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Alabama Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Were you injured in a pedestrian accident? If so, you are legally entitled to compensation for your suffering. Our attorneys can help you with the claims process by informing you of your rights and representing you.

Every day, thousands of Americans become pedestrians when they walk and jog along roads to get from one place to another. A pedestrian accident unfortunately occurs when a pedestrian gets hit by a motorist or someone on a bicycle. Many pedestrian accidents occur on roadways, parking lots, and driveways, both when the pedestrian is moving or standing still. These terrible accidents result in physical injuries, medical bills, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, and a reduced quality of life.

You have rights you can exercise after experiencing a personal injury, which includes being hit as a pedestrian. An Alabama pedestrian accident lawyer can advocate for you to ensure you are compensated for the damages and suffering you have experienced. If you've been injured in a pedestrian accident, a seasoned pedestrian accident lawyer should be sought immediately. Call Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey, LLP at 205-349-2009 for a free consultation today to learn about how we can help you.

Our Lawyers Handle Alabama Personal Injury Cases

Bob Cockrell at Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey, LLP has 30 years of experience representing clients in various types personal injury cases, including pedestrian accidents. He and his team are well versed in holding responsible parties accountable when their negligence causes injury to others. A few examples include auto accidents, wrongful death, and product liability.

Pedestrian accidents fall under the umbrella of auto accidents. If the person who hit you was operating a motor vehicle, they likely have an auto insurance policy that can be used to pay you the compensation you deserve.

No matter how or where you were injured in a pedestrian accident, our Birmingham pedestrian accident attorneys have extensive knowledge of federal and Alabama law to help you fight to recover compensation. Our law firm is committed to serving the people of Tuscaloosa County and the state of Alabama. We have a history of building strong cases to pursue compensation for everything from physical injuries to emotional distress. We can help you by gathering evidence, determining all of the at fault parties, and negotiating with all relevant insurance companies to get you the payment you deserve.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

Here are some facts about pedestrian accidents in the United States:

  • There were 6,205 pedestrian fatalities in 2019, which accounted for 17% of all deaths from traffic crashes that year.

  • 85,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes in 2019

  • This was a 1% increase from the number of pedestrian injuries in 2018.

  • Pedestrian accidents have been on the rise for years for a variety of reasons

Pedestrian Accident Statistics in Alabama

  • Alabama had 94 pedestrian fatalities in 2019, which accounted for about 13% of all traffic related fatalities in the state.

  • Pedestrian fatalities in the state have generally been increasing in recent years.

Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents can happen for a variety of reasons:

  • The actions of a negligent driver: Many pedestrian accidents are caused by driver negligence, including distracted driving, impaired driving, speeding, failure to yield or obey traffic signals, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

  • Poor visibility conditions: Inadequate lighting, bad weather, or pedestrians wearing dark clothing during the night can make it difficult for drivers to see and avoid pedestrians.

  • Pedestrian error: The pedestrian's own actions may contribute to accidents, such as walking into traffic with oncoming vehicles or jaywalking.

  • Distraction: Inattention from drivers and/or pedestrians is possible and can contribute to pedestrian accidents. Common distractions are listening to music, mobile phones, eating or drinking, and any other activity that takes one's focus away from the road.

  • Intoxication: Both drivers and pedestrians can be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Intoxication significantly increases the risk of pedestrian accidents, especially pedestrian deaths.

  • Infrastructure issues: Poor maintenance or design of roads, inadequate pedestrian infrastructure, absence of proper signage or traffic signals, and a lack of sidewalks or crosswalks can contribute to pedestrian accidents and traffic fatalities involving a motor vehicle.


Causes of Pedestrian Fatalities

A combination of factors involving both the driver and pedestrian can cause pedestrian deaths. Some common causes of pedestrian death are driver impairment, high vehicle speed, and failure to yield. If your loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident, we may be able to help you pursue a wrongful death claim. Contact our office for a free case review.

