There is nothing more relaxing than going out for a nice evening walk or jog. As a pedestrian, you would think drivers would be responsible and diligent on the road. Unfortunately, every year, thousands of walkers are injured or killed by negligent, careless, and reckless drivers around the country. Sadly, North Carolina is witness to many pedestrian accidents year in and year out. Our Charlotte pedestrian accident attorneys at Dewey, Ramsay, & Hunt explain more about pedestrian accident causes, statistics, and lawsuits in North Carolina.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in North Carolina
Pedestrians are more likely to suffer severe injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries when involved in car accidents. This happens because they don’t have the protection the vehicles provide to its drivers. Most pedestrian accidents occur due to the negligent actions of another driver, including drunk driving, distracted driving, and aggressive driving.
DUI accidents are a significant concern in the United States. Every year drunk drivers are responsible for thousands of injuries and wrongful deaths around the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA), in 2016, there were 9,477 alcohol-related fatal crashes in the U.S. According to NC DOT (North Carolina Department of Transportation), in 2016, there were 11,264 drunk-driving car accidents and 402 fatalities in the state of North Carolina. If a negligent drunk driver caused your injuries, you can obtain compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Distracted driving is another major cause of car accidents in the country. Electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, and GPS commonly contribute to distracted driving-related accidents. North Carolina is no stranger to this sad reality. According to NC DOT, there were more than 54,000 distracted driving crashes in North Carolina during 2016. Almost 200 North Carolinians lost their due to the same cause during 2016.
Road rage can also lead to devastating car accidents since aggressive drivers are more likely to make negligent decisions on the road. Most aggressive motorists will pass through red lights, disregard stop signs, and undertake other negligent actions. Impatient, enraged drivers are more likely to hit a pedestrian than people driving safely. You can hold the liable parties accountable for aggressive driving by filing a lawsuit against them.
Are Pedestrian Accidents Common in North Carolina?
Pedestrian accidents happen more frequently than you would expect. Many people associate a car or truck accident with a crash between two vehicles. Unfortunately, however, pedestrians are also part of the mix. According to the NHTSA, in 2015, 5,495 Americans were killed in pedestrian accidents across the nation. In 2016, 5,987 people died in pedestrian accidents in the U.S.
According to NC DOT, since 2015, 195 pedestrians have lost their lives in car accidents in North Carolina. In 2016, 198 additional pedestrians died in car crashes. Despite many efforts to prevent accidents from happening, pedestrians are still at risk of sustaining life-threatening injuries every year.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim in North Carolina
Most personal injury cases are based on negligence. In a personal injury claim, the plaintiff has the burden to show the defendant was responsible for the accident. To prove the defendant was negligent, you will need to establish the following elements:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care.
- The defendant breached his/her duty of care.
- The breach of duty caused you harm.
- You suffered damages.
If you can prove these elements, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain, and suffering. Under North Carolina law, you can be awarded punitive damages if the court finds the defendant’s actions denoted intentional disregard for the safety of others. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the wrongdoer and prevent others from taking similar steps in the future.
Keep in mind you have only a limited time to file your claim with the court. This is known as the statute of limitations. If you fail to present your personal injury claim on time, you may lose your right to sue. In personal injury cases, you have up to three years from the moment you were injured to file your claim. In wrongful death cases, you only have two years to file your claim. Having skilled legal representation by your side can help you navigate the entire process.
Charlotte Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Handling Personal Injury Claims
The last thing you want after experiencing an injury is dealing with insurance companies and lawsuits. At Dewey, Ramsay, & Hunt we understand the difficulties associated with the aftermath of a car accident. That is why our Charlotte personal injury attorneys dedicate their legal practice to upholding and fighting for your rights. If you were injured because of the negligent actions of another person, we may be able to help. To learn more about your potential claim in a free, confidential consultation, call our law offices today at (704) 377-3737.