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While pedestrians have a duty to follow traffic laws, motorists are often to blame for accidents with pedestrians because they are not paying sufficient attention when turning corners or driving out of parking lots, or they fail to look in the right of way in pedestrian lanes and sidewalks.

The laws governing accidents can be confusing, and the time to file a lawsuit in the case of a pedestrian accident is limited. If you have been injured walking down the street, contact a Greenville pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible to learn about your legal options.

Types of Damages that May Be Recovered

Pedestrians who are injured in an accident with a motor vehicle, bicycle, or in some other manner may be entitled to recovery money to cover costs resulting from the accident. Money to cover these costs is referred to as damages. Some of the damages that may be recovered in a lawsuit include:

  • Money to cover medical expenses that have already been paid for
  • Payments to cover current and estimated future medical expenses
  • Compensation for time lost from work
  • Money to make up for loss of future earning ability
  • Compensation for a disfiguring injury or disability
  • Emotional distress suffered due to the incident such as anxiety or depression

Contributory Negligence

Although the driver of a motor vehicle or some other party may bear the primary responsibility for the accident, a court could find that the pedestrian was also partially to blame.

Because North Carolina uses a standard known as contributory negligence, when the behavior of the injured party is determined to be partially responsible for the resulting injury, any damages recovered will be reduced by that amount.  A pedestrian accident lawyer in Greenville can do their best to indicate the lack of fault on the injured party’s behalf.

For example, if a pedestrian is hit by a car while crossing the street, the court may find that the driver of the vehicle bears 80% of the responsibility because the driver was not watching properly and the pedestrian was 20% at fault for straying out of the crosswalk.

In that case, if the pedestrian had been awarded $10,000 in damages, the amount would be reduced by 20% or $2000 in recognition of the fact that the pedestrian’s actions contributed to the injury.

Pedestrians’ Legal Obligations

Chapter 20 of North Carolina General Statutes sets forth a number of legal requirements for pedestrians, some of which they may not be aware of. Pedestrians are given the right-of-way at all intersections and driveways. However, they are required to:

  • Yield the right-of-way to vehicles on the road if crossing at any place other than a crosswalk (either marked or unmarked)
  • Yield the right-of-way to vehicles on the road when they are walking along the road
  • Look before starting to cross a highway
  • Walk facing traffic if walking along a road with no sidewalk
  • Keep a timely lookout for motor vehicle traffic
  • Avoid willfully standing, sitting, or lying in a road

How an Accident Lawyer Can Help

In the aftermath of a pedestrian accident, it can be difficult to know where to turn or what to do next. An attorney with experience in pedestrian accident cases can provide guidance on steps to take and work with clients to help achieve the best possible recovery.

Contact a Greenville pedestrian accident lawyer to learn about your legal options as soon as possible.