Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Chandler
People who are struck by vehicles while walking are likely to suffer severe injuries or be killed. Pedestrians do not have anything to protect them against the strong physical forces released in accidents and instead absorb those forces with their bodies. Victims of pedestrian accidents and the families of those who are killed have the right to pursue compensation through pedestrian accident claims when the accidents were caused by the negligent or reckless conduct of the motorists. Pedestrian accident lawsuits involve some of the same types of laws as other types of motor vehicle accidents and some laws that are specific to pedestrians. Working with a knowledgeable and experienced pedestrian accident lawyer Chandler might help to ensure your attorney will have a comprehensive understanding of the relevant laws and how to recover compensation for you.
A pedestrian accident attorney Chandler at Lamber Goodnow helps injured pedestrians and surviving family members of pedestrians because of negligence pursue justice. We represent accident victims in Chandler, Phoenix, and across Arizona and fight for their rights. If you have suffered serious injuries in a pedestrian accident because of the negligent actions of a driver, you should speak to our lawyers about your potential rights and legal remedies.
The following are a few of the types of pedestrian accidents our experienced attorneys handle:
- Pedestrian accidents caused by failure to yield
- Pedestrian accidents caused by running stop signs or red lights
- Pedestrian accidents in crosswalks
- Pedestrian accidents caused by drunk or drugged driving
- Pedestrian accidents in parking lots
- Pedestrian accidents caused by distracted driving
Our attorneys recognize that every pedestrian accident case is unique and tailor their approaches to the unique needs and circumstances of each client. We prioritize communication and are always available to answer questions throughout the claims process. Because of our strong preparation methods, we are often able to recover maximal compensation on behalf of our clients.
Important Arizona Pedestrian Laws
Motorists in Arizona are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians who cross the streets at unmarked intersections or in crosswalks when the pedestrians are on the same side of the street or in the opposite half but are near enough that the motorist’s proceeding would endanger the pedestrians under A.R.S. § 28-792. Other vehicles must also stop at a crosswalk or unmarked intersection when cars are stopped to allow pedestrians to safely cross and are prohibited from passing them. If a pedestrian is struck by a car, the motorist must stop and remain at the scene, call for help, and perform all of the same legal duties other motorists have following motor vehicle collisions.
Auto insurance coverage is an important factor in pedestrian accident lawsuits. All Arizona motorists are required by A.R.S. § 28-4009 to carry auto insurance in at least the following minimum liability amounts:
- $25,000 in bodily injury or death for one victim
- $50,000 in bodily injury or death per accident for two or more victims
- $15,000 in property damage
Despite the law, some motorists fail to carry auto insurance or only carry insurance meeting the state’s minimum requirements. In those types of cases, your lawyer will look for all potential recovery resources, including the driver’s insurance policy, the driver’s assets, and other potentially available insurance policies.
Key Pedestrian Statistics
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 55,000 pedestrians were injured and 6,516 were killed in U.S. traffic accidents in 2020 alone. Estimates for 2021 from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report the totals were likely much higher at an increase of 11.5% to 7,485 pedestrian fatalities in 2021. In Arizona, the GHSA estimates that 235 pedestrians were killed in 2021. The statistics demonstrate the severity of pedestrian accidents. If you have suffered injuries or have lost your loved one in a Chandler pedestrian accident, you should speak to one of our experienced injury lawyers.
Pedestrian Accident Statute of Limitations
There are two statutes of limitations for pedestrian accidents found in A.R.S. § 12-542, including for injury collisions and wrongful death accidents. When a pedestrian is injured in a pedestrian accident, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. When a pedestrian accident results in death, the family has two years to file a lawsuit from the date of their loved one’s death. The statute of limitations operates as a deadline for when claims must be filed. If you miss the deadline, you won’t be able to pursue compensation through the courts for your losses.
These are the general statutes of limitations, but there are also some others you should know. The Arizona Tort Claims Act provides a substantially shorter deadline of 180 days when the negligent party in a pedestrian accident is a government employee who was working at the time of their collision. Survival actions, which can be filed by the executor of the decedent’s estate when a pedestrian collision results in death, must be filed within 12 months of the decedent’s death.
There are certain exceptions to the statutes of limitations. If you have questions about how the statute of limitations might apply in your case, talk to a pedestrian accident lawyer Chandler at Lamber Goodnow as soon as possible.
Understanding Negligence in Arizona Pedestrian Accident Claims
Most pedestrian accident lawsuits include theories of negligence. To prevail in a negligence cause of action, plaintiffs have the burden of proof and must present evidence showing each of the following legal elements:
- The defendant owed a legal duty of care to the victim to exercise reasonable caution and care while driving.
- The defendant violated the duty of care.
- The defendant’s violation caused the victim’s accident and injuries.
- The plaintiff suffered actual damages.
The plaintiff’s burden of proof extends to each negligence element. The plaintiff must prove the elements by a preponderance of the evidence. If the plaintiff proves several, but not all, of the elements, they won’t win their claim. Because of this, a pedestrian accident attorney Chandler at Lamber Goodnow carefully investigates every claim to gather enough evidence to prove each element of negligence so that their clients are likelier to recover compensation.
