Denver Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Driver negligence is the leading cause of Denver pedestrian accidents. Drivers owe pedestrians a duty of care to ensure an accident does not happen. A negligent driver will act recklessly, break the law and overestimate their abilities and surroundings. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reports that pedestrian accidents are on the rise. In 2020, pedestrian accidents accounted for 16% of all traffic fatalities. Too often, drivers fail to realize they are putting those around them in danger and that one simple mistake can end the life of a pedestrian.
Our Elite Team is up to the challenge
If you are walking and a car strikes you, you need a Denver pedestrian accident lawyer from Varner Faddis Elite Legal.
Our legal team has secured compensation for many clients, including $1,130,000 for a personal injury and $750,000 for a wrongful death. As each case has its own obstacles and challenges, the compensation you receive will vary. However, we can advise you as to if you have a case and what it might be worth. When you work with an attorney at our elite law firm, you can be confident that we will leave no stone unturned and never leave money on the table. Call us today to learn how our legal services could help your claim.
Table of Contents
- Causes of pedestrian accidents
- Who is liable for a Denver pedestrian accident?
- Injuries in a pedestrian accident
- Colorado pedestrian laws
- Compensation available for pedestrian accidents
- Filing a pedestrian accident claim
- Speak With Varner Faddis Elite Legal, LLC’s Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Causes of pedestrian accidents
Human error is the number one cause of pedestrian accidents in Colorado and around the country. Motor vehicle drivers texting behind the wheel, driving drunk, speeding in school zones, and engaging in other reckless behaviors put walkers and joggers at serious risk of harm. Despite knowing the risks of these behaviors, hundreds of drivers still engage in them and cause pedestrian accidents daily. Other common causes include:
- Distracted pedestrians
- Confusing or poorly designed crosswalks
- Hidden or obscured stop signs
- Malfunctioning traffic/crosswalk lights
The most common pedestrian accident involves a motor vehicle, but a pedestrian accident can involve other objects and modes of transportation, from trucks to bicycles.
The most common driver errors in pedestrian accidents are:
- Texting: There are many easy ways a driver can be distracted on the road, but the main one is texting. On average, it takes 4.6 seconds for a driver to check one message. Those few seconds away from the road are enough to cause catastrophe.
- Speeding:Speed limits work to keep drivers and others safe, and when drivers do not obey them, they cannot safely maneuver on the road. When the driver notices a pedestrian crossing, they do not have enough time to stop, and speed can worsen the injuries.
- Running stop signs and red lights: Red means stop, and green means go. It is a simple concept that almost everyone understands and follows on the road. When a driver blatantly disregards the glaring red light or stop sign, they also disregard the safety of others. They are also making a traffic infraction.
- Illegal turns: There is a time and place for everything, and turning is no different. Drivers must wait until it is safe to turn, which means they cannot make a turn when there is a pedestrian crossing. Often, pedestrian accidents occur when a driver makes a left, and the pedestrian is already in the crosswalk.
- Drugs and alcohol: The top reason for any accident is driving while using drugs or alcohol. These substances highly affect drivers’ reflexes, judgment, and decision-making.
- Failure to yield: Denver has specific right-of-way laws, and all drivers must obey them. When a Denver driver fails to yield to a pedestrian in the crosswalk, they will strike the pedestrian and cause severe injuries.
- Vehicle size: Accidents aren’t caused by vehicle size alone, but it makes pedestrian accidents worse. Streets are best for smaller cars. Manufacturers keep making bigger vehicles, and though they protect drivers and passengers, pedestrians are at risk. Bigger cars cause more destruction and injury. Without crosswalks or sidewalks, larger vehicles can harm pedestrians just by driving.
These driver errors are preventable, and drivers should be liable if they participate in these reckless actions. While the primary reason pedestrian accidents happen is driver error, there are a few others to be aware of. These include improper crosswalk design and a lack of pedestrian passageways. In these circumstances, the driver is not the only responsible party.
Three of every four pedestrian fatalities occur at night. Darkness can cause issues with visibility, and drivers should take extra precautions at night and not drive recklessly.
Who is liable for a Denver pedestrian accident?
Fault and liability will depend on the factors leading up to your accident. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can help you determine who to name as a defendant in your claim.
While the primarily liable party for a pedestrian accident is the negligent party, other parties can also bear responsibility. Colorado is an at-fault state, so any Denver collision requires a determination of fault. Once the court determines the responsible party at fault, they must pay for any expenses the victim suffers at their hands. To establish liability in a pedestrian accident, you must determine the cause.
The driver is the primary at-fault party. However, other parties, such as the City of Denver, a property owner, or a vehicle manufacturer, could share fault for your recent pedestrian accident, depending on its proximate (main) cause.
