Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Biloxi
We are all pedestrians at some point, and this is when we tend to be most vulnerable. Sidewalks are fairly safe (for the most part), but there are many streets and roads in Mississippi that do not have them. There are also times when we have to cross the street at intersections, walk to our and from car that is parked in a lot or garage, or otherwise put ourselves in the potential path of a vehicle.
Pedestrian accidents are becoming increasingly common in Mississippi and throughout the country. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that fatalities from traffic events involving pedestrians are at their highest levels in nearly three decades. More than 6,000 individuals are killed each year in these types of accidents, which equates to an average of one pedestrian death every 88 minutes. In addition to the fatalities, more than 100,000 pedestrians are also treated in emergency rooms for non-fatal traffic related injuries.
If you or someone close to you was injured in a pedestrian accident, you may have a right to compensation. But before talking with anyone from an insurance company, it is important for you to understand your legal rights and options. Otherwise, you may lose out on the just compensation you deserve. Contact the Gardner Law Firm to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
At the Gardner Law Firm, we understand that individuals who are involved in pedestrian accidents can end up with serious and catastrophic injuries, and we are here to provide strong legal guidance and moral support during this difficult time. We have over 40 years of experience standing up for those who have suffered all types of personal injuries in Ocean Springs, Biloxi, Gulfport, Pascagoula, and communities throughout Southern Mississippi. Our attorneys have in-depth knowledge of this area of law, and a proven track record of success with even the most complex cases.
What are the Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
One of the reasons crosswalk accidents and other accidents involving pedestrians have been on the rise in recent years is because there is simply more foot traffic than there used to be. Some of that is due to population growth, but it is also due to lifestyle choices and the desire among Americans to stay healthy by walking more.
A pedestrian accident is usually the fault of a motorist, but it could also be the fault of the person walking, a bicyclist or motorcyclist who collides into a pedestrian, or a third party such as the party responsible for maintaining safe walkways. Of course, sometimes there are uncontrollable external factors that contribute to the accident as well, such as inclement weather.
When a motorist is at fault for a pedestrian accident, it is usually for one of the following reasons:
- Aggressive/reckless driving: Many drivers are in a hurry and overly aggressive on the roads. This can cause them to take unnecessary chances, such as speeding through an intersection after the light has already turned red. Aggressive or reckless driving puts everyone on the road at risk, but especially pedestrians who have very little protection.
- Drowsy driving: Some people drive when they are tired and fatigued, usually due to lack of sleep. This is particularly common with those who drive commercially, such as over the road truck drivers. Drowsy drivers not only run the risk of falling asleep at the wheel, but even when they stay awake, they are less attentive to pedestrian crossings and other important details.
- Drunk driving: Those who drive after having too much to drink tend to make very poor decisions while behind the wheel. Some become reckless and run stop signs and stoplights, while others get drowsy and maybe even fall asleep. All of these driving behaviors are very hazardous for those who are out walking.
- Distracted driving: One of the factors that is widely believed to be driving the vast increase in pedestrian accidents is distracted driving. And these days, cell phones are one of the deadliest distractions that motorists have. Texting while driving and similar activities demand a driver’s full attention, which distracts them from what is happening on the road.
When a pedestrian contributes to a traffic-related accident, it is usually for one of these reasons:
- Improper crossings: Sometimes, pedestrians cross the street at an intersection when the light is red and there is a car coming. At other times, they may cross in places that are illegal and/or there is no designated crosswalk.
- Distractions/inattentiveness: Like drivers, pedestrians are also overly distracted by their cell phones. Looking down at their phone to send and receive text, watch videos, or take selfies can cause them not to see an oncoming vehicle or another object. Having headphones on exacerbates the problem when it inhibits their ability to hear anything that is going on.
- Intoxication: Pedestrians, especially those out walking at night, may be just as likely (or more) as drivers to be intoxicated. This may cause them to stumble, look down, and not watch where they are going when they are walking.
Because there are so many potential contributing factors, determining who was responsible for a pedestrian accident case can be challenging. For those involved, it is very important not to admit any kind of fault. This will be sorted out by the police and other experts after an investigation is conducted. The best thing to do, especially if you have injuries, is to get in touch with a seasoned attorney who will look out for your interests.
It may turn out that you share some of the fault for the accident. If that is the case, you may still be able to receive compensation for your injuries under Mississippi’s pure comparative negligence legal standard. However, your compensation award would be reduced in proportion to the percentage you are determined to be at fault. For example, if your total losses come to $150,000 and you are 20% at fault, your award would be reduced by $30,000.
Speak with a Skilled and Knowledgeable Biloxi, MS Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrian accidents can be some of the deadliest traffic-related events, and those who are injured need strong legal counsel by their side fighting hard to protect their rights and interests. At the Gardner Law Firm, we ready to go to work for you. Call our office today at 228-436-6555 or message us online to schedule your free consultation and case assessment. You may also stop by our office in person at your convenience, or we will come to you.
We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency basis – you only pay attorney fees if we win your case