In Arizona, every party in a negligence lawsuit is responsible for their degree of fault under A.R.S. § 12-2505. This principle is known as pure comparative fault. What it means is that if you were partly to blame for your accident, it will not bar you from recovering damages. However, your total award will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if a jury finds that your gross damages in a pedestrian accident are equal to $100,000 but also finds that you were 30% at fault, your damages award will be reduced by 30% to $70,000.
Understanding Healthcare Liens
Many plaintiffs in pedestrian accidents have to deal with healthcare liens. These are liens that healthcare providers are authorized to file against personal injury settlements under A.R.S. §§ 33-931 to 33-936. In some cases, healthcare providers file liens even when the treatment costs are fully covered by health insurance. Others file balance liens to pursue the difference between what the health insurance covers and the provider’s normal charges for the provided treatment.
There are a few restrictions on the ability of providers to file healthcare liens. Providers can’t file them against your assets other than your potential settlement or verdict. They also can’t be filed unless you owe an outstanding debt to the provider for the treatment you received for your accident-related injuries. If your medical insurance fully covered your treatment, the provider must release the lien. The provider is prohibited from filing a lien against your other property. Instead, the lien can only be paid through your settlement or verdict award. If you don’t win your case, you won’t have to pay the lien. Finally, the provider can only pursue a lien for their normal and customary charges.
In some cases, our attorneys can get healthcare liens waived. We can review a provider’s lien to determine whether or not it might be challenged. Here are some of the reasons why a lien might be negated:
- Provider didn’t file the lien on time
- Provider didn’t file the lien in the appropriate county
- Provider failed to include a statement about whether the patient is expected to continue receiving treatment or if the patient’s treatment has ended
- Provider asking for more than their normal and customary charges for the services provided
- Provider made an error in the claimed amount
- Provider tried to lien for services that were unrelated to the accident
- Provider included charges for unnecessary services
Many health insurers also include clauses in their policies that require their policyholders to reimburse the companies for medical treatment received for accidents out of their personal injury settlements or verdicts. Arizona generally forbids health insurance companies from subrogating accident settlements. If your health insurance is a self-funded ERISA plan through your employer, federal law might supersede Arizona’s anti-subrogation law, however. If your health insurance company sends you a bill seeking reimbursement, talk to one of our lawyers
FAQs: Chandler Pedestrian Accidents
The attorneys at Lamber Goodnow often receive questions from injured pedestrians or their families. Here are some of the most common questions we are asked to help you gain a better understanding of your potential claim.
Q: What if I Was Hit by an Uninsured Motorist?
A: While Arizona requires all drivers to carry auto insurance that at least meets the state’s minimum thresholds, some motorists drive while uninsured. If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) on your auto insurance policy, you can file a claim under your policy to pay for your losses up to your policy’s limits. UM/UIM coverage is a type of insurance that must be offered to you at the time you purchase your policy but is not required. Since many drivers ignore the state’s mandatory insurance laws, however, it makes sense for you to purchase this type of coverage. If you don’t have UM/UIM coverage, your attorney will check to see if there might be other potential sources of recovery available to you.
Q: What Should I Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
A: If you are hit by a car, you should try to do the following things:
- Call 911 and wait for the police.
- Get the driver’s name, address, driver’s license number, insurance information, and vehicle registration information.
- If you can, take pictures of the damage to the car, where your accident occurred, your injuries, and other relevant details.
- Ask witnesses to wait to give statements to the police, and ask for their names and contact information.
- Tell the police what you remember about the accident.
- Seek medical attention.
- Avoid talking to the motorist’s insurance company or signing documents it sends you.
- Talk to a pedestrian accident lawyer Chandler at Lamber Goodnow.
Q: Will I Have to Go to Trial?
A: Most pedestrian accident claims are settled before formal lawsuits are filed through negotiations. Even when a formal lawsuit has to be filed, your claim will likely be settled short of trial. However, if the insurance company refuses to fairly settle your claim, you might need to take your case to trial to recover compensation. The attorneys at Lamber Goodnow are experienced litigators and are prepared to fight for justice for you in or out of the courtroom.
Q: What Is My Case Worth?
A: There isn’t a single amount that a pedestrian accident case is worth. Instead, the value of a claim varies based on the unique facts and circumstances of each individual case. When you meet with your attorney, they will analyze the various factors that could impact your claim’s value, including the following:
- Severity and nature of your injuries
- Whether you were forced to miss work and if you can return to your job
- Whether you were partly at fault
- The nature of the defendant’s actions
- Your non-economic losses
After analyzing the facts, your attorney will then calculate the probable value of your claim and provide you with a range within which you might expect a reasonable settlement offer to fall.
Contact Lamber Goodnow
If you were injured in a pedestrian collision or lost your loved one in Chandler, Arizona, you should reach out to the qualified pedestrian accident lawyers at Lamber Goodnow. We have years of experience fighting for negligence victims in pedestrian collisions and can help you understand the merits of your claim. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.