Factors in Pedestrian Accidents

Certain factors can increase the risk of a collision between a pedestrian and a motor vehicle:

  • Intoxication: In about half of all pedestrian crashes, either the driver or the pedestrian was under the influence of alcohol.

  • Left turns: Approximately 25 percent of all pedestrian crashes occur while the driver makes a left turn.

  • Jaywalking: Nearly 75 percent of pedestrian accidents occur outside of intersections, meaning a pedestrian failed to use a designated crosswalk.

  • Parking lots: Many drivers are distracted in parking lots, leading to an increased risk of collision.

  • City settings: Over 80 percent of pedestrian accidents occur in cities.

  • Time of day: Pedestrian accidents often occur at night, with 80% involving pedestrians walking during evening hours.

  • Age and demographics: There are certain demographics of people that are at greater risk of pedestrian fatalities due to difficulty assessing traffic conditions, slower reaction times, or reduced mobility.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Alabama

In the state of Alabama, the most common causes of pedestrian accidents are:

  • Speeding

  • Drunk driving

  • Speeding

  • Aggressive driving

  • Distracted driving

  • Pedestrian error

  • Distracted pedestrian

  • Lack of pedestrian infrastructure

  • Poor visibility

What are the most dangerous times, locations, and conditions for pedestrian accidents?

Increased traffic and environmental factors contribute to pedestrian accidents. In Alabama, the factors that increase the risk of having a pedestrian accident are:

  • Evening and nighttime: Dim lighting conditions and reduced driver visibility increase the risk of traffic crashes.

  • Weekends and holidays: People tend to engage in recreational activities, attend events, or visit friends and family during these times. It results in more pedestrians and motor vehicles sharing the roads.

  • Urban areas: Higher population densities, more intersections, crosswalks, and complex traffic patterns result in more pedestrian traffic.

  • Busy intersections: Intersections with heavy traffic have a higher chance of drivers running red lights, failing to yield, and speeding.

  • Busy roadways: Roadways with high speeds and heavy traffic have a much greater risk of pedestrian crashes and deaths.

  • School zones and residential areas: Children are vulnerable during school hours and when coming from and going back to their homes, and they are not as aware of traffic, so drivers must exercise extra caution.

  • Adverse weather conditions: Weather conditions such as rain, snow, and fog make for poor visibility and slippery roads.

  • Areas with poor lighting: A lack of proper lighting during the evening results in poor visibility for both drivers and pedestrians.

What demographics are more vulnerable to pedestrian accidents?

Although anyone can be in a pedestrian accident, some demographics have a higher risk of not only experiencing one but experiencing serious injuries and death from one. They are as follows:

  • Children: Younger children are especially vulnerable due to their reduced ability to judge vehicle speeds and distances, limited understanding of traffic rules, and smaller stature.

  • Older adults: Elderly individuals may be more prone to pedestrian crashes due to factors such as potential physical frailty, slower reaction times, and reduced mobility.

  • Individuals with disabilities: Pedestrians with disabilities, such as mobility limitations or visual impairments, may have a higher risk of being in pedestrian accidents as they face additional challenges in navigating roadways.

  • Low-income communities: Pedestrian accidents may be more prevalent in low-income communities due to factors such as safe transportation alternatives, a lack of pedestrian-friendly features, and inadequate infrastructure.

Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries

Pedestrian crashes can result in minor to severe injuries depending on the circumstances. Compared to other traffic crashes, pedestrian crashes due to negligent drivers are more serious because pedestrians are completely physically vulnerable. Injured pedestrians commonly experience the following:

  • Head injuries can range from minor concussions to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). They can have temporary or permanent effects on cognitive function.

  • Fractures and broken bones are painful and pedestrians often experience them in the ribs and limbs. They often require surgery.

  • Internal injuries such as lacerations and contusions to vital organs or soft tissue damage can result in permanent damage to those organs, bleeding, or death.

  • Spinal cord injuries and neck injuries can result in lengthy recovery times and temporary or permanent paralysis or other mobility issues.

