The risk of being hit by a truck, motorcycle, or car is the highest in the case of pedestrians, especially when they are in crosswalks, near a road, or on the sidewalk. It takes only a split-second of distraction on the part of a driver for a pedestrian to have their life turned upside down with devastating, life-altering injuries.
If this happens to you or a loved one, it is vital to seek legal counsel from a committed Lafayette pedestrian accident lawyer immediately. They can help you determine your next steps so that you can move forward. You can learn more about your rights and options for compensation during a free case review with our team.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If you have injuries from an accident, you are likely facing medical bills and other expenses. Hiring a lawyer from our team for your pedestrian accident case may seem like another financial burden, but it does not have to be. Victims sometimes view cost as a barrier to hiring legal representation, and as a result, many people don’t pursue their cases. At Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers, we understand this concern, so our lawyers work on contingency.
We start work on a client’s case without upfront fees or costs. We also will work on the case and won’t accept payment unless we secure a settlement or court award for our client. If we win the client’s case, we take our payment from their award at that time. If not, then we do not charge them a fee. Contingency agreements allow us to work together toward the goal of getting compensation for you.
For a free legal consultation with a pedestrian accident lawyer serving Lafayette, call (337) 777-7777
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries in Lafayette
After a pedestrian accident in Lafayette, you may be wondering whether you should reach out and contact a lawyer. It is more common than you might think for pedestrian accident victims to wonder whether their injuries are severe enough to warrant civil action.
It is important to keep in mind that you do not need to suffer a life-threatening injury to be entitled to compensation following an accident. The ways in which your injuries have affected your life is what will determine your compensation eligibility status, not the type of injury you have sustained.
However, there are some types of injuries pedestrians suffer more frequently when they are hit by vehicles than others. These include:
- Road rash
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken jaw bones
- Other facial injuries
- Other bone breaks and fractures
- Loss of limbs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
- Herniated discs
- Third-degree burns
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
These are only a few of the more common types of injuries pedestrians have endured after being hit by cars in Lafayette. If you have suffered another type of injury that is not listed above, contact our office to find out what legal options are available to you.
Lafayette Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
We Can Help You Seek Damages in Your Lafayette Pedestrian Accident
We can help you seek compensation for your injuries and other damages you suffered in your accident. Injuries in pedestrian accidents can range in severity, requiring varying levels of treatment.
Common damages in these cases include:
- Medical expenses (past, present, and ongoing)
- Rehabilitation costs (physical therapy, occupational therapy)
- Lost wages from missing work
- Lost or reduced earning ability, income
- Permanent disabilities
- Pain and suffering
Wrongful Death Benefits
If your loved one died from their injuries from a pedestrian accident, please accept our condolences. We can help you recover compensation for damages on their behalf, such as their:
Final medical expenses (paid and unpaid)
Funeral and burial or cremation costs
Pain and suffering they faced
Loss of companionship
Get Prompt Medical Help After Your Accident, Then Consider Hiring Legal Help
Seeking medical care after a pedestrian accident is essential. However, it is also important to speak to a knowledgeable Lafayette pedestrian accident lawyer who can help assert a pedestrian’s rights. Our lawyer can review documentation of your injuries and evidence to determine if you have a case. We will evaluate your monetary and non-monetary losses to establish a value for your case.
We will then advocate for you to insurers, who may try to get you to accept a lower settlement or not offer you one at all. We can negotiate a favorable outcome for you. If that does not happen, we could move forward with an injury lawsuit to seek compensation from the court.
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How We Determine Fault in Lafayette Pedestrian Accidents
Our injury lawyer will also need to prove who is responsible for your accident. Irrespective of whether someone was hit while jogging along a sidewalk or walking in a crosswalk, a Lafayette car accident lawyer can carry out a thorough investigation to find out what exactly happened. This process is aimed at determining where the fault lies—and gathering the evidence to support it.
Many times, negligent drivers cause pedestrian accidents. Unsafe driving practices that often result in pedestrian accidents include:
- Texting when driving
- Failure to halt at a stop sign or red light
- Drunk driving
- Breaching school zone and school bus restrictions
How Shared Fault Works
An individual who has sustained an injury in a pedestrian accident may be shocked to hear that the other party is claiming they contributed to their own injuries. In fact, arguments that the injured individual is partially at fault are not uncommon. For example, a negligent driver may claim that the pedestrian stumbled out into the path of the vehicle or that the victim was distracted by their cell phone at the time of the accident. If successful, an argument of comparative fault could impact an injured party’s financial recovery.
In Louisiana, according to CC § 2323, an injured party who is partially at fault may still recover damages, subject to a reduction. The percentage of fault that the victim bears is important. For example, if they were 20% responsible for the accident, then they may face a 20% reduction in the damages they can recover. With legal representation from a Lafayette pedestrian accident attorney, victims could prepare to refute the defendant’s arguments of comparative fault and fight for maximum compensation.
