Pedestrian Accidents Lawyers in Charlotte Can’t Stop Negligent Drivers, But We Can Hold Them Accountable
Were you or a loved one injured while walking along North Carolina roads or in other areas? If so, you’ve joined thousands of victims in our state who are involved in pedestrian accidents every year. It’s an unfortunate truth, but the Tar Heel State is one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians in America. Around 3,000 individuals are struck by vehicles every year in North Carolina, and this typically results in hundreds of deaths. If you or someone you love has suffered a personal injury due to such a collision, you may benefit from speaking with a pedestrian accident lawyer in Charlotte.
At Harman Law, our law firm is committed to helping injured individuals hold liable parties accountable. Were you struck while crossing the street? Did an uneven sidewalk cause you to trip and sustain serious injuries? Did an object fall from a building and strike you? Whatever the specifics of your case, you may be entitled to financial compensation. We cannot speak to your case in this general online guide, but we can offer you a free consultation to better understand your rights and how to move forward. Injured pedestrians have a tough road ahead, but at Harman Law, we’re ready to help.
What Compensation Are You Entitled To?
When someone is injured in a pedestrian accident, there are various factors affecting whether they’re entitled to compensation. Most importantly, it’s necessary to show that an at-fault party caused injury by acting negligently, recklessly, illegally, or otherwise inappropriately. To establish this, it must be proven that a duty of care existed and that the violation of that duty resulted in some form of loss. Fortunately, establishing that such a duty exists is not typically difficult. That’s because a duty of care is merely the legal obligation we all have to not act in such a way that could cause harm to others.
For instance, every driver of a passenger vehicle has a duty of care to pedestrians. They must follow traffic laws and avoid reckless behaviors that could harm others on the road. If they’re speeding, this increases the likelihood of an accident. Thus, they’ve violated their duty of care. Of course, it’s also necessary to show that this violation caused harm. For instance, suffering a serious head injury after being struck by a negligent driver would typically meet the threshold of necessary harm to make a personal injury lawsuit successful. Unfortunately, North Carolina makes things a little more complicated than necessary.
While establishing liability can be an uphill battle in any case, our state adds the additional hurdle of pure contributory negligence. This means that pedestrian accident victims who contribute to their own injury — even in the most minor ways — can be barred from financial compensation. For instance, envision a person suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a speeding car sideswiped them at an intersection. In such a situation, the injured pedestrian may lose their case if it’s proven they were intoxicated and negligently stepped into the road. An insurance company needs only prove you were 1% at fault, so talk to an attorney before giving any statement to adjusters.
Can Personal Injury Attorneys Really Help?
If you or a loved one were injured by a negligent party, you may be wondering whether you need a Charlotte pedestrian accident attorney at all. Injury victims often think they can handle their personal injury claim on their own if it seems like liability is clear. Additionally, many people think they’ll take home more money if they don’t have to hire an attorney. Unfortunately, there are issues with each of these beliefs. For instance, anyone who suffers a pedestrian accident injury will typically start out by seeking a settlement from the liable party’s insurance company.
Of course, the adjusters you talk to will try everything to save their company money. This includes asking you leading questions that could get you to admit partial fault. And since North Carolina is a pure contributory negligence state, this could quickly disqualify you from any compensation. Additionally, there’s always a chance that an insurer may refuse to offer a fair settlement. In such situations, you’ll end up facing off against an experienced lawyer on your own. This simply isn’t a wise approach.
In fact, this partially explains why accident victims with legal representation secure more compensation on average than their counterparts who forego an attorney. Put simply, pedestrians involved in accidents should at least consider speaking with a lawyer. And since we work on a contingency fee basis at Harman Law — meaning you won’t pay a dime unless we recover damages on your behalf — you have nothing to lose by seeking advice from an experienced legal team.
Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accident Cases
When a car hits a pedestrian, there’s no question regarding who will come out on top. Motor vehicles will always have the upper hand. In fact, the at-fault driver’s vehicle may not even sustain any property damage. Unfortunately, the consequences for pedestrians can be disastrous. By simply considering some of the most common injuries listed in police reports and medical records, it becomes clear why such accidents are often catastrophic:
- Head injuries (e.g., TBI, lacerations)
- Broken bones
- Spinal injuries
- Ruptured organs
- Chronic pain
- Internal bleeding
Unfortunately, many of these can easily turn into fatal injuries. And even if you make a full physical recovery, you may deal with emotional distress and mental health issues for the rest of your life. Pain and suffering are often also lifelong consequences of car accidents involving pedestrians. Regardless of the extent of your injuries, though, it never hurts to speak with a pedestrian accident attorney in Charlotte. There’s a chance you may not be eligible for compensation, but it’s better to know that for certain rather than always wondering if you missed out on substantial compensation that could’ve helped.
How Long Do You Have to Start the Personal Injury Claims Process?
Pedestrian accidents can cause catastrophic injuries. Even if you’re able to recover from the accident relatively quickly, however, you can still suffer substantial losses. For instance, even minor injuries can result in high medical costs. Unfortunately, this is often combined with lost wages since victims are frequently unable to work. Add in the need for therapy, future medical care, and other costs — and it becomes clear that you need compensation as quickly as possible. And since the statute of limitation for pedestrian accidents in North Carolina is three years, your best bet is to act quickly.
What happens if you miss the statute of limitations deadline? In most cases, this means you’ll have no way of holding the at-fault driver accountable for their actions. There are some exceptions to this rule — such as cases that involve children or defendants who hide from the courts — but the ability to recover compensation in most cases will expire in three years. Unfortunately, this deadline is even more stringent if an accident victim dies from their injuries. That’s because the statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in North Carolina is only two years.
While this no doubt sounds like an undue burden for victims, it’s meant to ensure everyone is treated fairly in a court of law. For instance, it could be difficult to prove that a serious injury is directly related to a specific accident if ten years have passed before the case is heard in court. This could unfairly burden the defendant. Additionally, pedestrian accident attorneys will have an increasingly difficult time proving fault as more time passes. Whether it’s fading witness memories or deteriorated evidence, any lawsuit becomes more difficult the longer you wait. Don’t make your case more difficult than necessary. Contact Harman Law today to learn more.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Charlotte Today
Even a low-speed pedestrian accident can result in significant repercussions to the victim’s life. It doesn’t take much for solid asphalt or 3,000 lbs of a motor vehicle to harm an unprotected person, and this is why injuries sustained in these incidents are so often disastrous. While it may seem like the deck is stacked against you, a Charlotte personal injury attorney may be able to help you through these difficult times. A legal professional can work to help you recover compensation while you focus on your family and healing. Whether a settlement is possible from the insurance company or litigation is necessary, Harman Law can assist.
At Harman Law, we’ve spent years serving the people of North Carolina. We know that pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and other difficulties can pile up after a serious accident. We also know that insurance companies will try everything in their power to avoid paying you what you might deserve. With a personal injury attorney on your side, though, you’ll have a much better chance of securing maximum compensation. Contact us today by calling (704) 286-0947 to schedule a free consultation. Our pedestrian accident lawyers in Charlotte are ready to assist and help you figure out the best way forward.