Lawrence is a walkable city, whether you put on your sneakers for a stroll through Fort Harrison Park or head to your office downtown. The only downside to walking is sharing the space with motorists who can do a lot of harm to you by not paying attention.
You may consider yourself a careful pedestrian, using designated crosswalks and obeying traffic signals and signs. But if a careless motorist hits you while you are crossing the street, the result could be disastrous, even though you were following the rules. A Lawrence pedestrian accident lawyer could hold the negligent motorist liable and seek compensation for you. Our qualified personal injury attorneys could provide more information on your likelihood of success.
The devastating force of two tons of metal hitting a pedestrian can cause contusions, broken bones, back and neck injuries, burns, traumatic brain injuries, and paralysis from spinal cord injuries. Many such injuries will require extensive and costly rehabilitative care. The party that caused the catastrophe should compensate the injured person through an insurance settlement or a negligence lawsuit. Some common negligent acts that cause accidents are:
All motorists are expected to drive with the safety of others in mind. If they drive dangerously or erratically, they have breached the duty owed to others. When the motorist’s act causes a reasonably foreseeable injury to another person, an experienced Lawrence pedestrian accident attorney could work to get fair compensation for the injured party.
Indiana drivers must carry liability insurance to compensate those who are injured by the insurance company’s insureds, according to their percentage of fault. Insurers in this at-fault system are in business to make profits, not pay out large sums, so adjusters often try to minimize the amount a claim is worth. A knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney in Lawrence is aware of this tactic and could take cases to court when negotiations break down.
Injured pedestrians should be compensated for what they have lost monetarily, such as their wages when they cannot work during recovery, past and future medical bills, and property damage. They also should be compensated for losses that are harder to measure, such as disfigurement, trauma, and loss of the enjoyment of life.
If a defendant’s actions leading to the pedestrian accident are malicious or egregious, such as purposely aiming to strike the plaintiff, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the defendant. This separate award is paid to the clerk of courts, who distributes 25 percent of it to the plaintiff and 75 percent to the Violent Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund, codified at Indiana Code 34-51-3-6(c)(2).
Punitive damages are capped in Indiana. According to IC 34-51-3-4, punitive damages may not exceed either $50,000 or three times the compensatory damages awarded, whichever is larger.
All motorists have a responsibility to those with whom they share the road. Following traffic laws and safety rules helps everyone get to their destination without incident. Sadly, an errant motorist will sometimes act irresponsibly and injures a pedestrian. If that pedestrian is you, you need help from a reliable law firm.
Your attorney could gather evidence by perusing police and medical reports, talk to you and other witnesses, and review any cell phone or surveillance camera footage. Your attorney should be a competent negotiator to deal with big insurance companies and should not be afraid to take your case to court. When you are injured and wondering what to do next, call a Lawrence pedestrian accident lawyer who knows how to protect your interests.