While pedestrian-vehicle crashes attract the most attention and sometimes are the most catastrophic, thousands of people are injured each year without ever driving a car. Poorly designed walkways, road hazards, parking lot flaws, and debris on sidewalks can all result in serious injuries or fatalities.
At crosswalks, drivers must defer to pedestrians and drive cautiously when foot activity is expected. Pedestrians, unfortunately, pay the price when aggressive or distracted drivers fail to uphold their duty of care. If you’ve been injured, you’ll need the assistance of a knowledgeable Des Moines pedestrian accident attorney.
The law offices of Mueller, Schmidt, Mulholland & Cooling can help you file a personal injury claim or wrongful death claim, depending on your situation. Our personal injury attorneys will hold all parties liable for the injuries they caused. You deserve justice and fair compensation after your accident. Contact us for a free consultation.
How an Iowa Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help You
A motorist should always keep an eye out for pedestrians because they are the ones who are most likely to be seriously wounded in a road accident. However, just because you were involved in a pedestrian accident does not mean you will obtain the compensation you are entitled to.
Insurance adjusters may even reject your claim outright, depending on the circumstances. You make a comparison between the fault of the car or truck driver and any fault you may have. In most cases, you may not be reimbursed because of the fault your bear. Due to the complexities and uniqueness of each case, it is vital to have a qualified attorney on your side. A pedestrian lawyer can assist you in a variety of ways, including:
- Handling all legal matters in your case, allowing you to concentrate on your recuperation
- Identifying who is at fault and the degree of blame that each person bears because Iowa has comparative fault statutes
- Insurance companies’ negotiations and settlement discussions
- Negotiations with the other party to obtain fair compensation
- If settlement discussions are not the best choice, a personal injury attorney will prepare your case for trial
- A personal injury lawyer can also perform discovery and due diligence on your behalf to obtain all relevant evidence and obtain the justice and fair compensation you deserve
A lawyer will not be limited to the above tasks. This is a general overview of what they can do to help file your claim and get you the compensation you desire. An accident is a stressful experience, and you should not have to worry about handling the legal process as well.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
Those who have been injured in a pedestrian accident should call 911 immediately and stay at the scene until authorities and emergency medical personnel arrive. Because the other persons engaged in the incident have a vested interest in deflecting blame away from themselves, it is vital to accurately capture the incident as quickly as possible.
If feasible, the injured person should get the names and contact information of any witnesses.
It’s also critical to refrain from making statements about the facts of the accident until you’ve spoken with a legal professional. You should photograph the entire area from as many different perspectives as possible.
Remember to keep meticulous records of all treatments, tests, and fees if you seek medical help. This will help when asking for damages in a personal injury claim. The more records you have to show the costs you sustained due to the injuries, the harder it is for the opposing party to refute these charges.
It is in your best advantage to call a pedestrian accident attorney after you have insured your safety and medical wellness. A pedestrian accident lawyer may be able to help you identify potential sources of recoverable damages and gather proof, including medical records and deposition testimony, to utilize in negotiations or at trial. A pedestrian accident lawyer may be able to reach an agreement with the at fault party or file a civil lawsuit against them.
Establishing Liability After a Pedestrian Accident
It’s possible that there will be disagreements on who is to blame. The motorist may claim that the victim ran out into the road, crossed against the light, or jaywalked. It is imperative to investigate the driver’s story and not take their word for it. Were they speeding, or was a cellphone distracting them? Was there a failure to yield or look when turning or backing up? To demonstrate liability, we go to the scene to take photos, speak with witnesses, and occasionally hire accident reconstruction experts.
Additionally, speaking with witnesses, specialists, doctors, and other professionals can assist in determining the amount of the injury as well as the various causes of the accident.
In most cases, the law of negligence determines who is at fault. In simplistic words, “negligent” refers to someone who fails to exert appropriate care under the circumstances. In the same collision, both the motorist and the pedestrian may be at blame. If this is the case, it does not bar you, the pedestrian, from recovery because of Iowa’s comparative fault statutes,>/a> though, it may limit the amount you are awarded.
In most cases, an injured pedestrian can seek compensation from the driver’s or vehicle owner’s motor liability insurance coverage and can file a claim with their insurance company. Almost every state requires vehicle owners and drivers to have liability insurance to cover third-party personal injuries and property damage. The amount of money recovered is determined by who caused the accident and the specifics of the insurance policy.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accident
Drivers must yield to pedestrians under Iowa law. This is one of the most important elements to remember when applying for a driver’s license. Many people, however, fail to do so, resulting in regular mishaps. Accidents involving pedestrians can occur for a variety of factors, including:
- Impaired driving as a result of intoxication
- Driving while distracted
- Driving is exhausting.
- Not adhering to posted speed limits and traffic signs
- At crossroads, not stopping or yielding
There are many other reasons for pedestrian accidents, but these are the most commonly reported in Des Moines. When an automobile strikes a pedestrian, the driver frequently blames the pedestrian. Pedestrians, on the other hand, frequently have the right of way in accidents, and as long as they follow the rules, they are entitled to compensation for their losses.
Establishing Negligence in an Iowa Pedestrian Accident
In general, drivers have a responsibility to operate a motor vehicle safely under the circumstances. A failure to take reasonable care might be used to support a negligence claim. Most pedestrian accidents are due to a negligent driver.
Negligence includes failing to follow posted speed limits, texting while driving, surrendering the right of way, neglecting to consider weather conditions, and failing to properly signal or respect traffic lights. Proving that the driver was inebriated at the time of the collision shows negligence in some cases.
The elements of negligence in a legal lawsuit include duty, breach, causation, and damages. As a result, the person that has been wronged must establish that the defendant:
- Had a duty to the pedestrian/plaintiff in that situation
- Breach of that duty in some manner
- The breach of that duty was the direct cause of the victim’s injuries
- The victim sustained some sort of damage or harm from the breach
It is not uncommon for multiple people to be found responsible for the injured party following a traffic collision. Depending on the facts of the case, the driver of the vehicle, other drivers on the road, and those responsible for building or maintaining the road, sidewalk, or other relevant infrastructure (most likely a government entity) could all be held liable.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to the most recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 5,977 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the United States. It is estimated that one person dies every 88 minutes in a pedestrian accident.
In the same year, an estimated 137,000 pedestrians were treated for nonfatal crash-related injuries in emergency rooms. Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely than passengers in passenger vehicles to be killed in a car accident per trip.
Almost half of all pedestrian fatalities (47%) involved alcohol use by both the motorist and the pedestrian. A pedestrian with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) was involved in one out of every three fatal pedestrian crashes (33 %), a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 g/dL was involved in 17%, and some fatal pedestrian crashes involved both.
The Personal Injury Lawyers at Mueller, Schmidt, Mulholland & Cooling
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a driver’s negligence or misconduct, you may be facing astronomical medical bills and other medical expenses. As a result of the accident, you may have missed work and lost money, or you may be in agonizing pain.
You may be eligible for financial compensation as a result of your injuries. If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, an experienced Des Moines pedestrian accident attorney can help you go through all of your legal options. Allow the attorneys at Mueller, Schmidt, Mulholland & Cooling to handle your case.
Contact our law firm today to discuss your case and obtain proper legal advice through a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Des Moines personal injury lawyers. You can reach us online or by calling our phone number (515) 444-4000 Our offices are located in Des Moines, Iowa.