When a pedestrian, walking or jogging, is hit by a car or other motor vehicle, the injuries can be severe if not fatal. In many cases, pedestrian accidents are caused by negligent and reckless drivers. Injured pedestrians and their families have a right to hold these drivers accountable and recover compensation that can help in the aftermath.
The pedestrian accident lawyers at Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. can help you. Attorney Randall “Randy” Sevenish has been investigating, negotiating, and litigating accident claims in Indianapolis and throughout Indiana since 1985. And before that, as a police officer, he investigated countless pedestrian and motor vehicle crashes. Discuss working with our accident attorneys during a free review of your pedestrian accident case and learn more about your rights and options.
Seeking Compensation after Pedestrian Accidents
Traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and other types of catastrophic injuries are common when a pedestrian is hit by a car.
Sevenish Law Firm, P.C. can review medical records and work with medical experts, life care planners, and other professionals to establish the full extent of harm that an accident has caused you or a loved one. We can determine what would be fair compensation in your case.
You can seek both economic and non-economic damages to account for your injury-related losses. Some forms of potential compensation include:
- Child injuries: If a child is the injured pedestrian, special steps must be taken in the process of pursuing compensation, including obtaining court approval of any settlement that exceeds $10,000.
- Wrongful death: If a pedestrian accident has resulted in a fatality, the surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death claim, which is governed by Indiana statutes that control who can bring the claim and the types of damages that can be recovered.
- Medical expenses: You may be able to recover the cost of your emergency room bills, medication, surgeries, doctor’s visits, and rehabilitation.
- Lost wages: If you had to take time off work to heal from your injuries, you can seek these lost wages.
- Reduced earning capacity: If your injuries result in a temporary or permanent disability that prevents you from returning to work or performing in the same capacity, we can seek compensation for this.
- Pain and suffering: We can also seek recovery for the physical and mental anguish you endured because of your injuries. We can help you calculate these damages, as they do not come with an exact dollar amount.
Filing an Insurance Claim
If a motor vehicle driver caused the accident, a pedestrian may turn to the driver’s liability insurance coverage for payment of compensation.
However, if the driver has no insurance or lacks enough insurance to pay for all of your losses, your own UM/UIM coverage can be relied on for compensation. Our Indianapolis attorneys can review all insurance policies that may apply to your case.
Filing a Lawsuit
If we cannot negotiate a fair settlement from an insurer, we will not hesitate to represent your case before a judge or jury. We can file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit to seek a court-awarded offer.
It is crucial that you contact us as soon as possible after the accident since IC §34-11-2-4 limits the time you have to take legal action against a liable party. You only have two years from the date of the accident to file.
Keep in mind that negotiations with insurers can take some time. If you file after this deadline, you risk losing your right to take any legal action at all.
For a free legal consultation with a pedestrian accidents lawyer serving Indianapolis, call 317-636-7777
Laws Apply to Both Pedestrians and Motorists
Drivers and pedestrians both have responsibilities with regard to intersection crossings. In Indiana, pedestrians are subject to the traffic and pedestrian controls, such as “walk” and “don’t walk” signals, and under certain situations, must yield to drivers.
Vehicle operators may not pass a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk, and pedestrians have the right of way when crossing in crosswalks, under IC §9-21-17.
Comparative Negligence Laws
With pedestrian accidents, additional issues may arise that must be carefully navigated. Under Indiana law, a plaintiff who is found to be more than 50% at fault for an accident can be barred from recovering compensation. If the plaintiff is 50% or less at fault, the plaintiff’s recovery can be reduced in proportion to his or her degree of fault.
Often, motor vehicle drivers try to pin the blame on pedestrians, alleging the pedestrian darted into traffic or illegally crossed the road. These assertions must be aggressively challenged.
Indianapolis Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Near Me 317-636-7777
Why Do Pedestrian Accidents Occur?
To bring a claim for damages in Indiana, an injured pedestrian must prove negligence on the part of the automobile driver. An Indianapolis pedestrian accident lawyer can act quickly to preserve evidence and establish whether a driver’s fault caused a collision with you or your loved one. This evidence may establish that the driver:
- Failed to see the pedestrian because he or she was distracted (cell phone records, which can be subpoenaed, may indicate the driver was talking on the phone or texting)
- Was impaired by alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash (police reports, breath or blood test results, guilty pleas, or jury verdicts are solid evidence)
- Ran a red light or stop sign, turned illegally, or exceeded the speed limit (this may be established through red light camera footage and information from electronic data recorders or black boxes)
- Failed to exercise care in a school zone or area where children were present (security camera footage and school bus camera footage may be available)
- Other potential legal theories too numerous to mention and remain factually sensitive on a case-by-case basis.