  • Psychological trauma can result from the accident, including PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

Factors such as the speed of the motor vehicle, the point of impact, and the physical condition of the pedestrian determine the severity and extent of injuries. Even if your injuries appear to be minor at first, it is important to assess your physical injuries and receive medical care by medical professionals.

Alabama Statute of Limitations: How Long Can You Wait to File a Lawsuit?

According to Alabama law, you have two years from the date of the crash to file a pedestrian accident claim. Once the deadline passes, you forfeit all rights to pursue compensation. It is strongly recommended that you do not wait until your deadline is near to contact an Alabama pedestrian accident lawyer. Give your attorney as much time as possible to build your case as present a strong claim so you can collect the full spectrum of compensation available to you by law.

Compensation for Injured Pedestrians in Alabama

Alabama personal injury law states that accident victims that suffered injuries from a pedestrian accident due to someone else’s negligence have the right to financial compensation for economic and non-economic damages that include:

  • Medical bills

  • Lost wages

  • Diminished earning capacity

  • Pain and suffering

  • Loss of consortium

  • Diminished quality of life from significant injuries

Every pedestrian accident case is different, so the types of damages you may be entitled to are unique to your circumstances. A pedestrian accident attorney from Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey, LLP can provide you with a free consultation to determine your financial compensation.

Understanding Pedestrian Rights in Alabama

Alabama personal injury law for pedestrians involves an understanding not only of personal injury law but traffic laws in the state. An injured pedestrian should be aware of their rights according to Alabama law so they can be successful in their claim.

Do pedestrians have the right of way in Alabama?

In general, pedestrians have the right of way in Alabama so long as they are safely crossing the road at intersections or at marked crosswalks. Alabama traffic laws require that drivers yield to pedestrians who are lawfully within a crosswalk (Alabama Code Section 32-5A-211).

Establishing Liability After Your Pedestrian Accident

The negligence rule in Alabama is a modified rule based on comparative fault known as contributory negligence. It means that the parties can share liability according to their degree of fault since both driver and pedestrian have unique responsibilities in sharing the road. However, if a pedestrian is found to be even 1% at fault, they may be unable to receive any compensation.

Because the contributory negligence rule in Alabama is strict and can be unfavorable to pedestrians, it's best to consult one of the Birmingham pedestrian accident lawyers at our law firm. We are familiar with Alabama law to assess your case and provide you with experienced legal advice.

How does insurance work in an Alabama pedestrian accident case?

Insurance coverage for pedestrian crashes in Alabama typically involves auto insurance and health insurance. Here is how they generally work:

Auto insurance: The at fault driver's insurance company can compensate for economic and non-economic damages. The minimum liability limits for all auto insurance policies in Alabama are 25/50/25, which means $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property damage. Should the driver be uninsured or underinsured, the pedestrian may use their own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, if they have it.

Health Insurance: Pedestrians injured in accidents may also rely on their own health insurance coverage to pay for medical treatment. It can cover various types of medical expenses.

Navigating insurance systems can be a complex process after a pedestrian accident. To guide you through the process, negotiate with insurance companies and each insurance adjuster on your behalf, and ensure you receive appropriate compensation, it is advisable to have a free consultation from a pedestrian accident attorney at your earliest convenience.

What Are the Elements of a Pedestrian Accident Claim?

To prove liability, seek compensation and receive a fair settlement in your pedestrian accident case, you must be able to show the following elements are present:

Duty of Care: The plaintiff (injured pedestrian) must establish that the defendant (typically the driver) owed a duty of care towards them. Duty of care in the case of an auto accident is based on the requirement for drivers to exercise reasonable care while operating their motor vehicles.

Breach of Duty: The plaintiff must then demonstrate that the defendant breached their duty of care. Typically, the plaintiff must do this by establishing that the defendant acted negligently or failed to fulfill their duty of care, such as by speeding, running a red light, distracted driving, or failing to yield to the pedestrian.

