More and more Hoosiers are choosing to get where they need to go on foot. Walking can be a healthier, more economical mode of travel, one that the Indiana Department of Transportation is encouraging through its Complete Streets program, “an approach to road planning and design that considers and balances the needs of all transportation users,” including pedestrians.
While the state may be able to achieve long-term gains in public safety by expanding the number of crosswalks and crossing signals, among other measures, the reality is that pedestrians in Indiana may remain in danger for the foreseeable future. A record 40 pedestrians were killed in traffic in Indianapolis in 2022, while a total of 134 pedestrians and cyclists across the state lost their lives that same year. Because they have minimal shielding to protect them when motor vehicles strike, pedestrians can suffer devastating injuries even in non-fatal accidents, including broken bones, brain and spinal impairment, loss of limbs, and paralysis. These conditions can necessitate extensive treatment that may be beyond the means of the average Indiana family.
Fortunately, if you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident in Indiana, monetary recovery may be available. To increase your chances of a favorable outcome, consider reaching out to the Indiana pedestrian accident attorneys at Hensley Legal Group, who have been tireless advocates for the wrongfully injured for over a quarter century.
For a free case review with an Indiana pedestrian accident lawyer, please call us at (317) 472-3333, chat with us online, or fill out our contact form.
Who Is Responsible in an Indiana Pedestrian Accident?
Drivers in Indiana have various duties and obligations under the law, as do pedestrians, many of which are enumerated in Title 9, Section 21, Chapter 17 of the Indiana Code. Generally, pedestrians in the state need to yield the right of way to motor vehicles, except when they are observing a walk signal indicating that they may cross the street or proceeding through a designated crosswalk, pedestrian tunnel, or overhead crossing. Similarly, drivers of cars, trucks, and other vehicles need to yield to pedestrians who are traveling on the sidewalk or on the shoulder of the road in the absence of sidewalks.
If pedestrians or drivers fail to “stay in their lane,” both literally and figuratively, serious accidents may occur. When they do, pedestrians will probably face a much heavier price, both in terms of the physical toll of an accident and the corresponding financial impact.
Whether an injured pedestrian will be able to afford that price will depend on who is responsible for the accident. Under Indiana’s comparative fault laws, a claimant in a personal injury case “is barred from recovery if the claimant’s contributory fault is greater than the fault of all persons whose fault proximately contributed to the claimant’s damages.”
Essentially, if you are a pedestrian whose share of fault for an accident is not more than 50 percent, you may be eligible to pursue a claim, though any damages awarded may be reduced by an amount equal to your degree of blame. However, if you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault, you would not receive anything for your pedestrian accident.
Our Indiana pedestrian accident attorneys are ready to discuss the facts leading up to your injuries and assess the viability of your claim.
Common Causes of Indiana Pedestrian Accidents
A pedestrian accident could occur for many reasons, though pedestrian plaintiffs are typically successful when they can show that their injuries were the result of driver error. Some of the most common causes of Indiana pedestrian accidents include:
● Failure to yield the right of way – According to the Indiana University Public Policy Institute, failure to yield the right of way was the leading factor in Indiana motor vehicle accidents in 2020. Drivers have a duty to yield to pedestrians walking in certain designated zones, but far too many disregard this duty, sometimes with tragic results.
● Speeding – Driving too fast contributes to more than 15,000 Indiana traffic accidents annually. The speed of an automobile is directly proportional with the likelihood of a collision with a pedestrian and the severity of the injuries that may be inflicted.
● Distracted driving – Distraction is a major element in automotive accidents, particularly with regard to improper phone use, which is involved in about 12 percent of all collisions. Distracted drivers are less apt to notice pedestrians or the signs and traffic signals warning of their presence.
● Intoxication – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, alcohol use was involved in 49 percent of deadly American pedestrian accidents in 2021, with nearly a fifth (19 percent) of those accidents involving a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater.
● Driver fatigue – Drowsy driving can potentially be as dangerous as drunk driving. One study found that a driver who goes more than twenty hours without sleep may experience the same level of impairment as a legally intoxicated one. Driver fatigue causes about 100,000 crashes, 50,000 injuries, and 800 deaths nationally each year, with pedestrians frequently included among the casualties.
