Any car accident has the potential to cause significant property damage and severe or fatal injuries, but those involving pedestrians are the most worrisome. Pedestrians have little to no protection from the force of an oncoming vehicle, and most pedestrian accident cases involve serious life-threatening injuries. When pedestrians suffer injuries in the Scottsdale area or anywhere else in Arizona, they should have some idea of what to expect from a personal injury lawsuit against the liable driver.
Damages in Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians struck by cars typically suffer serious injuries including broken bones, lacerations, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and more. Depending on how the accident happened, the at-fault driver may be liable for various types of damages, including punitive damages for grossly negligent or intentionally dangerous behavior.
Many pedestrian accidents happen due to poor visibility. Whenever pedestrians must walk near busy roads during inclement weather or at night, they should do whatever they can to make themselves more visible. If walking at night, reflective clothing or reflective tape attached to the clothes can help make pedestrians more visible to nearby drivers. It’s also important for pedestrians to follow the posted traffic signals and only walk in designated areas.
Arizona follows a comparative negligence statute, meaning plaintiffs can still recover damages even if a judge determines the plaintiff to be partially at fault for an accident. Under Arizona law, injured plaintiffs can still recover damages even if they are 99% at fault for their incidents. A judge will determine the plaintiff’s fault percentage and reduce his or her compensation by that amount. If a pedestrian failed to follow a traffic signal and a judge determines him or her to be 25% at fault for a $100,000 case, his or her compensation will drop by 25%, resulting in a $75,000 reward.
Filing a Lawsuit
In most pedestrian accidents, the injured pedestrian will likely be unable to seek medical attention without assistance. If possible, injured pedestrians should call the police immediately after an accident. Arizona law requires drivers to contact the police if an accident causes any injury or significant property damage. The police will investigate the accident site and interview the people involved and any witnesses in the area. If the victim is unresponsive or requiring immediate emergency medical attention, the police will likely visit with the victim to obtain a statement after his or her condition stabilizes.
An injured pedestrian should obtain a copy of his or her medical report after receiving medical treatment. This document will outline the extent of the patient’s injuries and the doctor’s treatment plan. The medical report and the police report for the accident are two of the most important pieces of evidence for building a lawsuit for a pedestrian accident. Once an injured pedestrian has copies of these documents, it’s time to seek legal representation.
Finding Reliable Legal Counsel
Personal injury lawsuits involving pedestrian accidents can quickly escalate into complex legal affairs, so it’s important to hire an experienced attorney with a track record of successful cases to handle your claim. Even though a pedestrian accident may seem straightforward enough to handle on your own, the average person does not have experience handling the court’s filing deadlines or exploring the various possible avenues of compensation in a case. Without an attorney, an injured plaintiff risks low-balling his or her compensation amount or having the case thrown out before it even goes to trial.
At Bode & Collins, we offer the intimacy of a small firm with the resources and experience of larger firms. Our track record of successful cases is indicative of our commitment to our clients’ recovery. Contact our team to schedule a case evaluation for your pedestrian accident case today. We’ll let you know how our team can help and what kind of compensation you can expect from a lawsuit.