When a person on foot comes into contact with a moving, two-and-a-half to three-ton vehicle, the consequences can be devastating. It is not uncommon for pedestrian accident victims in Oklahoma to be hospitalized for broken bones, fractures, spinal cord injuries, and brain injuries, to miss weeks, months, or years of work, and to require extensive rehabilitation services.
While there is nothing the law can do to undo a victim’s suffering, it can help alleviate the stress of such life-altering injuries by allowing them to pursue compensation from the liable party via a personal injury claim. If you or a loved one was injured by a moving vehicle while walking, contact an Oklahoma City pedestrian accident lawyer at BDIW Law to discuss your case and legal options today.
People Who Are Considered Pedestrians
It may not always be clear who a pedestrian is. This could be:
- A person walking
- Someone on roller skates
- A bicyclist
- Someone riding on a Segway
If you are involved in an accident in which a person in a car, truck, or motorcycle strikes you, they may be responsible for the losses you incur. If they skip the curb and strike you while you are cutting the grass, or they turn the corner quickly in front of a school bus, that driver is likely at fault.
As BDIW, we want to help you obtain compensation for any losses you incur in these types of cases. Let our legal team figure out who is to blame, why it happened, and what you may be owed.
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Determining Right of Way
Oklahoma’s pedestrian right-of-way laws are fairly straightforward and leave little room for interpretation in vehicle-pedestrian accidents. OKC.gov outlines these laws in five succinct points:
- Pedestrians only have right-of-way on streets with marked crosswalks at intersections.
- Pedestrians at these crosswalks must obey signs and signals at the intersection.
- Pedestrians may not jump from or throw things from bridges.
- Pedestrians may only walk on roadways on which it is safe to do so. They must walk facing traffic.
- Drivers must exercise due care to avoid collisions with pedestrians.
- If a crosswalk is not in an area where a pedestrian wishes to cross, pedestrians may only cross the street at a right angle to the curb. It is illegal for pedestrians to cross two streets at one time by walking diagonally across an intersection.
Though pedestrians must protect themselves by acting with extreme caution regardless of whether or not there is a crosswalk present, drivers must be especially alert in areas in which individuals normally walk. For instance, drivers should take care near school zones, playgrounds, crossings, and certain neighborhoods. Children rarely consider their safety when playing and may dart into the street in front of a moving vehicle unexpectedly.
Also, drivers should note that children getting off school buses always have the right of way when the bus flashes red lights or shows a STOP sign.
Seeking Compensation through an Insurance Claim
Pedestrians who have been hurt in an accident can file an insurance claim. Many pedestrians may assume that insurance claims are only reserved for car accidents. However, pedestrians can also use these claims to seek compensation for their injuries.
Auto insurance policies can cover the costs of a pedestrian’s damages. Some of these coverages include:
- Medical payments coverage. This policy is used to pay for a victim’s medical expenses.
- Bodily injury coverage. This is another policy that can cover the costs of a victim’s medical bills.
- Property damage coverage. This coverage can cover the costs of damages to your personal property, such as clothing, cell phone, computer, luggage, or any other items.
To understand more about how to manage your insurance claim and avoid being taken advantage of, talk to a pedestrian accident lawyer in Oklahoma City, OK, today.
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How a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Oklahoma City Determines Fault
In an insurance claim, understanding and proving fault is very important. It is the key factor determining a person’s liability for an accident. Evidence and the circumstances of the event may establish a person’s fault. For example, a driver who failed to yield the right of way and hit a pedestrian likely bears responsibility for the accident.
When you file your claim, the company will use different types of evidence to determine who is at fault. Physical evidence like photos, medical records, and witness statements may help strengthen your claim.
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When a Pedestrian May Be at Fault
Though pedestrians sustain much more severe injuries in vehicle accidents, they can still be at fault for their injuries in Oklahoma. For instance, when pedestrians fail to abide by traffic signals or cross outside of a marked crosswalk, they may be found at least partially liable for their damages.
Suppose a pedestrian crosses a street against a light or when a signal flashes “Don’t Walk,” and that person gets struck by a moving vehicle. The walker may be found partially at fault for the incident. The same can be said if a pedestrian suddenly steps into the path of a moving vehicle or crosses the street diagonally without a favorable traffic signal.
Why Pedestrian Accidents Occur
It is difficult to know how a driver could hit someone that is walking along the road or in a crosswalk. If you are the victim, or your family member is, you may be wondering why this happened. In many cases, having an understanding of why it occurred could also help you to obtain compensation for your losses because you can prove the driver was negligent.
Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Reckless driving: Speeding, road rage, or running lights are all examples of reckless driving, a common cause of these instances.
- Distracted driving: A person may be texting or talking on the phone. They may be trying to change the radio, speaking to a passenger, or they could be emotionally distraught.
- Impaired driving: A person is impaired if they are unable to operate a vehicle in a safe way and they are using illicit drugs, alcohol, over-the-counter medications, or prescription medications.
- Fatigue: Drivers are not able to respond fast enough to changing circumstances when they are tired, and sometimes they may even fall asleep at the wheel.
- Infrastructure limitations: Government roadway design should be built to keep you safe, but landscaping, structural areas, and even poorly marked crosswalks could put you at risk.
As noted, there are situations in which a pedestrian is to blame for what occurred. However, there are many cases in which this does not happen, and the driver had the ability to stop but failed to do so. Talk to our pedestrian accident attorney in Oklahoma City, OK, to understand more about the specific circumstances of your situation.
What Can Happen in a Hit-and-Run Accident
If you are in a car accident as a pedestrian and the driver flees the scene, contact the police immediately. This can lead to criminal charges for that party solely because they left the scene. However, there are other factors to consider as well, including how your medical bills will be paid.
Our legal team can help you to navigate this more challenging situation by helping to determine who is at fault and helping you to obtain compensation for those losses. We can investigate and work with the authorities to locate the person who left the scene after injuring you.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Oklahoma City Right Away
If you were involved in a pedestrian accident in Oklahoma City, reach out to an experienced Oklahoma City pedestrian accident attorney to discuss your case and recovery options immediately. Regardless of how the accident occurred or if liability seems clear, you can benefit from the representation of an aggressive and skilled Oklahoma City pedestrian accident lawyer.
Reach out to BDIW Law to schedule your free consultation today.
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