Jackson Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
There are a significant number of vehicle-on-pedestrian accidents in metropolitan Jackson. The generally mild weather in Mississippi, coupled with the relatively small geographic area, means that there are lots of pedestrians on the street. Because of this increased traffic, one would think that vehicle operators would be more aware of them and act accordingly. Unfortunately for victims, that’s usually not the case. Because these victims are completely exposed to danger in these situations, their injuries are often catastrophic.
For a number of years, the experienced Jackson pedestrian accident lawyer at Keith B. French Law has routinely handled personal injury claims throughout the Magnolia State. So, I have developed proven methods in these matters. I know what it takes to obtain maximum compensation for victims. These methods have worked well for us before, and I am confident they will work in your case as well. That being said, I never hesitate to alter our approach if such an adjustment is in the best interests of the client.
Non-Crosswalk Pedestrian Accidents
Most vehicle-on-pedestrian accidents occur outside marked crosswalks. As a result, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) is usually traveling at or near top speed at the moment of impact.
Overall, speed is one of the most important factors in the severity of a vehicle collision. This factor is magnified in pedestrian accidents. At impact speeds under 25mph, the pedestrian death rate is less than 10 percent. At impact speeds above 50mph, the pedestrian death rate skyrockets to over 90 percent.
These wrecks not only cause serious injuries. They are also legally complex, mostly because the sudden emergency defense sometimes comes into play. This legal doctrine excuses negligent behavior if the tortfeasor:
- Reasonably reacted to
- A sudden emergency.
Typically, insurance company lawyers contend that since the victim “darted out” into traffic, the tortfeasor couldn’t avoid the wreck. However, a jaywalking pedestrian normally isn’t a “sudden emergency” in this context. Drivers should anticipate such hazards and be ready to avoid them.
The color of the light often has a lot to do with the amount of compensation our Jackson pedestrian accident lawyers can obtain in these cases.
If the victim was in the crosswalk and crossing with the light, maximum compensation is usually available. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
The same thing is normally true if the light was yellow. Frequently in these cases, the victim started across the street on green, but wasn’t able to make it across before the light changed color. Generally, pedestrians still have the right-of-way in these situations. Furthermore, vehicle operators have a duty to avoid striking pedestrians in crosswalks, regardless of the light’s color.
Virtual crosswalks involve similar issues. A pedestrian pushes a button which activates a flashing yellow light. This light, which could be at the side of the road or could be an overhead light, commands motorists to stop. However, some motorists don’t stop and some pedestrians don’t look both ways before they step into traffic.
Victims who cross on red might not have the right of way, but they are usually still entitled to some compensation. Motorists have a duty to avoid accidents when possible, regardless of what anyone else on the road does or does not do.
Liability in Mississippi Pedestrian Accident Claims
Even though the victim may be on foot, many of the personal injury laws that apply to motor vehicle crashes also affect pedestrian incidents. One of the key concepts is negligence, a theory of liability that requires you to prove certain essential elements to recover compensation. You must have evidence that the at-fault motorist failed to exercise reasonable care when driving, and this breach was the direct cause of the pedestrian accident.
Our team at Keith B. French Law represents victims who are hurt by some of the most common forms of motorist negligence, such as:
- Failing to yield right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk or crossing at an intersection;
- Driving while drunk or on drugs;
- Running red lights and stop signs; and
- Improper lane changes.
Seeking Compensation for Your Losses
Another concept of motor vehicle collisions that carries over to pedestrian accidents involves liability insurance. Auto insurance policies cover crashes with people on foot, so filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer is the first step in the legal process. If the insurance company refuses to settle for a fair amount, your next move is suing in civil court.
Our Jackson pedestrian accidents attorney will tackle all essential tasks to ensure you receive compensation for your medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and many other losses. To support our efforts, some tips may be useful:
- Seek proper medical care immediately.
- Do not discuss fault, causes, or underlying factors with the responsible motorist.
- Take pictures at the scene, if you are physically able.
- If requested by the insurer, decline to provide a recorded statement or sign an agreement to resolve your claim.
Contact a Hard-Working Hinds County Lawyer
While there are many forms of transportation people choose to get around Mississippi, almost everyone will be a pedestrian sharing the road with motorized vehicles at some point. Walking is great exercise and can be convenient as compared to driving, but the data reveals that there are risks. According to the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety (MOHS), around 67 walkers are killed and hundreds more are injured in pedestrian accidents every year. Worse, the statistics indicate that this deadly trend is on the rise: Pedestrian crash fatalities are at a 33-year high, making up 16 percent of all motor vehicle accident deaths.
Pedestrians have rights under Mississippi law, so you may qualify to recover compensation if you were hurt or lost a loved one. You can count on our team at Keith B. French Law to pursue your legal remedies, and a Jackson pedestrian accidents lawyer can explain the details. Please contact our office to set up a free case evaluation to learn more, but a synopsis of the laws may be informative.
For more information on your legal options after being injured in a Mississippi pedestrian accident, please contact the Jackson offices of Keith B. French Law at 832-243-6153 or via our website. We can schedule a no-cost consultation to review your situation and determine how to proceed.