Pedestrians who are crossing the road at an intersection, or who are even just walking down a sidewalk, expect drivers to obey the rules of the road and to pay attention to their surroundings. When drivers fail to live up to these responsibilities, pedestrians are at very serious risk. Our Bardstown pedestrian accident lawyers know that a crash can change a pedestrian’s life forever. It is why our legal team is dedicated to helping victims claim the compensation they need to make a full recovery that will allow them to move on with their life.
Many people think that drivers are always at fault for a pedestrian accident, but that is not the case. Although motorists do have a legal duty to focus on the road while they are driving so they can keep everyone safe, pedestrians also have a legal obligation to act with care and to take caution.
In both marked and unmarked intersections, pedestrians have the right-of-way while in the crosswalk with the crosswalk signal indicating the pedestrian is permitted to cross. This means that motorists must slow or stop and yield to pedestrians. However, outside of intersections, pedestrians must yield to motorists. If a pedestrian were to jump out into the road, without giving an oncoming vehicle the proper amount of time to slow or stop, the pedestrian would likely be found to be at least partly at fault for the crash.
Determining liability after a pedestrian accident is rarely easy. The pedestrian will likely argue that the motorist was to blame, while the driver will argue the pedestrian was at fault. A Bardstown pedestrian accident lawyer will perform a full investigation to determine how the crash happened, and to find who was at fault.
Kentucky is one of the few states in the country that uses pure comparative fault law in any claim that involves negligence. The law allows accident victims to claim compensation even when they were partly to blame for their injuries. Under the pure comparative fault law, victims can claim damages even when they were 99 percent to blame for the crash.
For example, a driver may be speeding down a road. A pedestrian may think they have enough time to cross the road without using a crosswalk and jump out in front of the vehicle. Both people in this situation are at fault because they did not comply with the law. The motorist drove over the speed limit, while the pedestrian did not give the driver the right-of-way.
A judge, jury, or insurance company may determine that the driver carried more of the fault than the pedestrian, but that the person on foot was still partly to blame. They may award the pedestrian $100,000 in damages. However, the pedestrian would not receive the full amount. A percentage of blame would be assigned to both the driver and the pedestrian. If it was found that the driver was 80 percent to blame, while the pedestrian was 20 percent at fault, the pedestrian’s damages would be reduced by their portion of fault. In this case, 20 percent would be deducted from the total damages, and the pedestrian would receive $80,000 in damages.
There are many different types of compensation, known as damages, available in pedestrian accident claims. The majority of damages are divided into both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages, such as medical expenses, have an actual dollar value. Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, do not. A Bardstown pedestrian accident lawyer can accurately value both economic and non-economic damages. The most common types of damages are as follows:
In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. Unlike the above damages, punitive damages are meant to punish the negligent party, and not compensate the victim. These damages are rarely awarded and are only applicable in cases when the defendant acted with intent, gross negligence, or wanton disregard for the safety of others.
If you or a loved one was hurt in a pedestrian accident, you need sound legal advice. At Meagher Injury Lawyers, our Bardstown pedestrian accident lawyers can provide an honest assessment of your claim and will remain by your side throughout the entire process. Call us now at (502) 309-9213 or reach out to us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about your legal options.