Causation: The plaintiff must establish a causal connection between the defendant's breach of duty and the pedestrian's injuries. In other words, you must demonstrate that your injuries were a direct result of the defendant's negligent actions.

Damages: The plaintiff suffered injuries and so must provide evidence of the damages they have suffered as a result of the accident. This can include medical records, medical bills, expert testimony, and other documentation to support the claim.

No Contributory Negligence: It is crucial that there is an absence of any contributory negligence from the pedestrian. The plaintiff must demonstrate that they did not contribute any fault to the accident.

Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident in Alabama

If you were injured in a pedestrian accident in Alabama, there are certain steps you must take to prioritize your safety, wellbeing, and ensure the success of your claim:

  1. Assess your immediate safety

  2. Seek medical attention

  3. Contact emergency services

  4. Gather information

  5. Document the scene

  6. File an accident report

  7. Notify your insurance company

  8. Consult an attorney

Two common mistakes people make after a pedestrian accident are failure to seek immediate medical attention, and failure to consult an attorney.

Even if you think you aren’t hurt, you should seek medical care to identify any injuries that are not immediately obvious. It also helps to establish a medical record on the same day of the accident in the event you will need to pursue a lawsuit later.

Failing to consult an attorney is a big mistake because it will cost you nothing upfront and will likely result in a far better outcome and more compensation than if you decide to pursue your claim alone.

Evidence in an Alabama Pedestrian Accident Case

All pedestrian accident cases must have evidence to establish the claims of the injured pedestrians. Evidence to help determine liability includes:

  • The driver's cell phone records

  • Police reports

  • Surveillance footage

  • Witness statements

  • Photographs of the accident scene

  • Diagrams of the accident scene

  • Medical documentation

  • Expert opinions

A pedestrian accident lawyer can obtain certain types of evidence, such as expert opinions, that will help strengthen your claim.

What Are Some Common Defenses Against Pedestrian Accident Claims?

The driver’s insurance company may try to build a defense to avoid paying for the damages their insured caused to the injured party. Some common defenses include:

Comparative Negligence: The defendant may assert that the pedestrian was partially or entirely at fault for the accident. This defense aims to shift some or all of the blame onto the pedestrian, in an attempt to bar them from seeking compensation. With a contributory negligence rule in Alabama, even slight fault on the part of the pedestrian may bar them from recovering any compensation.

Assumption of Risk: The defendant may argue that the pedestrian knowingly assumed the risk of the accident by engaging in risky behavior or crossing the road in an unsafe manner. This defense suggests that the pedestrian voluntarily exposed themselves to the danger and should bear the consequences for their actions.

Lack of Duty of Care: The defendant may argue that they did not owe a duty of care to the pedestrian due to certain circumstances. For example, they may claim that the pedestrian was jaywalking or that they were not visible due to weather conditions, poor lighting, or wearing dark clothing.

Act of God: The defendant might argue that the accident was an unavoidable consequence of unforeseeable or natural events, such as an unforeseeable medical emergency or sudden severe weather conditions.

Intervening Cause: The defendant may assert that another intervening event or third-party action was the primary cause of the accident, rather than their own negligence, by claiming that the actions of another driver, a pedestrian, or an unforeseen circumstance directly led to the accident.

The ability for the defendant to apply any of these defenses and be successful in doing so depends on the facts in your claim. A free consultation with a Birmingham pedestrian accident lawyer who has experience in handling such claims is essential for strengthening your claim as well as understanding and countering such defenses.

What Can an Alabama Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Do For You?

A pedestrian accident attorney in Alabama is a crucial ally when fighting for compensation. They can inform you of your legal rights, gather evidence, calculate damages, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for compensation on your behalf. Since they take cases on a contingency fee basis, you only have to pay when you win your case.

You don't have to let a pedestrian crash disrupt your life. A free consultation from one of our pedestrian accident attorneys at Cockrell, Cockrell, Ritchey & Ritchey can give you peace of mind so you can be aware of all your legal options. Call us today at 205-349-2009 to learn more about what we can do for you.


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