Raleigh Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you are a pedestrian who has been hit by a car—or you’ve witnessed a loved one struck by a vehicle—then you know how traumatic the experience can be. If the car driver caused the pedestrian accident out of carelessness or recklessness, then you may have a right to take legal action and seek compensation for your medical bills and other expenses related to your injuries.
A Raleigh pedestrian accident lawyer at Hardison & Cochran can help you hold the at-fault driver accountable and seek monetary compensation for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses. Pedestrians have legal rights in North Carolina, and drivers who fail to respect pedestrians’ rights should be held accountable.
The personal injury attorneys at Hardison & Cochran have been helping pedestrians struck by cars in Raleigh and throughout the Triangle for more than 30 years. We handle pedestrian injury cases on a contingency fee basis. You will not have any upfront costs to have a lawyer handle a claim on your behalf. We only receive a legal fee if we obtain money for you. Our experienced attorneys can help you seek pedestrian injury compensation from the at-fault motorist.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Two of every five people killed in motor vehicle crashes in N.C. cities are pedestrians. Most of those killed are children, elderly people and people on foot who are intoxicated. A pedestrian accident can happen at any time, but most occur at night in urban areas at non-intersections.
The common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Left Turns—A motorist trying to turn left may be focused on oncoming vehicle traffic and overlook a person on foot crossing an intersection. Left turn pedestrian accidents often involve a driver violating the right of way of a pedestrian.
- Right Turns—A driver turning right is required to yield to a pedestrian who has a light to proceed. Drivers who fail to watch for pedestrians entering the road may attempt to turn right and strike a pedestrian who has entered a crosswalk or roadway.
- Distraction— Either the driver or the pedestrian can be distracted by a cell phone or other electronic device. Pedestrians using cell phones or headphones reduce their ability to hear traffic around them and to avoid being hit.
- Speeding—Drivers who are speeding have less time to react to avoid a pedestrian in the road such as a person who suddenly steps out from behind a car. A pedestrian struck by speeding vehicles is more likely to sustain severe or life-threatening injuries.
- Non-Intersection Locations—A pedestrian who attempts to cross the street in the middle of a block or a child who suddenly runs out in the street chasing a ball may be struck by a vehicle. Many pedestrian accidents occur at non-intersection locations where drivers do not expect to see people on foot.
- Parking Lot Accidents—Drivers who are focused on backing out of a parking space may overlook a pedestrian walking behind the car.
- Dark Clothes—Drivers have a duty to remain alert for pedestrians using the road. But periods of low visibility pose a risk for people on foot. A pedestrian wearing dark clothes is hard to see at night when the majority of pedestrian accidents occur. Pedestrians should wear light-colored, reflective clothing and carrying a flashlight when walking at night.
- Alcohol Use—Nearly half of crashes that cause a pedestrian’s death involved an intoxicated driver or pedestrian, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. An intoxicated driver or an intoxicated pedestrian may cause a pedestrian accident.
Common Injuries Caused by Being Hit by a Car
Collisions involving pedestrians and moving vehicles can cause serious injuries to the pedestrians including:
- Leg injuries
- Pelvic injuries and fractures
- Head trauma
- Internal bleeding
- Ruptured organs
- Broken bones
- Broken ribs
- Head injuries including traumatic brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
The seriousness of the injuries is related to the speed of the vehicle, the angle of impact, the part of the pedestrian’s body that is struck first and the size and design of the vehicle.
Severe injuries may require weeks of hospitalization and rehabilitation amounting to tens of thousands of dollars and an extended absence from work and loss of income. You will need all the financial resources at your disposal to rebuild your life.
If your injuries were caused by a driver’s inattention or disregard for the safety of others, you may be entitled to file a pedestrian injury claim with the driver’s insurance and demand compensation for your medical bills, loss of income and other accident-related expenses.
North Carolina Pedestrian Laws
Pedestrians and motor vehicle drivers have a right to use the roads in North Carolina. Therefore, it is necessary that they follow state and local traffic laws to share the road safely.
- Pedestrians should walk on the LEFT side of the road facing oncoming traffic.
- Pedestrians are required to obey traffic signs and signals.
- Where special pedestrian-control signals are in place at intersections and crossings in Raleigh and other cities, pedestrians facing the signal have the right-of-way to cross the road when the signal indicates WALK. Pedestrians should not start to cross a road after the signal has indicated DON’T WALK.
- At intersections and road crossings that do not have special pedestrian-control signals, pedestrians should obey the traffic control lights or signs.
- Where traffic signals are not in place, North Carolina traffic laws require that drivers yield to a pedestrian crossing the roadway in a marked crosswalk or at an unmarked crosswalk at or near an intersection.
- Drivers emerging from alleys, driveways or building entrances are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians approaching on a sidewalk or walkway extending across the driveway or alley.
- Pedestrians should do everything possible to make themselves visible to motorists, such as wearing bright colors in the daylight and, at night, carrying a flashlight and wearing reflective clothing.
When a driver disregards the traffic laws and causes a pedestrian accident, the at-fault driver may be liable for the individual’s injuries. A pedestrian accident attorney at Hardison & Cochran can review the details of your pedestrian accident and discuss your legal rights to seek compensation.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Pedestrian Accident?
The liability for a pedestrian accident depends on the specific facts of the accident. Those potentially responsible may include:
- the driver of the car or truck who struck a pedestrian
- a pedestrian who fails to follow traffic rules
- the party responsible for maintaining a sidewalk or parking garage where an accident occurred.
For example, if a pedestrian accident occurs at night in an unlit parking deck because the overhead lights are burned out, the owner of the parking deck may have liability for the accident.
Evaluating who is potentially responsible is one of the first steps our experienced attorneys take when reviewing accident claims.
How Can a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Help?
If you or a loved one was struck by a car in Raleigh or anywhere in Wake County, the attorneys at Hardison & Cochran can review the details of the pedestrian crash and discuss your legal options. The initial consultation is free and will provide you with helpful information.
If we determine that you have a valid pedestrian accident claim, our dedicated attorneys can help you pursue compensation from the insurance company of the at-fault driver. You may be entitled to claim compensation for your losses including your medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, and for your pain and suffering.
Establishing a driver’s fault for an accident is crucial to seeking compensation for your injuries.
Once we are on the case, our legal team will conduct a detailed investigation of how the accident happened and identifying who should be held responsible. We will interview witnesses, collect physical evidence from the accident scene and seek security camera footage that may have captured the accident. We will analyze your medical records to determine the extent of your injuries and your future medical needs.
A pedestrian accident attorney at Hardison & Cochran will evaluate all the insurance policies that may be available to provide compensation to you.
For example, some pedestrian accidents involve hit-and-run drivers. If you were struck by a driver who fled the scene and was not apprehended, you may seek compensation for your injuries through the uninsured motorist (UM) portion of your auto insurance policy. Uninsured motorist protection covers hit-and-run drivers who are not identified.
We will submit a demand letter to the appropriate insurance company or companies detailing your present and future losses related to the accident.
We will seek to negotiate a full settlement for your losses. If the insurance company denies the claim, our attorneys will be prepared to file a lawsuit and go to court to seek justice for you.
Contact a Raleigh Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Our Raleigh pedestrian injury attorney will pursue full compensation for you if you have been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident.
Contact the experienced Raleigh pedestrian accident lawyers at Hardison & Cochran or fill out our online contact form. You’ll receive a reply from us within 24 hours, and the initial consultation is always free. Hardison & Cochran represents pedestrian accident victims in Raleigh, Cary, Garner and throughout Wake County and the Triangle. Call us today to get started with your case.