In many pedestrian accident cases, eyewitnesses can provide accounts that establish that a driver was to blame for a collision with a pedestrian. An Indianapolis accident attorney will interview all witnesses to your accident and collect eyewitness statements that can help prove your claim.
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Pedestrian Accident Statistics
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 6,000 pedestrians were killed in collisions with motor vehicles in 2018. The number of pedestrians killed on roadways in the nation is not expected to decline in the coming year and remains almost unchanged since 2013, according to a report issued by the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration (GHSA).
Many more Americans are walking, and the report urges continued vigilance and a combination of engineering, education, and enforcement actions to better protect against pedestrian injuries.
The report recommends improving infrastructure by adding raised medians or “refuge islands” to protect pedestrians, installing high-intensity, high-visibility, crosswalk signals, and limiting speed limits on streets and roadways where pedestrians are in danger due to the volume of fast-moving traffic.
The report revealed the virtually unchanging rate of pedestrian deaths nationwide over the past couple of years:
- From January to June 2013, there were 2,141 pedestrian deaths (34 in Indiana).
- From January to June 2014, there were 2,125 pedestrian deaths (37 in Indiana).
- Pedestrian accidents are 15% higher in 2014 than in 2009.
- Since 2009, there has been a 28% surge in pedestrian deaths for individuals aged 20 to 69.
- In 2013, 36% of pedestrian deaths involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 or more.
- 70% of pedestrian deaths occurred between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
Pedestrians in Indianapolis Are at Risk
Unfortunately, Indianapolis is ranked as one of the worst in the nation for preventable pedestrian accidents. A 2014 report by Smart Growth America, entitled “Dangerous by Design,” ranked the city as 25th most dangerous for pedestrians, based on the following data:
- There were 199 total pedestrian deaths between 2003-2012
- Sixteen annual pedestrian deaths per 100,000 between 2008–2012
- Six percent of people commuting by foot between 2008–2012
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Children and Older Adults Are at Risk
All pedestrians have some risk of injury, but the study established that children and older adults were at a far higher risk of being struck by a vehicle. A fatal pedestrian injury is a leading cause of death for children aged 15 and younger and the most common cause of a traumatic brain injury for children aged 5 to 9. National statistics reveal the numbers:
- Almost 18,000 children are admitted to the hospital for pedestrian injuries each year.
- 11% of the 18,000 children admitted to the hospital need surgical intervention.
- Pedestrian death is the third leading cause of death for children ages 1–15.
- Pedestrian accidents are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries in children.
- 23% of children struck by cars suffer psychological harm.
Older adults comprise 12.6% of the population but account for almost 21% of traffic fatalities in pedestrian accidents. Older people no longer have the ability to move fast, react quickly, and potentially avoid a deadly impact. Often this segment of the population has given up driving, and public transportation and walking are more common. The statistics on older adults and pedestrian accidents reveal:
- Adults 75 and older are 6% of the population, but 12% of pedestrian fatalities.
- Adults 65 and older make up 12.6% of the population and 21% of pedestrian fatalities.
- Indiana is ranked 41st in pedestrian accidents for adults 75 and older.
If you or a loved one has been hit by a vehicle, you can connect with an Indianapolis pedestrian accident attorney to assist you with the legal actions necessary to recover compensatory damages. At Sevenish Law Firm, P.C., our entire legal team is composed of dedicated professionals that can help you seek justice and fair compensation.
Your Initial Consultation Is Free
If you are unsure whether you have a case, take advantage of our complimentary consultation. You can learn about your legal options and what your case may be worth.
During the consultation, we can begin assessing your case by asking the following questions:
- Where did the pedestrian cross the roadway and why?
- Was it at a designated pedestrian crosswalk or somewhere else?
- What type and color of clothing was the pedestrian wearing?
- What time of day or night was it, and what was the purpose of walking in that area at that particular time?
- Was the pedestrian under the influence of alcohol or medications at the time?
These details can play a vital role in your case. Our injury attorneys can help gather the necessary evidence to prove the liability of the motorist who hit you. Then, they can fight to hold the liable party responsible for your injuries.
Work with an Indianapolis Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Sevenish Law Firm P.C. represents injured pedestrians and the families of pedestrians who were killed in collisions with motor vehicles. Our personal injury lawyers know how to carefully guide a case through the many complex issues that can arise. Our aim is for you to recover fair compensation so you do not suffer any further harm as a result of your injuries.
We promise every client we represent that we will do so with the integrity, honor, and discipline they deserve. To learn more about how we can help you, contact us today or fill out our online form. Our consultations are always free, and we will not charge for our legal services unless you recover compensation.