Pedestrian accidents often involve a motorized vehicle operated by negligent drivers. Motor vehicles can cause pedestrian accidents when drivers send or read text messages, use their cell phones, or fail to observe pedestrians walking on crosswalks. It is also possible for drivers who actually exercise ordinary care not to notice pedestrians on a busy street where crosswalks are not highlighted enough for motorists.
Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable when crossing the street or even walking along a sidewalk. Pedestrians often have little warning that they’re about to be hit, nor any ability to outmaneuver a speeding car, and they lack any sort of physical protection from injury when hit. Recovering from the immense physical damage that getting hit by a motor vehicle can cause often takes months or years of rehabilitation, leaving some victims with permanent physical limitations. Victims of pedestrian accidents may have crushing medical and rehabilitation expenses, often accrued while they’re unable to work and earn the money they need to pay these bills.
Why Pedestrian Accidents Happen
Drivers who fail to pay attention to the road ahead can cause catastrophic injuries for pedestrians. In fact, the rate of fatal injuries to pedestrians has climbed steadily in recent years, a change which many safety experts attribute to an increased rate of cell phone use behind the wheel. Distracted drivers may fail to scan the road ahead for people walking, or may not look to see whether someone is in a crosswalk before making a turn.
Claiming Compensation for Pedestrian Accidents
An injured pedestrian may claim compensatory damages from persons responsible for their injuries. The purpose of paying compensatory damages is to make the person whole again, to try to restore the injured person to the same position that they were in prior to the accident.
Drivers have a duty to avoid colliding with pedestrians. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may also claim punitive damages if you can establish that the accident was due to a degree of recklessness such as the driver or operator’s text messaging, being on a cell phone, playing with the radio, or in some cases, even watching television or a movie while driving.
These compensatory damages can include money for :
- Emergency room transportation
- Medical bills
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Medical equipment for home use
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
A skilled New Mexico personal injury attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding an accident, gathering evidence from eyewitnesses or through the use of accident reconstruction experts to determine what happened to cause an accident and to support your claim for money damages. After a pedestrian accident in New Mexico, contact the Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane as soon as possible to begin the process of filing your personal injury claim.
Responsibility for Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Accidents
If a pedestrian is a victim of a hit and run accident, they may pursue a claim for compensation against their own auto insurance policy. Many vehicle owners also carry Uninsured Motorist Coverage which allows them to recover compensation for accidents caused by another vehicle that does not stop, even when they were not in their own vehicle when they sustained injuries.
This type of coverage also allows an injured pedestrian to claim compensation when the vehicle that caused their injuries does not have insurance or is under-insured.
Traffic Laws and Pedestrian Rights Attorneys
Pedestrians are generally entitled to a higher standard of care. Regardless of the circumstances, pedestrians have the right of way when they’re involved in an accident. When presented with a pedestrian accident, our firm will examine and analyze details to determine potential liability for damages.
Where a driver or operator’s recklessness is apparent, we may pursue punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages.
How We Can Help
Pedestrians who suffer serious injuries in an accident may recover compensation from insurance companies or from the driver or parties responsible for their injuries.
Depending on the situation, we can help you claim compensation from your own insurance coverage if the other party is uninsured or does not stop and you are unable to obtain their insurance information. If you don’t have health insurance, we can lead you to agencies that allow you to recover from state insurance or that can take care of your medical bills.
Getting the money you need from insurers isn’t always easy. Even when you turn to your own insurance carrier for the coverage you’ve paid for, adjusters are often intent on paying out as little as possible on your claims. Having a knowledgeable and experienced New Mexico personal injury lawyer on your side can help to ensure that you don’t get bullied by insurers, and instead get the payment you need and deserve for your injuries.
In any case, our firm can represent you in pursing legal action against the driver or negligent party in order to help obtain compensation to which you are entitled. Call The Law Offices of Samuel I. Kane today (575) 526-5263.