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Every day across the United States, thousands of people are injured in pedestrian accidents. In Vermont, those who are injured are able to file personal injury lawsuits against those at fault. There are many instances where impaired or distracted drivers strike pedestrians and cause serious and life-changing injuries, forever adjusting the trajectory of one’s life with a single, careless mistake.
There are various situations that create dangerous circumstances for nearby pedestrians. Some of the most common situations associated with pedestrian accidents in Vermont include:
- Crossing roads at dusk or night;
- Crossing or walking on rural or lightly travelled roads;
- Getting out of parked cars;
- Crossing at an intersection as a light is changing;
- Jaywalking (crossing not at a crosswalk);
- Walking through parking lots ;
- Traveling slowly through crosswalks when elderly, disabled, or distracted;
- Children leaving or going to school;
- Picking up mail from a rural mailbox; and
- Many other scenarios
Pedestrian accidents can happen at any time and result in devastating injuries. The attorneys at Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP work diligently to protect the rights of pedestrian accident victims within the Vermont court system. We can help you too.
Injured Pedestrians Need Aggressive Representation In Vermont
There are many instances when pedestrian accidents are caused by driver error. Some of these cases involve drivers who disregard crosswalks and traffic control devices, those who fail to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, drivers who are drunk or high, those who drive distracted, drivers attempting to pass school buses, and those who are speeding or driving recklessly.
It is imperative for pedestrians and drivers to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Drivers, in particular, need to exercise proper caution, especially in neighborhoods and areas with small children. If you or your loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, contact Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP immediately. Our experienced attorneys can help you determine if negligence was the reason behind your accident and let you know if you have the right to file a claim for your injuries.
Liability In A Pedestrian Accident
When a pedestrian is injured by a motor vehicle driver, it is imperative to determine who is responsible for the accident. Determining the responsible party will play a critical role in a victim’s ability to obtain the maximum amount of compensation for his or her injuries. There are often various parties who may be found liable for pedestrian accidents, some of which include:
The Careless Driver: The individual in control of his or her vehicle is likely to be a responsible party. Drivers have a duty to provide care to those around them while they are in control of their vehicles. These individuals are supposed to act reasonably and obey all traffic rules and laws while behind the wheel. At dawn, dusk, and nighttime, drivers need to be particularly cautious. Drivers most always drive within the range of their headlights. When drivers are negligent and cause accidents, they breach their duty to care and can be held liable.
The Property Owner: When accidents occur on private property, the owner of the property may be liable for injuries. This is especially true in instances where property owners failed to notify guests that both pedestrians and vehicles shared the land. Furthermore, property owners (particularly business owners) are often required to sign or mark off areas where pedestrians can travel safely and out of the way of vehicles.
In other cases, responsible parties may include:
- The manufacturer of the vehicle;
- The manufacturer of the vehicle’s parts;
- The vehicle owner, whether it is a company or an individual;
- The employer of the driver;
- The property manager where the accident occurred; and/or
- The road sign manufacturer, installer, or maintenance company.
Less Common Situations
There are some instances where pedestrians are injured in accidents due to drivers who sustain medical emergencies while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, suffering a heart attack or seizure while in control of your vehicle does not necessarily make the driver liable, unless the driver was negligent in dealing with his or her condition. Individuals who suddenly experience dizziness or disorientation should pull over immediately to avoid injuries or accidents.
Additionally, we are now seeing an increased number of self-driving cars being utilized across the country. As they become more widely available to consumers, it is crucial to recognize that drivers/occupants remain at-fault for accidents in which they are involved. If a pedestrian is struck and injured by a self-driving car, the “driver” of the vehicle is still at fault.
Injuries Sustained By Pedestrians In Vermont Accidents
Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable to vehicles. Most individuals do not walk around wearing head-to-toe protective gear as they go down the road. When up against vehicles weighing literally tons, individuals often sustain severe and life-changing injuries.
Some of the most common injuries pedestrians sustain in accidents include:
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Broken bones;
- Internal organ injuries; and
- Tragically, some pedestrians suffer fatal injuries.
Victims who are wounded in pedestrian accidents often require extensive surgeries and months or years of therapy. For this reason, courts across Vermont enable victims to file personal injury lawsuits against at-fault drivers to help alleviate some of the financial burdens they face in the aftermath of their accidents.
Recoverable Damages In Pedestrian Accidents
Those injured in pedestrian accidents often face the need for medical treatment, which results in thousands of dollars in bills and debts. Individuals are often forced out of work, either temporarily or permanently, due to their injuries and endure overwhelming pain and suffering.
Those who are injured in pedestrian accidents can file lawsuits against at-fault drivers to obtain compensation for:
- Lost wages;
- Medical expenses;
- Loss of future earnings;
- Loss of consortium; and
- Pain and suffering, both physical and mental.
It is worth noting that medical expenses can often be recovered in a legal claim even if they have been paid by the injured party’s health insurance. This is based on a legal doctrine called the “collateral source rule,” and our attorneys are very familiar with the nuances of this doctrine.
In some cases, victims are able to obtain punitive damages. These damages do not have to compensate a victim for any loss they experience. Instead, they are awarded as a form of punishment toward the defendant for their wrongdoing. There are various nuances and legal principles that need to be understood as to how to maximize the amounts an injured party can receive for a claim.
Maximizing the amount received in a claim requires detailed knowledge of the legal principles involved under Vermont law, as well as legal skill, experience, and expertise. The trial attorneys at Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP, are aware of how to best recover the full amount allowed by law.
Claims in pedestrian accident cases are usually covered by the insurance carrier for the car driver or person who is at fault. Our law firm is experienced in dealing with insurance carriers and we have a thorough understanding of how to aggressively assert the rights of our clients. We always aim to settle a case without going to court if this can be accomplished while obtaining maximum compensation for our client, and this is frequently possible. But we are also always willing and thoroughly prepared to go to court to obtain an appropriate award if settlement for an acceptable amount is not possible. We work closely with our clients to explain the options available and to make certain we are proceeding in the manner desired by the client.
Working with an experienced and knowledgeable pedestrian attorney will ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries.
Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP Can Help You
For many years, the attorneys at Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP have helped accident victims obtain the maximum amount of compensation to which they are owed for their injuries and damages. We work diligently to ensure the rights of our clients are protected. Likewise, we recognize the devastating impact pedestrian accidents have on victims, which is why we handle each case compassionately, yet aggressively.
Pedestrian accidents are often complex. Many pedestrians have difficulties remembering the accident, due to head trauma or a psychological repression, or simply the speed at which events occurred. Our attorneys at Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP work with experts who are able to reconstruct the scene of the accident to uncover critical details surrounding the incident. We have helped countless Vermont residents who have been injured in a pedestrian accident get the compensation that they deserve and need to get their lives back on track after suffering injuries in an accident that was no fault of their own and we can help you too.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident that was caused by the reckless, careless, or negligent actions of another person, you may be entitled to compensation from the at-fault party. Contact the law offices of Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP at (802) 482-2905 to speak with a skilled and reputable lawyer about your accident and find out if you have the right to file a claim for your injuries and damages or to schedule a free case review.
Kohn Rath Danon Lynch & Scharf, LLP is a Vermont law firm located in the Town of Hinesburg, providing a broad and comprehensive array of legal services to our clients. Our attorneys have experience in many practice areas of the law.
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