Dothan Alabama Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
About every ten minutes, someone in America crossing the street through a crosswalk or walking down a sidewalk is struck by a motor vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Alabama is the 8th most dangerous state in the nation for pedestrians. In 2014 alone, 96 pedestrians were killed in this state.
Being involved in a pedestrian accident can have catastrophic consequences. Not only are the injuries painful and overwhelming, but you and your family are forced to deal with a host of unexpected expenses and potentially life-changing circumstances. In these trying times, it’s a comfort to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side that can help protect your rights while pursuing compensation from those responsible for your situation.
Common Causes of Alabama Pedestrian Accidents
Both drivers and pedestrians can contribute to dangerous and deadly pedestrian accidents. Common causes from drivers include:
- Distracted driving
- Failing to obey traffic laws
- Disregard for traffic or weather conditions
- Failing to yield the right of way
When pedestrians contribute to accidents, the common causes include:
- Distracted walking
- Failing to obey traffic signals or laws
- Not crossing in designated crosswalks
Pedestrian Laws in Alabama
The state of Alabama has several laws that apply to pedestrians and specifically to right-of-way designations. The laws are in place to protect pedestrians, but require the strict adherence of both pedestrians and the drivers of motor vehicles to be effective. The laws specify that:
- Motorists must not drive on sidewalks that are designated for pedestrians.
- Drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians who cross roads in both marked and unmarked crosswalks or at intersections.
- Motorists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when pulling out of driveways or parking lots.
- Drivers must allow children, disabled, and older pedestrians ample time to cross the road.
- Even if a pedestrian is outside of a crosswalk, a driver is expected to exercise due caution.
The Dangers and Risks of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can occur at any time and in any place. More often than not, the driver is the party at fault in the crash because they have a higher standard of care and have a better opportunity to take measures that will avoid an accident. Statistics show that children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to pedestrian accidents. There are also more pedestrian accidents and fatalities in urban or metropolitan areas, although a city like Dothan, AL has more than its share of traffic and busy intersections.
One of the most tragic things about pedestrian accidents is their consequences. A person driving a vehicle has the protection of over 3,000 pounds of steel and safety devices surrounding their body. Unfortunately, a pedestrian doesn’t have this safety cushion. Many pedestrian accidents are deadly. Those that aren’t can result in some serious injuries that include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Internal injuries
- Loss of limbs
Possible Damages in a Pedestrian Injury Case
If you or a loved one were injured, or a loved one killed, in a pedestrian injury due to the carelessness of someone else, you may be eligible to collect damages through a personal injury lawsuit. Some of the compensation that you could be entitled to includes payment for:
- Medical care
- Physical and occupational rehabilitation
- Lost earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Loss of relations
- Punitive damages in a wrongful death case
The statute of limitations in Alabama is two years for a wrongful death or personal injury claim. The longer you wait to seek medical care after an accident and file a notice of claim, the more difficult it will be to prove your case. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, seek medical attention immediately and speak to a pedestrian accident lawyer who can guide you through your claim to conclusion.
Alabama’s Negligence Laws and Pedestrian Accidents
It’s unfortunate that Alabama has what is called a pure contributory negligence law. This means that if the other party’s attorney can show that you were even one percent at fault in the accident, you are prevented from collecting any damages in a civil case. Experienced accident defense attorneys will try to use this to their advantage, which is just one more reason why it’s so important to have an aggressive and knowledgeable Alabama pedestrian accident attorney in your corner.
How You and Your Family Can Stay Safe as Pedestrians
We all spend some time on public streets, whether walking through our neighborhood or taking a stroll through downtown on the weekend. Now more than ever, it’s important that you take steps to keep yourself and your loved ones safe as pedestrians. When you are on a public street in Alabama, be sure to:
- Stay on the sidewalk when available or, if one isn’t, walk on the extreme left side of the road facing oncoming traffic.
- Always look both ways before crossing the street.
- Attempt to make eye contact with drivers before stepping into the road.
- Avoid using a cell phone or wearing headphones while crossing a street.
- Only cross the street through crosswalks and at intersections.
- Wear bright colored clothing and reflective gear at night.
Protecting Your Rights in a Pedestrian Accident Case
Alabama’s negligence laws are restrictive for accident victims, which makes it essential that anyone involved in a pedestrian accident take immediate steps to protect their rights. If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident, avoid speaking to insurance adjusters or their attorneys as they can attempt to interpret anything you say as an admission of fault.
The best way to protect your rights is to speak with a skilled Alabama pedestrian accident attorney. The personal injury attorneys at Cobb, Boyd, White & Cobb will work with your family to secure the care you require to get back on your feet as well as the compensation you deserve for your case. Contact us today at (334) 677-1000 to schedule a free consultation to go over the specifics of your case.