Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Shreveport
Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Shreveport, Bossier City, and Mansfield, Louisiana
What is a Pedestrian Accident?Traffic accidents where a motor vehicle collides with a pedestrian, bicycle, or even a horse are all considered pedestrian accidents. Walking, jogging, hiking, or even sitting or resting in the street are activities pedestrians engage in. Anyone hit by an automobile while on skates, a skateboard, a scooter, or in a wheelchair is also considered a pedestrian.
Pedestrians Have the Right-of-Way at Louisiana Crosswalks
For pedestrians, entering a roadway at a crosswalk is generally the safest choice. Yet at the same time, crosswalks are also where most pedestrian accidents happen.
Traffic signals must be obeyed and a street only crossed after the light signals it. When traffic-control signals are not present or working, Louisiana law (RS 32:212) requires that drivers give pedestrians the right-of-way in crosswalks. However, this doesn’t mean that pedestrians can leave the curb and walk or run into the street at any time, especially when an approaching car is too close for the driver to yield quickly. In addition, if a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing is provided, pedestrians do not have the right-of-way.
Common Causes of Pedestrian AccidentsLouisiana is the perfect location for getting outside and having fun all year. As a result, walkers and bikers frequently share the road with automobiles. This is where pedestrian safety becomes an issue. Pedestrian accidents go up when foot traffic increases. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the likelihood of a pedestrian being killed in car accidents as 1.5 times higher than that of someone riding inside a car. Pedestrian accidents occur for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:
DistractionVehicle drivers are not always as aware as they ought to be. In fact, distracted driving is one of the most prominent causes of pedestrian accident lawsuits. A text, phone call, or the use of an electronic device in general are the most common distractions that may lead to an injured pedestrian.
Chain ReactionWhen two motorists collide, a succession of rear-end collisions can happen, which creates a sort of domino effect. If a pedestrian happens to be on the other side of one of these cars, they can be severely or even fatally injured.
Design DefectsThe failure to account for upstream and downstream traffic flows is a common concern with crosswalks. Design problems and crosswalks in inconvenient locations can cause problems, especially for pedestrians.
Ignoring Road RegulationsWhen vehicles and bikers fail to yield to pedestrians at a marked crosswalk, serious accidents often result. A person can be easily hurt by a reckless driver blowing through red lights or driving at excessively high speeds.
IntersectionsThere’s a reason why we are taught to look both ways at an intersection before crossing. Pedestrians are more likely to be hit by a car when the driver fails to make sure the intersection is clear before making a turn.
Speed LimitsAny pedestrian can be killed or otherwise left with serious injury on or near a roadway if speed limits are not obeyed. When there are sudden changes in the road or traffic flow, speed limits help prevent a delayed reaction by a driver. Failure to abide by these speed limits, however, can increase the chances of a delayed reaction.
Driving Under the InfluenceDrunk driving can seriously hurt or cause pedestrian fatalities. The possibility of a pedestrian accident goes up significantly with the use of alcohol, prescription or over-the-counter drugs, or illegal drugs.
FatigueA lack of sleep can seriously affect drivers and reduce their response time. In fact, studies show sleep deprivation is often just as harmful as consuming alcohol. Other potential causes of pedestrian accidents include inexperienced drivers, road or construction worker collisions, hazardous weather conditions, poorly maintained roads, inadequate signage, and a lack of marked bike lanes or crosswalks.
Common Injuries Associated with Pedestrian AccidentsA vehicle hitting a pedestrian can cause major crash-related injuries to a fragile human body. The force of impact increases the larger the vehicle is and the faster it is traveling. However, even at low speeds, motor vehicle accidents can cause serious injuries that necessitate treatment or hospitalization. Pedestrian involved accidents commonly inflict the following injuries:
- Head Injuries: Concussions and traumatic brain injuries are examples of this type of injury. Reduced cognitive ability, impaired speech, severe headaches, sensitivity to light and noise, and post-traumatic seizures are some of the more side effects of these serious injuries.
- Lacerations: Deep cuts and bruises, as well as substantial damage to vital organs, are common for injured pedestrians. Severe bleeding, pain, swelling, scars, shattered bones, and nausea are all possible side effects of lacerations and contusions caused by a human-to-car impact.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Pedestrian injuries that include harm to the spinal cord can be life-altering and may include permanent loss of motor function, strength, and sensation below the waist. The injured person may lose bladder and bowel control as a result of the injuries, as well as changes in sexual function, sensitivity, and fertility.
- Orthopedic Injuries:Broken bones and serious damage to other parts of the musculoskeletal system are common pedestrian accident injuries.
What Damages are Recoverable in a Pedestrian Accident?
Just like drivers, seeking compensation for injuries in pedestrian accidents caused by the negligence, recklessness, or inattention of others is a right of pedestrians. This includes things like medical expenses, present and future lost wages, pain and suffering (both mental and physical), loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, funeral expenses, and more.
In addition, in some cases, a pedestrian injured in an accident may be able to sue the driver of the vehicle for punitive damages. These types of damages are usually awarded to a pedestrian accident victim as a means of punishing the perpetrator. As such, pedestrian accidents caused by intoxicated or impaired drivers who acted in a blatantly negligent manner are commonly awarded punitive damages.
A knowledgeable pedestrian accident lawyer at Gordon & Gordon Law Firm can help you achieve the maximum amount of compensation from your claim.