Aurora Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Walking is often touted as the best form of exercise, but it can sometimes be dangerous. Unless you are on a park trail, chances are you are walking in an area adjacent to traffic from cars, trucks, buses and bicycles. And that means there’s always a chance that an inattentive driver could cause a pedestrian accident.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Recovery should be the first priority but it is also wise to consider the ramifications. Future medical bills and long-term effects could cause major difficulties that are hard to plan for when you’re overwhelmed with doctor visits and lifestyle modifications.
An Aurora pedestrian accident lawyer can help. With experience handling pedestrian accident claims, a distinguished personal injury attorney can help evaluate your situation and help you recover any compensation to which you may be entitled.
What Duties do Drivers Owe to Keep Pedestrians Safe?
Getting behind the wheel of a car, truck, or bus enters drivers into a social contract. In exchange for the right to use public roads and streets, operators must take care to protect all other people that they encounter.
While the most visible example of this concept if the duty to protect others in cars, the law says that this responsibility extends to all other people. As a result, a driver must take care to protect pedestrians just as much as any other person. It follows that if a driver is at-fault in an incident that affects the wellbeing of a pedestrian, they are liable for any resulting damages. An Aurora pedestrian accident attorney could provide more information about the concept of duty and its effect on accident claims.
Special Laws that Affect Driver/Pedestrian Interactions
As a general rule, motorists must take care to avoid colliding with pedestrians. This means that they must keep their attentions on the road to minimize the chances of causing an accident. A driver who is talking on a cell phone, eating behind the wheel, or changing a radio station places others at a risk of harm. A successful case may center around the concept of negligence resulting from carelessness.
In addition, plaintiffs may prevail in their cases by showing negligence as a result of traffic violations. As applied to pedestrian injury claims, these cases can allege crosswalk violations under Colorado Revised Statutes §42-4-802. Other traffic code violations that may lead to collisions include speeding, failing to stop at red lights, or even DUI. An Aurora pedestrian collision attorney could help to utilize state laws to demonstrate defendant negligence.
Types of Injuries in Pedestrian Accident Cases
Very often, injuries are the result of the bumper of a vehicle comes in contact with a pedestrian. If this contact occurs while the vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed, the injuries may be severe or even fatal.
As an Aurora pedestrian accident lawyer knows, these accidents can cause a wide variety of injuries, but some of the more common injuries are:
- Broken or crushed bones
- Paralysis or spinal cord injuries
- Head injuries
- Severed limbs
What are the Typical Causes of an Accident Involving a Pedestrian?
Very frequently, an accident is caused by a combination of factors, and some of the fault for an accident may be attributed to the pedestrian as well as the driver of the vehicle. Some common factors that contribute to pedestrian accidents are:
- Poor visibility
- Vehicle traveling too fast for conditions
- Driver distracted by cell phone or other device
- Failure of either driver or pedestrian to obey traffic signals
- Vehicle turns into the path of a pedestrian
- Driver reverses without fully checking to see that the way is clear
Sometimes, both the driver and the pedestrian may share responsibility for the accident. For instance, a court may find that the driver was 80 percent to blame for driving with excessive speed and the pedestrian was 20 percent at fault for failing to cross at a crosswalk.
In that case, the contributory negligence of the pedestrian would reduce the amount of any damages recovered by 20 percent. If the pedestrian were found to be entitled to recover $100,000, that amount would be reduced by 20 percent to $80,000.
Strict Time Limits May Affect Claims for Damages
Pedestrian accidents claims come in many shapes and sizes. However, one thing that they all have in common is the statute of limitations. This is a state law that limits how long an injured person has to demand compensation from an at-fault defendant.
As applies to pedestrian collision cases, Colorado Revised Statutes §13-80-101(1)(n) sets this time limit at three years. This means that if an injured plaintiff does not have a case in court within three years of the date of the accident, the court will refuse to hear the case. Making matters worse, insurance companies know this law and will not issue settlement payments if the statute of limitations has expired.
Types of Compensation Available
If injuries suffered in an accident are determined to be due primarily to the negligence of another party, the injured party may be entitled to compensation under Colorado law. The compensation is a monetary payment often referred to as damages.
Damages can include money to cover the cost of past, present and future medical bills, time missed from work, loss of earning capacity in the future, and the cost of modifications made to accommodate the injury. In addition, the injured party may also receive compensation for noneconomic injuries such as pain, suffering and emotional distress.
While the law provides a means for an injured individual to receive compensation, the law also limits the time available to pursue a claim. It can be critical to consult with an experienced Aurora pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible to preserve legal rights and help ensure that you receive fair compensation.