Rhode Island Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Although sidewalks and crosswalks should be safe, this is rarely the case. In Rhode Island, one out of every five traffic fatalities will be a pedestrian who was struck by a motor vehicle. Pedestrians are vulnerability to injury whenever they step out into the street, even if they try to pay attention to their surroundings.
In many instances, pedestrians themselves can contribute to their own injuries by disregarding traffic signals, ignoring oncoming vehicles, or darting suddenly across a crosswalk. However, this does not mean they cannot recover in a legal action. Even though insurance companies often try to blame pedestrians for accidents, Rhode Island is a comparative negligence jurisdiction, meaning that an injured pedestrian still has a chance to recover even if his or her actions significantly contributed to the incident.
A driver’s responsibility
No pedestrian stands a chance against a three-thousand-pound automobile. As a result, it is the responsibility of drivers to maintain careful control of their vehicles and be on the lookout for pedestrians. Even if drivers feel that pedestrians are erratic or difficult to predict, the likelihood of serious injury or death after a pedestrian accident mean that they must exercise a high standard of care.
Sadly, not all drivers follow this rule. Some may feel that pedestrians are an unwelcome nuisance and speed up when approaching a crosswalk, even if they see someone on foot nearing it. Drivers may become impatient when waiting to turn at a light when pedestrians are crossing, or may miss pedestrians altogether while distracted by phone calls, text messages, or music.
After a Rhode Island crosswalk accident. Some of the worst pedestrian accidents happen when a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs. Drivers who operate vehicles while intoxicated run an unacceptably high risk of causing death or serious injury to anyone in their path.
The vast majority of pedestrian accidents require immediate medical treatment. Broken bones, head injuries, and serious tissue and ligament damage are common. Victims of pedestrian accidents typically end up in the hospital, making it difficult for them to collect witness statements or provide their side of the story immediately.
When law enforcement asks you for your statement, be as clear and detailed as possible. Explain where you were coming from, where you were going, and everything you remember about the accident. Establishing that you had a clear recollection of the scene of the accident can help show that you were paying attention and that the driver’s actions were solely responsible for your injuries. Do not make excuses for the driver or suggest that you both may have been to blame.
It is also critically important that you are clear with physicians and other medical professionals about the full extent of your injuries. If anything feels wrong or strange, don’t try and tough it out. You may have internal injuries or hidden trauma that could be compounded by lack of treatment.
The insurance company will often call within hours of an accident. In pedestrian accidents, insurance companies have a huge incentive to settle quickly. They may promise to take care of all your medical bills or offer to wire you money, but this is all part of a plan to avoid paying you the full value of your claim. Instead, take the name and number of the insurance adjuster calling and politely tell them that they will need to speak with your attorney.
Legal representation after a pedestrian accident
After the insurance company calls, you may receive calls or even visits from people claiming to work for attorneys. They may assure you that they are qualified to take your case or ask you to sign paperwork, sometimes while you are still in a hospital bed. These runners watch public records for reports of accidents and try to get you “signed up” with unscrupulous law firms quickly, before you have had a chance to do your own research.
A top pedestrian accident attorney in Rhode Island will never charge you an up-front consultation fee and will never pressure you to sign a retainer immediately. The best pedestrian accident attorneys Rhode Island has to offer understand that every case is different and there is no way to immediately determine the value of a case. The law office of Louis W. Grande has decades of experience achieving high judgments and settlements in pedestrian accident cases and is ready to fight for your rights against the insurance company.