Indianapolis Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Indianapolis Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
The number of pedestrian accidents is alarmingly high in the United States. In 2020, 6,500 people died, and 55,000 more were injured in pedestrian accidents, accounting for about one death every 81 minutes.
Motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians cause more severe injuries and fatalities. Victims can sustain devastating injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, fractures, and amputation. In worst cases, injured pedestrians can die at the crash scene or later succumb to their injuries in the hospital.
Did you suffer injuries or lose a loved one in a pedestrian accident? If so, you deserve justice from negligent parties. The affiliate attorneys at Injury Lawyers Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, can help you file a legal case against the people that caused your accident and recover financial compensation for your damages.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
Recent Pedestrian Accident Statistics
In 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 6,516 pedestrian fatalities.
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 104,000 emergency room visits of pedestrians treated for non-fatal injuries in the same year.
Research also shows that:
- Most deaths happen in urban areas, locations away from intersections, and during nighttime.
- The faster a vehicle moves, the greater the likelihood of a pedestrian collision and severe injury.
- Adults 65 and older accounted for 20% of pedestrian deaths in 2020.
A Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report studies critical trends affecting the increasing rate of pedestrian fatalities, including:
- Increased reckless driving behaviors
- The need for safer road crossings, better lighting, and other safety strategies
- The continued rise in sales of SUVs, which cause more injuries and fatalities in pedestrian-related car accidents
Types of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents occur in many ways, including:
- Intersection Accidents: These pedestrian accidents occur when a pedestrian tries to cross an intersection incorrectly, leaving the driver with inadequate time to react.
- Dart-Out Accidents: When a person suddenly darts out onto the road, the driver may not have enough time to react, causing a dart-out accident.
- Passing Accidents: A driver may not see a person crossing the road because the view is blocked by another vehicle that has let them pass.
- Vehicle Turns and Merge Accidents: These accidents occur when a driver is too focused on turning or merging into traffic, failing to see a pedestrian until they start to turn or merge.
- Back-Up Accidents: This type of collision occurs when a driver hits a pedestrian while reversing without looking out the back of the car first. Back-up accidents typically occur in parking lots.
- Vendor Truck Accidents: These accidents commonly occur on neighborhood streets when people wait at food trucks or children chase ice cream trucks.
- Hit-and-Run Accidents: A hit-and-run occurs when a driver leaves an injured pedestrian after hitting them.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Most pedestrian accidents result from negligent acts of drivers, such as:
- Speeding: Fast-moving vehicles are the leading cause of pedestrian crashes. When a driver is speeding, they may have little to no time to stop to avoid hitting a pedestrian. Furthermore, a fast-moving car is more likely to lose control and swerve into the sidewalk.
- Distracted Driving: Being distracted by technology, food, or passengers can reduce a driver’s concentration. As a result, a driver may not have enough time to react to pedestrians crossing the road.
- Drunk Driving: Drugs and alcohol impair a driver’s concentration, coordination, and reaction time. An intoxicated driver may not be able to stop in time to let a pedestrian cross, especially at night when vision is poor.
- Aggressive Driving: Road rage, swerving, ignoring traffic signals, and other aggressive driving behaviors can cause a driver to collide with pedestrians and other cars.
- Lack of Awareness: A driver can hit a pedestrian trying to cross in front of a stopped motor vehicle due to a lack of awareness. Similarly, a driver can hit a pedestrian if they are too focused on turning or merging with traffic, failing to see people near their vehicle.
In some cases, pedestrian behaviors are to blame for pedestrian accidents, including:
- Negligent Crossing: A pedestrian can cause a crash if they jaywalk, cross the road while the light is green, dart out on the road suddenly, or commit other negligent behaviors that leave drivers with little to no time to react.
- Distracted Walking: Walking while texting, listening to music, or doing other distracting activities can hinder a pedestrian from seeing oncoming cars.
