Walking is a great way to get some exercise and it is the main form of transportation some people have. Even people who have a car have to walk around Alabama at some point. They cross the street or traverse through a parking lot. Unfortunately, this state has one of the highest rates of pedestrian accident fatalities. Furthermore, many injuries occur even when no lives are lost.
Many pedestrian accidents are caused by distracted driving and reckless driving. Drivers look at their phones, speed or fail to obey traffic signals. They may also disregard weather conditions or drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
However, sometimes pedestrians are at fault. They can also be distracted on the road. Many look down at their phones to text or browse social media pages. Pedestrians then drift into traffic or fail to notice an oncoming vehicle.
If you frequently walk along the street, you could end up being a victim. You may wonder about your rights.
Pedestrian Rights and Responsibilities According to an Alabama Car Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been hit by a car, you are likely to be injured and confused about how to proceed. The driver may try to blame you for the collision, so they don’t have to pay damages. This can happen even if you were on the crosswalk. If you don’t know your rights, you may think you have no recourse. The truth is that even though you are subject to some rules, drivers are often held to a higher standard of care.
You are required to obey traffic signals unless directed otherwise by a law enforcement officer. However, if you are on a sidewalk, you will usually have the right-of-way. The same applies if you are on a crosswalk without a signal or with a signal which isn’t working. Drivers must slow down or stop as they approach you if you are in or near their lane.
Since you don’t have the protection of a vehicle, the law leans in your favor. However, you can still be deemed negligent. You may fail to exercise reasonable care by crossing against the traffic lights or darting in front of a vehicle. You can also be deemed negligent if you walk on the roadway even though a sidewalk is available. Furthermore, you’re not allowed to be on the roadway if you’re:
- Under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Attempting to hitchhike
- Soliciting employment, donation or business from drivers or passengers
Why You Need to Hire an Alabama Car Accident Lawyer
If you’re a pedestrian who has been hit by a car, you need to seek legal advice. While you have rights, the driver will try their best to blame you. However, if the accident was their fault, their insurance company should pay up.
Here are some of the ways an Alabama car accident lawyer will help you to assert your rights:
- They will manage the accident investigation for you. It is important to ascertain who was at fault for the accident since this determines who has to pay compensation. If the driver disputes that they were at fault, you may need someone to independently investigate the accident. Your attorney will have access to experts who can assist.
- They will make sure you understand the legal process. Determining fault is not the only thing you need to consider. Your Alabama car accident lawyer will also ensure you are aware of the statute of limitations and exactly how to file a lawsuit.
- They will calculate your damages and negotiate with the insurance company. You may think about your damages only in terms of the medical bills you incurred. However, as your attorney will tell you, there are also non-economic and punitive damages to consider. These and future losses can be difficult for you to calculate. However, your attorney will be able to look at the full picture and negotiate with an insurance adjuster.
- They will fight in court on your behalf if necessary. Sometimes, negotiations fail and you may need to sue the insurance company or the driver. An experienced Alabama car accident lawyer knows their way around the courtroom and how to build a strong case.
Contact The Vance Law Firm for Assistance with Your Case
If you want to ensure you have the strongest possible case, reach out to an Alabama car accident lawyer. At the Vance Law Firm, we know Alabama traffic laws. We understand how to negotiate with insurance companies and how to fight a case in court. Moreover, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means you benefit from a free initial consultation and if you hire us, we only get paid if you win. Our fee will be a percentage of your settlement. If you’re ready to fight for your rights, contact us today!