Legal Issues in Non-Crosswalk Pedestrian Accidents
Non-crosswalk pedestrian accidents are much more common than crosswalk pedestrian accidents. Non-crosswalk accidents are usually much more serious as well, usually because of the tortfeasor’s (negligent driver’s) speed. At impact speeds below 25mph, the pedestrian death rate is only 10 percent. At impact speeds above 50mph, the death rate catapults to over 90 percent. In simple terms, pedestrians often survive crosswalk accidents. They rarely survive non-crosswalk accidents.
Unfortunately, a deceased victim, or even a seriously injured victim, doesn’t guarantee a large settlement. In fact, nothing, and no one, can guarantee that outcome. But a Columbia personal injury lawyer can guarantee to work hard every day to settle your case on the best possible terms. This settlement usually includes compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
Non-crosswalk injuries are so severe not only because of the tortfeasor’s speed, but also because these victims have no protection from oncoming vehicles. Some serious, and often fatal. Pedestrian injuries include:
- Broken Bones: Especially after a high-speed collision, doctors typically use metal parts, like plates and pins, to surgically reconstruct shattered bones. Usually, these surgeries are partially successful. The bone heals, but the victim never regains full mobility.
- Head Injuries: Pedestrians have no helmets, seat belts, or airbags to prevent blunt trauma head injuries. Furthermore, when these victims fall and land hard, their brains violently slam against their skulls.
- Internal Injuries: This same force sends internal organs smashing against each other. These unprotected organs usually bleed very badly. By the time doctors detect this bleeding, many victims are already on the edge of hypovolemic shock.
A Columbia personal injury attorney works with top-notch doctors who generally charge nothing upfront for their professional services. In simple terms, no insurance, no money, no problem.
Medical bills, and other injury-related bills, must be paid eventually. A Columbia personal injury attorney works to ensure that the tortfeasor, not the victim, pays these bills.
The ordinary negligence doctrine is available in non-crosswalk pedestrian injury claims. This doctrine has four basic prongs:
- Duty: All motorists have a duty of care to avoid accidents at all times. This responsibility includes watching out for jaywalking pedestrians and avoiding collisions if possible.
- Breach: Drivers breach their duty of care if they drive while impaired (e.g. under the influence of drugs or alcohol) or aggressively (e.g. speeding or turning unsafely).
- Cause: The breach must substantially cause the damages. Additionally, these damages must be a foreseeable (possible) consequence of the breach.
- Damages: Most victims must sustain physical injuries, no matter how slight, to pursue negligence claims. A few exceptions might be available in a few cases.
Sudden emergency might be the most common insurance company defense in these claims. This doctrine excuses negligent driving if the tortfeasor reasonably reacted to a sudden emergency.
Not every driving error is a breach of care, and not every jaywalking pedestrian is a sudden emergency. In fact, in most cases, jaywalking pedestrians are everyday hazards that, under the duty of care, tortfeasors must anticipate and avoid.
Count on a Tough-Minded Richland County Lawyer
Injury victims are entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Columbia, contact the Marc Brown Law Firm. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.