Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Tulsa Pedestrian Accident Attorney

When motorists are not careful driving on city streets or suburban roadways, a person walking or running is at risk of experiencing life-changing injuries. Drivers can be distracted by cell phones or passengers, be unfamiliar with their route, or have limited vision at night. Any of these situations could lead to a pedestrian accident that has devastating consequences that will require extensive financial compensation to overcome.

How Can a Tulsa Pedestrian Accident Attorney Help?

Pedestrians are granted the right-of-way in crosswalks as a priority before vehicles of any kind by Oklahoma Statute. Despite this law, they are the most vulnerable of potential accident victims and account for hundreds of incidents in the Sooner State, usually on city streets such as in Tulsa. In some instances, an accident victim may suffer even more when insurance company adjusters decide that the pedestrian is at fault or deserves no compensation.

Comparative fault applies in Oklahoma, meaning that the respective amount of liability each party bears dictates how much compensation they can receive. If the accident victim is 50% or more at fault, they may not receive damages. Having a skilled pedestrian accident attorney is critical to ensure that a thorough investigation reveals who is truly responsible. An experienced lawyer will:

  • Oversee and manage all legal matters
  • Identify all parties involved
  • Investigate to determine the degree of liability for each party
  • Perform due diligence and discovery to gather all relevant evidence
  • Negotiate with opposing parties to obtain appropriate compensation
  • Negotiate with insurance companies on settlements
  • Escalate an accident claim to a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit if a settlement cannot be reached

A competent pedestrian accident lawyer will coordinate the complex process of obtaining the maximum compensation desired while the client recuperates from their injuries. Accident victims face enough stress and trauma afterwards without worrying about managing their own legal proceedings as well.

What Should a Victim Do After a Pedestrian Accident?

Motor vehicle drivers and bicyclists must always defer to pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections. When foot activity is frequent, such as in downtown Tulsa, drivers should be extra cautious to check blind spots and look for pedestrians. When an aggressive, distracted, or careless driver fails to observe all safety laws, it is the person on foot who often pays the highest price with serious injuries or death.

Some key steps to take if you or a companion are injured in a pedestrian accident are:

  • Call 911: Either you or someone else should immediately contact emergency authorities
  • Stay at the scene: Remain where the accident happened to speak with first responders. The accident victim(s) can receive medical attention, and police can assess the scene more accurately.
  • Give a statement to police: Police must correctly capture details, including those of someone trying to deflect blame from themselves.
  • Obtain names of witnesses: Try to get the names and contact info of bystanders or other individuals who witnessed the pedestrian accident.
  • Do not make any statements about fault: It is important to not make any statements about who is to blame until you speak with legal counsel.
  • Photograph the entire scene: Have someone take photos/videos of the scene from different angles to accurately document road and weather conditions, injuries, damage, and the location of all parties and vehicles involved.
  • Keep detailed records Retain all receipts and bills for medical treatments, tests, and fees. More records will make a stronger argument when seeking reimbursement for these expenses.

As soon as possible, hire a pedestrian accident lawyer to discuss the details of the incident. Once the victim is safe and medically stable, an attorney can begin the process of identifying potential ways to recover economic and non-economic losses. A professional legal team can gather evidence, begin negotiations, and build a case for a settlement or a jury trial.

Determining Liability After a Pedestrian Accident

Even if a case seems very clear-cut, other parties will likely be unwilling to accept blame. They may wish to disagree over who is most at fault, claiming the pedestrian jaywalked or crossed against the light. Because a vehicle weighing several thousand pounds is harder to start and stop than a person controlling their own body, the driver must always be fully investigated. So many factors can affect a motorist’s concentration and behavior that it can be complicated to prove their liability.

Pedestrian accident attorneys will send their investigators to the accident scene to take photographs, obtain any video from local traffic or security cameras, speak with witnesses, and even employ professional accident reconstruction experts. Members of the legal team will contact doctors and other specialists to combine their input with witness statements. These actions help build a more complete picture of what occurred and how severe the injuries are.

