Walking in the beautiful surroundings of Kentucky should be a delightful experience due to its rugged beauty and scenic locations. However, it’s crucial to be aware that pedestrian accidents have been increasing recently, which means there are risks to walking in both urban and rural areas of the state.
Therefore, it’s vital to know what to do if you or a loved one is involved in one of these unfortunate accidents in Kentucky. At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, our team of Kentucky personal injury lawyers understands the devastating impact of pedestrian accidents. We have a strong record of handling pedestrian accident claims successfully. We can guide you by explaining your legal options and supporting you on the path to recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more.
Who’s Responsible For a Pedestrian Accident in Kentucky?
Answering this question, like any accident, involves a number of different factors and even depends on the circumstances. That said, responsibility for a Kentucky pedestrian accident relies on the same thing as any other accident: negligence.
Typically, the driver is considered responsible because they have a general duty to give way to pedestrians, especially at intersections and crosswalks, where most pedestrian accidents occur.
However, if you intend to file an injury claim, you’ll need to establish liability to receive financial support for your injuries. Proving liability means demonstrating that the:
- Driver acted negligently
- Caused the accident
These are the key factors you must demonstrate:
- Duty of care – The driver should have taken steps to prevent an accident or harm to someone.
- Breach of duty – The driver failed to fulfill this duty because they acted carelessly.
- Causation – The accident occurred because the driver did not fulfill their duty.|
- Damages – Injuries resulted from the driver’s actions.
In most cases, establishing these elements of negligence indicates that another driver is at fault. However, depending on the accident’s circumstances, other parties could also share responsibility.
For instance, if a car collides with you because a street sign was not functioning correctly or a section of the sidewalk was impassable, the local government or entity responsible for maintaining the road may bear partial responsibility. Similarly, if the driver’s brakes malfunction, the parts or car manufacturer might be partially liable as well.
Occasionally, as a pedestrian, you may also share responsibility in an accident, but this is uncommon. Some instances where you might be at fault include:
- Crossing the street at an improper location.
- Not adhering to traffic lights or signs.
- Suddenly darting into the street.
- Crossing while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Even if you bear some of the responsibility for the accident, you can still seek compensation for your injuries. In Kentucky, there’s a law called “comparative negligence,” which means the compensation you receive will be reduced according to your percentage of fault. So, if you are primarily at fault due to one of the reasons mentioned above, your potential recovery amount will be less. The question, then, is what ultimately can you recover in a Kentucky pedestrian accident claim?
Damages Available in a Kentucky Pedestrian Accident Claim
Each pedestrian accident case is unique, and the compensation a victim may receive depends on the specific details. It’s important to remember that there are no guarantees of a favorable outcome in any insurance claim or lawsuit. However, having our team of experienced Kentucky personal injury lawyers on your side can significantly strengthen your case for the best possible results. In a pedestrian accident, you may be eligible to seek financial support for the following:
- Medical expenses – This covers ambulance services, hospitalization, tests, surgery, follow-up care, and medications.
- Future medical expenses – If you have lasting injuries requiring ongoing treatment, you can claim compensation for estimated future medical costs.
- Costs of medical devices – Expenses for necessary devices like wheelchairs, canes, or artificial limbs can be included in your claim.
- Lost wages or income – If you miss work due to the accident, you can seek support for the income you would have earned during that time.
- Lost earning potential – If your injuries permanently prevent you from working, you may be entitled to compensation for future income loss.
- Physical pain and suffering – You can seek damages for the physical pain and other issues caused by the accident and your injuries.
- Emotional distress – The psychological impact of the accident may warrant support for emotional distress.
- Loss of companionship – If the accident affects your relationship with your spouse, you may be eligible for damages for the loss of companionship and support.
- Reduced quality of life – If your injuries significantly reduce your quality of life and ability to enjoy activities, you can seek compensation for these losses.
- Scarring and disfigurement – Visible scars or disfigurement resulting from the accident may qualify you for damages.
In Kentucky, there is also the question of statute of limitations. This is the specific time frame within which you can file a claim, which is currently set at one year from the date of your accident.
Many pedestrian accidents result in lasting emotional and psychological distress, even after physical injuries have healed. By working with our team, we’ll ensure you receive fair support for all your damages.
Causes and Outcomes of Pedestrian Accidents in Kentucky
While there are definitely certain conditions that are more likely to lead to pedestrian accidents in Kentucky, the reality is that every pedestrian accident that happens has its own set of unique circumstances. Several factors contribute to pedestrian accidents, but the most critical factor is the vulnerability of pedestrians to injuries. This vulnerability stems from the lack of protection pedestrians have against moving vehicles. There are various causes and scenarios that lead to these accidents, including:
- Distracted driving – A significant cause of pedestrian accidents occurs when drivers are distracted, often by texting or talking on the phone, making them less aware of pedestrians.
- Speeding – Drivers who exceed the speed limit have less time to react to pedestrians, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
- Poor visibility – Pedestrians may be challenging to see in low-light conditions, such as at night or during bad weather.
- Failure to yield – Drivers who do not yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or at intersections may cause accidents.
- Driving while impaired – Impaired drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol often have impaired judgment and slower reaction times, making pedestrian accidents more likely.
- Road design – Some areas of Kentucky may have poorly designed roads or intersections that create visibility issues for both drivers and pedestrians.
What Should You Do?
Understanding these causes is crucial. As a pedestrian, using designated crossing areas and staying alert, especially in busy areas, is essential to your safety. With that said, accidents are not always avoidable and frequently result in various severe injuries. Thus, it’s important for you to know what you need to do in the aftermath:
- Seek medical care – Your health is always the top priority. Even if you don’t think your injuries are severe, it’s crucial to get examined by a doctor. Some injuries may not be immediately evident after the accident.
- Contact authorities – After the accident, call the local police to the accident scene. They will create an accident report, which can be valuable for the claims process.
- Exchange information – Get the contact and insurance information of the driver involved in the accident. Likewise, provide your information to the driver.
- Gather information from any witnesses – Make sure to collect contact information from any witnesses. Their statements can be crucial in verifying what happened.
- Take photos – Use your phone or camera to document the accident scene, including vehicle damage, your injuries, and any relevant road conditions.
- Tell your insurance company – Report the accident to your insurance company, even if you weren’t at fault. Your insurer needs to be aware of the incident.
- Preserve evidence – Keep records of your medical treatment, bills, and any other expenses related to the accident. These documents will be vital for your case.
- Follow medical advice – Make sure to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for recovery. This not only benefits your health but also demonstrates that you are taking necessary steps to heal.
- Be careful with statements – Avoid discussing the accident with anyone other than your attorney or the authorities. Do not admit fault or make any statements to the insurance company without legal advice.
- Document the impact of the accident – Keep records of how the accident has affected your life. This may include missed work, emotional distress, or changes in your daily activities.
Remember that each pedestrian accident case is unique, and the steps you need to take may vary based on the circumstances. Consulting with our experienced Kentucky personal injury lawyers is often the best course of action to ensure you receive the appropriate guidance for your specific situation.
Get Support From Kentucky Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Experiencing any accident in Kentucky can be emotionally and physically challenging, and this is especially true for pedestrian accidents. Unfortunately, such incidents occur frequently throughout the state, often leading to severe injuries and losses. However, you don’t have to navigate these difficult circumstances by yourself.
At Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, we’re here to provide guidance through the legal process and help you secure the compensation you’re entitled to under the law. If you or someone you care about has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact us today for a free consultation.