Let a New Orleans Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Fight for Your Compensation
You should feel safe as a pedestrian, and your life does not have to be at risk for simply crossing the street on foot. Unfortunately, as our New Orleans pedestrian accident lawyers know all too well, in Louisiana your risk of pedestrian accidents and injuries is one of the highest in the country. According to a 2019 report released by the National Complete Streets Coalition and Smart Growth America, Louisiana ranked number four among all 50 states for pedestrian danger.
From 2008 to 2017, Louisiana recorded 551 pedestrian deaths, which is equivalent to 1.84 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people in the state. The report also revealed that automobile driver related pedestrian injuries and deaths have risen from 11.8 percent to 16.1 percent over the last decade.
Pedestrians are Most Vulnerable to Injuries
Pedestrians are at a much higher risk of catastrophic injuries and fatalities because they do not have the kind of protections that a car driver has. An overwhelming majority of pedestrian injuries occur in New Orleans because of driver negligence and their refusal to give the right of way to pedestrians in violation of the law.
Pedestrians in Louisiana are most vulnerable injuries in the following areas:
- Uncontrolled crossings and crosswalks
- Residential streets
- Shoulder of a highway
- Driveways and parking lots
- Loading zones and alleys
Pedestrian injuries can be life-altering if at all the victim is fortunate enough to survive the accident. Recovery and rehabilitation can take up to months or even years, resulting in mounting medical costs and loss of income. If you or someone you love has suffered personal injuries as a pedestrian in Louisiana because of a motorist’s fault, you have a right to claim damages.
Our dedicated and competent pedestrian accident lawyers at Bloom Legal in New Orleans will carefully evaluate the facts and circumstances surrounding your case. We will collect the strongest possible evidence and prepare a robust legal strategy to help you obtain maximum compensation from the negligent party.
Louisiana Laws to Protect Pedestrians
In Louisiana, pedestrian signals like walk/do not walk are given precedence over traffic signals. You can enter a crosswalk as a pedestrian when the pedestrian signal says “walk”. All vehicles are required to stop until you have reached a neutral area, safety zone or sidewalk when the pedestrian signal shows “do not walk.”
When a motorist has stopped at an intersection crosswalk to allow the pedestrian to cross the road, any vehicles approaching behind that motorist must not pass the stopped driver. Drivers in Louisiana are also required to use their car’s horn to make a pedestrian alert about their presence, and must slow down and drive safely to avoid an accident with a pedestrian.
The law requires Louisiana drivers to observe how a pedestrian is behaving while walking close to the roadway. If a motorist believes that the pedestrian might be confused, lost, or appears intoxicated, they must exercise more caution to protect the pedestrian from getting hit.
Commonly Occurring Pedestrian Injuries
Pedestrian accident injuries that may typically occur in a collision with an automobile in New Orleans include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): If the pedestrian’s head hits against the vehicle or the road surface, it may result in traumatic brain injury. TBI can cause serious and permanent damage to the brain and neurological health of the victim, debilitating them for life.
- Spinal cord injuries: The pedestrian may suffer injury to the spinal cord, or the cord may get severed at some points during a collision with a car. This injury may result in partial paralysis in the area below the point of injury, or sometimes even full body paralysis.
- Pelvic injuries: In pedestrian accidents, typically the hood of the oncoming vehicle hits the victim, which can lead to a broken hip bone or other pelvic injuries. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to these types of injuries because their bones are already frail with age.
- Fractures and internal injuries: Bone fractures, lacerations, and internal injuries such as broken ribs, punctured organs, and internal bleeding may occur when the massive external force of an automobile hits a human body. These injuries occur most commonly in pedestrian accidents in Louisiana.
- Wrongful death: Among all types of accidents on the roads involving a motor vehicle, the incidence of fatalities is the highest in pedestrian accidents. The size of the vehicle, the speed at which it was moving at the time of impact and the nature of injuries can result in wrongful death of a pedestrian.
How Your New Orleans Pedestrian Lawyer Will Establish Fault
Louisiana is a comparative negligence state, which means that your compensation for your pedestrian accident injuries could be proportionately reduced by the extent (percentage) to which you contributed to your own injuries. Therefore, you should be aware that the at-fault driver and their insurance company will use all possible arguments in their defense to put at least a part of the blame on you for your injuries.
The defendant may claim that you should have yielded the right-of-way to the motorist in the given situation. Even if the negligent driver may have been speeding, they may try to claim that you were jaywalking and were in violation of the law when the accident took place.
For these reasons, you need to have the seasoned pedestrian accident attorneys at Bloom Legal by your side so that your damages in such complex personal injury cases can be maximized and the negligent party is held fully responsible for causing your injuries. Our attorneys will objectively evaluate the following factors while preparing your claim for damages:
- Evidence that points to the driver’s fault
- The extent of your physical injuries
- Nature and duration of your treatment, hospitalization, and rehab
- The degree of pain and suffering you have experienced
- How your injuries have affected your life
- Loss of income and missed career opportunities
- Potential loss of income in the future
- Your chances of a full medical recovery
Our New Orleans pedestrian accident attorneys will focus on proving two things: (a) You were not at fault for your injuries or your contributory negligence was minimal; and (b) The severity of your physical injuries and your pain and suffering that may be compensated through the highest possible financial settlement to help you move forward in life.
