When a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the person on foot is likely to suffer severe and potentially life-threatening injuries, depending on the circumstances.
If you were the victim of a pedestrian accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you should seek skilled representation from a local personal injury attorney before proceeding with insurance companies and settlement negotiations. Liable parties are legally responsible for compensating you for your injuries, but you must bring a claim against them and prove their negligence.
A Houma and Terrebonne Parish pedestrian accident lawyer could provide you with competent legal advice and help you pursue damages from the driver who hit you. However, there is limited time to file suit, so contacting a capable legal professional as soon as possible after a pedestrian accident is often the best way to protect your rights.
Establishing Liability for a Pedestrian Accident
After any accident, law enforcement and the insurance companies for the involved parties try to determine who was responsible. According to Louisiana civil law, the at-fault party in a vehicle accident must pay the damages of anyone who suffered losses as a result, including affected pedestrians. If multiple parties were responsible, each must pay a portion of the damages that reflects their degree of liability.
Most pedestrian accidents are caused by careless or reckless drivers. However, each party will try to absolve themselves and place blame on others, including the injured pedestrian. All motorists in and around the parish seat of Terrebonne have an obligation to be attentive to their surroundings and actively avoid hitting pedestrians.
However, a defendant driver may attempt to place blame on an injured pedestrian by alleging misconduct on their part, such as crossing the street without a crosswalk. An attorney in the Houma and Terrebonne Parish area could investigate the circumstances and help prove that a pedestrian bears no liability for their own losses to maximize their available compensation.
Damages to Compensate an Injured Pedestrian’s Losses
The biggest out-of-pocket expense a pedestrian might incur after an accident is their medical expenses. Even with good insurance, copayments, deductibles, and non-covered services can add up quickly. Damages awarded in a lawsuit could cover accident-related expenses which are not covered by an injured pedestrian or driver’s insurance, including:
- Future medical expenses
- Lost income for time spent out of work
- Emotional trauma
- Physical pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
Limitations on Claims against Government Entities
Sometimes, the City of Houma or Terrebonne Parish might bear some responsibility for a pedestrian accident. For example, if the intersection where the incident occurred was poorly marked, shoddy road maintenance contributed to the accident, or a city vehicle was involved, a local lawyer could help an injured pedestrian seek compensation from the appropriate government agency.
When a unit of government or a government agency could be a defendant, it is critical for an injured pedestrian to seek legal help immediately. According to Louisiana civil law, a potential plaintiff must file a notice informing the government entity of their intent to sue within a relatively short timeframe.
Failing to file that notice on time could prevent an injured pedestrian from pursuing any damages whatsoever. An experienced attorney serving Houma and Terrebonne Parish could file all the paperwork on time to preserve a pedestrian’s right to hold the government accountable for its role in their accident.
If the injured pedestrian files a timely notice and brings a lawsuit, the law protects government agencies from having to pay large compensatory awards. Louisiana Revised Statute §5106 limits a plaintiff’s damages to $500,000 when the defendant is a unit of government or political subdivision of the state.
Bring Your Pedestrian Accident Claim to a Houma and Terrebonne Parish Attorney
Claims based on injuries suffered by pedestrians can get complicated quickly. Trying to handle such a claim while you recover can be overwhelming for a person to handle on their own.
Fortunately, a Houma and Terrebonne Parish pedestrian accident lawyer stands ready to negotiate an appropriate settlement on your behalf that provides comprehensive compensation for your injuries. Your time to act is short, so schedule a consultation as soon as you can.