Greenville Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Greenville, NC
Some of the most fatal but common types of motor vehicle accidents involve pedestrians. The NHTSA has reported on the rising number of pedestrian fatalities involved in traffic accidents, with as many as 37,461 recorded for 2016. In North Carolina, thousands are injured, and hundreds are killed in various kinds of pedestrian-vehicle accidents across state counties and cities. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident in Greenville, North Carolina, you should not delay in seeking medical help. Moreover, the assistance of a pedestrian accident attorney in Greenville NC is just as important. Pedestrian accidents often result in serious injuries, especially where speeding vehicles are involved. To help you recover from your physical injuries, as well as other losses, you may seek for accident compensation with help from your attorney. In states like North Carolina, negligence plays a crucial role in your eligibility to claim for compensation. The sooner you are able to consult with a legal office, the sooner will your pedestrian accident attorney be able to work on your case. Ample time and resources help to ensure favorable results for your claim.
Accident Statistics and the Need for a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Greenville NC
Motor vehicle crash fatalities have considerably increased in number from 35,485 in 2015 to 37,461 in 2016. Some of the contributory factors to these accidents, according to the NHTSA, are distracted driving, drowsy driving, speeding, lack of seatbelts, and drunk driving.
The NHTSA has reported on the number of pedestrian fatalities in motor vehicle crashes all over the country, which has reached to 5,376. Additionally, up to 70,000 have been injured in these pedestrian crashes. One of the most common pedestrian accident scenarios is a pedestrian walking on a crosswalk and getting hit by a running vehicle. Traffic accidents all over the country in 2014 resulted in the death of a pedestrian every two hours and serious injuries every seven minutes. More than 2,000 pedestrians are involved in traffic accidents in North Carolina annually. Of this number, as many as 200 pedestrians are killed, and up to 300 of them suffer from severe injuries on an annual basis
The locations of these North Carolina crashes include midblock locations or non-intersections, driveway connections, bridges, intersections, parking lots, and even private or public driveways. A majority of pedestrian victims and fatalities involve the elderly and young children. The injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident can be seriously impairing or fatal. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a pedestrian accident in Greenville, you need to obtain immediate medical treatment and the reliable help of a pedestrian crash attorney in North Carolina instantly.
Types of Pedestrian Accidents and Common Causes
Pedestrian accidents can happen unexpectedly. In any traffic accident, one or two parties will have been distracted, inattentive or negligent. Many of pedestrian-vehicle collisions take place at night and in urban areas during rush-traffic hours. Listed below are some of the common types of pedestrian accidents and their causes:
- Sidewalk accidents
This type of pedestrian accident usually occurs as a sideswipe accident, where a running vehicle hits a pedestrian while s/he is walking by the roadside. A pedestrian that fails to notice a speeding vehicle behind him or her will have little to no time to evade a potential accident. In other cases, a pedestrian may be hit while facing an oncoming vehicle, especially when both the pedestrian and driver have not been attentive to their surroundings.
- Intersection left-turns
A pedestrian can be hit on an intersection by a left-turning vehicle or truck. This type of accident can be traced to several reasons. First, the driver may have difficulty steering his vehicle into making a left-turn, since left-turns are generally considered by motorists as one of the most challenging vehicle maneuvers to make. In some cases, the vehicle driver may follow a green light and inadvertently hit a pedestrian who was following a walk light. This scenario is further complicated by a reckless driver operating at high speeds or a distracted pedestrian crossing the street.
- Backing accidents
Vehicle drivers may also back into a pedestrian, causing the latter to sustain scratches, bruises, and even fractures. These backing accidents can happen in public parking spaces or in driveway areas where a vehicle driver maneuvers swiftly out of his private driveway without first checking the street for passers-by. Although these accidents may be prevented by a pedestrian’s careful attention, driver responsibility remains to be a crucial factor. In any pedestrian accident, pedestrians tend to get hurt more than the vehicle driver. Thus, it will be helpful for motor vehicle drivers to be more attentive and extra careful when backing out of a parking area or driveway.
- Children pedestrian accidents
Children are among the most vulnerable in pedestrian accidents. A child may get hit while dashing through a street or even while using a crosswalk on the way to school. In 2015, one in five children aged 15 or younger were killed in pedestrian accidents across the country. In a 30-year study, furthermore, children pedestrian accidents have been found to occur more frequently around parks, compared to school vicinities.
