Have you been involved in a pedestrian accident? We know how devastating this can be – physically, emotionally, and financially.
At McIver Law Firm, we’re here to help. Our seasoned Winston Salem pedestrian accident lawyer understand the complex legal landscape and are committed to fighting for the justice you deserve. We serve clients in Winston Salem and Lewisville, NC, and the surrounding areas.
What Are Some of the Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
Pedestrian accidents can occur due to numerous reasons, many of which involve driver negligence. One common cause is distracted driving, which includes texting, making phone calls, or any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from the road. Speeding is another major contributor, as it reduces the driver’s reaction time and increases the severity of any resulting injuries.
Additionally, accidents often occur when drivers fail to yield right of way at crosswalks or are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Poor visibility and disregard for traffic signs or signals are also common causes.
What Are Some of the Common Injuries Associated with Pedestrian Accidents?
The injuries resulting from pedestrian accidents are often severe, given the lack of protection pedestrians have compared to vehicle occupants.
Common injuries include fractures, which can range from minor breaks to severe compound fractures. Head injuries are also common, from concussions to traumatic brain injuries that can lead to long-term cognitive impairment.
In addition, many victims experience spinal injuries that can result in temporary or permanent paralysis. Internal injuries, such as damage to organs or internal bleeding, can also occur, which are often life-threatening. In the worst cases, pedestrian accidents can lead to wrongful death.
Do Pedestrians Have the Right of Way in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, the law generally favors pedestrians. Vehicles are expected to stop for pedestrians at marked crosswalks and intersections, even if there is no marked crosswalk.
Nonetheless, pedestrians also have an obligation to follow traffic regulations. They should not abruptly depart from a sidewalk, stepping or rushing into a vehicle’s trajectory when the vehicle is too close for the driver to yield successfully.
Rules of the Road for Pedestrians
Pedestrians in North Carolina have specific obligations under the law to ensure their safety. For example, when sidewalks are provided, pedestrians should use them instead of walking in the road. If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the road or its shoulder facing traffic.
In addition, pedestrians must obey traffic signals and signs controlling vehicle traffic and should only cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections. Walking along or crossing a roadway while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is also prohibited.
Remember, while these rules are in place to protect you, violations can complicate any legal case following an accident. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, seek legal guidance immediately to navigate these complexities. Call McIver Law Firm at 336-727-9886 today to schedule a consultation with our Winston Salem pedestrian accident lawyer.
Who is Liable in a Pedestrian Accident?
Assigning liability in a pedestrian accident is a process that involves analyzing the specifics of the event to determine who was negligent or who failed to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. This is crucial because, under the law, negligence is the primary factor that courts consider when deciding liability in personal injury cases, including pedestrian accidents.
In most pedestrian accident cases, the driver of the vehicle involved is found to be at fault. Reasons for this can vary widely, including factors like distracted driving, driving under the influence, speeding, failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians, or other forms of reckless driving. All these actions, and more, constitute negligence because they involve a breach of the driver’s duty of care to others on the road.
However, liability can sometimes fall on the pedestrian. This could occur if the pedestrian was jaywalking, darting out into traffic unexpectedly, walking along highways or bridges where pedestrian access is prohibited, or disregarding traffic signals.
In these cases, the pedestrian’s actions could be seen as negligent, as they also have a duty to follow traffic laws and exercise reasonable care for their safety. An important factor to note for pedestrians involved in accidents in North Carolina is the legal principle of contributory negligence.
What is Contributory Negligence?
Contributory negligence is a legal doctrine used in only a few states, including North Carolina. Under this doctrine, if an injured party is found to have contributed in any way to their injury, they can be barred from receiving any compensation. This rule applies even if the injured party was only 1% at fault and the other party was 99% at fault.
In the context of pedestrian accidents, if you, as a pedestrian, were found to have in any way contributed to the accident – for example, if you were crossing the street against the light and were hit by a car – you might be barred from recovering damages.
For this reason, having an experienced Winston Salem pedestrian accident lawyer is crucial in such cases to contest allegations of contributory negligence and to argue for your right to compensation.
Statistics for Pedestrian Accidents in North Carolina
The prevalence of pedestrian accidents in North Carolina is a grave concern. According to the latest data from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, in 2021 alone, there were 2,140 reported pedestrian accidents. These incidents resulted in 1,811 injuries and caused 276 deaths.
These numbers illustrate the inherent risks and vulnerabilities faced by pedestrians. They also indicate a broader, systemic issue related to roadway safety, including factors such as the lack of adequate pedestrian infrastructure, distracted or impaired driving, and insufficient public awareness about pedestrian safety.
Of notable importance is the fact that a significant proportion of these accidents resulted in serious injuries or fatalities. Unlike motorists, pedestrians have no protective barrier against the force of a collision, making them more susceptible to severe harm. As such, these accidents often lead to substantial medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and, in the worst cases, loss of life.
Given the high stakes involved in pedestrian accidents, securing adequate legal representation is of paramount importance. Victims and their families need a skilled advocate to guide them through the complex process of seeking justice and obtaining fair compensation for their losses.
At McIver Law Firm, our Winston Salem pedestrian accident lawyer is devoted to standing up for our clients and fighting for their rights with unwavering determination and dedication.
What to Do if You Have Been Involved in a Pedestrian Accident?
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, following these steps can safeguard your rights and help build a strong legal case:
Seek Medical Attention
Your health is the utmost priority. Immediately after the accident, seek medical attention, even if you believe your injuries are minor. Adrenaline can mask pain and some injuries may not manifest immediately.
Report the Accident
Inform the local police about the accident. The police report can provide a crucial, unbiased record of the accident, which could be invaluable during the legal proceedings.
Document the Scene
If possible, collect evidence from the accident scene. This includes photographs or videos of the scene, your injuries, damage to the vehicle involved, etc. Also, try to get the contact details of any witnesses.
Don’t Discuss Fault
Avoid discussing who was at fault for the accident with the driver, witnesses, or anyone else at the scene. Anything you say could be used against you later.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Consult with qualified Winston Salem pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. They can guide you through the legal process, handle communication with insurance companies, and work to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
At McIver Law Firm, our Winston Salem pedestrian accident lawyer is prepared to help you navigate these steps and the subsequent legal process. Contact us at 336-727-9886 as soon as you’re able following your accident.
Choose the Most Trusted Winston Salem Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Remember, the consequences of pedestrian accidents are far too serious to handle without experienced legal help. The risk of being barred from recovery due to North Carolina’s strict contributory negligence rule makes legal representation even more vital.
At McIver Law Firm, our skilled and dedicated team understands these complexities. We’re committed to representing our clients’ best interests, ensuring they get the compensation they’re entitled to for their injuries and losses. Serving both Winston Salem and Lewisville, NC, we’re here for you.
Reach out to us at 336-727-9886 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today.