Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right-of-way?

Pedestrians who are lawfully present at a crosswalk have the right-of-way. Pedestrians have the right-of-way even in unmarked crosswalks, unless a traffic signal or officer indicates otherwise. Consequently, drivers have an affirmative duty to watch out for pedestrians and yield the right-of-way to them, stopping to allow them to cross the street on foot.

When drivers fail to properly stop and yield to pedestrians, and a collision happens, the driver should be at fault. This means the injured pedestrian accident victim may be eligible to file a personal injury claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company.

Pedestrian accidents can lead to debilitating injuries since pedestrians rarely have any physical barrier between themselves and the ground. Moreover, pedestrian accidents are often challenging to navigate, and many accident victims are unsure how to pursue monetary compensation for their losses.

A knowledgeable pedestrian accident lawyer in your area can help you file your claim or lawsuit on time and pursue the maximum monetary recovery available to you in your case.

First, your pedestrian accident lawyer can help you investigate your accident circumstances, gather evidence, and prove the legal elements of your case. Your lawyer can also help you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and, if appropriate, litigate your case in the court system.

Finally, if your personal injury case must go to court, your lawyer can represent you at all the necessary legal proceedings and help you obtain the best possible result.

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How Do Pedestrian Crashes Happen?

Pedestrian accidents typically occur when people drive recklessly or carelessly. Reckless driving can take various forms, but it usually involves a driver violating one or more traffic laws in an area where pedestrians are likely to be present, including intersection crosswalks.

Some pedestrian accidents happen when drivers fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at traffic intersections, for example, by speeding through a yellow or red traffic light or disregarding other traffic signs or control devices. Alternatively, the driver might have been speeding just before the accident, preventing them from stopping in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian in a crosswalk or on a sidewalk.

Lawyer for Pedestrian Accidents in Edmonton

Pedestrian accidents happen routinely because drivers fail to use their mirrors and backup cameras. In addition to watching the road in front of them, drivers are responsible for regularly looking into their side-view and rear-view mirrors for traffic and pedestrians.

When a driver fails to use their mirrors or backup camera when pulling out of a space at a parking garage or parking lot, they may not see a pedestrian walking behind their vehicle. Consequently, they may cause their car to negligently strike the pedestrian and knock them to the ground.

Next, some pedestrian accidents result from road rage or inattentive driving. Drivers are often distracted when they program a GPS navigation system, adjust the radio in their vehicle, or use a mobile device to read or send a text message. All of these activities may prevent a driver from noticing a pedestrian in the vicinity, bringing about a severe crash.

Finally, some pedestrian accidents result from drunk drivers. A driver who is legally intoxicated or has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent is often unable to focus on the road and their surroundings.

Alcohol may delay a driver’s reflexes, preventing them from stopping their vehicle to avoid hitting a pedestrian. Similarly, alcohol may cause impaired vision, preventing a driver from even seeing a pedestrian in the first place.

If you sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident that occurred when a driver operated their vehicle negligently, you have legal options you can consider. A skilled pedestrian accident lawyer can review all of your options with you after reviewing the specific circumstances of your accident and other documentation, including police reports and witness statements. Your lawyer can then help you develop a plan of action for recovering the monetary compensation you deserve in your case.

Where Do Pedestrian Accidents so Frequently Happen?

Pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere that one or more pedestrians are present. Some of the most common locations for pedestrian accidents include crosswalks at traffic intersections, bicycle lanes, sidewalks, parking lots, parking garages, and alleyways.

If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident in one of these locations, you are not alone. A compassionate pedestrian accident lawyer can immediately meet with you to discuss your accident circumstances and determine your eligibility for filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the at-fault driver or their insurance company.

Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents

Unlike motor vehicle drivers and passengers who have a thick metal covering surrounding them, pedestrian accident victims have no physical barrier between themselves and the ground. Consequently, if a motor vehicle knocks a pedestrian over with significant force, the pedestrian will almost certainly suffer debilitating injuries.

The size and scope of pedestrian accident injuries often depend upon the specific accident circumstances, including the number of vehicles involved in a collision, the location of a crash, and the car’s speed.

If a pedestrian falls on the ground or hits another vehicle during the accident, they may suffer:

  • Road rash injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord damage causing full or partial paralysis
  • Traumatic head and brain injuries (including concussions)
  • Coma
  • Deep bruises
  • Soft tissue contusions
  • Crush injuries
  • Amputations
  • Internal injuries
  • Death.

One of the best ways to prevent your injuries from becoming worse is to seek ongoing medical treatment following your pedestrian accident. During this time, a pedestrian accident lawyer can begin to handle the legal components of your case, including preparing a claim for filing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Once you have completed most of your medical treatment, your lawyer can open a claim on your behalf and pursue monetary compensation and damages.

Pedestrian Accident Litigation 

Before filing a personal injury lawsuit in your case, a pedestrian accident lawyer will typically file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf.

