injured pedestrians and their families have the right to hold at-fault drivers accountable and recover compensation in the aftermath of the accident. Fortunately, an Indianapolis pedestrian accident lawyer can help you do just that.
If you or a loved one was involved in a pedestrian accident, you are entitled to compensation. Our Indianapolis pedestrian accident lawyers at Rowe & Hamilton can assist you with taking legal action. We will help you recover the compensation that you are rightfully entitled to under the law.
Call our Indianapolis car accident lawyers today at 317-482-7888 to schedule a free consultation and case review to get started.
Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Understanding the causes of pedestrian accidents is key to preventing and reducing the number of pedestrian injuries and death in Indianapolis each year. Here are some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents.
Failure to Yield Right of Way
“Right of way” refers to a motorist’s or pedestrian’s legal right to proceed with precedence in a certain situation or location. Failure to yield the right of way occurs when either a motorist or pedestrian commits a traffic violation without giving precedence to the other party. For example, if a car fails to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
A speeding vehicle means that the driver has less time to recognize a pedestrian in the road and take action to avoid them. Furthermore, the impact will likely be greater if the pedestrian is struck. Drivers should slow down in urban areas where pedestrians are likely to be walking and carefully survey the sides of the road for anyone that might step out in front of the vehicle.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances isn’t just unsafe but also illegal. It is also one of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents. The use of alcohol and/or drugs has a significant impact on people’s coordination, reaction time, and reflexes. Driving a car while intoxicated poses a significant risk to pedestrians and other road users.
Traffic violations, such as drivers running a red light or stop sign, making a wrong turn, failing to use a turn signal, overly aggressive lane changes, and other reckless actions on the road can easily lead to a pedestrian accident. For example, a negligent driver that runs a red light may strike a pedestrian, causing serious injuries or even death.
Jaywalking refers to crossing a road outside of a marked or unmarked crosswalk. Outside of pedestrian crosswalks, it is up to the pedestrian to yield to the driver. Jaywalking is by far the most common cause of pedestrian accidents. If you are jaywalking and get injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to reduced compensation or none at all.
Poor lighting can also play a significant role in contributing to or causing pedestrian accidents. Fog, rain, and poorly lit streets can impair visibility and make it harder for both motorists and pedestrians to see each other.
Poor lighting caused by adverse weather, however, doesn’t absolve a negligent driver of responsibility.
Distracted driving usually occurs when a driver’s attention shifts from the road because he/she is texting, talking on a cell phone, manipulating a navigation system, adjusting the air conditioner or radio, tending to children in the backseat, etc. When a driver takes his/her focus off the road for even a second, pedestrians are put at risk.
Violating Crosswalk Rules
Pedestrians in Indianapolis are required to follow crosswalk rules, such as not passing in front of a vehicle in the middle of the road. Pedestrians are also required not to cross the road diagonally or even walk on a road if a sidewalk is present.
A person that violates these crosswalk rules and is involved in a pedestrian accident can be either entirely or partially at fault for the accident.
If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, you should consider contacting Rowe & Hamilton in Indianapolis about your case. We will discuss the case with you for free and let you know whether and/or how we can help.
Call us today at 317-482-7888 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our legal team.
What Injuries Are Usually Sustained in a Pedestrian Accident?
Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to injuries when struck by cars. The severity of injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident depends on numerous factors such as the size, weight, and speed of the vehicle, whether you were hit from the side or head-on, and whether you were thrown onto the pavement or struck while standing.
Here are the most common injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident.
- Cuts and lacerations
- Damage to the internal organs
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and brain injuries
What Should I Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident in Indianapolis and sustain injuries, you can take measures to safeguard your rights under the law to recover compensation. You should do the following after a pedestrian accident.
Seek Medical Assistance Immediately
The injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents are usually severe. To ensure that victims recover adequate damages, it is important to seek medical attention immediately after an accident. Seeking medical attention immediately allows the doctor to attest to the severity of the injuries and their likely cause. Furthermore, medical records can be important pieces of evidence in a lawsuit or compensation claim.
Document Your Injuries
If you can, take photos of your injuries as well as the accident scene. Ensure that you get images of any damage to the vehicles involved and any other property that was damaged. It is also a good idea to collect witness statements as well as their contact information too. All these are key pieces of evidence that can help you build a strong case and ensure that you receive maximum compensation.
Call the Police
You should call the police immediately after being struck by a car in Indianapolis. The police will then come up with a report detailing the accident. You should always alert Indiana police officers after an accident of any kind, particularly one in which the pedestrian is a victim. The report may contain important details that eventually help your lawyer to prove the negligent driver’s fault.
Don’t Discuss Fault on the Scene or With the Motorist’s Insurance Company
You should generally avoid discussing fault or even apologizing for the accident at the scene. Furthermore, since the motorist’s insurance company is likely to approach you with a settlement offer, you should be extra careful about what you say to them. It is generally advisable to have negotiations with the motorist’s insurance company only with your lawyer present.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Following the pedestrian accident, it’s important to report the incident to your insurance company to get the claim started. If the at-fault party or their insurance provider contacts you, make sure that you don’t give them any information and never accept a quick settlement. Instead, you should simply tell them that you first have to speak with your lawyer.
Seek Professional Legal Assistance
The professional Indianapolis pedestrian accident lawyers from Rowe & Hamilton are well-informed of the laws in the state and will help you recover maximum compensation. Our skilled attorneys will gather your medical records and records of lost wages to prove the need for economic damages. They will also guide you through the entire process.
