How Should I Handle a Pedestrian Accident in Indianapolis?
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Indianapolis Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
It seems like pedestrians take a chance every day that they take to the streets in Indianapolis, as well as every other major bustling city in the United States. From dealing with distracted drivers to speeding vehicles, pedestrians have never been more at risk of sustaining injuries because of a pedestrian accident in Indianapolis. Drivers have gotten so bad on city streets that pedestrians have to count silently to three before crossing a street that has a red light.
The increase in the number of pedestrian accidents in Indianapolis is certainly a cause for alarm. However, the physical consequences of getting struck by a motor vehicle remain the biggest concern for pedestrians walking the streets of Indianapolis. Without any protection, pedestrians are highly vulnerable to sustaining serious, even life-threatening injuries. A car moving at just 20 miles per hour can knock a pedestrian unconscious while causing severe brain trauma.
If you are a victim of a pedestrian accident in Indianapolis, you should hire an experienced personal injury attorney to represent you when the time comes to file an insurance claim, as well as if you decide to file a civil lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. An accomplished personal injury lawyer helps you gather and organize evidence, as well as speak to witnesses that verify your version of events. The key to filing a successful civil lawsuit is to prove another party committed one or more acts of negligence.
Since 1988, the team of personal injury attorneys at Morgan & Morgan has recovered more than $13 billion in monetary damages for clients that sustained injuries caused by the negligence of another party. Some of the money our clients received took care of the injuries caused by a pedestrian accident. Because Morgan & Morgan charges legal fees on a contingency fee basis, you do not have to pay upfront fees to obtain the best legal support in Indiana.
Schedule a free case evaluation today to learn more about your rights as a victim of a pedestrian accident in Indianapolis.
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What Causes Most Pedestrian Accidents in Indianapolis?
One of the first items on the to-do list of the personal injury attorney assigned to your case involves determining the cause of the pedestrian accident. Determining the cause of a pedestrian accident can help your lawyer build a strong case for negligence. One important note: Not every pedestrian accident results from the negligence of a driver of a motor vehicle. Pedestrians must follow several laws to keep them safe, which means they also can be found legally liable for causing a pedestrian accident.
Inexperienced drivers tend to make more mistakes when operating a motor vehicle. Perhaps an inexperienced driver misjudged the distance between the driver’s car and a vehicle directly in front of the driver’s vehicle. Another common mistake made by inexperienced drivers is failing to honor the right of way laws established by state and local traffic ordinances. Inexperienced drivers also are less likely to notice pedestrians when they drive on busy streets.
Violations of School Zone Speed Limits
Two demographics of pedestrians get struck more often than other demographic groups: Seniors at least 65 years old and children younger than 15 years of age. Children are particularly vulnerable in school speed zones, which significantly decreases the speed limit for motor vehicles passing by a school. Many drivers operate on the incorrect principle that if they do not see any kids walking near the street, they do not have to slow down in a school speed zone.
It is difficult to see what unfolds in front of a driver if they look down at a text message. Distracted driving remains one of the most common causes of any type of car accident, including pedestrian accidents in Indianapolis. Not only is texting and driving dangerous to pedestrians and the operators of other motor vehicles, but it is also against the law in Indiana. On July 20, 2020, Indiana passed a hands-free driving law that prohibits drivers of automobiles from holding any type of mobile device while operating a motor vehicle.
Driving Under the Influence
Noticing pedestrians on busy Indianapolis streets requires a well-trained eye that develops because of driving experience. Some pedestrians are difficult to see because of several factors, including poor weather conditions and clothing that blends into the nearby scenery. When a driver operates a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, the driver’s observation skills significantly diminish. In addition, driver’s under the influence react much slower to the events that unfold in front of them.
Speeding represents the most common type of traffic violation that causes auto collisions. Another common type of traffic violation that puts pedestrians in danger concerns drivers that increase the speed of their cars to beat a red light. Failure to signal also is a pedestrian accident waiting to happen in Indianapolis, especially in the bustling downtown entertainment district.
What Are the Indiana Pedestrian Laws?
Each state has established laws that protect pedestrians from careless actions taken by drivers. If you sustained injuries because of a pedestrian accident in Indianapolis, you should speak with one of the highly-skilled litigators at Morgan & Morgan to determine if the driver of the car that hit you violated one or more of the state’s pedestrians protection laws. Pedestrians in Indiana also have to take steps to prevent getting involved in an accident.
