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What You Should Know If You Are Struck By A Car And Injured As A Pedestrian

Pedestrians often suffer the most severe, traumatic injuries in accidents involving an impact with a vehicle. Even a low-speed collision with a car in a driveway or parking lot can result in serious injuries such as spinal cord trauma or head injuries. Victims of pedestrian accidents can seek legal redress for their medical bills and other losses if a negligent driver caused their injuries.

Pedestrain Accidents

Filing a personal injury claim in Colorado Springs can be a complicated process and sometimes it is the only way to receive fair compensation for all of the economic and noneconomic damages incurred from a driver's negligence. Call The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. at (719) 475-2555 to learn more about your options and get your personal questions answered.

Who Has the Right of Way in Colorado Springs?

Both drivers and pedestrians have rights and duties. Regardless of the situation, all drivers are required to exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian. See C.R.S. § 42-4-807.

Pedestrians have a duty to obey the instructions of any official traffic control device applicable to the pedestrian unless they are otherwise directed by a police officer. C.R.S. § 42-4-801.

When crossing the roadway at a crosswalk, pedestrians have the right of way so long as they are complying with traffic control devices. C.R.S. § 42-4-802. For example, when a crosswalk has a traffic signal illuminating a steady "Don't Walk" indication, pedestrians shall refrain from entering the crosswalk. Outside of a crosswalk, however, pedestrians shall yield the right of way to all vehicles. C.R.S. § 42-4-803.

Dangerous Road Conditions for Pedestrians

A pedestrian can be put in danger by unsafe road conditions. These unsafe conditions can take on many forms. For example, traffic signals or signs may not be working properly or obscured from plain view. In a situation such as this, drivers shall yield the right of way to pedestrians in a crosswalk and pedestrians shall yield the right of way when crossing outside of a crosswalk. Even in a scenario such as this, a pedestrian has a duty not to enter the path of a moving vehicle in a manner which creates an immediate hazard for the driver. Debris on the road may obscure a crosswalk. Ice or water can leave the roadways slippery and dangerous. These and other similar conditions make it necessary for pedestrians to take extra caution when attempting to cross the road even if they possess the right of way.

Even if a pedestrian is partially responsible for a collision that does not mean that he or she is barred from recovery for the resulting injuries. Colorado has adopted a modified comparative fault standard for negligence cases. See Generally C.R.S. § 13-21-111. Modified comparative negligence means that, in an accident, both parties could be deemed to have a percentage of responsibility. If the plaintiff is found to be 50 percent or less responsible, he or she can still pursue compensation against the other party.

Pedestrian Accident Injuries Can Be Serious

Needless to say, when a vehicle hits a pedestrian the resulting injuries are frequently very serious and sometimes, in the most tragic cases, fatal. When a car strikes an adult, pedestrian injuries are sustained. Frequently these injuries include, but are not limited to, trauma to the legs, pelvis and torso. Upon contact with the ground, a person is at risk of serious head injuries which can lead to serious, lifelong impairments.

Children often suffer injuries to the head and neck when impacted by a car due to their smaller stature. These can include traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spine dislocations or injuries, and/or damage to the chest and abdomen. Any of these injuries can be serious, requiring hospitalization, surgery, and leave a child with life-long disabilities.

Hardships After Being Injured as a Pedestrian

A pedestrian accident is a very dangerous type of collision, and though a pedestrian might be very cautious and practice safety while taking a leisurely stroll, the reckless and careless actions of a motorist may change a person's life forever. As a pedestrian has no protection in a collision with a motor vehicle that can weigh several thousand pounds, the injuries the walker may suffer can be serious and even life-threatening. Following a pedestrian accident, a pedestrian may have broken bones, a brain injury, a spinal cord injury, or critical internal injuries, and the recovery after such a serious accident can be lengthy and medical care and treatment can be costly.

An injured pedestrian may also face additional financial hardships, such as the wages lost while not being able to work. Physically and emotionally recovering from a pedestrian accident is difficult enough, which is why pursing legal action against the at-fault party may be an excellent decision. Obtaining compensation from a personal injury claim can help alleviate the financial burden frequently associated with injury accidents and it will allow you to focus on what's most important: getting better.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

A large number of pedestrian accidents are preventable. The most common causes include, but are not limited to, driver error or negligent driving behavior. Failure to obey traffic signals, distracted driving, failure to yield the right-of-way, drunk driving and speeding are just a few examples of negligent driver behavior that may severely injure a pedestrian. In other incidents, a defective and/or poorly designed roadway or vehicle defect may be a contributing factor when a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle. Regardless of the situation, the at-fault party must be held accountable for justice to be served.

Filing a Claim & Getting Compensation in Colorado Springs

The obstacles an injured pedestrian may face following a crash can be many, but financial stresses should not be one of them, and compensation can be obtained to help with your accident-related losses and expenses. In a Colorado pedestrian accident case, compensation can be awarded for economic damages, which can include compensation for medical expenses, future and lost wages, or loss of earning capacity if a person is unable to return to work. In addition, non-economic damages can be given to a claimant. This may include compensation for what is typically referred to as "pain and suffering", which includes mental and emotional anguish that a person is experiencing as a result of the accident.

Making the decision to pursue legal action is not an easy one as a person will have a great deal to cope with after an accident, but compensation can certainly be one of the most important tools in the process of recovery.

Pursuing Your Legal Rights in Colorado Springs

If you or a loved one was a pedestrian injured in an accident, you need to reach out to a qualified personal injury attorney right away. Do not assume the insurance company will have your best interests at heart. Serious injuries and damages are frequently challenged by insurance company representatives and it is imperative that you have an experienced legal team to help increase the chances of recovering the full compensation you deserve. Every case must be individually valued, and we stand ready to help you with this important process. Find out more by contacting The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. at (719) 475-2555 today.

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