Every year, thousands of Americans are injured due to improper or nonexistent crosswalks. These accidents typically happen when a vehicle hits a pedestrian crossing the street. Serious injuries can occur because the victim doesn’t have the structural protections that a driver or passenger would in an automobile. At the Wolfe Law Firm, our Elkins crosswalk accident attorney has years of experience in handling West Virginia injury claims. Experienced car accident lawyer Dorwin J. Wolfe can investigate the details of your situation and help you aggressively assert your rights.Recovering Compensation Through a Negligence Lawsuit
West Virginia law requires drivers to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Moreover, pedestrians have the right-of-way on street corners when crossing a road where a driver has a clear view of the pedestrian. But the mere presence of a crosswalk doesn’t ensure a pedestrian’s safety on the road. Even pedestrians who vigilantly use crosswalks sometimes are injured or killed by negligent drivers.
A driver who collides with a pedestrian on a crosswalk because he or she failed to keep a proper lookout may be liable for the pedestrian’s injuries. The victim can pursue a claim under the theory of negligence, which is the failure to use reasonable care in one’s actions. Reasonable care is defined as the way in which a reasonably prudent person would act in the same or similar circumstances. To succeed in a negligence claim in this context, the victim must prove the following elements:
- The defendant owed the victim a duty of care while driving;
- The defendant breached the duty of by driving carelessly;
- The defendant’s breach was the direct cause of the accident; and
- The victim sustained injuries and damages as a result.
The duty of care in the first step may be easily shown in crosswalk accidents because all drivers have an obligation to be aware of crosswalks and stop at a safe distance from them. The breach in the second step also may be straightforward if the driver was speeding, driving drunk, or violating any other rule of the road. Causation may be more complicated because the defendant may argue that the victim was responsible for causing the accident. Even if you were partly responsible, however, you can recover a reduced amount of damages proportionate to the defendant’s fault.
The compensation a victim can recover typically helps to pay for past and future medical expenses, property damage, lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, and any other objective or subjective costs arising from the accident. Compensation can come through a settlement or a jury verdict. While we try to negotiate fair settlements for our clients, we aren’t afraid to go to court if required.
If a loved one of yours died because of someone else’s careless behavior, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim. These are typically brought on behalf of the deceased by family members. West Virginia has very specific legal procedures for bringing a wrongful death claim, so you should consult an attorney if you are thinking about pursuing this type of a claim.Discuss Your Crosswalk Accident Claim with an Elkins Lawyer
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a crosswalk accident, you should contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney who can advise you. The Wolfe Law Firm proudly represents West Virginia clients from Marion Country, Monongahela County, Randolph County, and throughout the state. We understand that the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a crosswalk accident can take on the victim and the victim’s family. Our Elkins crosswalk accident lawyer will research the facts of your case and work diligently to pursue the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 877-637-5756 or contact us online for a free initial consultation.