Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Saraland, AL
Whether it’s a way to get to work, how you get to the park to play with your kids, or your favorite way of enjoying nature, walking is an activity that essentially every healthy living association in the world recommends. Unfortunately, pedestrians in the United States face serious risks every time they take a walk around their neighborhood. Pedestrians have minimal protection while walking, so they are likely to suffer severe or even fatal injuries if they are struck by a vehicle.
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident in Saraland, AL, the team at Burns, Cunningham & Mackey is here to help. Call us at 251-432-0612 to schedule a consultation.
Pedestrian Rights and Obligations
Under Alabama law, pedestrians are legally permitted to cross roadways safely, walk on sidewalks, and walk on the shoulder of the road if no sidewalk is available. Pedestrians are obligated to follow all pertinent laws, including:
- Obeying all traffic signals.
- Using traffic signals to cross safely at intersections.
- When no sidewalk is available, to use the shoulder but stay as far away from traffic as possible.
- To avoid walking when under the influence.
The rules are much more extensive for drivers, and as a result, they have a significant role in keeping Saraland’s roadways safe. Whether it’s a mom crossing McKeough Avenue to pick her kids up from Saraland Elementary School, an essential worker stopping at Huddle House on Second Avenue after a long shift, or a pedestrian headed to Oscar Driver Park to relax, drivers are expected to yield right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks.
Types and Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Drivers are not always cognizant of pedestrians, and as a result, they are a primary cause of pedestrian accidents in Saraland. Some of the most common types of pedestrian accidents include:
- Drifting into the shoulder. If someone is walking in the shoulder because there is no sidewalk, drivers have an obligation to give them space. When a driver drifts into the shoulder because they are impaired, distracted, or getting ready to turn, they may hit a pedestrian if they aren’t paying attention.
- Left-turn crashes. Everyone knows the mad dash to get through a left turn before the light changes. Unfortunately, this often leads people to turn while pedestrians are crossing the street. These types of collisions can be fatal.
- Right-turn collisions. Right-turn crashes tend to happen at lower speeds than left-turn crashes, but they can still result in severe injuries for walkers. If someone is turning right, they often think to check left for oncoming cars—but they may not think to check right to see if a pedestrian is about to cross the street.
- Walking in front of a stopped vehicle. If a vehicle is stopped, the driver may wave a pedestrian across. Unfortunately, unless other drivers are incredibly attentive, they may not notice the crossing pedestrian until it’s too late to stop.
- Jaywalking crashes. Pedestrians are often held liable for jaywalking collisions. While they have the right of way at intersections and crosswalks, they must yield right of way elsewhere. When a pedestrian dashes out in front of a car, serious injuries may follow.
Determining the cause of a pedestrian accident is usually the first step in figuring out liability. Pedestrian accidents are often caused by:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to check thoroughly for pedestrians
- Drifting in and out of the shoulder
- Unsafe crossing
Injuries Associated with Saraland, AL Pedestrian Collisions
While drivers may leave a pedestrian accident without so much as a scratch on their car, pedestrians are likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries. Commonly reported injuries include:
- Broken bones. Broken bones are extremely common in pedestrian accidents. Broken leg bones, arms, and collarbones can all occur after a pedestrian is knocked down by a vehicle. While most broken bones heal quickly when set properly, some require months of physical therapy to heal.
- Traumatic brain injuries. The force of hitting the ground can leave a victim with a traumatic brain injury. These range from minor injuries, such as concussions, to lifelong TBIs that leave victims unable to walk or speak.
- Spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord damage occurs with serious trauma to the spine. Damage to the spinal cord can limit mobility, force victims to use adaptive aids, or cause lifelong pain.
- Cuts and abrasions are relatively common in pedestrian crashes. They put victims at risk of infection.
- Soft tissue injuries. Damage to the organs can occur with enough blunt trauma. These injuries often require immediate treatment.
- Unfortunately, a shocking number of pedestrian accidents do result in fatalities.
Why You Need an Attorney
If you or someone you love has been hit by a car, you may wonder whether or not you truly need a Saraland personal injury attorney. Most people have heard that the driver is usually at fault in a pedestrian accident—if that’s true, you might assume that you can get the compensation you deserve without a lawyer.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are not that always cut-and-dry. Even if it is obvious that the driver is at fault, you can still expect an uphill battle when it comes to negotiating with their insurance company. Insurance companies know that pedestrian accident claims can be expensive, and their goal is to minimize their losses by paying you as little as possible.
They’ll do everything they can to get you to accept a lower settlement amount. They might tell you that their settlement offer is the best you’re going to get, imply that you share some liability in the accident, bring up damage to their client’s vehicle, or otherwise make you scared of losing this offer. If you accept their initial offer and sign a liability waiver, then later you find out that your injuries are more serious, you have no way of going back and asking for more.
That’s why you need an attorney whose priority is full and fair compensation for you. They can cut through the unfair tactics used by the insurance company and build a strong case for the compensation you deserve. Until your injuries are fully examined, you don’t know how much your accident will cost you—don’t leave your compensation in the hands of an insurance adjuster who is not on your side.
Find Out How Burns, Cunningham & Mackey Can Help You
The sooner you reach out to an attorney after a pedestrian accident, the sooner you can start fighting for full and fair compensation. The team at Burns, Cunningham & Mackey fights aggressively to help every single client recover the compensation they deserve. Set up a consultation now by getting in touch online or calling us at 251-432-0612.