- Intoxication: A drunk or high pedestrian is often uncoordinated and has poor judgment, which can lead them to cross the road without looking both ways, run out on the road suddenly, or walk outside the edge of the sidewalk.
- Irresponsible Skating: People that ride skateboards or rollerblades are considered pedestrians. Reckless skating behaviors, such as riding too fast or doing tricks on a crosswalk, can easily lead to a collision.
Inadequate or ineffective road design and features can sometimes fail to protect pedestrians from harm. Problems that can reduce pedestrian safety include:
- Inadequate sidewalks or crosswalks
- Poorly situated traffic signs
- Sharp turns
- Poorly lit roads
- Malfunctioning traffic lights
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians usually result in catastrophic injuries. Based on our lawyers’ experience, common pedestrian accident injuries include:
- Head and Neck Injuries: A person that suffers a significant blow to the head can develop a concussion or a more severe form of traumatic brain injury (TBI), such as a brain hemorrhage. Worst cases of TBIs can result in permanent brain damage and death.
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Damage to the vertebrae of the spinal column can lead to life-altering complications, such as chronic pain, osteoporosis, infections, and paralysis.
- Fractures: The force of impact in a car accident can easily lead to broken bones.
- Dental or Facial Damage: Colliding with a car can cause significant damage to a pedestrian’s face, including their teeth. When most of the damage is focused on the face, a person could lose teeth, become blind, or suffer severe facial scarring.
- Sprains and Strains: These soft tissue injuries can occur when the crash causes the pedestrian’s muscles, ligaments, or tendons to stretch or tear.
- Crushing Injuries: If a pedestrian gets crushed between two or more objects in a car accident, the pressure on the trapped body can damage the muscles, nerves, and internal organs. A crushing injury can lead to organ failure, internal bleeding, and death.
- Amputation: A pedestrian accident may be severe enough to cause instant dismemberment or injuries that require amputation.
What to Do if You Get into a Pedestrian Accident
A pedestrian accident can happen anywhere and anytime, even in relatively safe spaces. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, here’s what you need to do:
- Go Somewhere Safe. Get to a safe area with no passing traffic, such as the sidewalk or a median. If you are on a bike, try to take it with you to avoid further accidents.
- Contact the Authorities. Call 911 immediately. Ask for an ambulance for anyone who is injured.
- Document the Scene. Note the exact time, location, and date of the incident if you can. Take pictures of the accident scene, including the objects that may have played a role in the crash (e.g., potholes, road debris) and things that can help you recreate the scene later (e.g., skid marks). Look for nearby security cameras that may have captured your crash.
- Write Down Information. Ask for the information, if you are able,(names, addresses, phone numbers, vehicle plate numbers, etc.) of everyone involved in the incident, including eyewitnesses. Also, write down the names and badge numbers of the police officers that arrived on the scene (you may need this information to obtain police reports).
- Seek Medical Attention. Have a doctor assess your condition as soon as possible to ensure all your injuries are documented. Some conditions take longer to manifest into physical signs and symptoms, so it’s best to see a doctor immediately to ensure you receive prompt medical treatment.
- Document the Effects of Your Accident. Record your physical signs and symptoms in a journal, including physical pain and ongoing emotional trauma. List down the days you missed work. Also, keep documents that show your financial losses, such as medical bills and repair invoices.
- Call a Lawyer. Discuss your case with an Indianapolis pedestrian accident lawyer. The sooner you seek legal help from an experienced attorney, the better your chances of recovering compensation.
Contact us for your free case review and discuss your options.
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Pedestrian Accident?
Depending on your case’s circumstances, one or more parties may be responsible for your accident. Possible liable parties may include:
Reckless drivers could be held accountable by injured pedestrians if their negligence caused the incident. Negligent acts that may serve as grounds for a legal claim or lawsuit include:
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Intoxicated driving
- Illegal turning
- Running red lights
- Failing to stop at stop signs
- Failure to yield to pedestrians
- Failure to adjust to weather conditions
- Failing to exercise care in a school zone
If you were hit by a commercial vehicle (e.g., delivery truck) or a rideshare vehicle, you might be able to file a claim against the driver’s employer. Usually, employers extend their liability coverage to drivers in a car accident, meaning you could pursue damages against liability insurers.
