Drivers are obligated to follow all laws and look out for hazards. They must also take care to yield the right of way to pedestrians. When they do not, pedestrians often suffer serious injuries, which could leave them facing a lifetime of recovery.
When you are hurt, you need compensation for your injuries, but you may wonder, “Do I have to go to court for a pedestrian accident in Oklahoma?” The answer is, probably not. Most incidents like this can be settled out of court in your favor if you have a skilled personal injury attorney from BDIW Law at your side.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
In 2021, nearly 7,400 pedestrians lost their lives nationwide in car-involved accidents. This accounts for 17% of all traffic fatalities, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Although pedestrians sometimes engage in actions that distract them from being aware of the world around them, drivers have the greatest obligation to watch out for people.
Most of these accidents happen in crosswalks or on residential streets where people are going about their daily activities. The most frequent reasons pedestrian accidents occur include:
- Distractions such as cell phones: Using a cell phone while driving can keep a motorist from noticing a pedestrian in time to prevent injury. The same is true if a pedestrian using a phone is not paying attention before crossing a street.
- Illegally crossing the road: Pedestrians are often hurt in crosswalks, but they also suffer harm if they cross the street where motorists do not expect them.
- Speeding: When drivers get in a hurry, especially on city streets or in neighborhoods, pedestrians may be unable to get to safety in time.
- Aggressive driving or road rage: Drivers who angrily drive where pedestrians are on sidewalks or crossing streets can easily injure multiple people.
- Failing to obey traffic laws and signals: Running a red light or rolling through a stop sign are two of the many ways drivers can disobey traffic rules and put pedestrians in harm’s way.
- Weather and road conditions: Heavy rain reduces visibility and causes cars to hydroplane if they brake suddenly. Pedestrians can be seen too late by a driver or hurt when a car spins out of control.
Most pedestrian accidents are avoidable. No matter how you were hurt, you are probably eligible for compensation from the driver who injured you. You need quality guidance from a skilled pedestrian accident attorney to understand your options.
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Oklahoma’s Modified Comparative Fault Statute
Oklahoma operates under a modified comparative fault statute that allows multiple parties to share blame for an accident. Unfortunately, this also applies to pedestrian accidents and can potentially diminish your settlement amount. Defendants and insurance companies will use this against you to reduce their liability.
However, if you have robust evidence proving the driver is more liable than you, you can recover a greater amount. You can still win compensation even if you are up to 50% at fault, but your payment will be reduced by the same percentage.
Effectively building a solid case based on powerful evidence can ensure that you do not have to go to court after your accident. If your attorney is able to show the driver was fully or almost fully at fault for your injuries, the other side will likely offer a satisfactory settlement before the case goes to trial.
A Qualified Attorney Can Negotiate an Out-of-Court Settlement for Your Injuries
Your first option for restitution after a pedestrian accident will be to file against the driver’s automotive insurance. In Oklahoma, the minimum liability coverage is $25,000 of bodily injury protection per person and up to $50,000 of injury for each accident. When your body is struck by a vehicle averaging 4,000 pounds, your hospital and medical bills will likely far surpass that amount.
Because the circumstances of person versus car is so mismatched, the evidence usually favors the pedestrian. No matter what actions a pedestrian takes, drivers are still expected to be more cautious. Your attorney can use all this against the driver, negotiating aggressively with their insurance provider to ensure you get every penny you deserve.
Even if you must take your case to the trial phase because the insurance carrier will not meet your demands, a top-notch pedestrian accident attorney from BDIW Law will do everything possible to secure an out-of-court settlement. This allows you to access your compensation faster so you can heal from your injuries without the added stress and worry of appearing in court.
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Get the Most Compensation After Your Oklahoma Pedestrian Accident with the Help of an Experienced Lawyer
With the assistance of a highly-trained Oklahoma pedestrian accident lawyer from BDIW Law, we can begin the work of handling your case as soon as you give us a call.
Oklahoma only allows two years from the date of your injuries to file a personal injury lawsuit. That time will pass quickly if you are still in the hospital or rehabilitation facility for weeks or months after the accident. When you hire an attorney, they can start gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and preparing your case for trial while you rest.
Contact BDIW Law to schedule a free initial consultation to learn more about your options after an Oklahoma pedestrian accident today.
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