Pedestrians have specific rights under the law, and it is the responsibility of every driver to both know and respect them. When drivers fail to acknowledge pedestrians' rights, it can result in serious accidents that end in life-changing or even fatal injuries.
If you or a loved one has been injured because of a driver’s negligence, you may have grounds to seek compensation in a personal injury claim.
Obtaining fair compensation can be quite complex, however; insurance companies are notorious for attempting to wrongfully blame the victims. It is recommended that you seek the advice of an experienced Rhode Island pedestrian accident lawyer, like ours at Karns & Kerrison, who will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve. We are here to protect your rights because we truly care.
Understanding Your Rights as a Pedestrian
When most people think of pedestrian accidents, the only thing they think of is a person who was hit by a car while crossing the street. But for the purpose of a legal claim, a pedestrian includes anyone who was walking across a street, standing on a corner or the side of the road, walking down a sidewalk, or even sitting at a bus stop or business.
In other words, everyone is a pedestrian at some point. Even drivers are considered pedestrians when they walk from a parking spot to a store, restaurant, etc.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Based on 2018 national data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one pedestrian is killed every 88 minutes in a crash. That amounts to thousands of lives lost every year. Further, in 2017, the CDC reported that about 137,000 pedestrians were admitted to the emergency room for crash-related injuries.
So why are pedestrian accidents so common? Sadly, many drivers have dangerous driving habits that can easily lead to an accident.
Several of the most common causes of pedestrian crashes include:
- Illegal U-turns
- Drunk and impaired driving
- Failing to yield to pedestrians
- Ignoring school zone regulations
- Running stop signs and red lights
- Distracted driving, like texting and driving
- Failing to check for pedestrians when turning
- Speeding, especially on residential or city streets
Due to low visibility, pedestrian accidents are more common at night than during the day. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 75% of all pedestrian accidents in 2019 occurred while it was dark outside.
Determining Fault in a Pedestrian Accident
You have likely heard that a pedestrian always has the right of way. For the most part, this is true. The rules of the road require drivers to yield to lawful pedestrians, so the blame for most accidents will be attributed to the driver.
That noted, there are some cases in which the pedestrian may be considered at fault. This may mean they ran out into the street without giving the driver enough time to react. It may also mean they were walking while distracted or ignoring traffic laws.
Our Rhode Island pedestrian accident attorneys are skilled in determining fault and liability in all types of pedestrian crashes. Don’t let the at-fault party blame you for their negligence.
What Happens in Cases of Shared Liability?
Fortunately, the state of Rhode Island allows partially at-fault accident victims to recover compensation for their injuries and damages.
Under the state’s “pure comparative negligence” rule, the victim will be responsible for their share of the damages. If the accident resulted in a $100,000 medical bill, but the pedestrian was 20% at fault for the crash, they will be responsible for paying 20% of that bill. The party 80% at fault for the crash will need to compensate the victim for the remaining $80,000.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, even if you are partially at fault, do not wait to seek legal representation. The sooner you begin, the stronger your chances of recovering compensation will be.
Call (888) 281-3100 for Effective Legal Help
The potential injuries victims can suffer in pedestrian accidents can sometimes require a lifetime of care. At Karns & Kerrison, we help clients obtain financial support so that they can afford this care, as well as to compensate for their past medical expenses, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, among other economic and non-economic damages.
To ensure that we seek the right compensation for all your current and future needs, our Rhode Island pedestrian accident attorneys take the time to fully understand the extent of your injuries. We have over 85 years of combined experience with these claims; we will not allow the insurance company to give you a lowball settlement.
Call (888) 281-3100 to book a free consultation! With offices in Providence and Middletown, our Rhode Island pedestrian accident lawyers represent clients across the state.
Car Accident Traumatic Brain InjuryI would definitely recommend Karns & Kerrison to anyone who asked - they come through for you.
- Patricia Feeley
Slipped on Greasy FloorI have no reservations whatsoever in recommending Karns & Kerrison.
- Mike Carey
Rear End CollisionNothing but positive results from consultation, to filing the legal suit, handling of a major operation, to recovery and finalizing a generous settlement.
- Larry Goldfarb
Horrible Car AccidentThey not only got me a fair settlement, they helped to get me well.
Motor Vehicle Accident - Braga BridgeIt was comforting to know I had someone watching out for me.
- Jeanie Small
Pedestrian hit by CarI did not know where to turn when I realized I needed legal help but I am very happy that I found Karns & Kerrison.