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Since pedestrians are largely unprotected, they’re much likelier to be seriously injured or killed when they’re struck by vehicles. Arizona has multiple pedestrian laws to try to protect the safety of pedestrians. Unlike the occupants of motor vehicles, pedestrians do not have the same degree of protection. They do not have safety equipment like airbags, seatbelts, or a protective cab surrounding them to protect against the physical forces involved in a collision. Because of this lack of protection, pedestrians often suffer catastrophic injuries or are killed when they are struck by cars. Pedestrians who are struck by vehicles through no fault of their own have the right to pursue compensation through pedestrian accident lawsuits. Working with an experienced Scottsdale pedestrian accident lawyer can help to ensure that you will recover the maximum compensation to which you should be entitled.
An experienced pedestrian accident attorney Scottsdale at Lamber Goodnow focuses on helping the victims of accidents recover the compensation to which they should be entitled. We understand that pedestrians who are seriously injured in accidents often face skyrocketing medical expenses combined with steep financial losses, and we strongly believe that accident victims deserve to be fully compensated for all of their losses. We do whatever we can to ensure that our clients receive the compensation they deserve.
Our attorneys handle all of the following types of pedestrian accident cases:
- Failure to yield accidents
- Disobeying traffic control devices
- Crosswalk accidents
- Drunk driving accidents
- Parking lot accidents
- Distracted driving accidents
Since every pedestrian accident case is unique, we tailor our approaches to the unique circumstances and needs of each client. We are always available to answer any questions our clients might have, and we keep our clients apprised of the status of their cases while they are pending. We take a thorough approach to preparing our clients’ cases, which often helps us to recover maximum compensation on their behalf.
Relevant Laws in Arizona for Pedestrians
Several essential laws in Arizona are meant to protect pedestrians. Under ARS § 28–792, drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians while they are located in crosswalks or when they are crossing the street at an unmarked intersection. This law applies when the pedestrians are crossing from the same side of the street as the motor vehicle or crossing on the opposite side but are close enough to the car that the driver’s proceeding would endanger the pedestrian’s safety. When a vehicle is stopped at a crosswalk or unmarked intersection for a pedestrian, other vehicles must also stop to allow the pedestrian to safely cross. Other vehicles are prohibited from passing a vehicle that is stopped and waiting for a pedestrian to cross the street.
When a pedestrian is hit by a car, the motorist must stop, call for help, provide first aid, and remain at the scene until help arrives. Motorists have the same duties following pedestrian accidents as they do in any other type of motor vehicle crash.
Another important law for pedestrians is Arizona’s Insurance mandate. This law is found in ARS § 28-4009, and it mandates all motorists carry auto insurance with at least the following minimum liability amounts:
Even though minimum auto liability coverage is mandatory in Arizona, some drivers continue to drive without insurance. When an uninsured motorist strikes a pedestrian, it can be much more difficult for the victim to recover compensation. However, an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in Scottsdale can investigate to try to uncover all potential recovery resources to help their clients recover compensation.
Another problem is that when a pedestrian was seriously injured in an accident the minimum liability coverage of a driver might not be enough the pay for all of their injuries. Because of this problem, in ARS § 20-259.01, Arizona mandates that auto insurance companies offer uninsured and underinsured motorists (UM/UIM) coverage to people at the time they purchase an insurance policy. While this type of insurance is not mandatory, you should still purchase it. If you are in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, you can file a claim with your policy to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
In 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 55,000 pedestrians were seriously injured, and 6,516 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in the United States. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released estimates for 2021, reporting that the numbers were likely much higher that year. According to the GHSA, the pedestrian fatality rate in 2021 increased by 11.5% to 7,485 deaths. The GHSA also estimated that 235 pedestrians were killed in Arizona in 2021.
These statistics demonstrate the dangers of pedestrian accidents If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in a Scottsdale pedestrian accident, you should speak to one of our experienced pedestrian accident attorneys at Lamber Goodnow to learn about your potential legal remedies.
Statute of Limitations in Pedestrian Accidents
Two deadlines for filing lawsuits are found in A.R.S. § 12-542. This statute includes the statute of limitations for personal injury cases and the statute of limitations for wrongful death cases. If a pedestrian is injured in an Arizona pedestrian accident, the statute of limitations begins running on the date of the accident and ends in two years. For wrongful death cases involving pedestrian accidents, the statute of limitations starts running on the date of the victim’s death and runs for two years. If you don’t file a lawsuit within two years of your accident or two years of your loved one’s death, you will be barred from pursuing compensation through a lawsuit.
These two limitation periods are general rules, but there are some others that you should also know. If the person who hit you was working for the city or another governmental entity at the time of your accident, the Arizona Tort Claims Act will come into play. Under this law, you must file a claim against a government agency no later than 180 days after the date of your accident.
Another statute of limitation exists for survival actions. These are claims that can be filed by the executor of an estate after someone is killed in a pedestrian accident. While the wrongful death statute of limitations is 2 years, the survival action statute of limitations is 12 months from the date of the victim’s death. Survival actions are filed to recover damages for the victims’ estates to be paid to the heirs and beneficiaries. If you have questions about the statute of limitations and how it might apply in your case, you should speak to one of our experienced lawyers.
