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Pedestrians Have To Watch Out For Negligent Motorists

We all know how common it is to see drivers not paying attention these days because they are on their phone, changing the music, eating, texting or just plain old not paying attention to the road and their surroundings. Most drivers are looking for other cars on the road and don’t check sidewalks and crosswalks very well which can end up causing a lot of harm to the pedestrian if they get hit. To avoid getting in a pedestrian accident make sure to watch for other drivers & pedestrians, but if you do get into an accident, make sure you contact a top rated Colorado Springs pedestrian accident lawyer right away.

Pedestrian Accident In Colorado Springs

Even being hit by a vehicle at a slow speed can end up causing serious injuries with high medical expenses such as whiplash, neck, back and spinal cord injuries and possibly even broken bones or internal bleeding. These injuries should not be taken lightly and if the accident was the fault of the driver, then you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault parties. Don’t just blindly accept any settlement the insurance company sends you, let our pedestrian accident lawyers look over your case to ensure you are being fairly compensated for your injury.

Determining Liability

Not every pedestrian accident is straightforward in terms of whose fault the accident was. Sometimes it is partially both party’s fault due to the circumstances surrounding the event. To give an example, bad road conditions or obstructions in the road may cause the driving conditions to be much worse than a normal sunny day which means that both drivers and pedestrians must take more caution than usual.

Pedestrians have a duty to not put themselves in front of moving vehicles and must give drivers even more room to safely operate their vehicle when bad road conditions are present. Sometimes these situations bring about accidents that mean both parties are partially at fault for the accident however, if you as the pedestrian are less than 50% at fault for the accident, you can still pursue compensation for any damages incurred when filing a pedestrian accident claim.

Common Causes Of Colorado Pedestrian Accidents

The most common cause of pedestrian accidents is driver negligence. Meaning the driver wasn’t paying attention while driving, drunk driving, distracted driving or disobeying traffic laws. Malfunctioning vehicles and poor road conditions can also be a major factor in pedestrian accidents such as swerving to miss a pothole and hitting someone or icy roads that cause a driver to slide into a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

There are many different driver faults that can cause accidents, but pedestrians also play a major role. If you are crossing the street illegally, then you may be partly at fault for any accidents that happen due to your actions. When drivers aren’t expecting pedestrians to be in the road, it can startle the driver and cause unnecessary reactions that cause the driver to make a mistake. Also, crossing a street too slowly and still being present in the crosswalk after the “Walk” sign has gone away, drivers could have a green turn light that tells them to go and not realize that there is a pedestrian still crossing. This happens a lot in major cities with a lot of foot traffic.

Getting Compensation For Your Injuries

If you were a pedestrian that was struck by a motor vehicle, you probably have medical bills to deal with, lost wages from missing work, overdue bills because of missing work, lifelong injuries that will affect you forever or many other unfortunate things. This can cause serious financial damage to your life and if you aren’t the one at fault, then you shouldn’t have your life ruined over it.

By hiring an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer from Rector Stuzynski LLC, you can be sure that you are going to get an expert defense that is backed by evidence and accident reconstruction professionals so that we can go to court and fight for maximum compensation for your inconveniences. This can mean suing the insurance company involved or the at-fault driver directly if they didn’t have insurance at the time of the accident. We will fight to get compensation for any monetary costs incurred as well as any other damages that were done from mental or emotional traumas and more.

Is Your Accident Claim Valid?

Knowing if your pedestrian accident claim is valid, meaning you will be able to get a settlement for your injuries, is the first step in determining if your case is worth moving forward with. Valid claims have 4 common parts involved, and are the same as any negligence action. First is the Duty Of Care which means you or the other party has a responsibility to act a certain way that is safe for the other people around you. In terms of pedestrian accidents, this means as a driver you need to obey all traffic laws and watch out for pedestrians when driving, especially in high foot traffic areas such as Downtown Colorado Springs. For pedestrians, this means you need to obey all local laws such as not jaywalking, staying on the sidewalks and waiting for crosswalk signals before crossing the street to name a few.
The second part of a valid claim is a Breach Of Duty, meaning the at fault party did not follow local laws and regulations which played a major role in the accident happening. This could be a situation where a driver turned and hit a pedestrian because they didn’t check to see if there was anyone crossing the road or could be the opposite, where a pedestrian crossed the street illegally and was hit by a car The fault in those situations would lie on the shoulders of the person who acted in an illegal manner and breached their duty of care.
Causation is the third part that needs to be prevalent in the case. If the act that was a breach of duty is what caused the injury to happen, then the causation is present and valid. To make this simpler, most pedestrian accidents are caused by negligent drivers or negligent pedestrians. When the negligent act is directly what caused the accident, such as running a red light or a person running across a street with traffic coming, this is causation because the accident would not have happened if that person would have followed the local laws and regulations.

