Pedestrian accidents can have devastating consequences for victims. Pedestrians often suffer extremely serious injuries, since they do not have anything between their body and the vehicle that strikes them. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you should reach out to a skilled Michigan personal injury attorney as soon as possible. We can examine the facts of your case and provide you with an honest assessment of your claim.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a pedestrian as any individual on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting, or lying down who is involved in a motor vehicle crash. According to the NHTSA, on average, a pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every eight minutes in traffic accidents in 2013. In fact, there were 4,735 pedestrian deaths that year, accounting for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. Unfortunately, that number increased in 2014, when a total of 4,884 pedestrians were killed, while an estimated 65,000 were injured across the country.
In Michigan, 148 pedestrians were killed in 2013, accounting for 15.6 percent of the total traffic fatalities in the state in 2013. In 2014, there were 148 pedestrian fatalities, accounting for 16.4 percent of total traffic deaths. Pedestrian accidents can take place in a number of ways, including:
- Vehicles backing up into pedestrians;
- Vehicles not realizing pedestrians are on the road;
- Vehicles speeding down the road and unable to stop in time;
- Vehicles sideswiping pedestrians on the side of the road;
- Vehicles hitting pedestrians as they collect their mail; or
- Vehicles striking pedestrians as they make a left turn at an intersection.
Pedestrian accident cases are generally rooted in the theory of negligence. Negligence occurs when a person fails to use the level of care that a reasonably prudent driver would use behind the wheel. In order to succeed on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed the pedestrian a duty to use reasonable care, the defendant breached this duty, and the defendant’s breach was a direct cause of the accident and the pedestrian’s resulting harm.
Under Michigan law, accident victims have a limited time frame to file a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver and this is known as the statute of limitations. Personal injury claims must be filed within three years from the date of the accident, and wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within three years from the death. If you do not file a lawsuit in that time frame, you will likely lose your ability to take any legal action against the at-fault party. This means you will be barred from recovering compensation for your harm.
Pedestrians are also eligible for personal protection insurance benefits (PIP). These benefits can cover medical expense, wage loss and assistance with daily activities of living incurred as a result of injuries sustained in the crash. Proper notice to the appropriate insurance company or the Michigan Insurance Placement Facility must be served within one year of the date of the accident to be eligible for these benefits. In the event benefits are not paid, which is often the case with insurance companies in Michigan, a lawsuit needs to be filed within one-year of a formal denial of benefits by the insurance company.
If you or someone close to you has been injured in a pedestrian accident that was not your fault, you may be able to recover compensation for your harm. At Davis Law Center, our seasoned Michigan pedestrian accident attorneys have extensive experience with laws concerning pedestrian accident claims. You can rest assured that we can advocate for your rights at every step of the way. To discuss your case in detail with one of our lawyers, call us at 248-865-7740 or contact us online.
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