No matter what the specific cause of your accident was, Hensley’s Indiana pedestrian accident lawyers will advise you of the best course of action if you are contemplating a case.
Important Steps to Take After an Indiana Pedestrian Accident
It can obviously be hard to think clearly when you have been run over by a motor vehicle, but there are important steps you should remember to take after a pedestrian accident that could benefit yourself and your case, including the following:
● Alert the authorities – Dial 911 so that police and emergency personnel will show up to document the pedestrian accident and attend to the injured.
● Remain at the scene – Do not leave the scene until law enforcement has arrived, since an early departure could allow the other party to blame you for the accident or deny that it even took place. Make sure to share your version of what happened with the responding officer so that the report produced will be accurate.
● Get medical attention – Get treatment as quickly as you are able, ideally at the accident site. Any delays in medical attention could hinder the recovery process and create an opening for doubt to be cast on the relevance of your injuries.
● Exchange information – Get contact information from the other parties involved in the pedestrian accident, including:
○ Phone number
○ Driver’s license
○ Insurance company and policy number
○ License plate
○ Vehicle year, make, and model
Try to take down the names and numbers of any witnesses as well, since they can provide independent confirmation of what occurred, and encourage them to give statements to the police.
● Avoid the insurance company – Representatives from the insurance company may attempt to get in touch shortly after the accident, but avoid talking to them if you can. Even the most innocuous comment can serve as ammunition to a veteran adjuster looking to limit the insurer’s fiscal exposure, especially if you do not fully understand your rights.
● Consult an attorney – The knowledgeable Indiana pedestrian accident lawyers at Hensley Legal Group can educate you about your rights, answer any questions you may have, and explain what you can expect if you initiate a claim.
How Our Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Can Make a Difference
A pedestrian accident can be over in a matter of seconds, but its effects can be felt for months or even years to come. Before you realize it, you could be overwhelmed by mounting medical bills and out-of-pocket costs, perhaps while your injuries prevent you from going to work. Simply making ends meet can start to seem impossible, much less obtaining sufficient funds to stave off disaster.
You need attorneys who have the compassion to support you through your struggles and the wisdom to overcome them. You need the Indiana pedestrian accident attorneys at Hensley Legal Group, who have been standing up for the everyday people of Indiana for more than 25 years
If you decide to retain our firm, we will launch a comprehensive investigation into the causes of your pedestrian accident and everyone who may be at fault for it within the time allotted by law. We will also amass the materials necessary to construct your claim, including:
● Police reports
● Citations and dispositions
● Eyewitness accounts
● Traffic light, surveillance, and dash cam footage
● Black box data
● Driver histories
● Phone records
● Vehicle maintenance logs
● Accident reconstruction and forensic analysis
If evidence of wrongdoing exists, our Indiana pedestrian accident lawyers will do everything in their power to find it.
Get the Maximum Amount of Compensation for Your Case
After putting together a rock-solid case against the liable parties, we will attempt to negotiate a settlement that reflects the totality of your losses, including:
● Medical expenses
● Lost income
● Pain and suffering
● Psychological and emotional anguish
● Reduced quality of living
● Diminishment of marital relations
● Punitive and wrongful death damages (if applicable)
And unlike many of our competitors, who rarely, if ever, see the inside a courtroom, we are not afraid to go to trial if we do not receive an offer that is worthy of your case.
Every pedestrian accident is different, but Hensley Legal Group will always endeavor to get you the maximum amount of compensation for yours.
You Won’t Pay Anything Unless We Win
You might be worried about committing to additional expenditures when you can least afford them, so you may be pleased to learn that our firm works on a contingency basis. This means that you won’t have to pay us anything unless our Indiana pedestrian accident attorneys win your case.
Hensley is willing to take on all the risks involved in getting you whatever you require to become whole again.
Contact an Indiana Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
Since first opening its doors in 1998, Hensley Legal Group has devoted its practice to defending the innocent victims of negligence. If you have been hurt through no fault of your own, contact an Indiana pedestrian accident lawyer today to explore your legal options.
You can schedule a no-cost consultation with one of our accomplished Indiana pedestrian accident attorneys by calling us at (317) 472-3333, chatting with us online, or filling out our contact form.
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