When appropriate, pedestrians should be able to cross the street without fear of being struck by a careless driver. Unfortunately, this fear becomes reality all too often in Auburn. Distracted or intoxicated drivers often do not notice pedestrians until it is too late. Because of this, many pedestrians are injured or killed in vehicle accidents every year.
If you or a loved one were stuck by a vehicle while traveling on foot, you might be able to recover financial compensation from those responsible. To determine if you are eligible, you should contact a local personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An Auburn pedestrian accident lawyer from our firm can assess the facts of your accident, explain your legal options, and help you determine the best course of action in your specific case. Contact Gideon Asen, LLC, today to schedule your consultation.
Laws Governing Maine Pedestrians
Maine Statute Title 29A, §2056 governs how pedestrians can use local roads. Pedestrians must use a sidewalk if one is available but may walk on the road where there are no sidewalks. A pedestrian traveling on the road must stay as far to the left as possible or on the paved shoulder facing oncoming traffic.
A driver passing a pedestrian must give them at least three feet of clearance. If the driver cannot provide the required distance, they may not pass the pedestrian until it is safe to do so. Regardless of the circumstances, the law requires motorists to always exercise due care when driving near pedestrians.
Pedestrians must use crosswalks and obey the directions of traffic control devices. They may not cross an intersection diagonally or step into traffic suddenly. An Auburn attorney can investigate a pedestrian accident to determine whether any parties involved had violated a pedestrian safety law. If so, the violation may serve as evidence of negligence.
Proving a Driver’s Negligence Caused a Pedestrian’s Injuries
The allegedly at-fault driver cannot be held liable unless the pedestrian can prove negligence. Proving negligence requires the pedestrian to demonstrate that the driver or other party did not use reasonable care, causing the pedestrian’s injuries.
Proof that a party was disobeying the law can be evidence of negligence, but a law violation is not required to establish negligence. Showing that the party did not take reasonable care in the circumstances is sufficient to prove negligence. For example, if a driver sees children near the road ahead and does not slow down, the driver is acting negligently. It is prudent and reasonable for a driver to reduce speed when children are nearby. An Auburn attorney could present the failure to slow down for pedestrians as evidence of negligence.
In some cases, a pedestrian might also be negligent. For example, if a pedestrian is dressed in dark clothing at dusk, a jury might find they bear some responsibility for the accident. Similarly, a pedestrian who is intoxicated and weaving into traffic as they walk could be deemed negligent. The law allows a negligent person to collect reduced damages if they were no more than 49 percent responsible for the accident.
Damages in Pedestrian Accident Cases
A pedestrian is entitled to compensation for the losses they suffered in an accident. An Auburn attorney can help someone injured in a pedestrian accident document their losses and prove their damages.
The injured party can demand reimbursement of all their medical expenses, including non-covered services, copayments and deductibles, and incidental expenses. If ongoing treatment is necessary, damages could cover it. The injured party could also recover damages for their lost income and reduced future earning capacity.
The at-fault party also must pay damages for the impact the injury had on the pedestrian’s lifestyle. The injured party could receive damages for their pain, emotional trauma, disability, scarring, lost enjoyment of life, and the accident’s other impacts.
Allow an Auburn Pedestrian Accident Attorney to Pursue Your Claim
A pedestrian accident can have devastating consequences for the individual traveling on foot. The force of a motor vehicle hitting the human body is more than enough to inflict severe, life-altering injuries. If you were appropriately crossing the street and were struck by a negligent driver, it is important to know that you have legal options. You deserve compensation for your inconvenience and suffering.
An Auburn pedestrian accident lawyer from our firm can search tirelessly for compelling evidence of negligence to support your claim for damages. Reach out to Gideon Asen, LLC, today to work with a knowledgeable attorney.