Imagine walking down the sidewalk and suddenly seeing a truck speeding toward you. There isn’t anything quite as frightening. Unfortunately, situations like this happen more than many realize, with thousands of pedestrians being injured and killed each year due to accidents.
Pedestrian accidents are unique. They tend to be more serious and more likely to lead to a fatality than any other road-related incident. One reason for this is that pedestrians have no protection. If they are struck by a vehicle, their body absorbs the collision, leading to serious injuries and death.
At Bernard Law Group, our Tacoma pedestrian accident lawyers understand the impact of these incidents. We take pride in providing aggressive representation for accident victims and their families in these situations.
Common Causes of Tacoma Pedestrian Accidents
In Tacoma, pedestrian accidents are a significant concern, often resulting in serious injuries or fatalities. Understanding the common causes of these accidents is crucial for prevention and those seeking legal recourse. At Bernard Law Group, we have identified several key factors that frequently contribute to pedestrian accidents in the area.
One of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents is distracted driving. This includes drivers using mobile phones, adjusting the radio, or other distractions inside the vehicle. Such distractions can lead to drivers failing to notice pedestrians at crosswalks or along the roadside.
Excessive speed reduces a driver’s reaction time and increases the severity of an accident. Speeding in urban areas, especially near crosswalks and school zones, poses a significant risk to pedestrians.
Failure to Yield
Drivers failing to yield the right of way at crosswalks and intersections is another leading cause of pedestrian accidents. This includes ignoring traffic signals or stop signs and not stopping for pedestrians with the right of way.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs dramatically impairs a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. Impaired drivers are less likely to observe and react appropriately to pedestrians.
Poor Road Conditions
Inadequate lighting, lack of crosswalks, and poorly maintained roads can also contribute to pedestrian accidents. These conditions can make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians, especially at night.
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Proving Liability in a Pedestrian Accident
Determining who is at fault in a pedestrian accident is crucial for legal proceedings and compensation claims. At Bernard Law Group, we specialize in proving liability to ensure our clients receive the justice and compensation they deserve.
The first step in proving liability is the collection of evidence. This includes acquiring surveillance or dashcam footage, photographs of the accident scene, and eyewitness statements. We also gather police reports which provide an official account of the accident, including any citations issued to the driver.
Analyzing Accident Details
Our team closely analyzes the details of the accident. This involves examining the point of impact, the condition of the road, weather conditions, and any obstructions that could have contributed to the accident. This thorough analysis helps establish a clear picture of the events leading up to the accident.
A key aspect of proving liability is establishing driver negligence. This could be due to distracted driving, speeding, failing to yield, or driving under the influence. Proving negligence is critical to demonstrate that the driver breached their duty of care to the pedestrian.
Understanding and asserting pedestrian rights is essential. We emphasize the legal protections afforded to pedestrians, such as right of way in crosswalks and adherence to traffic signals. Demonstrating a pedestrian’s adherence to these rights further solidifies their case.
In complex cases, we may enlist accident reconstruction experts or medical professionals to provide testimony. Their insights can offer substantial support in proving liability and the extent of injuries sustained.
Proving liability requires a comprehensive approach, combining legal expertise with a detailed investigation. At Bernard Law Group, our commitment to this process ensures our clients’ rights are vigorously defended in pedestrian accident cases.
Steps to Take After a Tacoma Pedestrian Accident
Being involved in a pedestrian accident can be a traumatic and confusing experience. At Bernard Law Group, we guide our clients through the essential steps following an accident, ensuring their rights and well-being are protected.
Seek Medical Attention
Your health is the top priority. Even if you feel fine, it’s crucial to get a medical evaluation as some injuries, like internal bleeding or concussions, might not be immediately apparent. Medical records also serve as vital evidence in your legal case.
Report the Accident
Report the accident to the police immediately. A police report provides an official incident record, which is invaluable in legal proceedings. Ensure you obtain a copy of this report for your records.
If possible, gather evidence at the scene. This includes taking photos of the accident location, your injuries, and any relevant road signs or signals. Also, collect contact information from witnesses, as their statements can be crucial.
Avoid Discussing Fault
Be cautious in your interactions with others at the scene. Do not admit fault or make statements interpreted as accepting blame. Such comments can complicate your legal case.
Consult a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Contact a specialized pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can provide legal advice, help you understand your rights, and guide you through seeking compensation.
Record all related documents, including medical bills, correspondence with insurance companies, and any lost wages due to the accident. This documentation will be crucial in establishing the accident’s impact on your life.
Taking these steps can significantly influence the outcome of a legal claim. At Bernard Law Group, we are dedicated to supporting our clients through each stage of this process, ensuring they receive the comprehensive legal representation they need.
Seeking Compensation When Injured in a Pedestrian Accident in Tacoma
If you are injured in a Tacoma pedestrian accident, you have rights. It is necessary to understand what these rights are to protect them.
Contact our office to schedule a free consultation. We can discuss your case and help you recover the compensation you are entitled to.