Car accidents are a daily occurrence throughout Alabama, sadly affecting hundreds of Birmingham families each year. While any type of accident can have serious consequences, accidents involving pedestrians tend to be especially tragic.
Not only do most pedestrian accidents often leave victims seriously injured, but they are also likely to be fatal. Accidents often leave survivors and family members with deep physical and emotional scars, not to mention the huge financial impact after an accident as well.
Our Birmingham pedestrian accident lawyers are here to support you and your family recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries. The Norris team has been representing Alabama injury victims for 40 years, and we want to use our experience and resources for you. Call our team today at (800) 477-7510 to start your free consultation.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics and Facts
Vehicle safety has come a long way over the past decades in an effort to keep drivers and passengers safe. Unfortunately, pedestrians do not benefit from the added protection that seatbelts, airbags, and crumple zones offer those inside a vehicle.
Victims in pedestrian accidents often suffer emotional trauma and serious injuries, including:
- Internal bleeding
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bone fractures
Each year, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) puts together a Highway Safety Plan Annual Report. In Alabama’s 2021 report, we find some concerning statistics about pedestrian-car accidents in our state during the year 2019:
- There were 800 motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians
- Nearly 96 percent of pedestrian-involved crashes resulted in injuries or death
- 113 fatal motor vehicle accidents involved pedestrians
The actions of negligent drivers can put everyone at risk, including pedestrians who are largely defenseless. One of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents is distracted driving.
The pedestrian accident attorneys at Norris Injury Lawyers have seen the devastating impacts these accidents have on both the injured victim and his or her family members. Reach out to a pedestrian accident lawyer with our law firm today to learn more about your legal options for your accident.
Pedestrian Laws and Rights in Alabama
Across the country, various state and municipal laws have been put in place to make the roads a safer place for everyone, including pedestrians. However, some areas go further than others in protecting pedestrians on the road.
When compared to other states, Alabama stands out as one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians – and Birmingham has a particularly bad reputation for pedestrian danger as well. According to Smart Growth America’s 2021 “Dangerous by Design” report, the State of Alabama ranked as the second-most dangerous state in the country, and Birmingham-Hoover was in the top 20 most dangerous municipalities in the country – the only Alabama city on the list.
All pedestrians in Birmingham are subject to both state and city laws for pedestrians.
For example, all pedestrians must:
- Obey all traffic signals, including stoplights
- Use a crosswalk if it is available
- Use crossing signals if available
- Yield to vehicles if no crossing signals or crosswalk
- Use the sidewalk if there is one
If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians must:
- Walk as far from the road as practical
- Walk facing traffic
In addition, by law, pedestrians should never:
- Cross an intersection diagonally
- Walking on the highway if impaired by drugs or alcohol
It is important to remember that each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances. If you or a loved one has been involved in a Birmingham accident, you need the help of a pedestrian accident attorney who is knowledgeable in local laws. A thorough investigation of the specifics of your accident can help your attorney build a strong case.
How Compensation Works in Personal Injury Cases
Each state determines its own rules surrounding compensation in personal injury cases. After a Birmingham, Alabama, accident, it is important to work with local pedestrian accident attorneys. All states fall into one of three general categories in regards to personal injury cases: no fault, comparative negligence, or contributory negligence.
In certain states, like New York, injury claims are made directly to your own insurance company after an accident, no matter who was at fault. Only in certain circumstances can a person go beyond his or her personal injury coverage and collect compensation from the other party’s insurance company.
Comparative negligence rules
Most states follow a type of comparative negligence rule. The amount of compensation a person can receive is comparative to their level of fault. For example, if a person was found to be 20 percent at fault for the accident, then he or she would only be able to receive 80 percent of the damages. Each state is different, with some only allowing compensation if a person was under 51 or 50 percent at fault for the accident.
Contributory negligence rules
Alabama is one of the few states that follows a contributory negligence rule. This rule only allows a person to recover compensation for losses if he or she was not at fault at all for the accident. That means that even if a person is found to be only 1 percent at fault, there would be no option for compensation.
These strict laws in Alabama make it difficult for personal injury victims to recover the compensation they deserve after an accident and encourage insurance companies to find any reason to deny a claim entirely.
In order to give your claim the best possible chance, you need a knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney on your side. This support and advice is instrumental in building a strong case and receiving the maximum amount of compensation available.
After an accident, time is of the essence. Car accident claims should be made as soon as possible to the insurance company, and there are strict time limits for personal injury lawsuits in Alabama as well. Waiting too long to act after an injury can severely limit your options of compensation, so reaching out to a pedestrian accident attorney soon after the accident is essential.
While property damage claims have a statute of limitations of 6 years, personal injury victims in Alabama have only 2 years after the accident to start the process of an injury claim or lawsuit. This time limit is the same for family members to file a wrongful death lawsuit in the case of a fatal accident.
If You’ve Been Injured in an Accident, You Need a Norris
At Norris Injury Lawyers, we know how to handle personal injury claims the right way. After your accident, you shouldn’t bear the burden of a stressful legal process on top of your recovery. The pedestrian accident lawyers at our firm are ready to provide the personal and professional representation you and your family need after your accident.
Finances are often a large concern for accident victims, who are often already struggling with mounting medical bills and time off work. With our No Fee Guarantee®, you can be sure that the legal help you need has no upfront cost. Not only are our consultations 100-percent free of charge, but if we don’t win your case, you don’t owe us anything.
Our team is here for you and your family 24/7. Give our office a call today at (800) 477-7510 to schedule your free consultation with a personal injury attorney.