The last factor needed is Damages. If there are injuries and costs associated with recovery or replacing damaged property, then the at fault party will be held responsible for compensating the victim. Without economic or non-economic damages present in the case, there is nothing to be compensated for. Injury claims are civil lawsuits and not criminal, so there has to be a logical method of holding the at fault party accountable for their actions, which in pedestrian accident cases would be monetary damages, injuries, medical bills, damaged property replacement costs, loss of life, emotional distress and more.

How Long Will It Take To Get A Settlement?

The timeline for getting a settlement can vary drastically across every different accident claim because the circumstances are never the same. The things that make the biggest difference in how long it will take to receive a settlement are as follows: proving liability, both parties agreeing on who is liable, cost of any bills associated with the accident, insurance companies, non-economic damage amounts, the amount of available insurance coverage, and most importantly, how long it takes for the injured party to get better. When both parties do not agree on any of these things, then negotiations have to be made or one side has to prove with certainty that the compensation being requested is fair and accurate according to the actual costs and how valuations are calculated.
If one party does not agree with the compensation request at all, then your claim could go to trial which can drag the process out for a much longer time. Luckily, the law is mostly straightforward with these types of things and lawyers will oftentimes be reasonable when the evidence is clear; however, many times insurance companies are not so lenient on their negotiations. With that being said, most pedestrian accident cases are settled without having to go to trial so in these cases it may only take weeks to a few months to fully settle after the injured person completes medical treatment. But if the case goes to trial you can expect the process to take at least another year before a settlement is reached. Your Colorado Springs pedestrian accident attorney will be able to get a good idea of how it should play out once they have all of the evidence and then give you a ballpark estimate on timelines.

How Our Attorneys Prove Liability After An Accident

Who is liable for your accident and why? Though the claim will be made against the person who caused the accident, it is generally that person’s insurance company that negotiates and pays the settlement amount.   Figuring out the liability is a different story though and requires thorough investigation. Police reports will be used to determine liability as well as eyewitness testimony, pictures and videos of the accident, physical evidence that is available and more.
Our pedestrian accident lawyers are very familiar with analyzing accident scenes & evidence and forming an accurate depiction of what really happened. In the case where things are so easy to determine, professional accident recreation experts will be brought in to recreate the accident scene and figure out if what was said to have happened is possible and likely the real situation. Don’t worry though, our exceptional attorneys will handle all of this for you.

What Our Law Firm Does For You

Being in an accident can severely affect your life in the short and long term. Injuries can keep you from working or being mobile to get to appointments, medical bills stack up and wages from missed work could be lost as well. With all this to deal with, you don’t need to pile a lawsuit on top of all that, which is why our experienced pedestrian accident lawyers are here to help you through the entire process. Our goal is to make the lawsuit or settlement process as easy as possible on you so you can relieve some stress and get back to normal life as soon as possible.
Our law firm will handle everything we are legally allowed to when you choose to work with us and our staff will keep you up to date on any major updates and things you need to know as they happen. We dive deep into every detail of the accident so we can build a case that is backed by evidence and goes into negotiations with the strongest chance possible of getting a fair settlement for you. Our initial consultation will go over the case in depth and we will provide our assessment of the situation to you as well as next steps for moving forward. During the case you can expect hands on representation throughout the entire process. We fight to get your settlement agreed to as soon as possible while still maximizing the amount of compensation you receive. Even once your claim is finished we will still help you get all of the involved bills, contracts and paperwork settled for a (mostly) pain free experience.

How Much Compensation Could You Receive?

There is no magic number we can put on the valuation of every pedestrian accident claim, but once we dig into the details of your claim we will be able to provide an estimate on what we should be able to recover for you. Until then, you can put together a ballpark estimate of what you may be entitled to by adding up all of your medical bills associated with the accident, any property damage replacement costs, lost wages and any other monetary costs that were incurred due to the accident. You may also be entitled to receive compensation for non-economic damages which are things like pain and suffering, long term injuries, emotional distress and more. These are harder to calculate, and often times insurance companies do not fully account for these types of damages in their settlement offers.

Keep in mind however, that the ultimate settlement amount depends upon the amount of available insurance coverage.  In Colorado Springs, a driver only needs to carry $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance to comply with the law.  That is rarely enough to fully compensate a pedestrian who is hit by a car while walking.  That’s why it’s always a good idea to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage on your own car insurance policy.  This is a special kind of coverage that you pay a premium for that protects you in the case of an accident if the at-fault driver does not have adequate coverage to meet your needs.  We always recommend that people carry as much uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage as they can afford.  If you have questions about this type of coverage, call our office or your insurance agent.  Often times it is less expensive than people think, and it can be the difference between getting a minimal settlement or receiving full and just compensation for injuries if you are ever in a bad accident.