Indiana drivers must stop at a crosswalk to allow pedestrians to cross streets. Crosswalks represent another cause of pedestrian accidents because far too many drivers view them as inconveniences. Instead of following Indiana law and stopping for pedestrians, some drivers do not slow down when moving through a crosswalk area. Another crosswalk law in Indiana requires drivers behind the first driver at a crosswalk to remain idle until pedestrians have cleared the crosswalk area. Drivers cannot pass a stopped motor vehicle at a crosswalk.
Obeying Traffic Devices
Drivers that fail to obey traffic devices violate Indiana pedestrian protection laws. Moving through a red light because the light has remained red for a couple of minutes can cause an accident with a pedestrian. Pedestrians depend on drivers to follow traffic devices. The only time a driver in Indiana does not have to follow a traffic device is when a police officer directs the driver to take a certain action.
Blind pedestrians that carry an easy-to-see cane and/or are directed by a trained guide dog receive special protections under Indiana pedestrian statutes. Motorists must stop anytime they come across a sight-impaired pedestrian trying to cross a street, even if a traffic signal turns from red to green.
How Should I Handle a Pedestrian Accident in Indianapolis?
How you handle the aftermath of a pedestrian accident in Indianapolis determines the decision made by your insurance company regarding a claim, as well as how a judge rules at the end of a civil lawsuit.
Contact Law Enforcement
Contacting the Indianapolis Police Department after a pedestrian accident accomplishes several things. First, a police officer directs traffic until the accident scene is cleared and the street is ready to reopen. Second, the law enforcement officers responding to the scene of a pedestrian accident in Indianapolis conduct a thorough investigation that leads to the creation of a formal police report. Your personal injury lawyer refers to the formal police report to review the physical evidence gathered, as well as write down the names and contact information of every witness.
Get Medical Care
By far the largest expense you can expect to incur after a pedestrian accident regards medical bills. A pedestrian accident can cause a wide variety of serious injuries that require extensive diagnostic tests, as well as numerous treatment programs and physical therapy sessions. One of the most compelling types of physical evidence that you submit with an insurance claim (or the paperwork associated with a civil lawsuit) is the copies of all your medical records.
Even if you feel fine after a pedestrian accident, you should eventually have a physician complete diagnostic tests to ensure you are healthy.
What Are the Types of Monetary Damages for a Pedestrian Accident?
The primary goal of a personal injury attorney is to help a client get an insurance claim approved and file a civil lawsuit that leads to the awarding of monetary damages. Judges and juries that hear personal injury lawsuits typically award three types of monetary damages.
Also referred to as special compensatory damages, economic damages cover the costs associated with tangible expenses such as medical bills and property damage. Medical bills consist of diagnostic tests, treatment programs, and physical therapy sessions. You also can request compensation for prescription medications, as well as the use of an assistive device. If a pedestrian accident in Indianapolis forced you out of work, a civil lawsuit can include monetary damages that recover lost wages.
Getting struck by a motor vehicle can trigger a tremendous amount of emotional trauma. From recurring nightmares that make it difficult to sleep to a fear of walking alongside bustling downtown traffic, you might be able to file a civil lawsuit that covers the intangible costs associated with pain and suffering. “Pain and suffering” covers several debilitating symptoms, such as losing the enjoyment of participating in your favorite activities. Your lawyer calculates non-economic damages by using a formula that includes the value of economic damages.
Punitive damages penalize a defendant for committing one or more acts of negligence. If the defendant committed an intentional act of negligence, the judge hearing your case might award you a substantial amount of money for punitive damages. Another purpose behind awarding punitive damages is to discourage the defendant from committing the same act of negligence again.
Act today by scheduling a free case evaluation with one of the experienced pedestrian accident attorneys in Indianapolis from Morgan & Morgan.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
Many victims of personal injury incidents think they have to contact their insurance companies as quickly as possible after an accident. Instead of contacting your insurance company, speak with an Indiana-licensed personal injury attorney from Morgan & Morgan to receive advice on how to proceed with your case. Hiring a personal injury lawyer delivers several benefits that include having your legal counsel act as an intermediary between you and your insurance company. Because you have a limited amount of time to file an insurance claim and a civil lawsuit, you should act with a sense of urgency when getting a personal injury attorney involved with your case.