Eugene Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you care about was injured in a pedestrian accident, it can be difficult to know what you should do. Medical bills may be piling up, and working with insurance can be daunting and even feel like an impossible battle to win.
That is why it can help to have one of our Eugene pedestrian accident lawyers working on your side — someone who has walked this path with others like you before, and who can help you determine the best next steps to recover the compensation you deserve.
Pedestrian accidents are a frequent occurrence in the United States; and because of the massive size and weight difference between cars and people, the consequences of these accidents are often severe and long-lasting for pedestrians.
If you or someone you care about was involved in a pedestrian accident in Eugene, Oregon, and would like to discuss your case, call Strong Law at 206-741-1053 to schedule a free consultation.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to the most recent statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 6,205 people died in pedestrian accidents in 2019, and more than 76,000 people were injured nationwide.
While jaywalking (crossing a road in places other than at an intersection or provided crosswalk) accounts for many pedestrian injuries and fatalities, about half of all pedestrian accidents are caused by driver negligence. That said, each pedestrian accident case is as unique as the people involved.
The scenarios in which the accidents occur are different, and the injuries the victims suffer are also different. Furthermore, the various types of insurance that may or may not be available to cover such accidents differ from case to case.
Only an attorney who has extensive experience handling pedestrian accident cases can adequately assess your situation and give you the guidance you need.
Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Occur?
Pedestrian accidents happen virtually anywhere that you have a roadway, a vehicle, and a pedestrian. This may be at an intersection, between intersections, in a parking lot or garage, or virtually anyplace else that you can think of.
Some of the most dangerous places for pedestrians are crosswalks, driveways, sidewalks, and roadway shoulders. Even if a pedestrian is using a crosswalk, they can be struck by a driver that failed to yield, turned a corner too quickly, or one that was simply distracted and not paying attention to the road ahead.
Pedestrians are also injured when drivers back out of parking spaces and driveways without checking behind them, and when cars leave the roadway accidentally and drive onto the shoulder or median, or even onto the sidewalk.
When Do Pedestrian Accidents Occur?
Aside from location, time of day is also a factor in pedestrian accidents, with the time of highest risk being when it is dark outside, before dawn, or near dusk. These accidents are also more likely to occur in cities where foot traffic is greater.
Interestingly, pedestrians are also more likely (37 percent more) to get struck by electric or hybrid vehicles, as these vehicles have engines that are quieter and harder to hear coming. However, it is important to note that while accidents with smaller hybrid cars are more common, accidents with larger louder vehicles are typically more severe based on the size difference.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
The size difference between types of vehicles also directly relates to a difference in the types of injuries that pedestrians sustain when involved in these accidents. Overall, the injuries suffered in pedestrian versus car accidents typically involve injuries to the head and limbs.
However, if a pedestrian is struck by a smaller vehicle, injuries are more likely in the legs because of the vehicle’s lower profile. On the other hand, if a pedestrian is struck by a bigger vehicle, such as a truck or SUV, injuries will usually be sustained higher up on the body.
But regardless of the size of the vehicle, if the pedestrian hits the street, sidewalk, or some other hard surface after being struck by the car, their injuries are frequently more extensive and even more severe.
Recovering Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident in Eugene, Oregon
Even when pedestrian accidents are not fatal, they can be debilitating, causing costly life-changing injuries. The National Safety Council estimates the cost of a pedestrian accident injury to be approximately $59,000 per incident, while the cost of a fatality is estimated to be more than $4.5 million per occurrence.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be legally entitled to recover substantial compensation for damages suffered as a result of the accident and your injuries — but if and only if you can prove that someone else caused the accident and your injuries.
In other words, you have to be able to show that a driver did something wrong, such as going through a red light, making an improper or unsafe left turn, failing to yield the right of way to you, speeding, or something else, and as a result you were injured.
Who Compensates Me for My Eugene Pedestrian Accident Injuries?
In normal circumstances, the insurance company for the at-fault driver must compensate you for your injuries. If the at-fault driver does not stop and is never identified, or if they have no insurance or do not have enough insurance to fully compensate you, then you will probably have a claim with your own insurance company under your uninsured motorists coverage.
How Do I Know If I Have a Good Pedestrian Accident Case?
There are essentially only two things that you must have for a good pedestrian accident case in Oregon. Lawyers, insurance adjusters, judges, and the like refer to these things by the shorthand descriptions “liability” and “damages.”
Liability refers to whose fault caused the accident. Oregon is an at-fault state, meaning that in order to be entitled to compensation for your injuries, you have to be able to prove that the accident was someone else’s fault. The correct name for this is negligence, and it simply means that someone else’s carelessness caused you to be injured.
For example, perhaps the driver was driving too fast, not paying attention, talking on a cell phone, texting, or otherwise driving carelessly. If you can prove that the driver did something careless to cause the accident in which you were injured, you probably have a good pedestrian accident claim.
Modified Comparative Negligence
While you may be able to prove that the driver who struck you was at fault and is, therefore, liable to compensate you for your injuries, you must also be aware that the driver may have a potential defense against your claim if you share any fault for the accident.
Oregon is one of the many states that recognize a defense called “modified comparative negligence.” If it is found that you contributed to causing your accident, then your claim will be limited to an amount minus your own percentage of fault.
For example, if it is determined that you are 10% at fault for your accident, then you lose 10% of what you would otherwise be entitled to recover had you not contributed to causing the accident. Moreover, if you are 51% at fault or more, your claim will be barred completely, and you will recover none of the compensation that you would otherwise be entitled to recover.
The second thing you have to be able to prove for a good pedestrian accident case is damages. Damages basically come in two types:
- Economic Damages – the medical expenses necessary to treat your bodily injuries, lost wages and income, damage to your personal property, and other economic losses.
- Noneconomic Damages – the physical pain, mental anguish, sleepless nights, and inconvenience that you have to endure due to injuries that you didn’t ask for and do not deserve, but were caused by somebody else’s carelessness. These types of damages are commonly referred to as pain and suffering, and certainly include that, but can also include much more.
If you elect to hire one of our Eugene pedestrian injury lawyers, they will assist you with gathering the evidence needed to prove the extent of your damages as well as the driver’s liability for those damages.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Eugene Pedestrian Accident Claim?
You can handle your pedestrian accident claim without a lawyer and without paying legal fees if you want to. There is no law against that.
However, if you have large financial losses, or if there will be long-term consequences of the accident, or if you have serious injuries, such as a concussion, a spinal injury, a herniated disc, internal injuries, broken bones, or some combination of these kinds of injuries, it would not be wise to attempt to handle the claim without an experienced pedestrian injury attorney to assist you.
The insurance adjusters and lawyers who will be attempting to deny or minimize your claim are professionals. They do this all day, every day. So, you need someone on your side who is just as professional and as capable, and who cares as much about your interests as your adversaries do about protecting the interests that they have.
When Should You Hire a Eugene Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
You should hire our Eugene pedestrian injury attorneys as soon as possible after being injured in a pedestrian accident, or whenever you realize that you need an attorney’s help. Whether you hire a lawyer on Day One or Day 100 after your pedestrian accident, the legal fee will be the same.
Why Hire a Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
In the early stages of your pedestrian accident claim, when nailing down evidence of liability, talking to witnesses, getting statements, and developing evidence of your damages, the assistance of our experienced pedestrian accident attorneys can prove invaluable.
The advice, counsel, and support of our skilled Eugene pedestrian accident lawyers can help ensure that you recover all the damages to which you are entitled. Why wouldn’t you want to have these advantages throughout the entire claims process?