Furthermore, a driver’s employer may have partial responsibility in a pedestrian accident due to:
- Negligent hiring practices
- Inadequate maintenance of commercial vehicles
- Lack of safety equipment
- Lack of driver safety training
You might be able to pursue damages against government entities if hazardous road conditions contributed to your accident.
Indiana citizens cannot sue the government because of sovereign immunity, which protects government entities from liability in various situations. Unfortunately, these situations include:
- Temporary road or property conditions caused by weather
- Highway or roadway design or maintenance, as long as the road is “reasonably safe”
Nevertheless, you may still be able to seek compensation from the government. For state claims, you must fill out a Notice of Tort Claim for property damage or injury with the Attorney General’s office within 270 days. Damages may be capped at $700,000 for each individual and $5 million for all parties involved.
For local or municipal claims, you must submit your Notice of Tort Claim to the government agency being sued within 180 days.
Our legal team will help you identify liable parties in your case during your initial consultation.
What if You are Partially Responsible for the Accident?
Indiana follows the “modified comparative fault” rule in personal injury cases, also known as the “51% fault” system (Indiana Code Title 34. Civil Law and Procedure § 34-51-2-5). In this legal system, the injured party can file a legal claim against the defendant even if they contributed to the incident. However, the degree of the fault of the filer must be less than 51%.
Pedestrians can be partially responsible for car accidents if they engage in the following acts:
- Darting out onto the road
- Walking in restricted areas (e.g., medians)
- Biking or skating in areas where it is not allowed
- Crossing the street while distracted
If you somehow contributed to the collision, the court may reduce your compensation in proportion to your contribution to negligence. For instance, if the court finds you 10% at fault for the incident, it will reduce your payment by 10%.
Your Indianapolis pedestrian accident lawyer will discuss this matter further during your free case evaluation.
How to Recover Compensation
All drivers have a legal duty to prevent injury to others. Part of this obligation includes avoiding reckless driving behaviors and following traffic rules. If a driver fails to uphold this responsibility and causes a car accident involving a pedestrian, the injured party could hold them accountable under personal injury law.
To recover compensation from a responsible party, you must prove negligence by showing:
- The defendant owed a duty of care to you (everyone has a duty of care to prevent injury to others within reason)
- The defendant breached this duty of care
- This breach resulted in the accident
- The accident directly led to your injuries and other losses
You need substantial evidence to prove negligence of the liable party in your claim. Your Indianapolis pedestrian accident attorney may use the following forms of proof to show negligence and recover compensation:
- Documentation of the scene
- Red light camera footage
- Security camera footage
- Dashcam footage
- Police reports
- Witness accounts
The police may file criminal charges against drivers guilty of driving under the influence or exceeding the speed limit by an excessive amount. Victims may use jury verdicts in these cases as evidence in their legal claims.
Furthermore, your pedestrian accidents lawyer may ask you for documents to demonstrate the extent of your economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Medical records
- Psychological evaluations
- Medical bills
- Repair invoices for damaged personal property
- Proof of missed workdays
Your lawyer will discuss these documents further during your free case evaluation. To prevent legal difficulties, avoid throwing away documents related to your incident.
Filing a personal injury claim against negligent parties could help you recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Medical Bills: Compensation for medical care costs, including hospitalization, medication, surgery, and anticipated future medical treatment.
- Disability: Compensation for disability-related damages if you become permanently disabled. These damages may include loss of future earning capacity, mobility aid expenses, and rehabilitation.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical and non-physical injuries, including physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, etc.
- Lost Wages: Compensation for wages and income lost while recovering or caring for an injured loved one.
- Loss of Quality of Life: Compensation for quality of life lost following the accident.