To enable the claims adjuster to evaluate your case, your lawyer can submit copies of the police report, witness statements, injury photographs, and photographs of the accident scene. They may also submit copies of your medical treatment records to date.

Assuming the insurance company accepts fault for the pedestrian accident, settlement negotiations can start. However, your lawyer may need to negotiate with the adjuster several times before reaching a favourable number.

No matter what the adjuster says initially, additional settlement money is almost always on the table. However, your lawyer may need to negotiate with the adjuster for several weeks or months before they agree to increase their offer significantly.

If that does not happen, your lawyer can file a lawsuit in court on your behalf. Pedestrian accident victims have two years from their accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit for monetary damages. Failing to file a lawsuit within that period can have devastating consequences. In fact, absent exceptional circumstances, accident victims who file their lawsuits belatedly will not be eligible to recover any monetary damages for their injuries.

After your lawyer has filed a timely lawsuit, the parties may continue their settlement negotiations, and the case can still reach an out-of-court resolution.

In fact, most pedestrian accidents, including those that involve serious injuries, settle at some point before the scheduled trial date. The parties may also engage in a process called discovery, when they take one another’s depositions, exchange documents, and answer questions called Interrogatories.

Will My Pedestrian Accident Case Go to Trial?

The majority of pedestrian accident cases resolve out of court at some point. This means the cases do not go to trial in front of a jury. However, a jury trial may become necessary when the parties cannot agree on specific issues, including the amount of monetary compensation the pedestrian accident victim is entitled to recover in the case (i.e., the issue of monetary damages).

When the parties take their case to a jury trial, each side will introduce evidence favouring their positions. The jury will then determine the amount of monetary compensation to award the accident victim.

As an alternative to a civil jury trial, the parties can explore one or more alternative dispute resolution methods (ADR), such as mediation or binding arbitration. During a mediation hearing arising from a pedestrian accident case, a neutral mediator will meet with the parties out of court and engage them in focused settlement discussions.

On the other hand, in a binding arbitration proceeding, the parties will engage in a mini-trial outside of court before a neutral arbitrator, introduce evidence for the arbitrator’s review, and allow the arbitrator to decide on the final damage amount to award the accident victim in the case.

A skilled pedestrian accident lawyer in your area can help you determine whether a civil jury trial or alternative dispute resolution proceeding may be preferable to settlement in your individual case.

It may seem counterintuitive, but in a pedestrian accident case, the injured accident victim has the sole legal burden of proof. Therefore, the accident victim must satisfy certain legal elements to recover monetary compensation for all their accident-related losses.

First, an injured pedestrian accident victim must show that the at-fault individual somehow deviated from the legal standard of care. Typically, this means that the at-fault driver must have violated one or more traffic laws, such as failing to yield the right-of-way to another driver at the appropriate time.

Next, the accident victim must show that the pedestrian accident happened as a direct and foreseeable result of the at-fault driver’s negligence. Finally, the accident victim must show that they suffered at least one physical injury as a direct result of the accident.

A skilled pedestrian accident lawyer can help you establish these legal elements with the help of expert testimony. For example, an expert accident reconstructionist can testify how the accident likely happened and which driver was responsible. Similarly, a medical expert, such as a treating healthcare provider, can provide the necessary medical causation to support the claim or lawsuit.

Monetary Damages for a Pedestrian Accident

Victims of pedestrian accidents who can satisfy the necessary legal elements of their claim may be eligible for various monetary damages. The ultimate goal of economic damages in a pedestrian accident claim or lawsuit is to make the accident victim whole again, as much as possible.

Since every pedestrian accident case is different, not all accident victims will be eligible for the same types and amounts of monetary damages. Generally, the more serious the accident consequences, the higher the financial recovery an accident victim will be eligible to receive.

Potential monetary damages in a pedestrian accident claim or lawsuit include compensation for past and future pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental distress, loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, loss of spousal companionship, permanent disfigurement or disability, loss of use of a body part, and loss of life enjoyment.

A skilled pedestrian accident lawyer advocating in your case can help you maximize the overall damages you recover, ensuring you become whole again to the greatest extent possible.

Call an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today

Michael Hoosein - Attorney for Pedestrian Accidents Cases near Edmonton
Michael Hoosein Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Edmonton

If you suffered injuries in a recent pedestrian accident, you should take prompt legal action in your case. Otherwise, you may become ineligible to recover the monetary damages you deserve (if the statute of limitations runs out in your case, for example).

A personal injury law firm in Edmonton can immediately start investigating your accident circumstances and pursuing the monetary damages you deserve through a claim or lawsuit. Moreover, your lawyer can represent you at all legal proceedings in your case, including a civil jury trial, mediation hearing, or binding arbitration proceeding, and help you secure the full monetary recovery you need.

Your lawyer can do all this for you while you focus on the most important thing, recovering from your injuries. Finally, your lawyer can address all of your legal concerns while your case is pending and help you make important decisions throughout your case.

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