According to the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), 106 pedestrians were killed in Alabama in 2018—a 63.1% increase in fatalities since 2009. That’s not to mention the hundreds more who have been seriously injured in Alabama pedestrian accidents.
Despite the fact that pedestrian accidents and deaths are often blamed on the victim themselves, it’s important to understand that many injured pedestrians may be entitled to compensation. If you or a loved one has been hit by a car or truck in Alabama, Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys wants to hear from you. Contact our Alabama pedestrian accident lawyer Brian Plant today to schedule a free consultation regarding your case.
Pedestrian Rights and Rules in Alabama
Alabama pedestrians have the legal right to safely use crosswalks and sidewalks. But just as they have a right to safety, pedestrians also have a responsibility to follow the same rules of the road as motorists. Specifically, pedestrians are required to obey all traffic signalling devices and utilize crossing signals whenever they are available. They are also required to walk on the sidewalk or along the shoulder as far away from traffic as possible if no sidewalk is present.
In most cases, such as when in a crosswalk or intersection, motorists are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians. However, when not in a crosswalk or intersection, pedestrians are expected to give the right of way to motorists. In addition, Alabama law specifies that it is illegal for pedestrians to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol “to a degree which renders himself or herself a hazard”.
The insurance company of the driver who hit you is well aware of these laws and will not hesitate to undermine your accident claim with them. Legalities like these can make a big difference in your case, which makes having an experienced Alabama pedestrian accident lawyer on your side all the more crucial to obtaining a fair settlement.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Alabama
When it comes down to it, liability for most pedestrian accidents hinges on negligence: which (if any) laws were broken? By whom? Whose lack of due care or reckless actions ultimately caused the accident? In some cases, both parties may be partially to blame for the accident, complicating the process further.
Getting to the bottom of what caused your pedestrian accident is key to determining who should be held liable for its consequences—for example, the cost of your medical bills, lost wages from being unable to work, ongoing rehabilitation, and physical therapy, not to mention the psychological trauma of being in an accident, which can lead to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Common causes of pedestrian accidents in Alabama include:
- Distracted driving and/or inattentive pedestrians. Motorists who are looking at their phone, trying to figure out GPS directions, or otherwise engaged in multitasking are much more likely to cause a pedestrian or car accident. By the same token, pedestrians who are texting, talking on the phone, or wearing headphones can easily miss an oncoming car or changing traffic signal.
- Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drivers and pedestrians alike will suffer from poor judgment and reduced motor skills when impaired by drugs or alcohol.
- Failure to stop or yield right of way. All too often, drivers who are turning right fail to come to a complete stop before turning through the crosswalk. This, in conjunction with speeding, causes many pedestrian accidents. The same can happen when drivers are turning left. Often their focus may be on oncoming traffic rather than the crosswalk, and they may not see a pedestrian until it’s too late.
- Poor visibility. The majority of serious and fatal pedestrian accidents happen at night when visibility is greatly reduced. A vehicle defect such as faulty headlights, pedestrians who are wearing dark, hard-to-spot clothing, poorly-lit streets, and bad weather can all contribute to pedestrian accidents.
How an Alabama Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help
Injury to drivers or their passengers are uncommon in pedestrian accidents and, if anything, are usually minor. Pedestrians, on the other hand, often suffer from catastrophic injuries when hit by a car. The larger and faster the car is going, the more severe the injuries tend to be. Broken bones, torn and sprained ligaments, traumatic brain injury, whiplash, and spinal cord injuries can leave victims facing extensive recovery, disability, and even wrongful death.
Getting the fair settlement you deserve after a pedestrian accident in Alabama can be tough. The driver may deny responsibility, or their insurance company may offer you a lowball settlement. If you’re also trying to focus on your recovery and get back to work, handling a claim on your own can be overwhelming, to say the least.
When you consult with Brian Plant, the Alabama pedestrian accident lawyer at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys, you can rest assured that your personal injury case is in good hands. Our experienced and compassionate legal team will fight for your right to maximum compensation for your injuries.
To find out how we can help, call us at 844-977-1900 to arrange your no obligation consultation. Have questions? LiveChat representatives are standing by to answer them. If you’re ready to move to the next step, just fill out this simple form to get started. Consultations are always free and you won’t pay us a penny unless we win your case.