Louisville Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
The last thing anyone should have to worry about is getting struck by a vehicle, but pedestrian accidents are not uncommon. If you or a loved one are injured due to the careless or negligent actions of a driver, contact Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery today. Our Louisville pedestrian accident attorneys will investigate your case and work to secure any compensation you are entitled to.
Justice Starts Here is ready to help
After sustaining a serious pedestrian accident injury, you need an attorney you can trust both personally and professionally. Turn to the Louisville personal injury lawyers at Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery for help today.
- Our firm focuses solely on personal injury cases, which has allowed us to become recognized as authorities in this field.
- We pride ourselves in giving clients personalized and direct attention to their case from start to finish. Our clients always have access to their attorney.
- We take Louisville pedestrian accident cases on a contingency fee basis, which means our clients pay no upfront or out-of-pocket costs. We only collect legal fees after we win the case.
Why do you need an attorney for this case?
An attorney will be an invaluable resource after a pedestrian accident injury. Your lawyer will be responsible for all aspects of your case so you can focus on recovering. Your attorney will obtain all evidence related to the incident, including surveillance video, photographs, witness statements, and the police report.
Then, your lawyer will work with medical and economic experts to properly calculate your total losses so they can negotiate for a fair settlement. An attorney will know how to aggressively pursue maximum compensation from an insurance company on your behalf. If necessary, your attorney will be ready to take your case to trial.
Getting hit by a car in Louisville is a frightening and chaotic experience. Dealing with the driver’s insurance company is the last thing you may want to do when you should be focusing on healing. Hiring an attorney removes the legal burden from your shoulders; you can rest while your attorney handles the legal legwork of your case for you.
Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
The main reason why pedestrians are not safe when walking on the streets and sidewalks of Louisville is driver negligence. A negligent driver is one that fails to exercise reasonable care. A negligent driver may make careless or reckless mistakes behind the wheel, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, speeding, or texting and driving. These behaviors drastically increase the risk of a pedestrian collision.
The top causes attributable to pedestrian accidents in Louisville are:
- Drunk and drugged driving
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Speeding, especially in school zones
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Making an unsafe or improper turn
- Failing to stop at a crosswalk
- Passing from the rear at a crosswalk
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Ignoring traffic laws
- Weather conditions, such as poor visibility
Despite efforts made by the city and state to improve the walkability of Louisville, accidents still happen. When these disasters take place, an investigation may be necessary to determine the cause. If the motor vehicle driver is determined to be at fault, his or her car insurance company will be made to pay for the pedestrian’s injuries. If you are not sure what caused your crash or need assistance proving fault, contact an attorney.
Pedestrian accidents can lead to serious injuries
According to the Kentucky Department of Transportation, there were 1,024 total pedestrian collisions during the latest reporting year of data available. Out of these incidents, there were 79 fatalities, 170 suspected serious injuries, 372 suspected minor injuries, and 320 possible injuries.
Pedestrians have no protection from the force of a passenger vehicle slamming into their bodies, which is why so many of these accidents result in fatalities or injuries. It is not uncommon for the Louisville pedestrian accident attorneys at our firm to help clients who have sustained the following:
- Broken and dislocated bones
- Severe lacerations or puncture wounds
- Spinal cord injuries with possible paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Open head wounds
- Severe road rash
In many cases, pedestrian accidents are caused by the careless and negligent operation of a vehicle driver. Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to distracted driving and drunk driving behaviors. In many cases, pedestrians are struck while using marked crosswalks.
Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?
While a pedestrian accident can happen anywhere in Louisville, they are statistically more frequent in some locations compared to others. Urban areas of Louisville such as the downtown district, for example, have higher levels of both pedestrian and vehicle traffic than rural areas. This increases the chances of a collision between the two types of road users.
Intersections are especially dangerous locations for pedestrians, as they are where pedestrian traffic meets and intersects with motor vehicle traffic. If a motor vehicle driver fails to stop or yield the right-of-way at an intersection, or if a pedestrian steps off the curb and into the intersection prematurely, this can cause an accident.
Crosswalks are also frequent settings for pedestrian-vehicle collisions. Despite being built to provide safe areas for pedestrians to cross the road, negligent and reckless drivers make crosswalks deadly. This is especially true at night or in poor light conditions, when an inattentive driver may fail to see or notice a crossing pedestrian.
Kentucky’s Insurance Laws and Pedestrian Accidents
Kentucky is unique in that it uses a no-fault car insurance system. With this system, most drivers turn to their own car insurance policies to pay for their medical bills and property repairs after an accident, even if they did not cause the crash. This is in contrast to a fault insurance system, where drivers file claims with the insurance provider of the at-fault party. However, pedestrian accidents fall outside of the parameters of the no-fault system.