- Distracted driving collisions
A common cause of motor vehicle accidents, whether concerning another vehicle, cyclist, or a pedestrian, is distracted driving. According to the World Health Organization, drivers engaging with mobile phones are four times more likely to fall into an accident compared to drivers who are not using any kind of mobile or handheld device. Various distractions while driving can make any driver lose attention on the road or react slowly during emergency situations. Distracted driving can also make a driver switch lanes improperly or to drive through a roadside or sidewalk intended for pedestrians.
- Driving under the influence
Pedestrian accidents may also be instigated by irresponsible individuals who still choose to operate a vehicle even as they are intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or other impairing substance. Up to 15% of pedestrian crashes in 2015 have been traced to drunk driving where the blood-alcohol concentration of drivers was at 0.08g/dl or more.
- Speeding accidents
In a report made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, speeding is known to significantly increase the chances of pedestrian accidents and pedestrian deaths. For example, pedestrians who are hit by a vehicle traveling at 50 kilometers/hour have significant chances of survival than those who have been hit by cars traveling at 80 kilometers/hour.
If you have been injured by a reckless, inebriated, or speeding driver, you are within your rights to demand for compensation from the at-fault motorist. The types of compensation, as well as the amounts entitled to you, may vary.
Depending on the severity of the injuries and the fatality of the accident, the injured individual (or his or her heirs) may claim for financial compensation or even pursue punitive damages against the liable party.
The Types of Compensation for Which a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
There are different types of compensation available to an injured pedestrian, the amounts of which may be determined in a settlement discussion or in court. Pedestrian accident attorneys in Greenville NC can help you with filing for economic compensation, non-economic compensation, and even damages for wrongful death.
Furthermore, the ability for any claimant to obtain compensation is governed by existing state compensation laws. A state that abides by the pure contributory law will not allow a partially negligent individual from recovering damages. Thus, even if you are only 2% to 5% at fault for the pedestrian accident, you will not be able to obtain any amount as compensation. This makes the proof of negligence extremely important in cases that involve compensation claims.
When you work with pedestrian accident lawyers, you may claim for the following types of compensation:
- Financial compensation
This type of compensation is intended to take care of financial losses, such as hospital bills, medication costs, surgical expenses, rehab sessions, and other treatments necessary for your full recovery. Additionally, this compensation will factor in any loss of income that may have resulted from your injuries. Some pedestrian accident lawyers will also advise for the inclusion of future medical expenses and further loss of wages into the compensation claim computation. This way, you can take care of any impending need for post-traumatic treatments or future losses in earnings due to extended treatment and rest.
- Non-financial compensation for subjective losses
Other than financial losses, subjective losses may also be factored into a compensation claim. These subjective losses, also known as non-financial or non-economic losses, typically include pain and suffering, mental anguish, or significantly reduced quality of life. Since these losses are not financial in nature, they can be difficult to quantify. However, a dependable pedestrian accident attorney will be able to calculate these losses based on the degree of negligence involved and the severity of the pedestrian’s sustained injuries.
- Punitive damages
If the accident was the result of someone’s gross negligence or malicious action, you may seek to claim punitive damages in addition to financial damages and subjective loss compensations. You may consult with pedestrian accident lawyers on the possibility of seeking for punitive compensation, especially for severely debilitating or disfiguring injuries.
- Wrongful death compensation
Unfortunately, some pedestrian accidents are fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than five-thousand pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents for 2015. These deadly collisions continue to claim the lives of spouses, children, and the elderly year after year. If a reckless driver has been found to be responsible for the death of a loved one, you may file for wrongful death compensation with the help of a pedestrian accident attorney.
The physical suffering and emotional devastation that often comes as a result of pedestrian accidents may keep you from taking proper and immediate legal action against an at-fault party. This is often considered a mistake. The earlier you consult with pedestrian accident lawyers, the better it will be for your case. This will give your pedestrian accident attorney ample time to prepare successfully for either a settlement or a lawsuit.
The Differences between Pedestrian Accident Settlements and Lawsuits
When faced with a pedestrian accident case, you may either obtain your compensation through a settlement agreement or through a lawsuit.
