New Bern Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in New Bern, NC
Although everyone can be considered a pedestrian at least once in their lives, this has not necessarily resulted in safer roads and sidewalks across the country. Year after year, thousands of pedestrians are killed or injured on public roads, walkways, and sidewalks all over the United States.
Unfortunately, the human body is no match for the weight and force of a speeding vehicle or motorcycle. This is why pedestrians often suffer from serious injuries such as dislocations, fractures, open wounds, and even hemorrhaging during an accident.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident for which a motor vehicle driver is responsible, you deserve valuable legal guidance from a pedestrian accident lawyer in New Bern, NC. Whether you are the victim of a reckless driver, a hit-and-run incident, or an uninsured motorist, pedestrian accident attorneys in New Bern NC can help. You have the option to accept a settlement from the at-fault party or to pursue legal action in court, where needed.
Although there are several types of compensation for which you may be entitled, you have the right to seek for compensation on both your financial and non-financial losses. To ensure a fair, full, and just compensation for all your losses, it will be helpful for you to rely on a pedestrian accident attorney in North Carolina.
Statistics, Injuries, and the Help of a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in New Bern, NC
In 2014, a pedestrian was involved in a fatal traffic crash every two hours and injured every seven minutes in the United States, according to the NHTSA. In 2015, as many as 5,376 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents all over the country. And although the numbers tend to vary across states, there were as many as 198 pedestrian deaths in 2016 due to traffic crashes in the state of North Carolina, which is a slight increase from the 195 casualties in the state for the year 2015.
Annually, there are as many as 2,000 pedestrians who sustain injuries due to motor vehicle accidents in North Carolina. The most vulnerable pedestrian age groups in these traffic collisions are young children and elders. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of pedestrian accidents reported in the United States involve either an alcohol-impaired driver or pedestrian. These cases account for as much as 48% of all reported pedestrian-vehicle collisions.
Other than alcohol impairment, however, there are other possible contributory factors in a pedestrian accident. Speeding, improper lane changes, and pedestrians wearing dark clothes at night have all been known to contribute to pedestrian crash incidents all over the U.S. Inclement weather has also been known to contribute to pedestrian deaths.
In February 2018, a pedestrian was killed on one of the northbound lanes of North Carolina when the driver attempted to switch lanes. In the same month, a woman was killed on a North Carolina roadway in the early hours of a rainy morning, when she attempted to cross a street without using a crosswalk.
If you have lost a loved one due to a pedestrian accident in North Carolina, you may sue for wrongful death with the help of a pedestrian accident lawyer in New Bern, NC. In the event that you have sustained injuries that limit your mobility or keep you away from work, you may also seek compensation. Pedestrian accident lawyers can start looking into your case at the earliest time possible, so you can work towards getting the full compensation you deserve.
Types of Pedestrian Accidents: What You Should Know
Whether in North Carolina or in any other state, pedestrian accidents can occur in various ways. Some of the common types of pedestrian accidents are the following:
- Parking space or driveway accidents. These collisions usually occur in parking areas where a vehicle driver may have been inattentive to his or her surroundings, or in private driveways where an individual may have been walking or standing by. Depending on the speed and force of impact, an injured pedestrian may sustain bruises, scratches, wounds, or fractures.
- Sideswipe accidents. A pedestrian walking on a sidewalk is not necessarily safe from a speeding vehicle or motorcycle. Sideswipe accidents may be caused by an inattentive driver or a driver distracted by a ringing phone, a text message, or a message on handheld devices. It is important for drivers to stop at red lights, pay attention to pedestrians, and manage their speeds when navigating near sidewalks.
- Intersection right-turns or left-turns. Pedestrians can also get hurt when crossing an intersection as a vehicle makes either a right turn or a left turn. In 2015, left-turn collisions accounted for 25% of all pedestrian crashes in the U.S.
A negligent driver in these cases can be held liable for an injured pedestrian’s physical pain and emotional suffering. The injured pedestrian may file for economic compensation, non-economic compensation, or both.
