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Pedestrian Accidents in North Carolina
According to the CDC, pedestrians are nearly twice as likely to be killed in motor vehicle collisions as vehicle occupants. In North Carolina, the numbers paint a similar picture: of the 2,344 pedestrian accidents reported in 2016, 2,076 caused injury and 213 were fatal. Only 55 pedestrians walked away without any (reported) injuries, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation.
The statistics make it clear that pedestrians face substantial risks whenever they venture onto public roads and walkways, particularly as they relate to vehicle-pedestrian accidents. Unfortunately, the data also shows that most pedestrian accidents are preventable if not for the negligence of others.
Vehicle-pedestrian accidents have many potential causes. Some of the most common include:
- Drunk driving / driver impairment
- Driver negligence (i.e. speeding, distracted driving, unsafe lane change, etc.)
- Running a red light / stop sign
- Failures to yield at intersections or crosswalks
- Trucking violations, including overloaded trucks or Hours-of-Service violations
In addition to negligent motorists, pedestrians also face risks of suffering harm in non-traffic accidents. Many non-traffic accidents can be caused by the negligence of others, or from other preventable incidents. Examples include:
- Construction site accidents (i.e. falling objects, commercial vehicle accidents)
- Failure to maintain a safe property (premises liability)
- Improperly maintained sidewalks or walkways
- Slip, trip, and fall hazards
- Parking lot accidents
What Are My Rights After a Pedestrian Accident?
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal accident, you may have the right to pursue a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
As civil claims filed over alleged wrongs (known as “torts”), personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits allege that:
- Some person or party caused preventable harm and losses as a result of negligence; and
- The at-fault party should be held financially responsible for resulting damages.
While that may seem straightforward enough, these cases can be very complex. Not only must Plaintiffs gather and present evidence to prove their claims by a preponderance of the evidence (the standard used in civil cases, which means more likely than not), they must also contend with Defendants and insurance companies who do everything they can to pay as little as possible.
At Edwards Kirby, our trial attorneys know how to level the playing field with powerful corporations and insurance carriers. We use our experience, our resources, and our network of connections with experts and medical specialists to help clients protect their right to a financial recovery of their damages.
What Compensation Can I Recover?
The recovery of financial compensation is a primary goal in any personal injury or wrongful death case. While no amount of money can make up for the loss of a loved one, nor erase the toll an accident has taken on your life, it can bring peace of mind and ensure accountability for at-fault parties.
Most importantly, compensation can help you cover the very real losses you incurred as a result of an accident, and help you begin putting your life back together.
Our Raleigh pedestrian accident lawyers pursue all recoverable damages. This may include:
- Medical bills
- Ongoing medical treatment
- Physical therapy
- In-home care
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earnings
- Loss of earning capacity or potential
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Can I Still Recover Damages If I Was At Fault For A Pedestrian Accident?
Victims harmed by the negligence of others have the right to recover financial compensation for their damages. Unfortunately, a victim who is at fault for causing their own accident may not have that right.
North Carolina is one of only a few states to apply a legal standard known as contributory negligence to personal injury cases. This means that if a victim caused or contributed to their own accident in any way – even if they were only 1% at-fault – they will not be able to recover any compensation from the other party involved.
Defendants in personal injury cases and the insurance carriers that represent them do many things to avoid paying victims. That can include raising a contributory negligence defense. If a Defendant successfully argues that you caused or contributed to your accident, you may not be able to recover damages.
Because so much rests on overcoming this defense, as well as other tactics employed by insurers, it is crucial that victims work with experienced attorneys who can refute contributory negligence arguments, and demonstrate why Defendants should be held entirely at fault for your accident.
Call (919)780-5400 For a FREE Consultation
At times when victims are still dealing with the repercussions of their accidents, navigating a civil case can be extraordinarily difficult. When injuries and losses are severe, or victims have paid the ultimate price, there’s an even greater need to correctly handle claims, and position plaintiffs for the maximum compensation possible.
Edwards Kirby is an award-winning civil trial law firm that’s recovered hundreds of millions in compensation for our clients. If you have a potential pedestrian accident case you wish to discuss, call (919)780-5400 or contact us online to request a free case evaluation.
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