Louisiana is one of the most hazardous states for pedestrians. According to a study by Smart Growth America, Louisiana is fourth in the country for pedestrian fatalities. Between 2008 and 2017, 1, 047 walkers were hit and killed by drivers. Among Louisiana cities, Baton Rouge stood out. It was 12th among the metro areas on the Pedestrian Danger Index after recording 182 pedestrian fatalities over the ten-year period. Of course, not every pedestrian accident results in death.
Many walkers suffer severe injuries in traffic crashes. This is not surprising since pedestrians have no protection from the force of a car. They don’t have seatbelts, helmets or airbags to minimize the effects of the impact. Very often, pedestrians need to undergo months of treatment. They have to get complex surgeries and sometimes, they never recover completely. Even if they can work again, they may never make the amount of money they did previously.
Given all the losses they face, pedestrians need to do everything they can to get compensation for their injuries. Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding pedestrian accidents and victims often don’t know their rights. If you’ve been injured in a car crash, you need to contact a Louisiana vehicle accident attorney. In the meantime, let’s look at some of the misconceptions you may currently hold.
You Can Only Get Compensation If You Were Struck
Pedestrian accidents usually involve a collision. However, sometimes walkers suffer injuries because of a driver’s actions even though the vehicle doesn’t strike them. It is possible to get a settlement under these circumstances. Let’s say a driver ran a red light or swerved onto the sidewalk and you had to take evasive action. If you broke a bone when you fell, the driver can be held responsible for this. You wouldn’t have jumped out of the way if the driver was observing the rules of the road. An experienced car accident attorney in Baton Rouge, LA will be able to get you the compensation you deserve.
You’re Fine If You Don’t See Signs of Injury Right Away
You may assume that if a vehicle hits an individual, the injuries will be immediately apparent. After all, the average passenger car weighs around 4,000 pounds and the average person weighs less than 200 pounds. However, several factors affect the type of injury a pedestrian gets. It’s quite possible to have internal bleeding or a concussion and show no signs of injury right after the accident. That’s why it’s important to get a medical check-up immediately after the crash. You could have a serious problem even if you don’t know it yet.
You Can’t Get Compensation If You Were Partly at Fault
Louisiana practices what is known as the pure comparative fault principle. This means that even if you contributed to the accident, you have the right to seek compensation. In fact, even if you were 90 percent at fault, you can recover damages. However, the amount you would receive will be reduced by 90 percent.
If a driver tells you that you can’t get compensation because you were walking and texting, don’t take their word for it. You need to discuss your case with a car accident lawyer. Only the police, the court, or the parties negotiating a settlement can determine liability. Make sure you give yourself the best chance of getting fair compensation.
You Can’t Get Compensation from an Underinsured or Uninsured Driver
The easiest way to recover your losses is to file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. However, if they don’t have insurance or they only have the minimum, it doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Your attorney may be able to secure the maximum amount available under the policy, so you don’t walk away empty-handed. They may also recommend that you pursue a civil lawsuit to get full compensation. This will only be effective if the at-fault party has the financial wherewithal to pay.
Alternatively, If the driver was working at the time of the accident, you may be able to hold their employer liable. These are just some of the avenues which may be available for compensation. Your attorney will analyze all the facts relating to your case and explore all the possibilities. You shouldn’t have to handle your losses alone.
Let the Team at Stephen Babcock Personal Injury Law Firm Help You
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, you need to seek legal advice from experienced Baton Rouge auto accident lawyers. If you believe many of the myths out there, you may not get the compensation to which you’re entitled. Contact us today to schedule a consultation so you can begin to protect your rights.