Pedestrian accident lawyers may advise for a settlement for several reasons. First, a settlement doesn’t have to involve the courts. This means that a settlement can be concluded effectively out of court, with both parties in agreement to the settlement term. Second, there is a strong possibility for the injured individual to be granted the compensation proceeds immediately. As there is no need to wait for a court decision, the insurance company of the liable party may process the claims once the settlement has already been determined.
This doesn’t mean, however, that settlements will not come with their fair share of complications. Sometimes, the insuring company of the liable party will deny any responsibility for the compensation. They may also allege on your shared culpability in the accident, for example. Or, they may attempt to limit the amount you can claim, disregarding any supporting evidence for higher compensation.
When these things happen, a pedestrian accident lawyer in Greenville NC may advise that you proceed to court action. In a court trial, pedestrian accident lawyers are given the platform to argue and to present evidence on your eligibility for higher compensation. Although the other party with their respective pedestrian accident attorney may also counter with their own arguments, it will be up to the court to decide whether you will be granted the maximum compensation amount or otherwise. Lawsuits, however, can be complicated and drawn-out affairs. More resources may be required, especially if court proceedings extend to long months or years. Thus, it is crucial that you trust only in committed pedestrian accident attorneys in Greenville NC. Successful litigation, although challenging, will effectively hold any liable party legally responsible for all your losses.
A settlement and a lawsuit will have a share of benefits and disadvantages. Not all pedestrian accident cases will benefit fully from a settlement, in the same way, that a lawsuit will not always be the immediate solution to a similar pedestrian collision case. It is the job of a reliable pedestrian accident attorney in Greenville NC to evaluate your specific case and to discuss with you how a settlement or lawsuit may impact your case.
Qualities to Look For in Pedestrian Accident Attorneys in Greenville NC
Clearly, there is a need for anyone dealing with a pedestrian accident case to seek help from committed pedestrian accident lawyers. Prior to choosing a pedestrian accident attorney who will be handling your case, you might need to see whether they possess the following skills and qualities:
- In-depth knowledge of North Carolina compensation laws.
Not all states have the same laws when it comes to compensation claims and lawsuit filing requirements. Depending on the location of the accident, either comparative laws or contributory laws will prevail. Some states, moreover, operate through pure contributory or modified comparative laws. It is important for your lawyer to understand how these laws are going to affect your ability to seek for compensation. There are also date requirements when it comes to the filing of lawsuit for personal injury and property damage. Although you may be keener to accept a settlement, it is important for your pedestrian accident lawyer in Greenville NC to also leave ample time for the possible filing of a lawsuit.
- Access to experts and ability to obtain evidence.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two contributory factors in pedestrian accidents are driver’s alcohol impairment and vehicle speeding. A driver guilty of these irresponsible behaviors can be held liable for your injuries, but pedestrian accident lawyers will need to prove their negligence first. To accomplish this, a pedestrian accident attorney will need to obtain sufficient evidence, procure the services of scene reconstruction experts, and get hold of eyewitnesses to the accident.
- Genuine desire to help and to pursue litigation, when necessary.
For some pedestrian accident attorneys in Greenville NC, any existing case may just be an opportunity to do business. This may be understandable, but what you really need is a pedestrian accident attorney who is committed to helping you from day one. And should there be enough reason to refuse a proposed settlement and, instead, pursue court action, your pedestrian accident lawyer should be ready to file a lawsuit and face any liable party in court.
Talk to Us at the Carolina Law Group for Your Pedestrian Accident Case in North Carolina
Pedestrian accidents are neither always simple nor straightforward. In some cases, you may be dealing with a hit-and-run driver who has seriously injured you. Or, you may be confronting an uninsured driver who does not have enough resources to compensate you for your financial losses.This is why you need committed legal representation for pedestrian accident case in Greenville, North Carolina.If you or a loved one has been hurt in a pedestrian collision, consult with us at the Carolina Law Group today. Our pedestrian accident lawyer in Greenville NC can start looking into your case immediately. Depending on the nature of your accident, you may be entitled to both financial and non-financial damages.
Talk to a pedestrian accident attorney at the Carolina Law Group today.