What to Do After an Accident
After an accident that involves a pedestrian, the following steps can help protect your interests:
1. Ensure everyone’s safety. If you are able, make sure that no one is still in danger after an accident. Try not to move around if you are injured.
2. Contact emergency services. Make sure anyone who is injured gets immediate medical help, and contact the police to report the accident. When the police arrive, make sure you give them an accurate statement of what happened.
3. Exchange contact information. Exchange contact information with the all other parties involved in the accident.
4. Inform your insurance agency. As soon as you can, report the accident to your insurance agency. Be aware of time limitations for filing car accident lawsuits.
5. Get legal help. You may want to seek legal advice before giving a recorded statement to your insurance company. Even if you do not do so, legal advice can be a valuable resource.
Who Counts as a Pedestrian?
Knowing Who Is at Fault
Car accident cases involving pedestrians are often decided according to negligence laws. Courts determine negligence by examining the events leading to the accident. A person can be found negligent if they have broken laws meant to prevent injury, such as traffic codes.
Depending on which state you are in, negligence laws tend to fall into one of two categories: contributory negligence and comparative negligence laws.
According to Cornell Law School, contributory negligence laws ban a plaintiff from receiving compensation through the court if they were guilty of any negligence at all in causing the accident.
In contrast, the pure comparative negligence rule is described as allocating a percentage of fault to each the plaintiff and the defendant. The plaintiff will then pay a proportionate percentage of the defendant’s damages, and the defendant will do so for the plaintiff. As described in Louisiana Civil Code 2323, Louisiana uses a pure comparative negligence rule.
Some states use a modified comparative negligence rule. Under this rule, the law sets an at-fault percentage threshold. If a plaintiff’s percentage of fault is determined to be above this threshold, they cannot recover damages from the other party.
If you are seeking compensation after an accident, having a lawyer on your side can increase your net recovery. If you have been injured in an accident in Louisiana, contact the Law Office of Jason M. Welborn today for a free initial consultation.