Holding Drivers Accountable: A Pedestrian’s Right to Demand Compensation
Pedestrians are vulnerable on the streets because they don’t wear protective gear like cyclists and motorists do. If they are involved in an accident, there are no barriers to protect them from physical injury. This is why traffic laws state that drivers should yield the right of way to pedestrians, especially when approaching pedestrian lanes. Additionally, injured pedestrians have the right to file for legal claims.
U.S. Pedestrian Fatalities Are on the Rise
Early this year, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reported that the number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents rose by 11% in 2016, bringing the total to nearly 6,000 incidents. The Pedestrian and Bicycle and Information Center (PBIC), meanwhile, reports that this increase has been going on for the last decade. This is ironic given that the country’s total traffic fatalities decreased by 18% in the same period.
The Right to Demand Compensation
If a careless driver is at fault in a pedestrian accident in Lynnwood, the victim should immediately get in touch with an attorney for personal injury cases. Even if the injury is minor, like a bruise or scrape, the pedestrian has the right to demand compensation for immediate treatment, at the very least.
Hiring personal injury lawyers is important because an injury might have life-long effects. A broken arm or leg, for instance, requires additional visits to the hospital. If the pedestrian settles outside of court, there’s a good chance he or she won’t receive financial aid for subsequent medical expenses. Having a personal injury lawyer prevents this from happening.
Determining Who’s at Fault Matters
In accidents involving pedestrians, the law doesn’t automatically pin the blame on the driver. Thanks to the Law of Negligence, drivers have a fair chance to prove if a pedestrian is equally to blame for the accident. If there is proof that the injured party was also negligent, the court could decide to reduce or drop the charges altogether.
This is yet another reason why it’s important for pedestrians to hire a personal injury lawyer. If both parties are at fault, the attorney can help secure the most acceptable compensation terms for the injured pedestrian.