Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Walking around town can be fun, and some folks even enjoy it as a hobby. Unfortunately, there is a chance a careless driver may hit you while doing that, and suddenly, you may find yourself in need of a pedestrian accident lawyer. A motorist who is speeding may not notice you going through the crosswalk. They may also be impaired and accidentally hit you even though you were still on the curb.
The injuries a pedestrian may sustain from being hit by a car can be serious. You may need legal representation to help you receive the compensation you deserve to recover from that accident.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Connecticut
Pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere in Glastonbury, Hartford, Simsbury, or any other Connecticut locale. That is because they can be byproducts of different types of negligence exhibited by different parties. Read up on the common causes of pedestrian accidents to understand how to avoid them better.
Impaired Driving: Drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol are unsafe on the road. The same goes for drivers who are either fatigued or stressed out. Because those drivers are not in the best state mentally, they are more susceptible to harming nearby pedestrians.
Distracted Driving: Distracted driving occurs when a motorist focuses on something other than the road in front of them. Their inattentiveness can lead to an ugly accident that adversely affects pedestrians for the rest of their lives. Work with a pedestrian accident lawyer to hold the distracted driver accountable in your case.
Aggressive Driving: Aggressive driving is threatening not only because it increases the risk of car accidents taking place. It is arguably even more terrifying because of the harm it can cause innocent pedestrians.
Examples of aggressive driving include speeding, ignoring traffic lights, and disregarding the right of way laws. When drivers engage in that behavior, they are more likely to cause disastrous accidents. Sue them for proper compensation together with your personal injury attorney.
Pedestrian Negligence: Not all pedestrian accidents are by motorists. In some cases, the pedestrian involved could be the negligent party.
That could be the case if the pedestrian violated a traffic law when crossing the road. Connecticut’s right of way laws will come into play at that point, and they can help determine who should ultimately be at fault for the accident.
Environmental Hazards: Lastly, pedestrian accidents may also be caused in part by environmental hazards. For example, broken or slippery sidewalks may cause pedestrians to fall over and end up on the road. Motorists may also be unable to stop in time due to environmental hazards. Hire a personal injury lawyer to figure out who should receive blame in that scenario.
What Actions Should You Take if You Were Hit by a Car?
If a vehicle hits you while you are trying to cross the road, the first thing you must do is get to safety. Move to the curb or safety island depending on which one is closer to you. You should also take this opportunity to get the driver’s contact details if they stopped. Remember to get their name, contact number, address, and their insurance information.
Sometimes, the driver of the vehicle may not check on you. In that case, you may need the help of witnesses or even a hit and run lawyer to identify them. You must also call the authorities as soon as you can. Going to the hospital for a check-up is highly recommended, even if you feel fine.
How a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
Enlisting the help of lawyers immediately following your pedestrian accident could be an a tremendous help. Why is that, you ask?
Your Attorney Can Prove That You Followed the Right of Way Laws
In Connecticut, pedestrians have the right of way if they use a marked crosswalk or one that traffic signals or a traffic officer controls. If a motorist hits you while using a crosswalk properly, you can sue them for compensation.
Of course, the guilty motorist may claim that you were not following traffic rules when the accident happened. Shield yourself against false claims like that by securing the services of a pedestrian accident lawyer.
They Can Collect Evidence to Strengthen Your Claim
Proclaiming your innocence in court can only do so much. You will eventually need evidence to back up your claims. Thankfully, you can ask your lawyer to collect those pieces of evidence on your behalf. They can acquire video footage and statements from witnesses to demonstrate that the accident was not your fault.
Buy You Additional Recovery Time
Pedestrians are more likely to sustain serious injuries following car accidents. While recovering from your injuries, you may not make any progress on your personal injury case. The good news is that your attorney can handle that matter while you continue recovering.
Negotiate with the Negligent Driver
The driver who caused your accident may come to their senses and decide that negotiating a settlement will be best for them. If so, your attorney can take the lead on those negotiations. They can continue negotiating until the other side offers a deal that is representative of the compensation you are entitled to. Otherwise, going to court remains an option.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Pedestrian Accident Case?
Negotiating a settlement is worth considering if you want to receive compensation as soon as possible. So, how much will your settlement be worth?
On average, settlements in pedestrian accident cases end up around $250,000. However, that number will change based on several factors.
For instance, comparative negligence can affect your settlement. The courts can reduce the compensation a plaintiff receives based on the percentage of blame they share for the accident. Connecticut law also bars a plaintiff from recovering damages if they bear more than 51% of the blame for an accident. Your attorney will account for comparative negligence when negotiating your settlement.
Economic and non-economic losses will also affect your final settlement number. A plaintiff who sustained significant losses is more likely to receive substantial compensation from the defendant.
