Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Baton Rouge
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there were 35,766 car accidents in 2020, and around 7,000 of those traffic accidents ended up in pedestrian deaths. These pedestrian accident statistics don’t even include non-fatally injured pedestrians. While there are certain traffic laws in place to improve pedestrian safety, there are still ways that you, as both a driver and a pedestrian, can prevent injuries suffered in a pedestrian accident.
If you or a loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries or wrongful death due to a pedestrian accident, you need a Baton Rouge pedestrian accident lawyer from the Law Offices of Ossie Brown on your side. We can help you recover compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and so much more. Call our top-notch personal injury law firm at 225-343-1111 to schedule a free consultation.
What is a Pedestrian Accident?
A pedestrian accident is any accident in which a pedestrian gets hit by a motor vehicle, bicycle, or a motorcycle. This could be on a road, in a parking lot, or even in a personal driveway. Injuries suffered in these accidents can range from broken bones to fatal injuries. There are typically two parties involved with pedestrian accidents — the pedestrian and vehicle operators.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
One of the main causes of pedestrian accidents is drunk driving or distracted driving. Hard to see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather, are other common causes of pedestrian accidents. This is why it’s important to practice defensive driving and take extra caution in poor conditions. Other common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Poorly marked or unmarked crosswalk;
- Jay walking;
- Blind corner turns;
- Pedestrian dark clothing;
- Pedestrian drug or alcohol use.
Could the Pedestrian Be At Fault for an Accident?
Vehicle operators are generally the negligent party in pedestrian accident claims. But there are some obvious times when pedestrians are at fault in pedestrian accident cases. For example, if a pedestrian causes an accident by jaywalking, they can be held liable for all, or most, damages.
Sometimes though, determining fault in a pedestrian accident case can be tricky. For example, pedestrians have the right of way in a parking lot. Meaning, it is the job of the drivers to maneuver around pedestrians and exercise reasonable care. However, if a pedestrian jumps in front of a car or sprints across feeder lanes, fault becomes trickier. This is why it can be so helpful to have an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer on your side, whether you’re an accident victim or a driver, to maneuver these gray areas.
When Do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way In Louisiana?
Right of way is the legal term for describing who is privileged on the road, and is generally used in determining fault. For example, in Louisiana, pedestrians have the right of way in a marked crosswalk. Meaning if a pedestrian is hit in a marked crosswalk, the driver is at fault, because the driver did not have the right of way.
Louisiana state law only grants pedestrians the right of way in marked crosswalks. However, local laws may offer them more protection in places like parking lots or high foot traffic areas like schools and universities. This is why it’s important as a driver to obey traffic signals, and as a pedestrian, pay particular attention to your surroundings.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrian injuries can vary from a minor bruise to a serious injury, like a traumatic brain injury. It all depends on the severity of the accident. High speed collisions are more likely to end up with more serious injuries. Pedestrian accident victims commonly suffer from:
- Broken bones;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Internal bleeding;
- Bruise, cuts, and road rash;
- Internal organ damage;
- Nerve damage;
- Skull or facial fractures;
- Eye damage and/or vision loss;
- Loss of fetus (if the injured pedestrian was pregnant);
- Crush injuries;
- Permanent scarring, disfigurement, or disability;
When pedestrian accidents occur, there is a very high risk of catastrophic injury and/or death. That’s because pedestrians have absolutely no protection when they come into contact with a car, truck, or motorcycle at high speeds. Pedestrian fatalities and injuries can lead to immense physical, emotional, and financial distress for everyone involved. Baton Rouge pedestrian accident attorneys at our law firm understand the devastation that accompanies most pedestrian accidents. That’s why we are here to help and support personal injury victims and families in any way that we can.
How to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian
Staying safe as a pedestrian is one way that you can reduce personal injuries and the likelihood of an accident occurring. You can practice extra caution as a pedestrian by:
- Wearing visible clothing at night;
- Looking both ways when crossing the street;
- Using marked crosswalks;
- Being aware of your surroundings.
You can’t rely on other drivers to be completely in charge of your safety as a pedestrian. Practicing pedestrian safety, as well as knowing when pedestrians have the right of way, are two great options for preventing traffic accidents.
If a Driver Hits a Pedestrian and Leaves the Accident Scene, Can They Be Charged With a Hit and Run?
Yes. If a driver hits anyone – whether they are another driver, a pedestrian, or a bicyclist – and then leaves the scene immediately afterwards, they can certainly face hit and run accident charges. Pedestrian hit and run accidents can result in both civil and criminal actions brought towards the negligent driver. In situations like this, it’s crucial to hire an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown.
Is Louisiana an At-Fault State?
Yes, Louisiana is an at-fault state, and this is very important to remember in any type of motor vehicle accident, including pedestrian accidents.
At fault states, like Louisiana, require negligent parties to pay for the victim’s damages through their car insurance company. Meanwhile, no-fault states require all parties involved in traffic accidents to recover damages through their own car insurance company, whether they are at fault or not. So if the at-fault party has auto insurance, their bodily injury liability coverage can provide compensation to injured victims in pedestrian crashes. If the pedestrian is catastrophically injured, this coverage may not be enough. In that case, the victim could move forward with a pedestrian accident lawsuit.
Pure Comparative Fault in Louisiana
Louisiana also abides by pure comparative fault laws. Pure comparative fault comes into the equation when two parties share some percentage of fault in an accident. So if a pedestrian shares a small percentage of fault in an accident, their amount of compensation will be reduced by that percentage of fault.
For example, let’s say a pedestrian deserves $100,000 in financial compensation for their damages. If a driver shares 90% of the fault in the accident while the pedestrian only shares 10% of fault in the accident, then the pedestrian will recover $90,000 in damages.
Proving Negligence in Pedestrian Accident Cases
In order to prove liability in a pedestrian involved accident, you must prove the 4 elements of negligence. An experienced personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown can help you do this.
- Duty of Care: Every single person on the roads owes each other a duty of care, regardless of whether they are walking or driving. In other words, everyone must take reasonable care to keep each other safe on the roads.
- Breached Duty of Care: A driver, pedestrian, bicyclist, or motorcycle rider breached this duty of care.
- Causation: The breached duty of care directly caused the pedestrian to suffer injuries/death.
- Damages: The pedestrian suffered a variety of damages for which they should receive financial compensation.
Pedestrian Accident Damages
Baton Rouge personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown can help victims recover the following damages in a pedestrian accident claim:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future physical therapy expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental health counseling expenses
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent scarring, disability, and/or disfigurement
- Funeral and burial expenses if the pedestrian accident resulted in wrongful death
Call a Baton Rouge Pedestrian Accident Lawyer at the Law Offices of Ossie Brown TodayWhen pedestrian accidents happen due to driver negligence, you need the best pedestrian accident lawyer on your side. Bodily injury liability coverage is often not enough to cover damages due to the catastrophic nature of pedestrian accidents. In situations like this, victims feel as though they have no choice but to file pedestrian accident lawsuits in order to receive maximum compensation for their damages. The experienced pedestrian accident lawyers at our law firm can carefully analyze the details of your case and help you determine the best course of action. Above all else, we will protect your legal rights. Call 225-343-1111 to schedule a free consultation.
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