- Distracted driving accidents. Motor vehicle drivers, including motorcyclists, need to be attentive to their surroundings while driving. This will involve looking out for vehicles on the highway, cyclists on bicycle lanes, and pedestrians on sidewalks and crosswalks. Most states in the US do not allow drivers to text or send e-mails while driving, as this can easily distract drivers while on the road. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents have been known to occur due to the inattentiveness or distraction of negligent drivers.
If you were hurt in a pedestrian accident for which a motor vehicle driver is at fault, it is crucial that you consult with pedestrian accident attorneys in New Bern, NC. The establishment of the driver’s fault is important if you plan to obtain the full compensation amount entitled to you.
As in many other states, drivers in North Carolina are required by law to carry liability insurance. Depending on existing state requirements, the minimum liability insurance amount is pegged at $25,000 to $30,000 for the injury/death of an individual and property damage. For more than one person injured or killed in the same car accident, the minimum insurance amount is at $60,000.
A pedestrian accident lawyer in New Bern NC can look into the existing insurance policy of the at-fault driver and compel his or her insurance company to compensate for your injuries. Although basic compensation types are typically assigned to cover economic and non-economic losses, your pedestrian accident attorney may also fight for your right to claim punitive damages or to file a civil wrongful death suit.
Which Pedestrian Accident Compensations Are Available for You?
The types of compensation which you will be allowed to claim may depend on the nature of the pedestrian crash, the kinds of injuries you have sustained, and the gravity of negligence involved in the crash. Pedestrian accident lawyers can help you recover compensation to deal with the following losses:
- Hospitalization expenses. You may be compensated for the hospital and medication expenses incurred for the treatment of your injuries. To calculate this compensation amount, pedestrian accident lawyers may require that you submit all your hospital receipts, medical reports, and other pertinent documents.
- Loss of income. If the injuries you have sustained during the accident have caused you to stop working for a period of time, you may also be compensated for any loss in wages or income. It may be necessary for your pedestrian accident lawyer in New Bern NC to procure a doctor’s certificate to serve as proof to the liability party during settlement negotiations.
- Future medical expenses. Some accident-related injuries result in complications that require treatments and medications for the long-term. Furthermore, most post-traumatic symptoms begin to show only after several days or weeks following an accident. If you and your pedestrian accident attorney should decide to settle with the at-fault driver, it is important that you take into account the need for future medical expenses in relation to your existing injuries.
- Pain and suffering. Some accident-related injuries are so severe that they usually leave an individual in a constant state of physical pain and emotional anguish. This is an example of a subjective or non-financial loss on the part of the injured party which should be fully compensated for by any at-fault driver.
- Loss of companionship. If the pedestrian accident has left your spouse completely paralyzed, unable to speak or comprehend, or incapacitated in any way, you may seek to be compensated by the liable party for this kind of subjective loss. Additionally, if the pedestrian accident has resulted in the death of your loved one, you may sue for wrongful death against a negligent party.
- Reduced quality of life. The impact of a speeding vehicle or motorcycle may severely hurt or disfigure a pedestrian during an accident. If your injuries have resulted in your inability to function fully or to work in the same capacity prior to the accident, your compensation claim may also factor in this type of subjective loss. Pedestrian accident lawyers are typically able to quantify non-financial losses such as this to help you claim the maximum possible amount in terms of compensation.
- Punitive damages. In addition to claiming for economic and non-economic compensatory damages, you may also seek to claim for punitive damages for your injuries or the wrongful death of a family member. Punitive damages are somehow different from simple compensatory damages in the sense that they are meant to punish the at-fault driver for gross negligence or malicious intent. Pedestrian accident attorneys in New Bern NC can help to determine whether your case is eligible to claim for punitive damages on top of the usual compensatory claims.
Pedestrian Accident Settlements vs Lawsuits in North Carolina
After determining which types of compensation you may be eligible to claim, you will have to decide between accepting a settlement and pursuing a lawsuit. Your pedestrian accident lawyer will need to explain the possible consequences of choosing one and preceding the other. Both options will have their own pros and cons. Even more importantly, a pedestrian accident case may benefit from either a settlement or a lawsuit, depending on the nature and circumstances surrounding the case.
