The city of Portland, Maine is among the most walkable on the East Coast. Unfortunately, however, that does not mean being a pedestrian here is always a perfectly safe experience. A single reckless or careless act by a motor vehicle driver could cause serious injuries to people walking nearby. Many of these result in financial and personal losses that last for months or possibly years after the accident.
In situations like this, an experienced personal injury attorney’s assistance is vital to enforcing your legal rights in a way that proactively protects your future prospects and best interests. If you were struck by a negligent driver while walking, contacting a Portland pedestrian accident lawyer should be your top priority.
How Does Liability Work in Pedestrian Accident Claims?
Although pedestrians almost always sustain much worse injuries in accidents compared to the drivers who run into them, that does not mean the driver is always legally at fault for the accident. To hold someone else accountable for harm sustained through an incident like this, an injured pedestrian must prove that the other person directly caused their injuries by violating the duty of care that all drivers owe other drivers, bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians around them.
Sometimes, proving that negligence was responsible for a pedestrian crash is as straightforward as referencing the police report filed by a law enforcement officer who responded to the accident scene. This only works if that report shows the allegedly at-fault driver committed a traffic violation immediately prior to the collision. In other situations, it may be necessary to present various other forms of evidence like eyewitness testimony, traffic and/or surveillance camera footage, photos from the accident scene, and documentary evidence like cell phone records that may show a defendant was texting while driving.
On the other hand, if an injured pedestrian’s own negligence contributed to causing their own injuries, 14 Maine Revised Statutes § 156 allows a court to reduce the financial value of any damage award the plaintiff receives by their assigned percentage of overall fault. An example of this situation would be stepping into the road suddenly or crossing outside of a crosswalk. Support from a Portland pedestrian accident attorney can be especially crucial when it comes to contesting allegations of “comparative fault.”
Recovering for Damages Within Filing Deadlines
If a negligent driver is found completely to blame for hitting and injuring a pedestrian, that pedestrian may demand financial compensation from the driver for all past and future consequences of their accident-related injuries, including:
- Expenses for emergency medical and future rehabilitative care
- Personal property damage
- Lost work income during recovery from injuries
- Physical pain and suffering
- Lost working capacity, emotional anguish, lost quality of life, and other effects of long-term physical disability
Fortunately for plaintiffs, 14 M.R.S.A. § 752 allows six years after accidents occur for injured individuals to file suit over ensuing damages, one of the longest statutory filing periods allowed under any U.S. state’s laws. That said, retaining a skilled lawyer and pursuing litigation quickly after a pedestrian wreck in Portland is still generally wise, since crucial evidence may be lost or destroyed if too much time passes.
Learn How a Portland Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
Being hit by an irresponsible driver can unfortunately be a life-changing experience even if the incident occurs at relatively low speeds. After such an incident, seeking fair financial recovery through a settlement demand or civil lawsuit may be your best means of preserving your financial security and personal wellbeing for years into the future.
A knowledgeable Portland pedestrian accident lawyer can provide the help you might need to effectively pursue a positive result to your claim. Call today for a consultation.