Determining Liability in a Connecticut Pedestrian Accident
To get the negligent driver to pay for the harm they caused, you must demonstrate their liability in your case. You and your personal injury lawyer can do that by hammering points such as the driver’s duty of care, the way they violated that duty of care, and how their violation caused your injury.
As we established earlier while discussing the right of way laws, motorists in Connecticut must almost always yield to pedestrians who are properly using crosswalks. In that situation, the driver’s duty is to honor the laws and allow the pedestrian to cross without incident.
If the driver does not yield the right of way, they have violated their duty of care. Once it is confirmed that their violation directly caused your injury, they will be liable for the accident. Proving all those points is your attorney’s job. Count on them to demonstrate liability on the defendant’s part so you can win your case.
What Are the Crosswalk Laws in Connecticut?
Pedestrians often rely on crosswalks to move from one street to the next. Generally speaking, the pedestrian has the right of way whenever they are at a crosswalk. However, things may differ depending on what kind of crosswalk you are using. Let’s discuss those different crosswalk types in greater detail so you can avoid placing yourself in danger.
Crosswalks Designated by Lines or Markings
First off, let’s talk about what you should do if you are using a crosswalk that is only marked by some lines on the road. Connecticut law indicates that you already have right of way the moment you step up to the curb. At that point, all the vehicles on your road need to either slow down or stop completely.
You can also expect the vehicles to stop as soon as you enter the road. The vehicles on your side of the road and the other side must slow down or stop to allow you to pass. If a driver violating those guidelines hits you, you can sue them with the help of a pedestrian accident lawyer.
Crosswalks That Use “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” Signals
The crosswalk you are using may be using “walk” and “don’t walk” signals to indicate when pedestrians can move safely. You must pay close attention to them if you want to stay out of harm’s way and potential liability. The rules for using those types of crosswalks are simple. If you have a “walk” signal, you are cleared to use the crosswalk. If the post says, “don’t walk”, you need to wait on the curb until it changes.
Crucially, you still have the right of way even if the post changes to the “don’t walk” sign while you are already on the road. You can keep going until you reach the other side of the road or a safety island that divides two roads. Wait for the “walk” signal while you are staying on that safety island.
The motorist that hit you could claim that the “don’t walk” signal was active when you stepped on the road. Work with an experienced lawyer so you can disprove that false claim and avoid liability for a violation you did not commit.
Crosswalks That Use Traffic Signals
The rules for using crosswalks that feature traffic signals are similar to those that rely on “walk” and “don’t walk” signals. This time around, you must wait until the light is green before entering the road. Once again, you can continue using the crosswalk after the light turns red as long as it was green when you started moving. You can keep walking until you get to a safety island or the other side of the road.
Crosswalks Monitored by Police Officers
Police officers monitor some crosswalks and using them is safer because there is no confusion regarding who has the right of way. All you need to do is wait for the police officer to give you the signal to walk. Anyone that hits and injures you at that point will clearly be the one in violation of the law. You should pursue a personal injury claim against them together with your pedestrian accident attorney.
What Are Connecticut’s New Pedestrian Safety Laws?
You may have missed it, but the state of Connecticut recently enacted additional laws for crossing the road. The laws are supposed to provide additional protection to all pedestrians. The newly enacted laws give pedestrians new ways to alert any motorists to their intent of crossing the road. Thanks to the new laws, you can now raise your hand while standing on the curb to indicate that you are about to use the crosswalk.
The laws also permit pedestrians to use an “extension of a body part” to signal their intent of crossing the road. You only need to move the extension of your body part into the crosswalk, and the vehicles will need to slow down or stop. Items that can serve as body part extensions include bicycles, canes, carriages, crutches, strollers, and wheelchairs. You can also let your dog enter the crosswalk a bit to let the vehicles know that you are about to cross.
Not all motorists may be aware of those new laws, and they may refuse to slow down even after you have signaled your intent. If they end up hitting you, they will still violate these laws. You can sue them in court and receive compensation for any injuries and losses you sustained.
Accident Attorneys in Connecticut
After a while, the driver’s lawyer or insurer may contact you in the hopes of reaching a settlement. You are not obligated to talk to them. Avoid speaking to them until you have hired a pedestrian accident attorney. Contact us at Hassett & George, P.C. if you need a lawyer to represent you following your accident. We will deal with the other party’s insurer and legal representative while you focus on your recovery.
Some of the locations in and around Hartford County our lawyers serve include: Hartford, Simsbury, Glastonbury, New Britain, Bridgeport, Waterbury, Danbury, Norwalk, Manchester, Windsor, Farmington, Windsor Locks, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Avon, Bloomfield, Bristol, Enfield, Newington, South Windsor, Southington, Plainville and more.