Auto accidents can result in serious injuries, but when the collision is between a vehicle and a pedestrian, the consequences can be devastating. The car crash lawyers at Briggs & Wholey are dedicated to protecting the rights of victims throughout Maine. If you were injured as a pedestrian in an auto accident, we can assist you.Pedestrian Accidents Can Cause Serious Harm
According to data from the state Department of Transportation, there were 1,292 collisions involving pedestrians in Maine between 2006 and 2010. Of those, 56 were fatal and 240 resulted in incapacitating injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, two-thirds of pedestrian fatalities happen in urban areas. Drivers need to be aware of people around them and take precautions when operating their vehicles.Seeking Compensation from a Negligent Driver
When motorists do not follow the laws related to pedestrians, it is usually the pedestrian who faces a real risk of serious injury. Claims arising from these accidents are generally negligence lawsuits. In a negligence case, the victim has to prove the defendant had a duty to him or her, the defendant breached the duty, the injuries were proximately caused by the defendant’s negligence, and quantifiable damages stemmed from the accident. Drivers generally have a duty to use reasonable care when operating their vehicles, so a citation or other evidence that a driver violated traffic laws may support a claim for negligence. For example, a motorist who runs a red light or speeds through an intersection, striking a pedestrian, likely has breached the duty of care.
A victim who prevails in a negligence claim may be able to recover medical expenses, lost wages, and compensation for pain and suffering, among any other damages that may be appropriate in the circumstances. When a tragic death results from an accident involving a pedestrian, the personal representative of the deceased person may be able to bring a wrongful death claim. Maine law sets out how the proceeds of these lawsuits are distributed if they are successful. Damages recoverable for wrongful death may include medical expenses and funeral costs, in addition to names for loss of consortium and the “conscious suffering” of the deceased person before he or she passed away.
If the jury finds that the injured person was also negligent, it may reduce the recovery by the amount it finds to be proportionate to the victim’s responsibility for the accident. No compensation is available if the victim was as much at fault as the defendant for causing the accident.
Negligence claims for injuries arising from a car accident generally have a six-year statute of limitations in Maine. Wrongful death claims, however, must be brought within two years. Any victim should promptly seek the advice of an experienced attorney to determine the applicable statute of limitations and ensure that any claim is brought in a timely manner.Discuss Your Auto Accident Claim with a Maine Lawyer
A pedestrian who is struck by an automobile may suffer serious harm. Even at relatively low speeds, a collision between a car and a person can result in permanent disability. If you have been hurt or lost a loved one because a driver was careless, you should seek the advice of an auto accident attorney without delay. The Maine lawyers at Briggs & Wholey have been serving injured individuals for nearly 30 years combined. Schedule a free consultation with us by calling (888) 596-1099 or contacting us online.