If you or someone you love was struck by a car, you may be dealing with a long list of medical bills, lost wages, or even mourning the passing of a loved one. Unfortunately, the insurance company that should compensate you for these losses is not on your side.
You deserve experienced, compassionate, and effective legal representation. LTC Karl Truman and his team of personal injury attorneys have been fighting for injury victims in Kentucky and Indiana and holding the insurance companies accountable for more than 30 years. Call (502) 222-2222 for a free case evaluation in Louisville, Kentucky, or contact our office in Jeffersonville, Indiana, at (812) 282-8500 today.
Pedestrian Accidents Are Frequently Severe
No type of collision is more dangerous than pedestrian accidents. In 2021, only about 1 out of every 120 car accidents in Kentucky involved a pedestrian. Yet these accidents were responsible for nearly 10 percent of the total traffic fatalities—and those who survive often must learn to live with severe, life-altering injuries—broken bones, brain injuries, and more.
Because pedestrians lack the protections of those in passenger vehicles, motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians or riders result in a higher rate of serious injuries and death than collisions between just passenger vehicles.
Common severe injuries in pedestrian accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Organ damage
- Loss-of-limb/amputation injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Who Is Responsible for My Pedestrian Accident?
In most cases, pedestrian accidents happen because of a driver’s negligence. Most often, the driver fails to see or react to the presence of a pedestrian until it’s too late. Common examples include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- to pedestrians at marked crosswalks
- Running a stop sign or traffic light
However, both drivers and pedestrians share a responsibility to follow the rules of the road and exercise reasonable care and caution. A pedestrian might be ruled at fault if, for example, they tried to cross the street somewhere other than a marked crosswalk and the oncoming driver did not have enough time to react.
Liability can also be shared between multiple parties—for example, if a pedestrian was jaywalking but the driver was also speeding excessively. (Jaywalking is not specifically outlawed in either Indiana or Kentucky law, but pedestrians must yield the right of way to traffic if crossing anywhere other than a crosswalk.)
In both Kentucky and Indiana, a person’s share of the fault decreases the amount of compensation they can receive by the same percentage. Kentucky is a “pure” comparative negligence state, meaning someone who is even 99% at fault can still receive 1% of their claimed damages. In Indiana, the process works the same way, except that an injured person must be no more than 50% at fault to receive any compensation.
Sometimes, insurance companies try to use comparative negligence rules to their advantage, unfairly blaming pedestrians for a crash. If an adjuster or insurance company tries to reduce or deny your claim, do not assume their comparative fault calculations are correct. Instead, immediately consult with an experienced car accident lawyer at Karl Truman Law Office.
Damages in a Pedestrian Accident
If you or a loved one suffered a pedestrian accident injury, you may be eligible to compensation for your losses, including:
- Economic damages. After the car accident, you may be left with significant medical bills, lost wages, and other financial losses. You are entitled to seek compensation for these economic damages, including any future treatment costs and wage losses that can be attributed to the injury.
- Non-economic damages. Some damages don’t come with an easy price tag—for example, chronic pain, loss of cognitive functioning due to a brain injury, or loss of enjoyment of life from being unable to enjoy your favorite hobbies or spend quality time with friends and family. Because pedestrian accident injuries are often catastrophic, the compensation awarded for non-economic damages may be several times the economic damages.
- Punitive damages. In some cases, punitive damages may be added if the at fault driver’s conduct was especially egregious, reckless, or malicious. For example, a drunk driver traveling 30 miles per hour over the speed limit might be assessed punitive damages if they hit someone.
Wrongful Death Damages
If your loved one is killed in a pedestrian accident that wasn’t their fault, close relatives may be able to file suit for compensation in a wrongful death case. Compensatory damages that can be awarded include:
- Funeral expenses
- Burial expenses
- Medical costs incurred before death
- Loss of love and companionship
- Loss of future earnings
Kentucky also allows punitive damages in wrongful death cases in cases that merit them. (Indiana does not.)
How a Louisville Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
You might think that liability in your pedestrian accident case is obvious. However, like many other kinds of personal injury claims, cases are often complicated. At-fault drivers and their insurance companies often dispute the facts of the case. The driver may not be honest about how fast they were going, or who had the right of way at a pedestrian crossing. And if the pedestrian may not even be able to give their side of the story if they were catastrophically injured or killed.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to not only prove the driver’s negligence, but also fight for fair value for your damages. Strategies and tactics your lawyer can help you with include:
- Obtaining a driver’s mobile phone data (to determine if they were a distracted driver)
- other potential sources of digital evidence (including event data recorder information, security camera footage, or dash cam footage)
- Gathering witness statements from people who were at the scene
- Working with traffic and crash reconstruction experts to estimate vehicle speed, pedestrian visibility, and other critical facts of the case
- Working with doctors, medical researchers, life care planners, and other experts who can accurately assess long-term care needs and expenses
- Negotiating with the driver’s insurance company on your behalf (which can protect you from making preventable mistakes that could hurt your case)
Another important way an attorney can help is by identifying any potential sources of insurance that would apply in your situation.
In both Kentucky and Indiana, drivers only have to carry $25,000 in bodily injury liability insurance per person. If you suffered significant injuries because of an auto accident, like a spinal cord injury, your damages will easily exceed this coverage. Your lawyer can help you evaluate all your insurance options (including personal injury protection, underinsured motorist coverage, health insurance, or even other potentially liable parties) and even negotiate with healthcare providers to both maximize your recovery and settle your debts under the best possible terms.
Don’t Forget the Statute of Limitations
If you’ve been injured, it’s important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Kentucky has only a one-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases. (In Indiana, the statute of limitations is two years.) However, this overstates the available time, since evidence can begin to disappear quickly after a pedestrian accident, and it may take months to build a compelling legal case.
If you do not file a lawsuit before the time limit, you will have no way to obtain compensation for your injuries. The sooner you speak to an attorney, the better your chances of a successful recovery.
Count on the Colonel
Our pedestrian accident lawyers have extensive experience helping injury victims and their families from the Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville, Indiana, areas pursue the financial peace of mind they need to cope with medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages.
If you or a loved one need legal assistance after an accident, contact our team today or call us at (502) 222-2222 to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers.
Ross, P. et al (2022 October). Kentucky Traffic Collision Facts 2021 Report. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Report No. KTC-23-05/PT-2-22-00-00-87. Retrieved from https://transportation.ky.gov/HighwaySafety/Documents/CollisionFacts2021.pdf
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.