Tulsa Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Pedestrians are particularly susceptible to serious injuries in car accidents. If you were involved in a pedestrian accident, it is imperative that you know your rights.
Pedestrian accidents can be devastating to the victims and their families. Because pedestrians have zero protection around them during a crash, it is not uncommon for pedestrians to sustain head and brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, pelvic injuries, bone fractures, lacerations, and internal injuries when hit by a vehicle. These types of injuries are possible even in low-speed collisions due to the sheer size and weight of the standard vehicle. In high speed collisions, pedestrian death is a common consequence.
If you or a loved one was hit by a vehicle in Tulsa, Oklahoma, you may be feeling angry and frustrated. In addition to having to worry about your health and well-being, you are also forced to think about your finances, which also took a hit shortly after the incident. Our Tulsa pedestrian accident lawyers at Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker may not be unable to undo the harms done to you, but we can help you fight for the compensation you need to recover in financial and physical comfort. To learn more, contact our law firm today.
What to do After You are Injured in a Pedestrian Car Accident
If you are struck by a moving vehicle while walking along or across the street, the first two things you should do are seek medical attention and report the incident to the police, not necessarily in that order. If you are severely injured, getting medical attention should be your primary concern. However, if you only sustained minor injuries and feel well enough to do so, contact the authorities first. The authorities are likely to contact EMS on your behalf.
That said, even if you only sustained minor injuries, you should get medical care. Potentially serious injuries such as brain injuries, nerve damage, and whiplash often do not present symptoms until days or even weeks after the incident. If you do develop the symptoms of a serious condition, it would help your personal injury case to have those medical reports from immediately after the accident.
Before you contact the authorities, or while you are waiting for help to arrive, make note of the make and model of the vehicle that hit you. If the driver stuck around, jot down the license plate number as well as the driver's details. Do not let the driver talk you out of calling the police. It is not uncommon for people to try to do so after an accident, especially if serious damages resulted. If there are witnesses, record their names and contact information.
If the driver hit and ran, do your best to recall the details of the vehicle and write them down. If you are able, get a photo of the fleeing vehicle. Again, ask for the names and contact information of any witnesses.
Modified Comparative Negligence in an Oklahoma Pedestrian Accident
Unless there were witnesses and/or street cameras, liability in a pedestrian accident is often your word against the driver’s. For this reason, photos, police reports, and detailed accounts go a long way toward strengthening one's case. That said, if both parties have a strong case—or, on the flip side, both parties have a weak case—the question may turn from who is at fault to who is more at fault.
Oklahoma abides by a modified comparative negligence theory, which means that it recognizes that two or more parties' negligence could have contributed to an accident. However, unlike in pure contributory negligence states, in which parties can not recover anything if they contributed to an accident at all, in states that abide by a modified comparative negligence theory, accident victims can recover compensation so long as they were less at fault than the defendant. Because it is plausible that you contributed to your accident in some way, this theory may serve you well.
Modified comparative negligence can kick in for any number of reasons. For instance, say that the driver is able to prove that you began crossing the intersection after the hand on the walking signal started flashing. However, you can prove that the driver was going 10 miles over the speed limit and ran a red light. The driver is clearly more at fault, but you may have been able to prevent the accident by not walking when the hand started flashing.
In such an instance, the decision makers would assign you a percentage of fault and reduce your recovery by said percentage. So, say that in the above scenario the jury determined you were 10% at fault. If you filed a claim for $100,000, your award would be reduced by 10%. Ultimately, you would receive $90,000.
You can reduce the chance that a jury will find you at fault by abiding by the law. Just like there are laws for vehicle operators, there are also laws for pedestrians. If you walk often, it would serve you well to know what those laws are and to adhere to them whenever possible. If you do not break the law, you can not be held liable for your own injuries.
Consult With a Tulsa Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, you likely have a long road to recovery ahead of you. Though filing a legal claim may be the last thing on your mind, doing so can help you recover the money you need to pay off medical expenses, cover the costs of living, and recover from your injuries in peace. Our Tulsa pedestrian accident lawyers at Boettcher, Devinney, Ingle & Wicker can take over the majority of the claims process and work for a fair outcome while you focus on what is most important—healing. To learn more about how our firm can help you, contact us today.