A Kansas City pedestrian accident attorney explains the basics of pedestrian accident cases.
Pedestrians are the most unprotected and endangered traffic participants. That is due mainly to the fact that the average pedestrian is almost always at the mercy of a car driver – one mistake of theirs can cost you a health or even life. To make matters worse, the lion’s share of U.S. cities is unfriendly to pedestrians, as are rural areas, completely lacking in infrastructure like sidewalks and making pedestrians even more vulnerable. Should you even take every precaution and follow every road rule possible, one careless driver is all it takes for you to suffer.
Pedestrians neither have the structural protection of a car nor helmets like motorcyclists. So, if you were unlucky enough to be injured in an accident with a negligent car driver, a personal pedestrian accident attorney will gladly come to your aid. A pedestrian accident lawyer is a personal injury lawyer that specializes in pedestrian traffic accidents and can help you sort through the facts of your lawsuit to develop a perfect winning legal strategy. A pedestrian accident lawyer in Kansas City here is, therefore, a must-have.
What often causes pedestrian accidents?
Thanks to modern safety systems, like auto braking, modern cars are safer than ever, both for drivers and pedestrians. Yet, paradoxically enough, pedestrians are in no less danger than they used to be in previous decades, mainly because of the overall increase in speed and mass of new cars – a 2024 Hummer EV is a 6000 lbs beast capable of 0-60 in 3 seconds. Furthermore, your neighborhood may not even have walkable roadways, severely compromising pedestrian safety.
The most typical factors that lead to pedestrian accidents therefore are:
It’s easy to maintain accidents if you pay attention. Still, even though there are plenty of corresponding laws, drivers are often distracted by mobile devices, car infotainment systems, or even their surroundings.
If you have a death wish, you may as well use the country’s roadways drunk – there is no other rational reason. Drunk drivers may hit pedestrians because they are too in¬ebriated to be aware of their surroundings, just as drunken pedestrians may be too intoxicated not to walk into traffic. Drunken pedestrians are far less likely to obey traffic laws, obey stop signs, and cross the street at the correct place.
Electric cars are really great for the environment, especially on a local neighborhood scale, since they operate with zero emissions of harmful gasses. However, they are more dangerous to pedestrians than usual ICE vehicles due to many causes.
To begin with, they are usually heavier because of their giant battery packs. However, despite their weight, they are surprisingly fast, being able to reach dangerous speeds in seconds due to how the electric motor operates. Furthermore, electric vehicles are much quieter than ICE vehicles, so pedestrians may not even realize an EV is near, especially if the pedestrian has impaired eyesight or hearing.
The liability in a pedestrian accident case
Despite popular opinion, a driver is not necessarily the one at fault in a pedestrian accident. It is therefore rational that the insurance companies or driver’s personal attorney will try their best to find ways to place at least part of the fault on the pedestrian so they can lower their client’s burden of guilt or even negate it at all.
In any case, the injured party in a pedestrian accident will first and foremost sue for negligence. The attorney of the injured person has to prove that:
• The person who operated the vehicle had a duty of care to the pedestrian;
• Due to either distracted attention or deliberate traffic violation, this duty was breached;
• For this breach of duty of care, the pedestrian suffered unnecessary injuries.
Indeed, it is expected for both drivers and pedestrians to uphold reasonable care and responsibility while participating in traffic. Rationally enough, drivers are held to a higher standard than pedestrians. A driver will be negligent if he:
• Fails to pay the right attention to the road;
• Speeds over the speed limit;
• Does not use appropriate turn signals;
• Does not yield at pedestrian crossings;
• He has a cell phone or other device in his hand while driving.
There are also examples of pedestrian negligence. They include:
• Not using designated pedestrian crosswalks;
• Failing to pay proper attention to the road and traffic situation;
• Neglecting the traffic code and traffic signals;
• Deliberately darting out in front of cars.
Types of damages that can be retrieved in a pedestrian accident case
If you were hit by a vehicle, you are rightfully entitled to compensation for any expenses related to your injury, including medical bills and lost wages. A professional pedestrian accident attorney may be able to recover compensation for these types of costs:
Your current and future medical expenses for injury gained during an accident should be covered with corresponding compensation. However, what will greatly help your attorney is you seek medical attention immediately after an accident and keep all the bills and checks you may receive (like a hospital, ambulance, rehabilitation, surgery bills).
Lost income due to loss of earning capacity
Depending on the type and localization of your injury, you may not be able to work for quite some time after an accident. In this case, a personal pedestrian accident attorney will help you negotiate for compensation for potential money you could have earned if not for your injury.
Pain and suffering
You are also entitled to a modest compensation for the physical pain and suffering you had to endure during the accident and the following treatment.
But pain can be physical and mental, in the form of mental anguish. Therefore, a victim in a pedestrian accident is also entitled to fair compensation for emotional and psychological issues like distress, anxiety, and depression you had to go through.