Proving Liability in Lafayette Pedestrian Accident Claims
To prove that another party is responsible for causing your injuries, your lawyer will need to gather the evidence needed to support your case. For pedestrian accident claims, there are a number of types of evidence that could be used to establish fault. Some of these might include:
- Police reports
- Crash reports
- Photos of the accident scene
- Photos of your injuries
- Photos of the property damage
- Video of the accident
- Witness statements
- Expert testimony
- Accident reconstructionist reports
- Safety inspection reports
- Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test results
- Cell phone records
The burden of proof in civil pedestrian accident claims is based on a preponderance of the evidence. This means the evidence must show that the defendant in your case is more likely than not responsible for causing your injuries.
What to Expect from Your Pedestrian Accident Insurance Claim in Lafayette
Unfortunately, pedestrians are often taken advantage of when filing their Lafayette insurance claims. This is because insurance companies are for profit. They make money by bringing in more in insurance premiums than they do by paying out on pedestrian accidents and other motor vehicle accident claims.
To reduce their profit loss, they look for opportunities to reduce the amount of compensation they pay out in claims. You can expect the insurance company to attempt to get you to give them a statement, make you a lowball settlement offer, and fight back when you seek total compensation for your damages.
Fortunately, when you have a Lafayette pedestrian accident attorney advocating for your rights, you can rest easier knowing your attorney will never let you settle for less than you deserve. Any damages you cannot recover through an insurance settlement your attorney may recommend seeking in your pedestrian accident tort claim.
What If You Are the Victim of a Hit-and-Run Accident?
If you suffered injuries in an accident where the driver hit you and left the scene, we could try to locate the driver if you remember the vehicle’s license plate number. Witnesses may also have this information or other tips that could help. We can also use the police report to try to locate the driver.
We can also present this document and others to you and file a claim with your auto insurance company if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage and handle those negotiations for you.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Claim
Pedestrian accident lawsuits are subject to a strict filing deadline, known as the statute of limitations or prescriptive period. In Louisiana, individuals who sustain an injury in a pedestrian accident have only one year from the accident date to file a personal injury lawsuit, per CC § 3492. If you are filing a wrongful death action, you have one year from the person’s date of death.
One year can pass quickly while negotiations and investigations of a claim are ongoing. Missing the filing deadline could mean that an injured party loses the right to recover damages. Since there are many case-specific factors that can affect the filing deadline, getting the advice of a pedestrian accident lawyer in Lafayette could be helpful.
Although not all pedestrian accident cases end up in litigation, it is important to be aware of the deadline in case filing a lawsuit becomes necessary.
Lafayette Pedestrian Accident FAQ
If you have been struck by a vehicle, you may have many unanswered questions about what to expect next. The claims process for pedestrians is complex.
We have answered some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding pedestrian accident claims in Lafayette below. If you have additional questions we did not cover here, please do not hesitate to contact our office so we can go over your concerns in further detail.
Will I have to go to court?
It is difficult to say whether you will have to go to court without having reviewed the circumstances of your case. A good rule of thumb is to always prepare for the possibility of bringing your case to court. Although no one wants to have to go to court, doing so could ultimately be necessary to recover maximum compensation in your case.
Insurance settlements are often not enough to adequately cover the victim’s damages. When this happens, you may find yourself with remaining losses the insurance company is not going to be expected to cover. Fortunately, by filing a lawsuit against the liable party, you can recover compensation for every single loss.
Your attorney will do everything possible to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement with the insurance company, but if the insurance settlement is still not enough to cover your damages in full, going to court may be the best way to get the most out of your claim.
Can I file a claim for my injured child?
Children who suffer pedestrian accident injuries have just as much right to financial compensation as an adult. In fact, children’s lives may be more significantly affected by pedestrian accident injuries.
They may suffer lifelong, debilitating injuries that impact their ability to support themselves, earn a living, and otherwise live their lives normally. As your child’s parent or legal guardian, it is up to you to take action on their case.
When you reach out to an attorney, we will go over your pedestrian accident in detail, including the way your child’s life has been and is expected to continue to be influenced in the future by their injuries.
How do I know if I have grounds for a case?
It is more common than you might think for pedestrian accident victims to be unsure whether they have grounds for a lawsuit or insurance claim. No one wants to be accused of filing a frivolous lawsuit or attempting to seek compensation needlessly.
Therefore, if you are lying in your Lafayette hospital bed, wondering what your next steps should be, consider the following:
- Is another party’s negligence the cause of your injuries?
- Is someone else responsible for causing your pedestrian accident?
- Could someone else be at fault for your injuries?
- Is it possible that someone else made a mistake that caused your injuries?
- How have your injuries affected your life?
- Have you suffered substantial financial damages?
- Are you dealing with considerable emotional trauma resulting from the accident?
- How significant are your injuries?
The key to being able to pursue a pedestrian accident claim is negligence. If someone else is or could be at fault for your injuries, they should be compelled to compensate you for your damages. You do not need to have suffered a debilitating injury, but your injuries must have had a substantial impact on your life.
Let a Lafayette Pedestrian Accident Attorney Help You Today
We want to help you seek the compensation you need to help you recover from your accident. Having a dedicated Lafayette pedestrian accident lawyer at Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers on your side can be very useful in claiming the compensation you deserve so you can move on with your life. Contact us today to learn more.