How Do You Determine Liability or Fault in a Pedestrian Accident in Indiana?
Pedestrians that are hit and injured in an accident are required to first provide proof that the driver was the negligent party before they can recover compensation.
Pedestrian accident cases usually rest on proving negligence or a failure to exercise due care in driving. To determine fault or liability in an Indiana pedestrian accident, you or your attorney are required to prove the following 4 elements of negligence.
Duty of Care
You are required to show that the negligent driver actually owed you a duty of care. All drivers on the road have a responsibility (duty of care) to keep other road users safe. The driver must operate the vehicle cautiously and follow traffic regulations.
Breach of Duty
You must also show that the driver did something that would be considered a negligent or wrongful act. Let’s assume that the driver was speeding through an area with many pedestrians and shops. Failure to drive at a safe speed in this case violates the duty of care, which means that the driver was negligent.
You also have to show that the breach of duty of care, or the negligent act, resulted in the accident. In the above example, the driver lost control of the vehicle due to the unsafe speed. The vehicle jumped the sidewalk and rammed into a pedestrian, injuring him severely. In this situation, negligence caused the accident and injuries.
You must have measurable damage to pursue an injury claim based on negligence. You are required to show that your injury was a direct result of the accident. Proving an injury requires immediate medical attention in the aftermath of the accident to pursue a claim.
Comparative Fault Rules
If you’re able to prove the 4 elements of negligence above, the at-fault party and their insurance company will be responsible for paying damages. However, Indiana follows the comparative negligence rule, which means you can still recover damages if you’re partially to blame for an accident.
It means that if the pedestrian is found to be partially responsible, their compensation amount would be reduced by the same percentage as their fault in causing the accident. If they are found to be over 50% responsible, they may not be able to recover any damages.
Types of Damages in Indiana Pedestrian Accidents
If you were hurt in a pedestrian accident caused by another person’s recklessness or carelessness, you are likely owed more than one form of compensation for your injuries. Damages owed to pedestrian accident victims in Indiana are divided into 3 categories.
Economic damages are usually awarded to pedestrian accident victims to recover the financial losses associated with their injuries. The damages are intended to relieve some or all of the plaintiff’s financial burden.
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Personal care costs
- Funeral costs in the case of a loved one’s wrongful death
- Costs of living with a disability.
Non-economic damages aren’t easy to assign a monetary value to because they encompass general pain and suffering. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are less tangible and include future losses that will likely be incurred due to a loss of income along with any future medical care needed.
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
- Mental distress
- Loss of reputation.
Punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant for extremely reckless conduct. The punishment is intended to stop others from engaging in similar conduct. Punitive damages are rarely ever granted in Indiana. Punitive damages are only ever awarded if the defendant’s conduct was reckless or malicious.
How Will an Indianapolis Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help Me?
If you’re a victim of a pedestrian accident, you should seek legal assistance from our experienced Indianapolis pedestrian accident lawyers at Rowe & Hamilton. Our pedestrian accident lawyers can help you in the following ways.
Case preparation involves a lot of paperwork and behind-the-scenes tasks. From locating and filling out forms to providing evidence and documentation, you’re likely feeling overwhelmed. Instead of worrying about whether or not you have filled out everything you need to, let our lawyers help you.
The insurance company will try everything possible not to give you a fair settlement. To recover compensation, you need the help of our experienced pedestrian accident lawyers to negotiate with the insurance company and fight on your behalf to get a fair settlement.
Trial Preparation & Representation
If a fair settlement cannot be reached, our pedestrian accident lawyers can take the matter to court. Having an experienced lawyer representing you shows the insurance company you aren’t willing to back down and increases the chances of a favorable verdict in the courtroom.
What Are the Time Limits When It Comes to Filing a Pedestrian Injury Claim in Indiana?
You have 2 years under Indiana’s Statute of Limitations to file a claim for injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident. You risk losing the ability to pursue financial compensation for your injuries and losses if you wait too long to file or if the deadline passes.
It is important to contact our Indianapolis pedestrian accident lawyers at Rowe & Hamilton because of this. Researching and preparing a legal claim to back up your case generally takes a lot of time and effort. If you get legal counsel right away, you can maximize your chances of victory.
How Much Will a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Cost?
People are often hesitant to hire a pedestrian accident lawyer since they believe that it’s too expensive. With mounting medical bills and your recovery to worry about, you may assume that hiring an attorney is simply another extra cost.
What you might not know is that personal injury attorneys usually work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t pay anything until a settlement is reached. You don’t pay the lawyer unless they win your case. The contingency fee ranges between 25% and 40%, but 33% is standard.
Pedestrian accident lawyers working on a contingency fee basis require no payment until they obtain a favorable settlement or verdict. It is the best arrangement for pedestrians injured or families that lose their loved ones in accidents. You don’t need to go into debt or be rich to hire a skilled lawyer.
Injured in an Indianapolis Pedestrian Accident? Call Us for Help!
Pedestrians are no match for motor vehicles on the road. Unfortunately, when a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, they can sustain severe injuries. Hiring our experienced and reliable lawyers at Rowe & Hamilton is crucial to ensure fair compensation.
If a negligent driver in Indianapolis, IN struck you while you were a pedestrian, our lawyers are ready to help you recover the compensation that you’re entitled to for your lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
To get started with your case call our experienced and reliable Indianapolis pedestrian accident lawyers at 317-482-7888 for a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team. We may be able to represent you on a contingency fee basis, with no upfront payment required.