Pedestrians are particularly susceptible to serious injuries in car accidents. You must know your rights if you were involved in a pedestrian accident. 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.
The Right of Way
Every Tulsa driver knows that pedestrians have the right of way on every occasion. Yet, there are many occasions where that right is violated. Some common occasions include the following:
- Failing to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk
- Trying to pass another driver who has stopped for a pedestrian
- Failing to yield the right of way for a pedestrian in a crosswalk
- Failing to check surroundings while exiting a parking lot
- Speeding in areas where pedestrians are expected
Performing one or more of these actions can cause serious harm to pedestrians. You might feel angry and frustrated if you or a loved one were hit by a vehicle in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition to worrying about your health and well-being, you are also forced to think about your finances, which also took a hit shortly after the incident.
A pedestrian accident lawyer in Tulsa at BDIW Law may not be unable to undo the harm done to you. Still, 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.
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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. Getting medical attention should be your primary concern if you are severely injured. However, if you only sustained minor injuries and feel well enough to do so, contact the authorities first, as the authorities are likely to contact EMS on your behalf.
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 weeks after the incident. If you develop the symptoms of a serious condition, it will help your personal injury case to have those medical reports immediately after the accident.
Before you contact the authorities or while waiting for help to arrive, note the vehicle’s make and model that hit you. If the driver is stuck around, jot down the license plate number and the driver’s details.
Do not let the driver talk you out of calling the police. It is common for people to try to do so after an accident, especially if serious damages result. If there are witnesses, record their names and contact information.
Hit and Run
If the driver hit and ran, do your best to recall the vehicle’s details 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
Without witnesses and/or street cameras, liability in a pedestrian accident is often your word against the drivers. 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, recognizing 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, in states that abide by a modified comparative negligence theory, accident victims can recover compensation so long as they are less at fault than the defendant.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Modified comparative negligence can kick in for any number of reasons. For instance, say that the driver can 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 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.
By abiding by the law, you can reduce the chance that a jury will find you at fault. Just like there are laws for vehicle operators, there are also laws for pedestrians. If you walk often, it will serve you well to know what those laws are and to adhere to them whenever possible.
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How a Tulsa Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help
There are several ways that a driver can avoid liability for an accident. You don’t want to leave your compensation up to chance when fighting against the driver and their insurance company. You need someone with the necessary experience and aggression to hold the right parties accountable.
When you work with a pedestrian accident attorney in Tulsa at BDIW Law, you work with a legal team who truly cares. We understand the lengths insurance companies will go to avoid paying out claims. We can serve as a legal guide and determine the best outcome for your case.
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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 living costs, and recover from your injuries in peace. A Tulsa pedestrian accident lawyer at BDIW Law can take over most of the claims process and work for a fair outcome while you focus on the most important—healing. Contact us today to learn more about how our firm can help you.
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