Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Serving North Carolina
If you are a pedestrian who has been hit by a car – or witnessed a loved one struck by a motor vehicle – then you know how terrifying and damaging the experience can be. If the car driver caused the accident out of carelessness or recklessness, you can and should take legal action. At Hardison & Cochran, our lawyers can help you to hold the at-fault driver responsible and seek compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other losses. North Carolina Pedestrians Have Legal Rights In North Carolina, you have the right of way as a pedestrian at all intersections and driveways. You should also have the right of way when you are walking through a parking lot at a mall, shopping center or business complex. This means that car drivers must yield to you. So, if you are acting responsibly and going across a street at a marked crosswalk or simply going through a parking lot to your vehicle, and a car hits you, you should have grounds to sue the driver and recover compensation for any harm you suffer. But keep in mind: North Carolina follows a rule of “pure contributory negligence.” If your negligence in any way contributes to your accident, you may lose your right to recover. In North Carolina, pedestrians have a duty to yield the right of way to all vehicles when they are not crossing a street at a marked crosswalk. This means you may be unable to sue the driver if you are struck while crossing in such a manner. It is important to have an attorney thoroughly review your case to help you determine your legal rights and options. Motorists Must Stop for School Buses in North Carolina Unfortunately, children are often struck by drivers who disregard special traffic laws that apply to school zones and school buses. For instance, in North Carolina, motorists must:
- Stop for and cannot pass a stopped school bus
- Obey school crossing guards when they stop traffic so students can cross a street
- Comply with all reduced speed limits and slow down for blinking lights in school zones
- Yield to pedestrians at all turns and at all crosswalks in school zones.
These drivers can be held accountable for harm they cause. Depending on the child’s age, the child’s so-called contributory negligence may not bar you from taking action. At Hardison & Cochran, we are passionate about protecting the rights of children who are injured by negligent or reckless motorists. Taking legal action does more than compensate the child and his or her family. It also sends a strong message to the community about the importance of traffic safety in school zones and near school buses. Holding Drivers Accountable for Pedestrian Accidents There are many reasons why pedestrian accidents occur. The at-fault driver may have been:
- Speeding and unable to stop or swerve to avoid the crash
- Driving while distracted by a cell phone call or text message
- Driving while drowsy and inattentive to his or her surroundings
- Driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
In some cases, the driver may simply believe they have the right of way and recklessly continue through a crosswalk – indifferent to the potential danger to others. Police reports, accident scene evidence, eyewitness accounts, red light cameras or security cameras, cell phone records and event data recorders (the “black boxes” found in newer cars) can help to establish the driver’s fault. Hardison & Cochran will compile this evidence and pursue a recovery through the driver’s liability insurance. We will seek a full and timely settlement or else take the case to court. Often, pedestrians are injured in hit-and-run accidents. In other words, the driver breaks the law by fleeing the scene of the crash. If this occurs, we may be able to seek compensation for you by turning to your own uninsured motorist (UM) policy. We will seek to recover from all responsible parties, including the driver’s employer (if the driver was working at the time of the crash). Contact a Lawyer Serving North Carolina Pedestrian Accident Victims If you or a loved one has been harmed in pedestrian accident in North Carolina, Hardison & Cochran can provide a free review of your case. We can also represent you on a no-recovery, no-fee basis. You won’t pay for our services unless we obtain a verdict or settlement for you. To learn more, contact us today and speak directly with a lawyer about your case. For More Information •Pedestrians, Traffic Safety Facts, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration • Pedestrian Laws of North Carolina, N.C. Division of Bicycle & Pedestrian Transportation • School Zone Laws of North Carolina, N.C. Division of Bicycle & Pedestrian Transportation • Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety, Governors Highway Safety Association