Green Bay Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
The City of Green Bay covers a large area and there are many areas pedestrians can easily get around on foot, such as near Lambeau Field, the National Rail Museum, and Bay Park Square.
Unfortunately, walking in Green Bay places pedestrians near moving traffic and leaves them vulnerable to an injury by a distracted or speeding driver. If a pedestrian accident resulting from someone else's negligence injured you, you can seek compensation.
An experienced Green Bay pedestrian accident lawyer from Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you understand this process and the services our legal team can provide to help you with your claim.
About Pedestrian Accidents in Wisconsin
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, there were around 1,400 pedestrian accidents across the state in a year. Of those accidents, approximately 50 individuals died, more than 1,300 were injured, and about 250 suffered severe injuries. Nearly half of all pedestrian accidents occurring across the U.S. involve either an alcohol-impaired driver or pedestrian. This is particularly true in cities with a social culture built around drinking, as there is in Green Bay.
Most pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas where individuals are required to walk alongside busy roadways. Cars most commonly strike pedestrians at night and in non-intersection areas of the road where drivers can have difficulty seeing them.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents Where a Driver Is Liable
Most pedestrian accidents result from drivers' careless or reckless behavior.
In addition to alcohol impairment, some types of driver negligence that can lead to a pedestrian accident in Green Bay include:
- Distracted driving. There are three types of driver distractions: visual distractions that cause the driver to look away from the roadway; manual distractions that cause the driver to take their hands from the wheel; and cognitive distractions that cause the driver's thoughts to wander away from the wheel the task of driving safely. One type of driving distraction that traffic safety experts commonly mention is texting. In the time it takes a driver to read or reply to a text when traveling at normal highway speeds, they can travel the length of a football field without attending to the roadway—plenty of time to roll through a crosswalk and strike a pedestrian as they are attempting to cross. In Wisconsin, it is illegal for drivers to text while driving.
- Speeding. Speeding is a major factor in all types of traffic accidents. It is extremely difficult for the pedestrian attempting to gauge a gap in traffic that is big enough to provide them time to cross a roadway if the driver is speeding. Speeding also increases the risk of a driver losing control of their vehicle, decreases the time that the driver has to see and respond to a pedestrian crossing the road, and increases the distance that the vehicle needs to stop.
- Failure to yield. Pedestrians are valid roadway users, just as motorists are, and are entitled to the right-of-way at certain times, such as when using a crosswalk at an intersection controlled by a traffic light.
- Failure to check blind spots. Every vehicle has a blind spot, which is where the driver cannot see using their rear or side-view mirrors. Larger vehicles generally have larger blind spots. Drivers need to check these areas by looking over their shoulders to ensure that pedestrians are not walking behind them when backing out of a private driveway or a parking lot or attempting to turn.
- Left turns. Left-turning drivers at intersections without green arrows are often left to determine if there is a sufficient gap in oncoming traffic to complete their turn. Unfortunately, drivers are often so focused on ensuring that they are not turning into traffic they fail to see a pedestrian crossing the road when turning.
- Improper passing. Drivers are not permitted to pass vehicles at certain times, such as when the lead vehicle is stopped at a crosswalk or for a bus that has its stop sign arm extended. Passing at such times increases the risk of a pedestrian accident, as the passing motorist often cannot see the pedestrian crossing the road until it is too late.
Injuries Sustained in Pedestrian Accidents
Due to the extreme disparity in the size of a motor vehicle and a person's size, traffic accidents can seriously injure pedestrians.
After accidents with cars, pedestrians may suffer:
- Lower extremity injuries are present in about half of all pedestrian accidents. The hip area and the legs are often the first points of contact with the front of a smaller-sized vehicle, bearing the full force of the collision. Lower extremity injuries can include fractures to the hips, pelvis, legs, ankles, and feet; soft tissue injuries to the muscles of the legs; and damage to the joints in the hips and ankles.
- Injuries to the face, neck, and head. Often, when a car strikes an individual, the force of the collision either throws them headfirst onto the hood or through the air and onto the asphalt. This can result in catastrophic injuries such as traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries and can also result in deep facial lacerations and damage to the eyes or teeth.
