Like in any college town, pedestrians are ever-present in State College, whether they are students on their way to class, local residents running errands, or a jogger out enjoying the weather. Therefore, part of being a responsible driver in the area is keeping an eye out for people crossing the street and walking on sidewalks.
Unfortunately, not every driver lives up to his or her duty of reasonable care. If you were struck while walking by a careless or reckless driver, a State College pedestrian accident lawyer could review your legal options with you and help you pursue compensation for your losses. With the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney, you could increase your chances of a successful recovery.
Proving Negligence in a Pedestrian Injury Case
All drivers in State College have a legal duty to drive safely and carefully at all times. Any violation, or breach, of this duty that causes an accident and directly leads to someone else being hurt constitutes negligence, which can in turn be used as the basis for a civil lawsuit.
In order to prove that a driver was negligent, a State College attorney typically relies on evidence available at the scene of the incident. Photographs of the surrounding area, interviews with eyewitnesses, and video footage from nearby security or traffic cameras can often paint a clear picture of how an accident occurred and who was primarily responsible for causing it.
The police report made by the law enforcement officer who responded to the incident can also be critically important to a case, as it may include a citation for reckless driving, speeding, failure to yield, or another traffic violation. If a driver violated traffic laws immediately prior to being involved in a collision, that may assist in proving that the motorist is liable for the damages that resulted.
What Could Limit Recovery?
Very rarely does any driver accused of negligence accept the blame for an accident without defending themselves. In many cases, the defense’s legal counsel constructs an argument that centers around the notion of comparative negligence. In other words, they claim that the plaintiff filing suit was partially or even fully responsible for causing the incident in question, rather than the defendant.
42 P.S. §7102 establishes the rules by which courts in State College address allegations of comparative negligence. If the court agrees with the defendant’s counterargument and finds a claimant partially liable, the court will reduce the plaintiff’s damage award by a percentage equivalent to his or her portion of fault. Additionally, any claimant found more than 50 percent at fault for the accident is barred from recovering compensation altogether.
A dedicated pedestrian crash lawyer in State College could help contest accusations of comparative fault. There is a time limit for filing claims. Under 42 P.S. §5524, anyone who files suit for a personal injury more than two years after the date their injury occurred may have their case time-barred, with very few exceptions.
Speak with a State College Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
Getting hit by a car traveling at any speed can cause immense harm to an unprotected pedestrian, and in severe cases, his or her injuries may be permanently debilitating or even fatal. In order to recover effectively from this kind of accident, you may need help from not only medical experts, but legal ones as well.
A seasoned State College pedestrian accident lawyer could help you seek fair financial restitution for every injury and loss you sustained. Call today to see what legal counsel could do for you.