When you’re out walking or jogging, you deserve safety. If a negligent motorist has injured you, a Detroit pedestrian accident attorney can help you get the compensation you need to recover.
As a pedestrian, you have to trust that motorists are looking out for your safety. Drivers, with all the protections their vehicles provide, are expected to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and be mindful of them in general. This trust creates a safe traveling experience for all.
However, motorists don’t always uphold this trust. A 2013 study found that a pedestrian is killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in crashes. If you’ve been hit by a negligent motorist, you may find yourself facing severe physical, emotional, and financial challenges.
Negligent motorists should be held accountable. A Detroit pedestrian accident lawyer with Christensen Law will fight to get you full compensation so you can begin the process of recovering.
Your Detroit pedestrian injury lawyer will need to review all the details of your case to determine who was at fault for your injuries. That’s why it’s important to seek legal help as soon as possible; the sooner you contact your attorney, the more evidence will still be available and the better you’ll be able to recall the details of your accident. You and your lawyer may review traffic videos, eyewitness accounts, police reports, and other evidence.
If the motorist in your accident was engaged in negligent behavior, your attorney will seek to hold him or her responsible. Examples of negligent driving behavior include the following:
- Running red lights
- Drunk driving
- Distracted driving
- Failure to give the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks
- Careless driving through a parking lot
- Parking illegally and obscuring the vision of pedestrians
- Failure to use a turn signal
Because children ages five to nine are at the greatest risk of being injured in a pedestrian accident, drivers owe them a special duty of care. Drivers must exercise greater caution when driving in areas where children are present, such as schools, playgrounds, and residential areas.
Pedestrians lack the basic protections of cars, so being injured in an accident can be debilitating. If you’ve been hit in a crosswalk by a negligent driver, a Detroit pedestrian vehicle accident lawyer will fight for your right to compensation.
Statute of Limitations and Comparative Fault
After a pedestrian accident, it’s important not to wait too long to seek legal help. The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Michigan is three years. If you bring legal action after this time has elapsed, your case will not be heard.
Michigan follows the doctrine of comparative negligence. If you are found to have contributed to your accident, your settlement amount will reduce by whatever amount you are found responsible, as long as you are found less than 50 percent responsible.
Pedestrians are expected to practice certain behaviors to increase their own safety. These include the following:
- Being careful in parking lots, especially when accompanying small children
- Only crossing the street at designated crosswalks
- Waiting for appropriate traffic signals to cross the street
- Wearing reflective colors or highly visible clothing when walking at night
- Walking against traffic on a paved shoulder as far from the flow of traffic as possible
The insurance company or the negligent driver’s lawyer might try to accuse you of not practicing safe pedestrian behavior, so it’s important to have a qualified Detroit pedestrian accident attorney to make sure your side of the story is heard.
Valuing Your Claim
Michigan is a no-fault insurance state. That means that, if you’ve been hit in a crosswalk or in another kind of pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to two types of benefits from your insurance company:
- First-Party Benefits – These benefits account for your current and future medical bills, lost wages, and lost income opportunity if you are unable to work for a long period of time. They also provide a daily stipend to pay for help with household chores that are difficult or impossible to complete in the aftermath of your accident.
- Third-Party Benefits – These benefits include non-economic losses for things like pain and suffering and decreased quality of life in the event that the accident causes permanent impaired bodily function, disfigurement, or death.
While dealing with the insurance company should be the least of your worries, there are plenty of instances in which insurance companies make it difficult to get your settlement amount or just stop making payments altogether. A Detroit pedestrian injury attorney will know how to stand up to the insurance company so you get every penny you’re owed.