Negligence Causes of Action in Arizona Pedestrian Accident Cases
In most cases, pedestrian lawsuits involve negligence causes of action. To win a claim alleging negligence, you will have the burden of proof to prove each element of negligence by a preponderance of the evidence. The elements of negligence include the following:
- The defendant motorist owed you a duty of care to exercise reasonable caution while driving.
- The defendant motorist breach the duty of care.
- The defendant’s breach of the duty of care caused your accident and injuries.
- You suffered calculable damages as a result.
If you fail to prove one of the elements of negligence, you will, you will not meet your burden of proof and will not win your claim even if you prove the remaining elements. Because of this, your Scottsdale accident attorney at Lamber Goodnow will carefully investigate your case and work with experts to gather evidence to prove each negligence element to help you prevail.
Arizona follows the legal principle of pure comparative fault. This approach is found in ARS § 12-2505 and holds that every party is responsible for their degree of negligence. What this means in a pedestrian accident case is that you will still be able to recover compensation if you were partially at fault for your accident. However, your damages will be reduced by the percentage of the fault the jury believes you had. For example, if the jury awards you a total of $100,000 but finds that you were 10% at fault, your damages will be reduced by 10% to $90,000.
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FAQs: Pedestrian Accident Claims in Scottsdale
As the victim of a pedestrian accident or the family member of someone who was killed, you likely have questions about your legal rights and how to pursue a claim. Here are some of the most common questions the attorneys at Lamber Goodnow receive from pedestrian accident victims to help you understand your case.
Q: What Should I Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
A: What you should do after a pedestrian accident depends on whether you were the motorist who hit the pedestrian or the Pedestrian who was hit by a car.
If you are the motorist who struck the pedestrian, you have the same duties you would have in any other type of accident. You must do the following things:
1 Stop your vehicle and stay at the scene.
2. Call 911 to report the accident and summon help.
3. Check the pedestrian for any injuries.
4. Provide first aid until help arrives.
5. Tell the police what happened.
6. Give the pedestrian your name, driver’s license, insurance, vehicle registration, and contact information.
7. Report the accident to your insurance company.
If you are a pedestrian who was struck by a car, call 911 for help. Ask the driver for their name, contact details, driver’s license information, and insurance and vehicle registration information. Check yourself for injuries.
If you can, use your smartphone to take photographs of the accident scene, any damage to the car that struck you, your injuries, and all relevant details. If any witnesses saw what happened, get their names and contact information and ask them to wait to speak to the police. Don’t accept blame or apologize. After you tell the police what happened, seek immediate medical attention Once you receive medical care, you should speak to a Scottsdale pedestrian accident lawyer at Lamber Goodnow.
Q: What Damages Can I Recover?
A: How much your claim might be worth will depend on multiple factors, including the severity of your injuries, whether you were partially at fault, the available insurance policies, and others. Because of this, an attorney can’t give you a quote for how much your case might be worth until he or she has had a chance to review the evidence, analyze your case, and calculate its likely value.
Pedestrian accident cases typically involve compensatory damages. These are damages awarded to compensate accident victims for their non-economic and economic losses. Some of the types of damages that might be available in a pedestrian accident case in Scottsdale include the following:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future wage losses
- Property losses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of the ability to enjoy life
- Emotional trauma
In a wrongful death case, the following types of damages might be available:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of the income your loved one would have contributed to your family if they’d lived
- Your loved one’s lost rights to an inheritance
- The value of the contributions your loved one would have made to your household if they had lived
- Loss of consortium and guidance
Depending on the circumstances, punitive damages might be available in some cases. However, these damages are rarely awarded and are only ordered in cases in which the defendant’s actions were particularly outrageous. Punitive damages are payable on top of compensatory damages and are meant to punish defendants.
When you meet with your lawyer, they will help you understand the types of damages that might be available to you and the likely value of your case.
Q: My Family Member Was Killed. Can I File a Lawsuit?
A: Under ARS § 12-612, Arizona restricts the parties who can file wrongful death lawsuits to those with the following relationships to the decedent:
- Deceased victim’s surviving spouse
- Deceased victim’s surviving children
- Deceased victim’s parent or legal guardian
- The estate’s executor or personal representative
If you are one of these parties, you might be entitled to file a lawsuit. However, the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit is in descending order of priority among the above-listed parties. If none of those parties exist, the estate’s executor or personal representative can file a wrongful death lawsuit. If they are successful, the proceeds will be paid into the estate for the benefit of the victim’s heirs or beneficiaries.
Q: Will I Be Forced to Go to Trial?
A: Most pedestrian accident lawsuits are settled outside of court. Many claims are settled before a formal lawsuit is ever filed through careful investigation and skilled negotiations. However, your Scottsdale pedestrian accident attorney at Lamber Goodnow will prepare your case as if it will go to trial. Our thorough and legally-informed approach often helps us to recover full compensation for our clients, whether through a settlement or a trial verdict.
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