- Upper extremity injuries, including the chest and abdomen injuries, such as rib fractures and internal damage. These injuries are present in about a quarter of all pedestrian accidents. However, the larger profiles and higher bumpers and hoods of certain SUVs and pickup trucks have increased this type of injury and an increased overall risk of death due to the accident.
- Damage to the arms and wrists from the pedestrian's instinctual urge to put their arms out to catch themselves when they fall.
- Road rash, a type of skin abrasion that occurs when the skin makes contact with a rough surface, such as asphalt.
The Serious Impacts of Pedestrian Accidents
As mentioned, pedestrian accidents can result in catastrophic injuries such as those occurring to the brain and spinal cord. These organs make up the body's central nervous system and control the body's unforced and involuntary responses.
These organs have a limited ability to heal from injury. Damage is highly likely to produce deficits that will impair the individual's ability to earn an income. Injuries to these organs will leave the individual with complications and future medical treatments.
Other injuries can result in profound medical expenses involved in surgical repair of the injury, hospitalization, prescription medication, and the provision of assistive devices and services such as crutches, a wheelchair, prosthetic devices, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
Individuals whom a pedestrian accident injured often find their lives on hold while they recover from the injury. They can be unable to work, attend school, or participate in activities and events they previously enjoyed.
Seeking Compensation for a Green Bay Pedestrian Accident
If a pedestrian accident injured you, you can seek compensation for your injuries from the negligent driver. This process often begins when your attorney sends a demand letter to the at-fault party's liability insurance provider. This demand includes details of the accident, documentation of your expenses, and a demand to pay the value of your claim.
Your attorney will help you establish a value for your claim by considering:
- The available insurance resources.
- The severity of your injury.
- The likelihood of future expenses, including lost earning capacity.
When the at-fault party's insurance provider receives the claim, they will assign an insurance adjuster to the case. The adjuster works for the insurance company and evaluates claims to determine how much compensation the claimant deserves.
The adjuster can choose to pay the demand in full, deny the claim and provide a notification to the claimant of the reason for the denial, or make an offer to compensate the claim for less than its full value in an out-of-court settlement. Settlements are often the preferred method for resolving Green Bay pedestrian accident claims as they avoid the expense and uncertainty involved in litigation.
Aside from available insurance resources, one of the most important factors to the success of your pedestrian accident claim is the ability to prove that someone else was responsible for the accident that caused your injuries.
You do this by showing:
- The at-fault party had a duty to avoid causing injuries to others by operating their vehicle legally and safely.
- There was a breach in the duty that the driver owed that occurred when they took actions that were contrary to safe and legal driving.
- This breach caused the Green Bay pedestrian accident that injured you. Because of your injury, you incurred expenses and impacts.
While most pedestrian accident claims focus on the liability of a motorist, there are sometimes situations where other parties are also liable, such as:
- Accidents in which
- the driver could not see the pedestrian due to an overgrowth of vegetation from a tree on public or private property.
- Accidents in which the driver could not stop their vehicle before hitting the pedestrian due to a defective part of the vehicle.
Your attorney will study the details of your case carefully to determine all sources of liability and all insurance resources that can compensate you. Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers can help.
What Happens in a Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Accident?
According to the AAA Foundation, 1,980 fatal hit-and-run accidents happened on U.S. roadways in one year. Nearly 1,400 of these crashes involved vulnerable road users such as bicyclists or pedestrians, with pedestrians making up the greatest share. If a hit-and-run driver injured you, the ability to seek compensation for your injuries just became a lot more complex.
Most pedestrians file accident claims against the at-fault party's auto liability policy. If the driver fled without exchanging information with you, you do not even know their name, much less the name of their insurance provider.
In some cases, a witness or the victim can obtain all or part of the vehicle’s license plate number or an accurate description of the fleeing vehicle and its driver to assist the police in identifying and locating the driver.
If this happens, you may obtain the driver's insurance information through the police. However, suppose you cannot identify the driver. In that case, your attorney can guide other options for compensating for your injury, including filing a claim against your own auto policy and filing an affidavit that the driver of the other vehicle is unknown.
Injured in a Pedestrian Accident? Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers Can Help
If a pedestrian accident injured you, let a Green Bay personal injury lawyer explain to you the process of obtaining compensation for your injuries and the services our legal team can provide to help you navigate the process. For your free case