The attorneys will pay careful attention not only to your present medical condition and recovery, but also to the long-term effects of the injuries on your physical and emotional well-being, the permanence of the injury on your ability to work in future, and how your productivity, performance, and personal life get impacted over time.
Wherever necessary, in addition to the medical evidence and the testimony of attending doctors, your New Orleans pedestrian accident lawyer may also involve expert testimony of accident reconstructionist, economic life valuation specialist, and vocational rehabilitation expert. In case of catastrophic injuries in a pedestrian accident case, you could potentially obtain damages in six or seven figures.
Problems with Crosswalk Design
Your knowledgeable New Orleans pedestrian accident lawyer will also cover the possibility whether a faulty road design and crosswalk location contributed to your accident and injuries in some way. The agencies responsible the design, construction, and maintenance of public crosswalks in Louisiana have a legal duty to ensure pedestrian safety.
If the crosswalk was unsafe because of a third party’s negligence, your attorney will hold them liable for your injuries. These liable parties may include governmental agencies, engineering firms, and contractors, in addition to the at-fault driver. You can expect to achieve maximum compensation when your lawyer is able to establish fault and hold all responsible parties liable for your injuries.
How Can Drivers Prevent Pedestrian Accidents?
Drivers in New Orleans can take several steps to prevent pedestrian accident and injuries. Some of the basic tips for drivers include:
- Do not drive while you are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications. These intoxicants can cause poor reaction time and slow reflexes, and there is no way you will be able to make a protective maneuver when need to act in a split-second to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
- Do not indulge in speeding, particularly when you are near a crosswalk, on a residential street, or in an area where pedestrians are expected. Drive slowly in poor light when it is harder to identify a pedestrian from a distance.
- Never let yourself get distracted while driving. If you take your eyes off the roadway to talk over the phone, send a text message, or speak to a fellow passenger, you may hit a pedestrian before you know it.
- Always look out for an unexpected pedestrian when you are turning left or backing up your vehicle.
- Be more alert and drive slowly when you are passing through a park, playground, hospital, school zone, or another area where many pedestrians, particularly children or older adults are expected.
- If you are driving an electric or hybrid car or another battery powered vehicle, you should be extra mindful of pedestrians because the vehicle may not make noise and the pedestrian may fail to notice it.
- Avoid driving in bad weather, or take all necessary precautions and slow down as much as possible to watch out for pedestrians in snow or rain, particularly at intersections and crosswalks.
Why You Should Work with a New Orleans Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
Your first step after your pedestrian accident in New Orleans should be to visit an emergency room or see a doctor for a medical evaluation. Even if you may be feeling fine, but some injuries may be internal and only a healthcare professional can diagnose them. Thereafter, at the first opportunity, you should speak to a trusted and reputable New Orleans pedestrian accident attorney.
You will not be in a position to negotiate directly with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. The insurer’s sole motive will be to minimize their losses, and not maximize your damages. While you should cooperate and be cordial with the insurance company representatives, you do not have to answer their questions about the accident or give any statement orally or in writing. You should let your attorney handle the matters on your behalf.
The sooner you have an attorney to represent you, the faster they can move to secure critical evidence before it disappears. Police report, medical reports, physical and forensic evidence, eyewitness accounts and other forms of evidence will help build a robust case for your personal injury compensation in a pedestrian accident.
Your attorney’s first goal will be to negotiate strongly on your behalf with the insurance company in order to obtain the best settlement while avoiding a court trial. If they have collected the right evidence, lined up all the facts and arguments, and built an impregnable legal strategy, the experienced insurers will know they cannot take an unfair advantage and will not be willing to face the jury.
That’s how a skilled and reputable personal injury lawyer in New Orleans can get you the maximum compensation for your pedestrian injuries – swiftly and most effectively. However, you have to ensure that you choose a lawyer who has sufficient trial experience because each case is unique, and if your case has to go trial, your attorney should be thoroughly prepared for it.
Consult with Top-Rated Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Bloom Legal
At Bloom Legal in New Orleans, we know what it takes to negotiate with insurance companies in pedestrian accident injury cases, and can provide you competent legal representation. We have deep domain expertise, resources, and experience to help you obtain your rightful compensation for your injuries.
For nearly two decades, Bloom Legal has been serving the people of New Orleans to protect their rights in all types of vehicle accidents and other personal injury cases. We will provide you the best possible legal counsel and aggressively fight your case, whether it takes a settlement or litigation to help you achieve your goals.
Contact us today for a free and no-obligation consultation with a dedicated New Orleans pedestrian accident lawyer.
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Posted By: Sarah Perrie