Two pedestrian car accidents marked the end of March in North Carolina. One gentleman was killed by a van and another man was hit by a car while walking to work. The North Carolina Highway Patrol has investigated 497 pedestrian accidents over the last five years, 88 of which involved fatalities. Inattentiveness has been a common factor for both the pedestrian and the driver.
Pedestrians hit by a vehicle can sustain a variety of injuries that can leave the injured party merely scratched and bruised or dealing with a complex set of ailments requiring intensive medical care. Serious injuries come at great cost to the injured – lost wages, medical bills, and property damage expenses on top of increased stress. An injured pedestrian has several avenues of recourse to be made whole and hold the negligent driver accountable. Depending on the circumstances, the state of North Carolina may elect to press charges against the driver. Even if it does not, the injured party may file a claim with the driver’s insurance company or seek to sue the negligent driver in a personal injury action. When a pedestrian is injured in a hit-and-run car accident or the driver does not have car insurance or inadequate policy coverage, the injured pedestrian may be able to file a claim with their own auto insurance company with their Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage.
Pedestrian inattentiveness may negate the ability to collect damages from the party at fault. In North Carolina, if the injured party is also negligent, their ability to seek recovery from the party at fault is barred unless they fall into an exception established by case law. If the pedestrian placed him or herself in a perilous situation but the driver had a “last clear chance” to avoid hitting the pedestrian, then the injured pedestrian may be able to recover even though their actions contributed to the accident. Gross negligence or wanton conduct is also an exception to North Carolina’s strict contributory negligence. That exception is typically seen when a driver was driving while intoxicated, speeding, or racing. A bar from recovery may also be lifted if the pedestrian was a young child or cognitively disabled, thus unable to avoid placing themselves outside of a dangerous situation as an “ordinary person” would do.
The experienced North Carolina pedestrian accident attorneys at Auger and Auger have aggressively pursued compensation for injured clients for several years. Herbert and Arlene Auger understand that your case is unique and that compensation is greatly needed to return to normalcy. They will tirelessly pursue all avenues of redress so that you and your family can be placed on financially stable ground. If you have been injured anywhere in North Carolina as a pedestrian in a car accident, call one of our personal injury lawyers for a free, confidential consultation today.
MORE BLOG POSTS:
Impaired Driver Hits North Carolina Couple in Head-on Collision in Raleigh, North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Blog, March 19, 2013
Freedom, Safety, and Liability: Legislator Joins the Cause to Repeal North Carolina’s Motorcycle Helmet Requirement, North Carolina Car Accident Attorney Blog, March 13, 2013