Proving Liability in Pedestrian Accidents In Louisiana

Pedestrian Accidents In Louisiana

Proving Liability in Pedestrian Accidents In Louisiana: How A Skilled Attorney Can Help You

Louisiana roads pose many kinds of risks for pedestrians. When a pedestrian is struck by a car, truck, van, or another motor vehicle, the consequences can be devastating and even fatal. Those who survive such accidents are often left with catastrophic injuries that can stay with them for the rest of their lives.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that roughly one pedestrian dies every 88 minutes in the country. Pedestrians have no protection if they are involved in an accident in Louisiana, unlike motor vehicle occupants with seatbelts and airbags or motorcyclists and bicyclists who wear helmets and other protective and safety gear. 

Common Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents

Louisiana government agencies work diligently to ensure pedestrian safety by reducing speed limits and introducing stringent traffic laws, yet pedestrian accident numbers continue to rise. Some major factors that contribute to pedestrian accidents are:-

· Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;

· Distracted drivers or pedestrians;

· Falling asleep while driving;

· Speeding;

· Street racing;

· Traffic congestion;

· Recklessness or road rage;

· Bad weather conditions;

· Failure to obey traffic rules;

· Roadways are in bad condition;

· Construction zones;

· Pedestrians not using crosswalks to crossroads;

· Absence of sidewalks or sidewalks in poor conditions; or even

· Pedestrians wearing clothes of darker colors at night.

Pedestrian Laws In Louisiana

 Pedestrians in Louisiana must use a sidewalk where one is provided. It is illegal for pedestrians to walk along the roadways if there are sidewalks adjacent.

However, if there is no sidewalk available in the immediate area, pedestrians should walk along the left side of a roadway or on the road’s shoulder, facing traffic traveling in the opposite direction.

Under Louisiana pedestrian laws, pedestrians have the right of way in marked crosswalks.

Pedestrian signals such as walk/do not walk signs take priority versus traffic signals.

Vehicles must yield to any pedestrian within the crosswalk on the roadway the vehicle is traveling or turning onto.

This rule does not apply if the pedestrian is crossing the road at a juncture where there is a pedestrian tunnel or overhead pedestrian crossing is available.

Who Is Most Likely To Be Involved In A Pedestrian Accident?

While any pedestrian is in danger of being involved in an accident, certain groups of people are at a higher risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following are most at risk:

· Children are a high-risk group. Walking is a significant mode of transportation for children, and they are less likely to pay attention to traffic conditions;     

· Some occupations require employees to do their job close to traffic. For instance, police officers, construction workers, mail carriers, garbage collectors, and parking officers work near roads. This type of worker is involved in pedestrian accidents more often than others;

· Teenagers and young adults between the ages of 15 to 29 are most likely to be treated for injuries as a pedestrian in emergency rooms in comparison to any other age group;

· Unlawful street vendors who sell articles such as bottled water and newspapers to motorists are at risk of getting hit as they maneuver through moving traffic to sell. In some communities, youngsters are increasingly street-vending, especially during summer holidays. Pedestrians in Louisiana are not allowed to solicit along public roadways. Pedestrians may not approach or solicit vehicle drivers or occupants for rides (hitchhiking), employment, or business.

Places Where Pedestrian Accidents Are Most Likely To Occur

Intersections

Accidents between motorists and pedestrians can occur at intersections when the pedestrian is crossing in front of a motorist going straight or when the motorist is turning either right or left. 

Parking Areas

In parking areas, pedestrians are often occupied with tending to their children, pushing their carts, or carrying their packages. At the same time, drivers look for parking spaces, read store signs, or seek directions on their smartphones. Parking lots are a hotbed for pedestrian accidents as pedestrians and drivers are easily distracted.

Roadways Repair And Construction Sites

Construction of sidewalks, streets, and buildings creates a temporary unsafe environment for pedestrians and can cause accidents.

Outside Homes

Some of the most tragic pedestrian accidents occur outside people’s homes when they back up their vehicles and cannot see or are too distracted to notice a person or child behind them.

Places Of Attraction

Popular stores and restaurants always have crowds waiting outside them to get in. These lines of waiting people often spill onto the streets, and the possibility of pedestrian accidents increase.

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers – Our Louisiana Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Incorporate Proven Strategies for Establishing Liability in Pedestrian Accident Lawsuits

Liability differs in pedestrian accidents compared to car-on-car collisions.

Every pedestrian accident case is fact-specific. 

A successful civil case must be built around establishing which party was at fault for the accident. A personal injury lawyer will have a big part to play in compiling the necessary evidence.

A pedestrian accident lawyer at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers will work to secure all the necessary evidence and information like, where the accident took place, the location of crosswalks, who had the right of way, witness statements, medical records, and photographs of the crash site.

If someone violates a law by driving while drunk or distracted, it will be easier for the victim to establish that liability.

A pedestrian crossing at a crosswalk is less likely to be found at fault. The presence of and use of a crosswalk will help a pedestrian establish that they were doing the right thing and it was the driver’s fault.

Following the accident, law enforcement arrives and may issue a citation to who they believe to be the at-fault party.

One of the common ways to establish liability is to prove that the driver committed a traffic violation. This is referred to as “negligence per se” and can help automatically nail liability on the defendant without using other evidence to convince the court.

 With that being said, the driver may not have violated any traffic laws but could still be found liable. 

Speed can be a factor if a motorist has the right of way but is traveling at speeds greater than the speed limit. They most likely are going to be found at least partially liable.

A pedestrian crossing in a non-designated crosswalk area could be found at least partially negligent or responsible. Louisiana uses a pure comparative negligence doctrine for personal injury cases. Under this rule, you can sue any party that is found to be at least 1% liable for your injuries. The compensation you can recover from the defendant will be reduced by a percentage equal to your liability.

Although insurance companies are required by law to treat everyone fairly and honor every valid claim that is filed, they sometimes need to properly handle and investigate claims, create unreasonable delays, or otherwise refuse to settle valid claims fairly.

Louisiana personal injury attorney Bart Bernard knows that insurance companies prioritize their profits over people. He is dedicated and passionate about leveling the playing field between his clients and the powerful insurance companies he often faces in civil claims and lawsuits.

If you or a loved one were a pedestrian hurt because of someone else’s negligent act in Louisiana, you might be able to take legal action to seek compensation for your medical treatment and other damages.

To learn more about pedestrian accident claims and how our Louisiana personal injury law firm can help you, contact us for a FREE consultation.

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