The number of pedestrian accidents and deaths has seen a spike in 2020. According to preliminary data from the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian deaths from car accidents have increased nearly 20%. If you or your loved one was hit by a car, it is important to contact a personal injury attorney to understand your rights and begin the process of seeking compensation.
At Ratton Law Group PC, our team possesses a combination of healthcare and legal backgrounds that allows us to provide a unique experience working for you in personal injury cases — including pedestrian accidents. Our client-centered service and aggressive litigation help our small firm produce big firm results as we fight for you. We proudly serve Detroit and the surrounding areas.
In every accident, liability and fault will need to be determined. There are a few laws and factors in place that help determine liability.
Drivers must yield the right of way at any intersection where they see other vehicles or pedestrians. If a car is turning right at a red light, it must stop before proceeding and then yield to anyone approaching.
Pedestrians on the streets have responsibilities they need to adhere to as they are walking. They must walk on sidewalks when they are available, they cannot walk on highways, they cannot block or interfere with traffic, and they must obey pedestrian traffic signals.
Drivers must stop at crosswalks to allow people to cross. At crosswalks, despite what the traffic signal light says, pedestrians will have the right of way. In addition, drivers must follow all other traffic laws, such as the speed limits imposed.
There are other conditions that will be considered when looking at the circumstances surrounding the accident, such as poor weather or hazardous conditions that may have contributed to the accident.
If you are filing a lawsuit, the “at-fault” party must be determined to collect damages for injuries sustained. The first thing that must be determined is negligence. There must be a duty of care that was breached, and the breach of that duty was the cause of harm.
In Michigan, accidents involving motor vehicles get processed through car insurance, regardless of whether there is a lawsuit or not. A pedestrian’s personal insurance protection (PIP) covers medical treatment and a portion of lost wages. If there are additional damages for injuries sustained, such as physical injuries or emotional distress, that is when the striking vehicle's insurance comes into play.
In assigning fault, Michigan is a modified comparative fault state. This means that the court looks at the circumstances surrounding the accident and assigns a percentage of fault to each involved party. The amount of damages you can recover is decreased by your fault percentage. If you are 51% or more at fault, you cannot receive any compensation for your bodily injury.
The damages that are generally available in motor vehicle accidents are compensatory damages to cover for things such as lost wages and medical expenses. You can also seek to recover damages for your pain and suffering and emotional distress.
For personal injury lawsuits, including pedestrian accidents, the injured party has three years from the date of injury to file a personal injury claim.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, the first step is calling the police and seeking medical attention. Be sure to get the contact information of the other party involved as well as the information of any witnesses. Document the scene to the best of your abilities, and contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
If your loved one was the person involved in the accident and they were incapacitated or lost their life, contact an attorney so that they can help guide you through filing a wrongful death claim. You will need information from the police and other first responders on the scene so that you have the necessary information to file a claim.
Facing a legal issue can be stressful, especially when your health is involved. Our team at Ratton Law Group PC has a unique combination of medical and legal training, allowing our firm to offer comprehensive and compassionate representation for our clients. If you live in the greater Detroit, Michigan area, reach out to our firm today to discuss your case.