There is no better way to explore a city than by parking the car somewhere and walking around downtown. Traveling this way engages all the senses. It allows you the opportunity to “stop and smell the roses,” for instance. It gives you the space and time to admire the architecture and infrastructure that is too easy to take for granted when driving in a car. Unfortunately, there is a risk to the safety of pedestrians at times: motor vehicle traffic. Accidents involving pedestrians can be especially horrific. In 2013, almost 5,000 pedestrians were killed and over 76,000 were injured as a direct result of accidents involving motor vehicles. Those numbers are mind-numbing. If you have been injured, or a loved-one has been killed, as a result of a motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian, you may be entitled to compensation. Continue reading to learn more about what your rights are and what steps you should follow in your pursuit of justice.
Pedestrian Accident cases are one form of personal injury cases. Therefore, the central ingredient to a successful lawsuit is negligence. This means that the plaintiff must prove that his or her injuries were caused by the negligence or irresponsible actions of another party. There are a number of ways that negligence can manifest in terms of pedestrian accident cases, such as whether the driver was:
- Under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident
- Speeding at the time of the accident
- Using his or her cell phone
- Neglecting the boundaries of the road
- Neglecting yield or stop signs
- Driving in a reckless manner
Any one of these behaviors could convince a judge or jury that the driver involved was acting negligently and could be liable for damages to the plaintiff. Alternatively, car manufacturers could be held liable for damages if a defective part was responsible for a vehicular malfunction. If the company knew about a given malfunction, or should have known, yet did not act in a responsible way to protect its consumers and the public from its dangers, then that company could be found responsible in court.
In extreme cases of pedestrian accidents, there is loss of life. Words cannot adequately describe the horrors families experience when a loved one is ripped away from them in this manner. There are two avenues to attempt to rectify this macabre situation as best as possible. The first channel is to pursue criminal charges. If the driver was indeed behaving negligently, then that person may be charged with reckless endangerment or even vehicular manslaughter, depending on the circumstances. Each one of these charges would likely result in jail time and/or fines. In terms of pursuing justice, this is an important step for families to reach closure. For some families, however, criminal charges do not resolve their concerns entirely. This is where civil actions come into play. While criminal courts decide guilt and hand down punishment in terms of jail time or fines, civil courts assess liability and hand down monetary damages or compensation to the plaintiffs involved. In wrongful death suits, juries or judges in civil cases can award monetary compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Funeral expenses
- Lost wages on future income
- Intangible losses, like the emotional and social support of a parent
When awarding damages, civil courts will take into account certain questions, like whether the victim was the primary breadwinner in a family. The answers to these types of questions will help determine the size and frequency of compensation payments. The idea behind rewarding monetary damages is to provide the victim’s families with the resources needed to rebuild their lives after suffering a sudden and traumatic loss.
Contact an Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence, there is no need to suffer in silence and isolation. You deserve compensation in order to rebuild your life. Choosing the right legal team is an essential part of this process. The right team will fight tooth-and- nail for every cent that you deserve. For this aggressive advocacy, look no further than Schneider Hammers. The experienced, expert, and tireless staff will work with you every step of the way until you achieve justice. The attorneys at Schneider Hammers work on the “contingency fee” model, which means that they do not get paid unless you achieve a successful outcome to your case. Call today to learn more.