Being as Omaha is the largest city in Nebraska, it’s no surprise that thousands of individuals in the city walk to their destinations within it. While being a pedestrian is good for the body and planet, there are a number of dangers associated with walking near traveling vehicles. If you’ve been in an accident you believe was caused by a negligent driver, our Omaha pedestrian accident lawyers are prepared to represent you and seek the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
What Often Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen in Omaha?
The number of pedestrian accidents is on the rise. Every year, more individuals are injured or killed by a vehicle while walking. According to Nebraska’s Department of Transportation, there were a total of 372 pedestrians struck by vehicles in 2016. The majority, 359, resulted in injury. Only two resulted in just property damage and 11 were fatal. In 2017, the total rose to 400, where 406 people were injured and 20 lost their lives.
While only 1.1 percent of all crashes in Nebraska in 2017 involved a pedestrian, those accidents accounted for nine percent of all fatal crashes. This shows just how dangerous it can be for a person when they are hit by a vehicle. The collisions that resulted in death often occurred at higher speeds and with larger vehicles. When looking at all the crashes, however, patterns can be detected as to why the incidents happened in the first place.
Why Pedestrian Accidents Happen
If you’ve been struck by a vehicle and want to take legal action, you’ll need to gather evidence that proves the driver caused the accident. A crucial step in this process is determining why the accident happened. There are a number of common reasons pedestrians are struck by negligent drivers.
When drivers disobey traffic laws by improperly using lanes, ignoring traffic lights, or speeding, they are more likely to hit a pedestrian in a highly populated area. Drivers need to be aware of the locations of crosswalks and be cognizant when traffic lights change to ensure they are nowhere near any individuals who are walking. If a driver is speeding, they may be unable to stop in time in the event a pedestrian steps in front of them.
Distractions are also a major factor with pedestrian accidents. When someone is using their cellphone to talk, text, or email, or is focused on their GPS system, their eyes and mind are not focused on the road. This makes it incredibly easy to miss seeing a pedestrian and cause an accident.
The Complexities of Proving Fault in a Pedestrian Accident
It can be difficult to determine fault for an accident involving a pedestrian and a driver. If you’ve been the victim of a crash, it’s likely the driver will claim you were acting recklessly or carelessly. It’s important to remember, however, that vehicle motorists have a duty of care to obey traffic laws and pay attention to their surroundings. If they breached that duty and someone was injured, they can be held accountable.
In some cases, there may be shared fault for an accident. If a pedestrian was jaywalking, crossing against a traffic signal, walking where pedestrians are prohibited, or under the influence of alcohol, that person can be found liable for a portion of the accident. Your injury attorney will be able to investigate your case and determine what resulted in your accident.
In the event both parties are found to be partially at fault, comparative negligence comes into play. This means that an injured person can still receive compensation; however, it is reduced by their percentage of the fault. For example, if the pedestrian is found to be 15 percent at fault for the crash, they will only be eligible for 85 percent of the damages.
Seeking Compensation for Accident Victims
If you are found to be eligible for compensation, you may be wondering what is covered. There are a number of economic and non-economic damages you can recover based on your injuries and the incurred expenses related to your accident.
Economic damages can be calculated. You may be able to recover compensation for the severity of your injuries and the related medical expenses, the amount of time you had to miss from work, and any additional expenses. Non-economic damages are more difficult to determine, as they cannot be directly calculated; however, compensation could be included for pain and suffering, the impact the injuries have had on your daily routine, and any lost opportunities or abilities attributed to the injuries.
Choosing a Lawyer Who Specializes in Pedestrian Accidents
When deciding to seek legal representation, it can be an overwhelming task to choose the right law firm for you. You want to find an injury lawyer who is knowledgeable and experienced, while also willing to work with you and for you to reach the outcome you deserve. At Welsh & Welsh PC, LLO, we represent all types of accident victims and are ready to take you on as a client.
Keep in mind that a good lawyer is someone who is available to you. You should never hesitate to ask questions or for clarification, as it’s crucial to understand every aspect of your case. The Omaha pedestrian accident lawyer you choose should also be organized and prepared. If they are frequently late, miss important deadlines, or lose documents related to your claim, they’re not the attorney for you.
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a vehicle, our Omaha pedestrian accident attorneys are prepared to guide you through the complexities of litigation, so you can restore order in your life as quickly as possible. To learn more about your legal options, get in touch with our firm today.