The number of pedestrian fatalities in the United States has been soaring in recent years. The total number of people killed in these crashes is at a 40-year high . If your loved one has been a victim of a fatal pedestrian accident, your family may be entitled to financial compensation. First, you would need to hire an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer to fight for your legal rights. The attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are experienced advocates who could deliver results for your family. Call us today to schedule your free consultation to discuss your case.
Leading Causes of Pedestrian Fatalities
Drivers can cause fatal pedestrian accidents for a number of reasons, including:
- Reckless driving
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Running stop signs or red lights
In many cases, the driver is just plain careless. They may not be distracted, but they could not simply see the pedestrian in the crosswalk or attempting to cross at an intersection.
In every pedestrian accident case, you will have the burden of proof to show that the driver was at fault for the accident.
Why Pedestrian Fatalities Are Increasing
There are several reasons why fatal pedestrian accidents are increasing:
- Drivers are becoming more reckless with less regard for rules and laws
- Passenger vehicles are being designed to be larger, as automakers phase out less profitable sedans from their lineups
- More people are taking to walking for exercise and transportation (especially with the rise in urban living)
- Governments are not taking adequate measures to protect pedestrians as the number of cars on the road increases
- More drivers are distracted, missing crosswalks and stop signs because they are looking down at their mobile devices
Holding Drivers Responsible for Pedestrian Deaths
Your family can and should file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible driver. In a wrongful death case, the loss of your loved one is your family’s own personal injury.
Your family would be able to recover your own damages that you suffered, such as:
- The loss of the income that your family member would have earned
- The grief that you suffered from suddenly and tragically losing a loved one
- The loss of the guidance, love and support provided by the deceased person
- Loss of consortium damages for the physical relationship that the deceased person had with their spouse
How to Prove the Driver Was Responsible
It would be up to the family to prove legal responsibility in a pedestrian crash. The legal standard in a pedestrian accident case is negligence. A family would need to prove that the driver acted unreasonably under the circumstances.
Here are some forms of evidence that can be used to prove liability for pedestrian fatalities:
- Eyewitness testimony from people who saw what was happening at the time of the accident
- Pictures from the scene of the accident
- The police report written by the officer who showed up at the scene (although this cannot be used to prove the case in court, since it would be considered hearsay)
- Testimony from an accident reconstruction expert
Your family’s attorney would gather the evidence needed to prove your claim and persuade the insurance company that the driver is liable.
Financial Compensation After a Hit and Run Accident
There are some instances when the driver of the vehicle does not stop, even after someone was killed in a pedestrian accident. Even though drivers have to stop at the scene of the crash, they may be afraid of the consequences or may not even know that they hit a pedestrian.
The family may still be able to recover financial compensation, even in a hit and run pedestrian accident when the driver did not stop and provide their insurance information. Pedestrians (and by extension their families) may file a claim against their own auto insurance policies after injury causing crashes.
Your family would still struggle because the insurance company can be difficult for their “own customers”. They typically don’t want to pay the full value of the claim,. They may not even want to pay at all, or may try to seek to assign a percent of blame to the deceased pedestrian, pointing a finger at them for their own injuries.
Nonetheless, your family can recover financial compensation up to the policy limit when you can prove that the driver was negligent in the accident.
Attorneys Helping Clients After Fatal Pedestrian Accidents
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help when you need a tough and dedicated pedestrian accident attorney. We try to move obstacles out of your way when you are seeking the compensation that you deserve when someone else was to blame for the accident. Your first step is to reach out to us online or call us today at (800) 424-5757 to discuss your case. We offer free initial consultations, and we do not charge you anything unless we are able to help you win your case.
Resources:  IIHS