When a car, truck, or motorcycle strikes a pedestrian, the damages can be catastrophic. If you were hit by a motor vehicle, your injuries may result in substantial pain and financial loss.
Fortunately, you may be able to recover some or all of these damages with the help of an East Hartford pedestrian accident lawyer. A skilled personal injury attorney could guide you throughout the claims process and let you focus on your recovery.
When do Pedestrian Right of Way?
Some people believe pedestrians always have the right of way. However, this is not always the case. The only place where pedestrians have a guaranteed right of way is in designated crosswalks and parking lots. Even in these protected areas, individuals must use discretion when crossing and adhere to walk signs.
Pedestrians who cross even though the light has not directed them to do so commit an infraction, per Connecticut General Statutes §14-300b(d). Similarly, individuals who cross against the direction of a police officer or certified crossing guard may not be eligible for a lawsuit in East Hartford.
According to state law, pedestrians may not walk along a roadside if there is a sidewalk available within a reasonable distance. When sidewalks are not present or functional, pedestrians must move along the outside shoulder of the road.
Finally, state law prohibits pedestrians from entering a roadway unexpectedly from a nearby sidewalk or curb. If a person gets hit by a car after suddenly entering the road, this individual may not be able to recover damages. An experienced East Hartford lawyer could assess the cause of a pedestrian accident and determine if any right of way laws were broken.
Types of Damages in Pedestrian Accidents
Undoubtedly, the human body is no match for cars, trucks, and motorcycles in a collision. Severe injuries not only cause pain and suffering, but they may lead to financial hardship.
Under state law, complainants may request compensatory and exemplary damages in the same lawsuit. The purpose of compensatory damages is to recover the financial burden placed upon the plaintiff as a result of the accident. Medical bills can accumulate, especially if the injured party is unable to work. Both medical costs and lost wages are recoverable damages in these cases.
Compensatory damages also cover pain, trauma, and loss of companionship. While difficult to measure, these emotional damages are significant losses that an injured pedestrian may be eligible to recover.
Alternatively, punitive damages are not founded upon measured losses. Instead, these damages are allowed when the defendant exhibited exceptionally reckless behavior, such as if the defendant was drinking and driving at the time of the accident. A lawyer from East Hartford could determine what damages a claimant may seek in a pedestrian accident case.
Can a Pedestrian Be Partially At Fault?
As a comparative negligence state, the courts allow individuals to file lawsuits in civil court, even if they partially contributed to the accident.
For example, if a pedestrian steps off the curb and into the roadway without cause, at first glance that individual would be at fault. However, if attorneys then find that the defendant was looking at their cell phone instead of the road at the time of the accident, they also could be partially to blame. In this case, both parties may share responsibility for the accident.
In these cases, a jury may assign a level of fault to each party involved. If the claimant is 51 percent responsible or less, that individual can seek damages in a lawsuit.
Assessing a complainant’s level of fault in an accident is an extremely important step in filing a pedestrian injury lawsuit. A pedestrian accident attorney could help someone determine eligibility for a civil suit under comparative negligence limitations in East Hartford.
Retain an East Hartford Pedestrian Accident Attorney
As a pedestrian, you are at the mercy of the vehicles passing by you. Due to no fault of your own, you become seriously injured when a driver fails to obey speed limits, crosswalks, traffic signs, or other regulations.
An East Hartford pedestrian accident lawyer could help you hold a negligent driver responsible for hitting you with their car. To learn how an attorney could help you and your case, schedule a consultation today.