- Property Damage: Compensation for personal property lost or damaged in the accident.
- Wrongful Death: Compensation for death-related damages if your loved one dies in a pedestrian crash, including funeral and burial costs, pre-death medical expenses, and grief.
Your attorney will discuss the potential value of your settlement based on these damages during your free case evaluation.
Reaching a Settlement
Upon filing a claim against the defendant, their insurance company may offer you a settlement. However, not all insurance providers provide injured pedestrians full compensation. Your initial offer will likely be significantly lower than what your claim may be worth.
Do not accept the payment without consulting an Indianapolis pedestrian accident lawyer. Your lawyer can negotiate with the defendant’s insurer on your behalf, ensuring you receive fair compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, mental anguish, and other economic and non-economic damages.
You will learn more about handling insurance providers during your free case evaluation.
Other Legal Options
You may have to pursue damages against responsible parties if:
- The defendant’s insurer refuses to make a fair offer
- The defendant denies responsibility for the incident
If either scenario happens, your attorney could help you file a personal injury lawsuit. Your case will go to civil court, where a judge or jury will hear evidence from both sides. Presenting strong evidence, such as jury verdicts for traffic violations, is crucial during litigation as the negligent party will likely try to put the blame on you.
Your Indianapolis pedestrian accident lawyer could also help you pursue arbitration or mediation, which are often less formal, less expensive, and less time-consuming than a court trial. These proceedings occur out of court and usually take months to resolve.
Statute of Limitations
According to Indiana Law, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is two years from the date of the incident (Indiana Code section 34-11-2-4).
Your Indianapolis pedestrian accident lawyer will help you file your case as soon as possible to avoid missing the deadline or losing crucial evidence. Once the two-year window is up, the court may no longer hear your case unless it has exceptional circumstances.
How an Indianapolis Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
Proper legal representation is crucial to any personal injury case. To ensure you recover fair compensation for your damages, your Indianapolis pedestrian accident lawyer will:
- Investigate how and why the incident happened
- Establish the liability of responsible parties
- Determine the extent of your damages
- Consult with medical experts and other attorneys
- File a legal claim on your behalf
- Negotiate with the defendant’s insurance company
- File a lawsuit, if necessary
- File a claim against the government, if applicable
Our team will discuss your legal options further during your initial consultation, so you know what to expect.
How Drivers and Pedestrians Can Avoid Pedestrian Accidents
Drivers and pedestrians share the responsibility of keeping everyone safe on the road. You can help prevent pedestrian accidents by following a few simple yet crucial tips.
Pedestrian Safety Tips for Drivers:
- Keep a lookout for pedestrians everywhere at all times.
- Slow down when driving in bad weather or during nighttime.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Exercise caution and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk.
- Never drive while intoxicated.
- Always look behind you before reversing.
- Watch for pedestrians while turning or merging into traffic.
- Do not pass vehicles stopped at any marked or unmarked crosswalk; there may be crossing pedestrians blocked by stopped cars.
- Never speed up when the light is about to turn yellow or red.
Pedestrian Safety Tips:
- Always look both ways before crossing a road, even at a red light or stop sign.
- Stick to sidewalks whenever they are available.
- If a crosswalk is unavailable, cross at a well-lit area where you can see oncoming traffic clearly, and drivers can see you. Never assume all motor vehicles will stop for you.
- Watch for motor vehicles turning, exiting driveways, or reversing in parking lots.
- Obey road signals and signs.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs while walking.
- Do not use your cellphone while crossing the street.
Discuss Your Case with an Indianapolis Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
Did you suffer serious injuries or lose a loved one in a pedestrian accident? If so, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the liable party.
The skilled personal injury lawyers at Injury Lawyers Team, sponsored by Rosenfeld Law Offices, can help you recover damages through litigation or an out-of-court settlement. Contact our law offices today for a free legal consultation and learn how you can hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
Our lawyers handle all accepted pedestrian accident cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you don’t have to pay for our legal services unless we recover compensation for you.