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Amber W. Hughes, Martza J. Majstoravich, Edward L. Murrelle

Holding North Carolina Drivers Accountable For Pedestrian Accidents

Morehead City is a beautiful town for taking a walk. Unfortunately, many drivers for a variety of reasons collide with pedestrians, resulting in injury, pain and expensive damages to the victim.

Our personal injury lawyers understand. At Murrelle, Hughes & Majstoravich, P.A., we have advocated for the rights of pedestrian injury victims since 1981. By pooling our decades of collective experience, we have recovered millions of dollars – including individual settlements of more than $1 million – for clients in North Carolina.

FAQs About North Carolina Pedestrian Accidents

Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions regarding pedestrian accidents.

What Is Contributory Negligence And Why Is It Important?

Each state has its own laws when it comes to determining negligence in personal injury claims. In North Carolina, any negligence at all found on the part of the victim (pedestrian) who is filing the claim will disqualify them from collecting any amount of compensation. This is known as contributory negligence. It is a defense used by defendants in negligence cases to avoid paying the plaintiff any compensation.

If you’re unsure of whether you contributed to your accident or not, don’t give up. Only a seasoned personal injury lawyer can thoroughly investigate your accident and determine who was at fault.

What Are The Common Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents In North Carolina?

Though there are a variety of ways drivers can contribute to pedestrian accidents, there are some common causes we’ve encountered in cases, including:

  • Impaired driving: Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can severely impact judgment and slow reaction times, meaning that drivers may not be able to react to seeing a pedestrian cross the street until it’s too late. Impaired driving can also cause blurred vision and distracted driving, which can be especially dangerous if pedestrians are walking around at night, as it can already be difficult to see a pedestrian in the dark while driving sober.
  • Distracted driving: Doing anything other than keeping focused on the road, including taking calls or texting while driving, is dangerous and can prevent drivers from braking in time to avoid hitting pedestrians crossing the street.
  • Failure to yield to pedestrians at intersections: While making turns on both the right-hand and left-hand sides, drivers must yield to any pedestrians crossing the street before they turn. Accidents often occur when drivers cut off pedestrians who are walking to make turns.
  • Speeding: Going above the speed limit doesn’t give drivers much time to quickly stop or slow down for pedestrians who are in danger. Additionally, speeding can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles around sharp turns or on slippery or wet roads, and pedestrians nearby can get involved in the accident.
  • Backing up accidents: Drivers are expected to check their mirrors and their backup cameras, if available, before they back out of driveways or in parking lots, but sometimes, they fail to do so and strike a passing pedestrian. It’s important to always check your mirrors and blind spots to avoid hitting individuals, especially when those individuals are children who can easily be obscured.

When drivers are on the road, they are expected to exercise reasonable care, which includes being aware of and yielding to any pedestrians in their vicinity. Breaching this duty of care is known as negligence, which is how injured pedestrians are able to recover financial compensation after a car crash.

I Was Hit By A Car While Crossing The Street. Who Is Responsible For My Injuries?

North Carolina follows a strict contributory negligence standard, which means if you are found to have contributed in any way to the accident that caused your injuries, you may lose your chances of recovering any compensation. Therefore, establishing that the driver was entirely at fault for the accident is crucial to recovering damages for your injuries.

What Types Of Compensation Can I Recover For My North Carolina Pedestrian Accident Injuries?

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in North Carolina, you may be entitled to various forms of compensation. These can include:

  • Reimbursement for medical expenses
  • Replacement of lost wages
  • Damages for pain and suffering

In cases where the driver’s actions were particularly egregious, punitive damages may also be awarded. A pedestrian accident attorney can evaluate the specifics of your case to determine the types and amount of compensation you may pursue.

How Long Do I Have To File A Lawsuit For My Pedestrian Accident Injuries?

In North Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits, which includes pedestrian accidents, is generally three years from the date of the incident. It is important to act promptly and consult with a lawyer to have your case filed within this time frame. Failure to comply could result in the loss of your right to seek compensation.

What Happens If The At-Fault Driver Leaves The Scene Of A Pedestrian Accident?

When a driver leaves the scene of a pedestrian accident without providing necessary information or rendering aid, it is considered a hit-and-run. In North Carolina, this is an offense that can result in criminal charges filed against the driver. If located, they may be held completely at fault for the accident.

A Murrelle, Hughes & Majstoravich, P.A., lawyer can help you understand your legal options, gather the necessary evidence to boost your claim and pursue compensation through uninsured motorist coverage or other available means.

Skilled Legal Negotiators Seeking Out-Of-Court Solutions For Injured Parties

Some pedestrian accidents involve a driver that the pedestrian knows. This can create an uncomfortable situation in which the victim does not want to sue the person who caused their injuries. We understand. As skilled negotiators, our personal injury attorneys prioritize achieving high settlements without resorting to litigation. This can keep your relationships amicable, even after a devastating accident.

Please Contact Us For A Free Initial Pedestrian Accident Consultation

When you need a local law firm that you can rely on to help you seek compensation, contact Murrelle, Hughes & Majstoravich, P.A. Please call our Morehead City law office at 252-515-7036 or send us an email to schedule your completely free initial personal injury consultation. We also work on a contingency basis – no fees unless we recover compensation.