Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Being a pedestrian can be dangerous at times. Traveling on foot exposes you to the risk of getting into an accident with a motor vehicle. And since pedestrians have far less protection than motorists, they typically end up with far more serious injuries during an accident. If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident and it was the fault of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. Before accepting any settlement from the other party’s insurer, it is important to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer, so you fully understand your rights and options.
For over 30 years, the skilled attorneys at Smith Law Firm, have successfully represented victims injured in pedestrian accidents and other types of personal injuries in Alabama. Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law, and what it takes to ensure that our clients receive full and fair compensation. We adopt an individualized approach, working closely with our clients and taking the time to explore all potential legal avenues toward obtaining a favorable result.
We have extensive experience with even the most complex cases. We routinely go up against well-funded adversaries, such as large corporations and their insurance companies, and we have a strong track record of success with these types of cases. We have the knowledge, resources, and commitment to provide the strong personalized representation our clients need and deserve.
Pedestrian Accidents in Alabama
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, nearly 6,000 pedestrians are killed each year, which equates to a fatality about every 1.5 hours. In addition, more than 100,000 pedestrians are treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal crashes. The elderly and young children are the groups that are at the highest risk for serious injuries and fatalities in pedestrian accidents.
There are a number of factors that cause pedestrian accidents. Many times, it is the fault of the driver. There are times, however, when the pedestrian may be at least partially at fault as well. Weather and other outside factors also play a role at times.
Here are some of the most common ways motorists cause pedestrian accidents:
- Distracted Driving: These days, motorists are constantly on their smartphones. This has resulted in an increasing number of accidents related to distracted driving. When drivers are too busy sending a text or another type of electronic message, they fail to pay close enough attention to pedestrians crossing the road.
- Chemically-Impaired Driving: Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs alters the state of mind of motorists. Typically, motorists who drive while intoxicated make poor decisions on the road and have slower reaction times. This combination can be deadly when intoxicated drivers encounter a pedestrian.
- Drowsy or Fatigued Driving: Some motorists are exhausted, do not have enough sleep, or have been on the road too long. As with impaired driving, drowsy or fatigued drivers are often inattentive and have slower reaction times, which makes it more difficult to avoid a collision with a pedestrian.
- Reckless Driving: Some motorists operate a vehicle while in a state of wanton and willful disregard for the rules of the road and the safety of others. This mindset is often present with drunk drivers. Reckless drivers run stop signs and stop lights, make sharp turns without watching for other vehicles, bikes, or pedestrians, tailgate other vehicles, weave in and out of lanes, and do other things that put pedestrians and other motorists in danger.
- Failure to Yield: Some motorists fail to yield the right of way to a pedestrian because they are either inattentive and don’t see them, or they are in a hurry, so they impatiently drive through an intersection while the pedestrian is crossing.
Here are some ways pedestrians may contribute to an accident with a motor vehicle:
- Improper Crossing: Some pedestrians are impatient and do not want to wait for their turn to cross the street. For example, they may dash across the street after a light just turned red with traffic already coming from the other direction. Pedestrians are also sometimes known to illegally cross at places that are not designated crosswalks, which can also become a dangerous situation if there is a car coming.
- Distractions/Inattentiveness: Drivers are not the only ones who get distracted by their smartphones. Many pedestrians are glued to their phones sending messages, taking selfies, watching videos, and similar activities. This can result in collisions with other pedestrians, slips, trips, and falls on sidewalks and roads, and collisions with vehicles.
- Chemical Impairment: Like DUIs/DWIs, walking while chemically-impaired can cause pedestrians to be inattentive and/or make poor decisions. This can result in an accident with another pedestrian, bicycle, or motor vehicle.
How Alabama’s Contributory Negligence Laws Affect Pedestrian Accidents
While pedestrian accidents are often the fault of a motorist, there are times when the pedestrian is either fully or partially at-fault. Alabama is one of only a handful of states that applies the “contributory negligence” doctrine in personal injury cases. This means that if an injured party is even 1% at-fault for an accident, they can be barred from recovering compensation. During this type of case, you can be sure that the insurance company will try to pin at least some of the blame on the injured party, so they can avoid paying out damages.
Because of the high standard of proof, injury victims in Alabama must obtain as much evidence as possible to support their case. This may include multiple photos of the accident scene, a police report, and the contact information for anyone who may have witnessed what happened. In addition, it is absolutely essential to work with a seasoned personal injury lawyer who has in-depth experience successfully pursuing pedestrian accident cases.
More Drivers in the Summer
The kids are out of school, so it’s a perfect time to learn to drive. But teen drivers have less experience and may not be trained to see pedestrians. Many find themselves behind the wheel of their parents’ SUV, which is a more difficult vehicle in terms of visibility and maneuverability for the inexperienced driver.
We also have more people on the roads taking vacations and many of them may be from out of town and less familiar with our roadways.
Holiday parties, concerts, barbeques are all occasions where alcohol consumption may be increased and that often does not stop a driver from getting behind the wheel.
To make matters worse, distracted driving means drivers are not always paying attention, and then there is the distracted pedestrian. It is tough to imagine that someone has their head firmly focused on their cellphone rather than the conditions surrounding them as they walk, but that is the reality and we find many pedestrians are walking while distracted.
Contact an Experienced Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer
If you or someone close to you was injured in a pedestrian accident due to the negligence or reckless actions of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. At Smith Law Firm, we understand that injury victims endure major physical, emotional, and financial hardship, and our goal is to make the legal process smooth and seamless. We provide consultations, and we can meet you at your home, hospital, or wherever is most convenient. We also take all personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay attorney fees if we win your case.
To schedule your initial consultation with one of our seasoned pedestrian accident attorneys, contact us today at 334-702-1744. You may also send a secure and confidential message through our online contact form.