How To Avoid Pedestrian Accidents As A Driver

As a motorist, it can be very hard to see pedestrians sometimes, especially when there are visual impairments such as trees, cars, bushes, buildings and other things that may be blocking your line of sight. Pedestrians are also much smaller than cars and less prevalent on the roads so we don’t look for pedestrians as much. This leads to serious accidents that can leave the pedestrian with catastrophic injuries so here are some tips to avoid these types of situations.

Double check for pedestrians in the roadway when turning left or right in your vehicle as this is one of the most common times for accidents to occur, especially at night. Pay extra attention in heavy foot traffic areas such as Downtown Colorado Springs as pedestrians can pop out from around a corner very quickly. Watch carefully for pedestrians crossing the street even when not at an intersection and also check for people opening their car doors on the side of the road.

Statute Of Limitations

In Colorado Springs, you have a limited time to file a lawsuit when involved in a pedestrian accident. The statute of Limitations requires that you file your claim within 3 years of the incident happening. If you were struck by a government vehicle, you only have 182 days and you actually have to notify the branch that was responsible before filing your lawsuit. Don’t wait until the last minute to file as your lawyer will need time to get a case together for you. The sooner you get your case started the better, so don’t hesitate to give us a call today for a free case evaluation.

Staying Compliant When Crossing Roads

In Colorado Springs, pedestrians have rules to follow as well as other drivers. To make sure you are aware of these laws, here are a few helpful tips. All drivers must use caution to avoid collisions with pedestrians on the roadways however, pedestrians also have to obey any traffic control devices and signs applicable to them at the time unless specifically instructed otherwise by a police officer. When crossing the street outside of a crosswalk, pedestrians must yield to drivers as they always have the right of way when no crosswalk is present.

When a pedestrian is at a light and the “Don’t Walk” sign is illuminated, pedestrians are required to remain on the sidewalks and out of the roadway as drivers have the right of way at that time. While the “Walk” sign is illuminated, drivers must give the right of way to pedestrians who are in the crosswalk even if the driver has a green light. These decisions are made quickly and not always with complete regard to the laws.

Drivers also may not have seen you as a pedestrian crossing the street as people are much harder to spot than cars and can appear out of nowhere if the driver’s line of sight was blocked by a building, sign, tree, parked car or other obstruction. This is a very common thing in downtown areas due to the heavy foot traffic and the limited visibility at corners and intersections.

It is especially dangerous to be crossing busy roads at night when it is dark outside. Many intersections are not well lit and it can be very hard to see pedestrians at night when other vehicle headlights are already shining in the driver’s eyes, so make sure to take extra caution in times where visibility is drastically reduced. Wearing reflective clothing while walking at night is recommended, even more so if walking on roads without sidewalks at night.

Contact Our Law Firm For Help With Your Claim

We have helped countless pedestrians get compensation for their injuries after being struck by a negligent motorist. It happens all too often these days as distracted driving becomes more and more rampant, but don’t worry, Rector Stuzynski LLC specializes in pedestrian accident law and is here to help you fight for justice and get back to normal life as quickly as possible. We offer free consultations anytime, so give us a call today at (719) 578-1106 to speak about your case.

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Areas We Serve

We serve clients injured in pedestrian accidents anywhere throughout the state of Colorado, but we focus on residents of these areas: Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Fountain, Briargate, Monument, Black Forest, Pueblo, Canon City, Larkspur, Security-Widefield, Peyton, Falcon, Calhan, Castle Rock, Teller County, El Paso County, Elbert County, Park County, Douglas County and beyond.

We serve clients injured in the following zip codes: 80907, 80909, 80918, 80917, 80931, 80932, 80933, 80934, 80935, 80936, 80937, 80941, 80942, 80946, 80947, 80949, 80950, 80960, 80962, 80977 ,80995 ,80997 80901, 80912, 80904, 80915, 80905, 80910, 80923, 80922, 80919, 80920, 80916, 80939, 80914, 80951, 80924, 80927, 80938, 80906, 80840, 80829, 80902, 80809, 80841, 80911, 80908, 80929, 80819, 80921, 80925, 80132, 80926, 80913, 80863, 80817, 80831, 80133, 80930, 80860, 80814, 80813, 80118, 80106, 80928, 80866, 80816, 80808, 80104, 80116, 81008, 80864, 80135, 81240, 81007, 80109, 81290, 80107, 80108, 80425, 81215, 81221, 80117, 80827, 81212, 80134, 80835, 81003, 80131, 81226, 81001, 80138, 80125, 81002, 81009, 81010, 81011, 81012, 80124, 81244, 80126, 80820, 80130, 80163, 80433, 80129, 80833, 80112, 80832, 81025, 81005, 81223, 81006, 80470, 80127, 80122 and beyond.