Many traffic laws are intended to keep pedestrians safe while they share the road with motorists. Unfortunately, even a brief moment of carelessness by a driver can lead to a devastating pedestrian accident. Unlike vehicle occupants, who usually have seat belts and airbags to keep them safe, pedestrians have no protection from a collision, and they often suffer serious, life-threatening injuries as a result.
If you were hurt in a pedestrian accident, you deserve to hold the at-fault party accountable for the harm they have caused you.
At Jainchill & Beckert, LLC, our legal team advocates for the rights of accident victims in Plainville and across Connecticut. We know how traumatic a pedestrian accident can be, both physically and emotionally. Our experienced attorneys are prepared to work tirelessly to pursue the compensation you need for your injuries and other losses. Contact us today to find out how during a free consultation with a Plainville, CT, pedestrian accident lawyer.
Do I Have a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
If you were injured by the mistake, careless, recklessness or even the intentionally dangerous behavior of someone driving a car, truck, or another motor vehicle, you could have a viable pedestrian accident case. In most cases, your avenues for recovering compensation are through an insurance claim against the motorist’s provider or through a lawsuit. You may also be entitled to compensation if your injury was caused by unsafe road or walkway conditions or intersection design.
It is important to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible after a pedestrian accident to determine your legal options.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Pedestrian Accident in Plainville, CT?
In most cases, the driver of a vehicle that strikes a pedestrian will be liable for injuries resulting from the accident, presuming that the driver was violating the rules of the road in some way. In some cases, multiple parties may be responsible, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
Parties and entities that may be liable for a pedestrian accident include:
- The driver of the vehicle that hit a pedestrian
- The owner of the vehicle that hit a pedestrian
- The driver’s employer, if a pedestrian accident occurs while the driver is on the job
- The vehicle’s manufacturer or auto parts manufacturers if the accident is caused by a defect in the vehicle or a component, such as the brakes or tires
- Property owners who may owe a duty of care (which is the duty to act reasonably to avoid harming others) to pedestrians who are on their premises
- State or local government agencies that might be responsible for the design or maintenance of roads or intersections
Benefits of Hiring Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
If you were injured because of a negligent motorist or due to a dangerous road or walkway condition, your chances of maximizing your compensation will likely improve if you hire an attorney. The Plainville pedestrian accident attorneys at Jainchill & Beckert, LLC, have more than 55 years of combined experience advocating for accident victims throughout Connecticut. We can work toward the best outcome in your pedestrian accident case by:
- Getting to know you, answering your questions about your legal rights and options, and explaining what to expect at every stage of your case.
- Investigating the circumstances of the accident to determine whose actions led to the accident and who is liable for your injuries.
- Identifying all potential sources of compensation.
- Documenting the costs related to your injuries and other losses — including future anticipated expenses — to pursue the maximum compensation you need.
- Filing insurance claims and negotiating with insurance adjusters on your behalf to pursue a fair settlement.
- Taking your case to court should settlement negotiations prove unsuccessful. This may include a trial to a Judge or Jury.
What Compensation Can I Recover After a Pedestrian Accident?
The compensation you may be entitled to after a pedestrian accident depends on the circumstances of the case. However, it may include money for:
- Medical expenses, including hospital stays, surgeries, doctor’s visits, prescription medications, physical therapy, rehabilitation services, and medical equipment such as crutches or canes.
- Lost wages if you cannot work while you are recovering from your injuries.
- Loss of future earning potential and benefits if your injuries prevent you from returning to your job or finding gainful employment.
- Long-term home and health care if you suffer a permanent disability.
- Physical pain and emotional suffering.
- Permanent and visible scarring and disfigurement.
- Loss of quality of life if you can no longer participate in daily activities or hobbies.
- Loss of consortium, which means you can no longer provide your spouse with the same love, affection, dependence, sexual relations, or companionship as you did before the pedestrian accident.
Statute of Limitations on Pedestrian Accident Lawsuits
Under Connecticut law, in most instances you have only two years from the date of a pedestrian accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party or parties, with only limited exceptions. If you miss the two-year deadline, the defendant can move to have the case dismissed, which the court will likely agree to. If this happens, you will miss your opportunity to seek compensation in civil court.
Although two years might seem like a long time, building a solid pedestrian accident case can take considerable time, so it’s best to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. An experienced lawyer can file the necessary paperwork and keep track of critical deadlines to make sure your case moves forward.
Can a Pedestrian Be Partially at Fault for a Pedestrian Accident?
Just like motorists, pedestrians must obey traffic laws, use caution, and look out for oncoming cars. If a pedestrian fails to meet this duty of care, they may be completely or partially at fault for an accident, depending on the circumstances. As an example, if a pedestrian crosses a street against a signal or outside of a marked crosswalk and an oncoming vehicle hits them, the pedestrian will likely be primarily at fault for the accident, especially if the driver could not avoid hitting the pedestrian.
Sometimes, a driver and a pedestrian will both be at fault for an accident. In Connecticut, a modified comparative fault rule is used to determine liability in such instances. This rule allows someone who is injured in a traffic accident to seek compensation for their injuries, even if they are partly at fault for the crash. However, if their share of the fault exceeds 50 percent, they are not entitled to any compensation.
The amount of compensation they are awarded, however, will be reduced according to their share of the blame. For example, if a pedestrian has $10,000 in losses but is 20 percent at fault for the accident, they can receive only $8,000 in compensation.
How Your Insurance Could Affect Your Pedestrian Accident Case
After a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation from your own auto insurance policy, even though you weren’t driving when the crash occurred. While your liability car insurance coverage won’t apply to your injuries from a car accident, you might have other coverages that could help pay medical expenses related to your injuries in a crash. These other, optional coverages include:
- Personal injury protection (PIP) coverage or Basic Reparation Benefits (BRB) – If you have PIP coverage, you may be entitled to benefits for medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages resulting from a car accident. This coverage is optional in Connecticut and can be purchased along with your auto insurance policy. This coverage pays you benefits regardless of who caused the accident.
- MedPay coverage – Similar to PIP/BRB coverage, MedPay coverage can cover your medical expenses in a pedestrian accident. However, it provides reimbursement only for medical expenses, not lost wages. Like PIP/BEB coverage, MedPay provides benefits without regard for fault for the accident.
- Uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage – If the at-fault driver who hits you doesn’t have auto insurance or their policy limits are too low to compensate you fully, you might be able to file a claim with your insurer to get compensation through your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Connecticut requires drivers to purchase this coverage, which steps in for the at-fault driver, allowing you to have coverage in the case of a pedestrian accident.
Common Causes and Types of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere motor vehicles are near people on foot, from busy intersections to residential streets and parking lots. Careless motorists are often to blame for pedestrian accidents, although there can be other causes as well. Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Reckless driving
- Street racing and excessive speeding
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Texting while driving and other distracted driving behaviors
- Drowsy driving
- Failure to yield to pedestrians in intersections or marked crosswalks
- Swerving around vehicles that have stopped for pedestrians
- Backing up or pulling out of a parking space or driveway without looking
- Inadequate vehicle maintenance
- Vehicle or auto part defects
- Adverse weather conditions, including heavy fog, rain, or snow
- Low lighting
- Unsafe road or intersection design, such as lack of crosswalk markings or mistimed traffic and pedestrian signals
Contact Our Plainville Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident that someone else caused, contact the experienced attorneys at Jainchill & Beckert, LLC. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to all prospective clients, so it won’t cost you anything to discuss your case with one of our Plainville pedestrian accident lawyers.