Pedestrians rely on motorists and bicyclists to be vigilant when passing through crosswalks. When drivers or bikers fail to yield to walkers, the injuries can be tremendous.
If you were injured because a driver disregarded road signs, traffic lights, or crosswalk lanes, you might be entitled to recover your damages by way of a civil suit.
A seasoned personal injury attorney could advocate on your behalf and help you hold the negligent motorist accountable. With help from Opelousas pedestrian accident lawyer, you may be able to recover full and fair compensation for your injuries and associated losses.
Generally speaking, pedestrians in Opelousas have the right of way when a permanent crosswalk is available for use and when any corresponding pedestrian crossing signals instruct them to do so. If pedestrians step into the road outside of the crosswalk, they may be at fault, even if a nearby signal directs them to walk. Similarly, pedestrians who defy the crosswalk signal when entering the roadway might be responsible for their own injuries.
Not all intersections have crosswalks or pedestrian signals. In these locales, walkers should use discretion when choosing where and when to cross. When a crosswalk is available for use, but no pedestrian signal is installed, oncoming traffic must stop for walkers in the crossing zone. Drivers who fail to stop may be liable for the injuries they cause. A pedestrian accident lawyer in Opelousas could investigate the cause of an accident and collect evidence demonstrating the defendant’s negligence.
Louisiana is a comparative fault state. As such, individuals who share some responsibility for their own injuries may still file lawsuits against the other parties involved.
Per Louisiana Civil Code Article 2323, the jury will determine the liability of each person involved in an accident. Article 2323 also describes the effect that partial liability has on a plaintiff’s financial award. When the jury assigns the plaintiff a percentage of fault in the case, that percentage will also be applied to any recovered money in the form of a deduction.
As an example, consider a pedestrian who steps out into the crosswalk without the permission of the walk sign. A car strikes this individual, but the driver was speeding at the time of the incident and distracted by the radio.
The jury may assign the plaintiff a 20 percent share of total fault, with the other 80 percent of blame assigned to the negligent driver. In this situation, the total compensation awarded to the plaintiff would be reduced by 20 percent.
An Opelousas pedestrian injury attorney may be able to estimate possible shared fault and assist clients in selecting appropriate damage claims. If the defendant claims the pedestrian was somewhat responsible, an accomplished lawyer may be able to refute these allegations in an effort to maximize compensation.
Whether the motorist struck you inside or outside of a crosswalk zone, the time you spend contacting an Opelousas pedestrian accident lawyer may be time well spent. With legal counsel by your side, you may be able to pursue a settlement or judgment against the at-fault party and secure your financial future. Call today to learn how an attorney could help.