In Arizona, pedestrians include people who are traveling on foot, as well as runners, skateboarders, and people in manual or motorized wheelchairs. When a pedestrian is struck by a larger vehicle, they can suffer debilitating or even fatal injuries because there is no buffer between their body and the force of the vehicle colliding with them. At the Saavedra Law Firm, our Phoenix pedestrian accident lawyer may be able to represent you if you were injured or if a loved one was killed by a careless driver.
Claims Based on Pedestrian Accidents
In Arizona, drivers must use reasonable care to avoid hitting pedestrians. Generally, drivers using reasonable care should yield to pedestrians crossing in a crosswalk, drive 15 mph or slower when driving through a school zone, avoid traveling around another vehicle when it is stopped in a crosswalk, and avoid traveling around a school bus if its lights are flashing. Likewise, pedestrians are supposed to yield the right of way to vehicles when they are not in a crosswalk, avoid crossing anywhere but a marked crosswalk between two adjacent controlled intersections, follow traffic signals at intersections, avoid running suddenly into the road, avoid walking on the roadway if there is a sidewalk available, and walk on the left or on the shoulder facing traffic when there is no sidewalk.
When a driver fails to use reasonable care, and this failure causes a pedestrian accident, the driver may be held accountable in a personal injury lawsuit. Most of the time, lawsuits arising out of a pedestrian accident result from negligence. To establish driver negligence, a pedestrian accident attorney in the Phoenix area will need to prove a duty of care, a breach of the duty, causation, and damages. If the vehicle is owned or operated by a government entity, additional notice requirements may be necessary prior to submitting a claim. A driver may breach the duty to use reasonable care by speeding through a school zone or by failing to stop at a red light and hitting a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Sometimes drivers breach the duty to use reasonable care by failing to yield to a pedestrian crossing the street in the crosswalk when they are making a turn.
A driver sometimes will defend a case by asserting a pedestrian’s comparative negligence. Like drivers, pedestrians have a duty to use reasonable care. There are instances in which both the driver and the pedestrian are at fault, but the driver’s insurer and attorney are likely to emphasize all the ways in which the pedestrian is at fault to avoid paying damages. Under the doctrine of comparative negligence, the amount that you can recover is reduced by your degree of fault, or the extent to which your breach of the duty of care contributed to the accident. For example, if the total damages are $1,000,000, and the jury assigns you 50% of the fault and assigns the driver 50% of the fault, your Phoenix pedestrian accident attorney will be able to hold the driver accountable for $500,000 in damages.
Damages in Pedestrian Accident Cases
Common injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents include broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, soft tissue injuries, and death. The amount of damages to which you are entitled depends on the extent and nature of your injuries. You can recover compensation for both non-economic and economic losses if you can establish liability. Economic damages often include medical bills, medical equipment, prescription drugs, lost wages, replacement services, and alterations to your home. For example, if you suffer spinal cord damage, you may be paralyzed, and you may require a wheelchair, the installation of a wheelchair ramp in your home, and housekeeping services for tasks that you are no longer able to do on your own. These losses may be quantified and recovered. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been injured or if a loved one has been killed in a pedestrian accident, you should discuss your situation with a seasoned pedestrian accident lawyer in the Phoenix area. Freddy Saavedra represent pedestrians and their families across Maricopa County. Call us at (602) 753-8917 or complete our online form.