Proving negligence is the primary goal in most pedestrian accident cases. In a single incident, it is possible for both the pedestrian and any motorists to be at blame. Oklahoma’s comparative fault statutes govern how much compensation an accident victim may be rewarded if they played a part in the situation. Generally, if a person is over 50% at-fault for their accident, they will not receive any damages awarded.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

A critical tenet of Oklahoma law is that drivers and bicyclists must always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. Many motorists fail to do so because they are in a hurry or feel they have the right to keep moving even when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk. Pedestrians easily become accident victims when drivers engage in the following types of behaviors:

  • Speeding: The faster a driver goes, the greater the damage they can inflict to pedestrians. These serious injuries include broken bones and head injuries.
  • Driving distractedly: Listening to podcasts or audiobooks, looking at a GPS guide, sightseeing, or making a phone call can take a driver’s attention away from pedestrians on the road.
  • Texting while driving: The Oklahoma Motor Vehicle Violation Code states that a driver receiving or sending texts while a vehicle is in motion constitutes a charge of negligence.
  • Failure to yield: Many drivers fail to yield to pedestrians at stop signs or intersections, believing their vehicle size or being late makes them more important.
  • Driving under the influence: Drugs and alcohol impair driving ability significantly, including blurring vision and slowing reflexes. Drunk driving is a common cause of pedestrian deaths.
  • Failure to stop: When a driver rolls through a stop sign or light, they are a risk to pedestrians. This includes motorists who turn without checking their surroundings completely.
  • Poor vision: Driving without corrective lenses, in poor weather conditions, or when it is dark can all make it harder to see pedestrians and avoid accidents.
  • Driving recklessly: Driving without taking due care or driving aggressively (road rage) can cause a motorist to ignore people in crosswalks or on roadsides, leading to pedestrian accidents.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 70,000 pedestrians are involved in accidents with motor vehicles each year nationwide, and more than 4,000 of those result in the death of the pedestrian. The large majority of auto accidents that harm or kill pedestrians are the result of negligent drivers. In the case of a fatality, the deceased’s family becomes able to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver responsible.

How Can I Seek Compensation After a Tulsa Pedestrian Accident?

For most pedestrian accidents in Tulsa, the accident victim can pursue compensation from a driver’s automotive liability coverage (or that of the vehicle owner). The pedestrian can file a claim with the opposing party’s insurance company, which is why it is so important to get the driver’s contact information immediately following the accident. Having this information will make it easier for legal counsel to begin pursuing compensation.

Oklahoma observes a traditional fault-based system for financial responsibility when a car is involved in any kind of accident, including those that injure pedestrians. This means that whoever is determined to be at fault for causing the accident is responsible for any ensuing injuries and damage. Generally, this is covered by the driver’s or vehicle owner’s insurance policy limits.

The state of Oklahoma requires certain minimums for automotive liability insurance, which covers accidents caused by the owner or driver of the insured vehicle. These minimum amounts are:

  • $25,000 to cover bodily injury or death of one person
  • $50,000 to cover total bodily injury or death liability
  • $25,000 to cover property damage (per accident)

Liability insurance coverage will pay medical bills, property damage expenses, and other costs incurred by pedestrians, passengers, and drivers who are injured in a car accident. These are minimum amounts, and a driver may carry more insurance coverage since they must pay out-of-pocket if expenses are greater than the policy limits. A personal injury lawyer is critical to recovering the highest recompense available for suffering victims.

Common types of medical conditions that can be covered include brain injury or other head injuries, broken bones, loss of mobility or sensation, and loss of limb.

Finding a Qualified Tulsa Pedestrian Accident Attorney

To speak with an experienced Tulsa pedestrian accident attorney, reach out to the law offices of Graves McLain for a free consultation today to discuss your case. You can contact us online or by phone at 918-359-6600.

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