When a pedestrian gets hit by a car in Kentucky, the pedestrian will have the right to seek a financial recovery from the driver. All drivers in Kentucky must carry a minimum of $25,000 in bodily injury insurance per person. This insurance will pay to cover a pedestrian’s medical bills if the driver is found to be at fault. However, the pedestrian will be required to prove fault or liability for the accident.
Determining Liability in a Pedestrian Accident
Determining liability, or legal responsibility, for a pedestrian accident requires an investigation into who or what caused the crash. In general, liability will go to the party that broke a traffic law, as this is the party that was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Kentucky law governs who has the right-of-way at any given moment. Ignoring these rules or violating other traffic laws can make an individual responsible for a related pedestrian crash.
A driver can be found at fault for a pedestrian accident if he or she committed a moving violation or tort (act of wrongdoing) that caused the crash. For example, if the driver ran a red light and struck a pedestrian who had the right-of-way to cross the street, the driver that broke the law would be liable. However, not all pedestrian accidents are so black and white. Liability can be difficult to determine.
For instance, there are cases in which pedestrian accidents are caused by dangerous roadway infrastructures or designs. If the city or state government failed to design a safe intersection, pedestrian walkway, sidewalk or crosswalk, it could be held responsible for a related pedestrian-vehicle collision. But there are also cases where the pedestrian is found to be responsible for the wreck.
If a motor vehicle driver or car insurance company attempts to blame you for the pedestrian accident, you will need to understand Kentucky’s pure comparative negligence law. This law states that if an injured victim is allocated a percentage of fault for the accident, his or her financial recovery will be reduced by a corresponding amount. This law has pros and cons for personal injury plaintiffs.
On one hand, Kentucky’s comparative negligence rule means you can still be eligible for partial compensation if you are found to be at fault for the accident. On the other hand, if this defense is used against you, it can diminish your financial award received. Your recovery will be reduced by an amount equivalent to your percentage of fault. Since Kentucky uses a pure comparative negligence law, you can be allocated any percentage of fault for a pedestrian accident (even 99 percent) and still be eligible for compensation.
Pedestrian Accident Compensation
Filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit for a pedestrian accident can help you rebuild your life as much as possible. You may never recover from a catastrophic injury, but you can relieve the financial burden on you and your family by seeking fair financial compensation and holding someone accountable. Even if you suffered minor injuries, a settlement or judgment award can allow you to pay for your necessary medical expenses and plan for the future.
The financial compensation available in a pedestrian accident case can include:
- All medical expenses related to the pedestrian crash
- Lost income and benefits if you cannot work
- Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages against the negligent party
The value of your Louisville pedestrian accident claim will depend on factors that are specific to your case. This includes the gravity of your injuries. As a general rule, plaintiffs with more severe injuries will receive higher settlement offers and judgments than those with minor injuries. Before you accept an insurance settlement, discuss the potential value of your case with an attorney. You may deserve more than an insurance company initially offers.
Statute of Limitations on a Pedestrian Accident Claim
If you wish to seek financial recovery for a pedestrian accident in Louisville, you must act quickly. Kentucky has a law known as the statute of limitations (Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 413.140) that imposes a strict time limit on the right to bring a personal injury claim. This deadline is just one year from the date of the accident. This is one of the shortest statutes of limitations in the country. If you wait too long and attempt to file a claim after a year has already passed since your accident, the courts will most likely bar you from seeking a recovery.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
If you get hit by a car while walking in Louisville, take the following steps to protect your legal rights as much as possible:
- Try to remain calm and avoid jumping to your feet; you may have a serious injury that could be exacerbated by sudden movements.
- Call 911 immediately or have someone at the scene call for you. Report the accident and request paramedics if you have been seriously injured. Do not admit fault for the accident.
- Write down the driver’s name, contact information and a description of the vehicle. Get the information of any eyewitnesses, especially if you were injured in a hit-and-run.
- Take photographs while you are still at the scene of the collision. Capture any relevant details, such as the driver’s vehicle and street signs marking the location.
- Go to a hospital right away for professional medical care. Even if you initially feel fine, your adrenaline may be covering signs of an injury. Obtain copies of your medical records.
Before you begin the insurance claims process, contact an attorney for advice. A lawyer can assist you with the steps involved in bringing a claim or filing a lawsuit.
Can you get compensation for this? Contact Us to Find Out
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a pedestrian accident that was caused by another person’s careless or negligent actions, seek legal assistance today. At Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery, we are going to get to the bottom of what happened and work to secure all compensation you are entitled to.
If you need a Louisville pedestrian accident attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling us at (859) 578-4444.