Louisville is a pleasant city to walk around. Many people enjoy walking to include more exercise in their day or to save them from needing to drive when they’re only going a short distance.
The problem is that walking near traffic means you’re always at risk of suffering an accident. Victims who are struck by a vehicle as pedestrians are unprotected, which means they can suffer serious injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident as a pedestrian in Louisville, KY, talk to one of the pedestrian accident lawyers at the Fleck Firm. We’ll help you file a claim to gain the compensation you deserve to pay for your medical expenses and other damages.
Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?
Anywhere you walk where there are vehicles around can be the site of a pedestrian accident. This includes sidewalks, intersections, crosswalks, and driveways. In fact, you can even be in a pedestrian accident while heading to your own vehicle — it’s not uncommon for people to be injured while walking around parking lots in Louisville.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Like in all accidents involving a vehicle, a distracted driver is a major cause. Whereas this is often due to cell phone use, drivers can also be distracted while eating, talking to a passenger, or checking a GPS.
In other cases, pedestrian can be injured because a driver:
- Was speeding and was unable to stop in time
- Failed to yield at a crosswalk
- Didn’t use turn signals
- Ignored a traffic sign
- Took a right turn without first checking if a pedestrian was crossing the street
- Lost control due to inclement weather — drivers can still be found negligent in these cases, since they should have slowed down or taken other steps to make sure pedestrians would be safe
- Made a poor decision or had a reduced reaction time due to being intoxicated
Common Injuries After a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrians can suffer multiple types of injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Muscle strains
- Internal organ damage
What to Do After Being Hit By a Car
The first thing to do after a pedestrian accident is seek medical attention for your injuries. You should do this even if you’re unsure that you were injured, as your symptoms could become apparent later — and having a record of injuries is crucial for personal injury claims.
Next, file a police report — even if the person who hit you says you were to blame. The police will gather witness statements from other pedestrians and take photos of the scene. You should also try to take your own photos or ask someone to do so for you. In addition, take photos of your injuries.
Lastly, seek legal advice from injury lawyers. Attorneys who are familiar with pedestrian accidents can assess your case to determine how much you deserve in economic and non-economic damages, gather evidence to prove who was negligent, and negotiate with the insurance provider on your behalf.
Proving Fault in a Pedestrian Accident
The insurance companies of drivers involved in pedestrian accidents often try to claim that the drivers were not at fault. An understanding Kentucky law can help victims prove that they are entitled to compensation. An accident attorney in Louisville, KY, can explain you all the laws relevant to your claim.
One important law in Kentucky is the right of way law. This states that pedestrians have the right of way at a pedestrian crossing, meaning drivers need to yield.
In addition, it’s important to know that Kentucky is a comparative negligence state. This means that pedestrians may receive a portion of the damages if their actions contributed to the accident. For instance, if you weren’t using a crosswalk when you were struck, your damages may be reduced according to the percentage of fault attributed to you. Working with an attorney can help you decrease that percentage.
What Damages Can You Receive?
Compensation after a pedestrian accident can include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
If a loved one was killed after being hit by a car, you can file a wrongful death claim. This will enable you to gain compensation to cover health care costs, funeral expenses, and loss of consortium.
Finally, if the car accident involved a drunk driver, if you (or your family member) were injured intentionally, or if the driver’s conduct was egregious in any other way, you may receive punitive damages.
Why You Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
Damages are paid by the insurance company of the driver who injured you. The company will have attorneys on its team who will try to minimize the responsibility of the driver and the severity of your injuries to reduce your settlement amount. As a layman, this can be difficult to dispute. However, experienced injury lawyers know how much you deserve and will makes sure you don’t accept anything less.
Attorneys are also available to represent pedestrians who need to go to trial. Although this is a rare occurrence in Kentucky, a trial is necessary if the insurance company refuses to settle for a fair amount.
The statute of limitations in Kentucky for most personal injury claims is one year. It’s important to file as soon as possible because you’ll have no further legal recourse once the statute of limitations is up. Contact the Fleck Firm for a free consultation in Louisville to discuss your case.