Assisting Pedestrians Injured in Accidents in Fort Collins, Colorado
Accidents involving pedestrians often occur when least expected, such as when lawfully walking within the confines of a crosswalk at a traffic intersection. Unfortunately, Fort Collins is not immune from these accidents. Recent accidents where vehicles struck pedestrians in Fort Collins has led the city to extend the walk times on traffic lights to allow residents enough time to cross the street safely. Other common locations for pedestrian accidents also include parking garages, sidewalks, and parking lots.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries as a pedestrian due to a driver’s carelessness, you have important legal rights that may include recovering compensation from the driver at fault. The Fort Collins car accident lawyers at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC can evaluate the circumstances of your accident and may be able to pursue a personal injury claim or lawsuit on your behalf. To discuss your legal options, please call us today at (970) 212-4777 or contact us online.
Injuries Sustained in Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to catastrophic injuries in vehicular accidents because they lack any protection from forceful impacts with vehicles or the ground. Those fortunate enough to survive a vehicular accident often suffer months of medical treatment and physical therapy. All too often victims sustain permanent injuries that require lifelong care. Common types of injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents include:
- Traumatic neck and back injuries
- Severe bone fractures, including crush injuries and compound fractures
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
If you sustain any type of injury as a pedestrian in an accident, your first priority should always be immediate emergency medical care. If the emergency room doctor recommends further treatment, follow your doctor’s orders. Recovering from traumatic injuries after a vehicle struck you can be overwhelming. Medical bills mount, while you are most likely unable to work and earn income to pay them. As soon as you are able to do so, seek the assistance of an experienced pedestrian accident attorney who can pursue a legal claim for damages on your behalf while you focus on your physical recovery.
Distracted Driving Can Cause Pedestrian Accidents
Many pedestrian accidents occur simply because a driver is not paying adequate attention. Distracted drivers are much more likely to strike another vehicle or a pedestrian. Distracted driving takes a number of forms, including:
- Using a cell phone to read or send texts or instant messages
- Making cell phone calls without using a hands-free option
- Disregarding speed limits and other traffic laws
- Disregarding intersection traffic signals and other traffic control devices
- Eating, smoking, or engaging in any other tasks while driving
Proving that distracted driving caused a vehicular accident can be complex. A skilled attorney can investigate cell phone records and find other evidence that distracted driving caused a vehicle to strike a pedestrian in order to hold an at-fault driver liable.
In order to file a claim or lawsuit against a driver in Colorado, the accident victim must be able to show that the driver violated a “reasonable person” duty of care. This means that the driver behaved in a careless or reckless manner not reasonable under the circumstances. The driver may have been distracted or may have violated a traffic law. The injured pedestrian must also show that he or she suffered injuries as a direct result.
Compensation for injuries incurred in an accident includes recovery for the costs of all medical treatment, lost wages, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
In accidents where a pedestrian dies as a result of a vehicular collision, the victim’s family may open an estate and file a wrongful death action. In a wrongful death action, the decedent’s estate can recover not only funeral costs and expenses, but damages for the loss of relationships with the victim, as well as lost income to support the victim’s family in the future.
A Fort Collins lawyer can assist you with proving all of the elements of your personal injury case to ensure that you recover complete compensation for all your losses, to best position you to heal and move forward with you life after the accident.
Comparative Negligence in Colorado
Insurance companies often try to dispute liability in pedestrian accident cases to limit payouts.
For example, attorneys working for the insurer may claim the accident victim walked outside of a crosswalk or otherwise contributed to causing the accident.
In some jurisdictions, if an accident victim causes or contributes to an accident in any way – even as little as one percent – the accident victim may not recover any damages. Fortunately, in the State of Colorado, that is not the law. In Colorado, unless the injured pedestrian’s negligence exceeded that of the driver, the injured pedestrian may still recover damages. While the damage award will be offset by the injured pedestrian’s percentage of fault, financial recovery from the at-fault driver remains available.
For example, if the pedestrian stepped slightly outside of the crosswalk when the motor vehicle struck the pedestrian, the jury might find that the pedestrian contributed to the accident by ten percent. In that instance, the pedestrian can still recover 90 percent of the available damages in the case. These legal considerations can be complex and require the assistance of a skilled accident attorney.
Call a Fort Collins Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Initial Case Evaluation and Legal Consultation
Liability for pedestrian accidents can be difficult to prove, especially when a driver’s insurance company has a team of attorneys to dispute, avoid, and minimize payouts. If you or someone you love has suffered injuries, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. The accident lawyers at the Tenge Law Firm, LLC can advocate on your behalf and pursue just compensation for the full extent of your losses.
To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Fort Collins injury lawyer, please call us today at (970) 212-4777 or contact us online.