In a settlement, you and your pedestrian accident attorney will discuss compensation terms with the other party. Since drivers are required to carry liability insurance in North Carolina, the compensation will most likely be paid out by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Court proceedings are not required in order to settle; if the other party honors your compensation computation, you may receive the amount almost immediately after settlement discussions.
There are a few reasons, however, why a pedestrian accident lawyer may advise you to proceed to the filing of a lawsuit. In some instances, the insurance company will refuse to pay compensation in full or will opt to limit the types of compensation entitled to a claimant. If this happens to you, the insurance carrier may argue for your shared liability in the accident.
Any accusation of liability on your part may completely negate your ability to claim for compensation. In states where the contributory negligence law applies, you will not be able to claim for any amount as compensation even if your shared liability for the accident is at a minimal 5%. The only possible action to take at this point is to file for a lawsuit. This is why you need to work with pedestrian accident lawyers who are not afraid to proceed to trial. Although a settlement is an easy route to take, both for the lawyer and client, it will not always guarantee a fair and full compensation. When the case demands for court action, your pedestrian accident lawyer should be ready for it.
The Help of a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in New Bern NC
In addition to helping you win at trial, a pedestrian accident lawyer can also help your compensation claim or accident case in several other ways. Some of the responsibilities of a reliable pedestrian accident attorney are:
- Proving negligence in the at-fault party. In order to prove negligence in a liable party, a lawyer will need to study the nature of the accident, identify any distracting activity which the driver may have been doing while on the road, identify other parties which can also be held accountable (such as the manufacturer of defective motor parts), and reconstruct the events leading to and during the collision. Without the help of a committed lawyer, proving negligence in a pedestrian accident case can be a challenge.
- Negotiating compensation amounts. Since compensations can come in various types, the computations assigned to each specific type may vary. It is important for you to rely on a lawyer who understands how settlement computations and negotiations work. In some states, moreover, there may be a limit or a cap assigned to non-economic compensation amounts and punitive damages. A committed lawyer should be willing to negotiate with an insurance company to ensure that you get the compensatory amount you truly deserve.
- Dealing with hit-and-run accidents. Some pedestrian accidents may involve a hit-and-run driver who promptly leaves the scene without leaving any contact details. Depending on the damage caused by the hit-and-run accident, the irresponsible driver may be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. You may also seek for additional compensation or file for punitive action in court in addition to filing for economic and non-economic damages against a liable party. It will take the skills and commitment of dependable pedestrian accident lawyers to successfully pursue a negligent driver and make him or her responsible for your injuries or the wrongful death of a loved one.
- Helping with uninsured motorist accidents. One of the most challenging complications of any form of vehicular accident is dealing with an uninsured motorist. An uninsured motor vehicle driver is one who doesn’t have any liability insurance coverage required for all motorists. Although you may oblige the uninsured driver to pay for damages using his or her personal funds, many of these drivers do not have the financial capacity to settle compensatory obligations.
When this happens, you need an aggressive lawyer who is willing and able to take action. A possible course of action is for your attorney to look into your own insurance policy. You may compel your insurance carrier to pay for your injuries and other losses in cases where the accident involves an uninsured driver.
Consult with a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer at the Carolina Law Group for Your Pedestrian Compensation Claim in New Bern, NC
If you have sustained injuries or lost a loved one due to a pedestrian accident in North Carolina, you are most likely qualified to claim for compensation from a negligent driver. Fortunately, our pedestrian accident attorneys in New Bern NC are more than able to help you with your accident compensation claims. There is no reason why you should not pursue a compensation case against an at-fault driver. The injuries that result from pedestrian crashes are often serious, with many cases requiring intensive care or long-term rehabilitation. Talk to a pedestrian accident lawyer at the Carolina Law Group to get help on your pedestrian compensation claim today.