Every year, thousands of pedestrians are injured or killed in accidents. In many cases, these accidents are caused by driver negligence. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you gathered evidence and build a strong case. They can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf and fight for the maximum possible settlement. Contact one of our Gulfport pedestrian accident attorneys today for more information.
Why Hire Haug, Farrar & Franco For Your Pedestrian Accident?
Our team of experienced pedestrian accident lawyers has represented many Gulfport clients who have been involved in pedestrian accidents. Let us help you.
We’ll handle all the paperwork and phone calls so that you can focus on what’s really important: getting better.
We understand that this is one of the most difficult times in your life, and we’ll treat you with the compassion and respect you deserve. We’ll also keep you informed about every development in your case so that you’re never left in the dark.
Contact us today for a free consultation so we can review your case and determine how we can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Liability in Pedestrian Accidents
In most cases, the driver will be held liable for a pedestrian accident. However, there are some instances where the pedestrian may be found at fault, such as if they were jaywalking or crossing outside of a crosswalk.
Even if you were partially at fault for the pedestrian accident, you can still recover compensation. In the state of Mississippi, the legal doctrine of pure comparative negligence is used to determine how much financial responsibility each party bears in a personal injury lawsuit. Under this rule, you can recover damages even if you are 99% at fault for your own injuries. Your damages will be reduced by the percentage that you are found to be responsible.
Determining Fault in a Gulfport Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit
Determining fault in a pedestrian accident can be complex and often depends on various factors.
Basic traffic laws require drivers to yield or stop for pedestrians at crosswalks, intersections, or any place where they are legally crossing the road. If a driver has violated this law and hit you while you were crossing the street properly, then they would likely be considered at fault.
Evidence Used to Prove Fault
Accumulating strong evidence is crucial to proving fault in a pedestrian accident case. Some of the important pieces of evidence that can determine liability include:
Police Reports: The first thing you should do after an incident is call the police and file a report detailing what happened from your perspective. These documents provide official summaries of the accident and may contain insights about who was at fault based on officers’ observations and analysis.
Photos and Video Footage: Photographic or video footage from traffic cameras, nearby surveillance systems (like those at businesses), or witnesses’ cell phones can be vital. This visual documentation could potentially capture the incident as it happened.
Witness Testimonies: Anyone who saw what happened can give their account as well, corroborating or challenging facts previously presented.
Medical Records: Your medical records constitute key evidence as well. They document the specific injuries sustained which will help to illustrate how severe impact was, substantiating any claims made by you for damages like hospital bills and pain suffering.
Reconstruction Experts: A reconstruction expert’s report can shed light on factors such as speed and the angle of collision. In many cases, they can then show how the accident occurred and provide their expert opinion on who was at fault.
Ultimately, you should always speak with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to help you establish fault.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Gulfport
Pedestrian accidents occur for many reasons, but some of the most common include:
Distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road. This can include talking or texting on a cellphone, eating or drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, using a navigation system, and more.
Drunk driving is especially dangerous because it impairs a driver’s judgment, reaction time, and coordination. This makes it difficult for drunk drivers to make split-second decisions or react quickly to changing traffic conditions.
Sadly, pedestrians are often the ones who suffer the most in drunk driving accidents. That’s because they don’t have the same protections that occupants of cars and trucks have. When a pedestrian is hit by a car, the consequences can be catastrophic, and often fatal.
Failure to Yield
Failure to yield means a driver doesn’t give the right of way to a pedestrian who has the legal right to proceed. This often happens at crosswalks and intersections.
Bad weather conditions can also lead to pedestrian accidents. Poor visibility due to rain, snow, fog, or even glare can make it hard for drivers to see pedestrians, especially if they’re not wearing reflective clothing.
Common Injuries in Gulfport Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can result in serious injuries, including:
One of the most common—and most serious—types of injuries caused by pedestrian accidents is a head injury. Because pedestrians do not have any type of protection around their heads, they are susceptible to suffering traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) when they are hit by a car. Symptoms of TBIs can include headaches, dizziness, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating. A Gulfport brain injury attorney specializes in recovering compensation for these injuries in particular.
When a pedestrian is hit by a car, the impact of the collision can cause the neck to snap back violently, resulting in strain or even fracture of the neck bones. Symptoms of a neck injury include pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion.
These injuries can range from small strains to herniated discs or even spinal cord damage in Gulfport. Back injuries often cause pain that radiates down into the legs and arms.
Gulfport Pedestrian Accident Statute of Limitations
In Mississippi, you need to be cognizant of the fact that there’s a three-year deadline for filing a lawsuit related to pedestrian accidents. This timeframe, known legally as the statute of limitations, typically begins from the date of your accident.
If this period expires before you file your case in court, it will result in losing your right to pursue justice and compensation.
In some cases, there are exceptions that will shorten or extend this deadline. For example, those who were injured in a pedestrian accident when they were under the age of 21.
According to Mississippi Code §15-1-59, if the victim is disabled or of unsound mind, the statute of limitations will be paused, and will not begin running until their 21st birthday. From that date, they will have 3 more years to file the claim:
“If any person entitled to bring any of the personal actions mentioned shall, at the time at which the cause of action accrued, be under the disability of infancy or unsoundness of mind, he may bring the actions within the times in this chapter respectively limited, after his disability shall be removed as provided by law. However, the saving in favor of persons under disability of unsoundness of mind shall never extend longer than twenty-one (21) years.”
Another exception occurs in claims against a government employee or agency in Mississippi. In such instances, instead of the standard three-year period, you must adhere to stricter deadlines.
Under Mississippi law, you’re required to notify the relevant governmental body 90 days before filing your claim:
“After all procedures within a governmental entity have been exhausted, any person having a claim for injury arising under the provisions of this chapter against a governmental entity or its employee shall proceed as he might in any action at law or in equity; provided, however, that ninety (90) days prior to maintaining an action thereon, such person shall file a notice of claim with the chief executive officer of the governmental entity.”
If you’re injured in a pedestrian accident, it’s crucial to speak with a Gulfport personal injury lawyer as soon as possible so you don’t miss out on your chance to recover compensation you’re entitled to.
Contact a Gulfport Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, contact one of our lawyers today to schedule your free case evaluation. Our pedestrian accident lawyers service Gulfport and surrounding Mississippi areas, and will fight tirelessly for your well-deserved compensation.