Third-party claims are uncommon, but they are possible. Some common causes of Denver pedestrian accidents that can cause third-party liability include:
- Sidewalk defects
- No pedestrian bridges
- Road hazards
- Malfunctioning traffic control signals
An injured pedestrian has the right to pursue compensation from all liable parties. However, third-party claims are challenging. If you’ve been injured, it’s imperative that you review your options with a skilled attorney. The Denver pedestrian accident lawyers at Varner Faddis Elite Legal, LLC will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the cause of your accident and name all negligent parties in your claim.
Injuries in a pedestrian accident
The car is the victor when a motor vehicle collides with a pedestrian. The pedestrian does not have enough protection against a motor vehicle. Unlike in other types of traffic accidents, the driver does not sustain serious injuries, but a pedestrian will.
The most common pedestrian injuries include:
- Lower extremity injuries
- Broken bones
- Road rash
- Loss of limb
- Facial injury and disfigurement
- Chest injuries
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
There are initial injuries that a pedestrian will sustain from the vehicle’s impact, but there are also secondary injuries. You will sustain an injury when you first come into contact with the car; a secondary impact will cause additional injuries. Upon landing on the pavement, the final impact will result.
With so many possible injuries, it is clear why pedestrians do not fare well in these accidents. Speed and reckless driving will contribute to how severe the impact will be.
Colorado pedestrian laws
The state has made headway in protecting pedestrians from accidents by implementing specific laws for your safety. These laws ensure that drivers and pedestrians in Denver can use the roadways safely and separately.
The three primary laws are:
- Traffic control signals: These signals indicate when a pedestrian can cross and when vehicles need to stop. Traffic signals will say walk and not walk, so there is no confusion trying to decipher what the figure on the sign is trying to say.
- Right of the way inside crosswalks: Intersections and street crossings do not always have marked traffic control signals. When a vehicle approaches one of these interactions, pedestrians have the right of way. If the pedestrian is already in the crosswalk, all cars must stop until the pedestrian crosses. When a vehicle is at a complete stop, waiting for a pedestrian to cross, other cars cannot pass on the side. Many pedestrian accidents are the result of drivers attempting to do so.
- Right of way outside crosswalks: Pedestrians must always use crosswalks, whether marked or unmarked. When pedestrians cross any other section of the road, they do not have the right of way. While drivers should always be alert to their surroundings, that does not always happen, and they can collide with a crossing pedestrian.
While these laws specifically target pedestrians on the road, there are many other traffic rules that drivers must adhere to so that everyone stays safe. When drivers break traffic laws, even without injuring a person, they will legally be responsible for their actions.
Remember, a pedestrian accident can happen anywhere, not just on interstate, highways, and major roads. However, accidents are especially likely to happen in high-traffic areas around Denver.
Vision Zero in Denver
Pedestrian accidents are on the rise. Nationally, more than 7,000 pedestrian deaths resulted from traffic collisions in the latest reporting year (2020). Colorado accounted for 1,250 pedestrian accidents in the same year. Data shows that pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to die in motor vehicle accidents than drivers.
Denver took measures to reduce pedestrian accidents in 2016 by adopting the Vision Zero program. The program aims to reduce pedestrian accidents across the city to zero by implementing safety regulations and practices.
Vision Zero uses data analysis and requires collaboration between traffic planners, policymakers, engineers, and public safety to develop solutions that help the community. So far, the program has led to sidewalk and road improvements. There is still a lot of work to be done, but the program helps to curb these devastating tragedies.
Driver negligence is still prevalent, which is lawmakers’ most significant hurdle. Many laws attempt to provide pedestrian equity, but drivers must also be responsible and follow these laws. Sadly, there is always the possibility of a pedestrian accident due to a driver’s negligent actions.
A Denver Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
The driver’s insurance company will do anything possible to deny a pedestrian their rights to compensation. Wrongful death cases are incredibly challenging because the victims are not here to speak for themselves. When you are in a pedestrian accident, you need skilled representation.
Compensation available for pedestrian accidents
When a driver acts in a reckless manner that causes injury or harm, they must compensate those who suffer as a consequence. As a pedestrian, you did not cause the accident but must now deal with the extensive medical bills and injuries the other person caused you. Injured pedestrians in Denver have the opportunity to obtain compensation for their losses. However, to achieve fair compensation in a pedestrian accident case, you must prove a few key elements.
A Denver pedestrian accident attorney will need to prove that the driver had a legal duty to you and that their negligent actions caused a breach of their duty which led to your injury. While this may seem straightforward, the claims process can be contentious. However, with the help of a pedestrian accident lawyer in Denver, you can recover the financial compensation that will help you move forward.
General Damages and Special Damages
Compensation in a personal injury case usually falls into general damages and special damages (or economic damages.) Your attorney can calculate the latter by providing receipts and other documentation. You may be able to recover the following compensation for your injuries in a Denver pedestrian accident:
- Prescription medication
- Lost income
- Transportation costs
- Emergency medical bills
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Physical therapy and other rehabilitative treatment costs
General damages are non-economic and do include receipts or tangible ways to calculate these expenses. These are unseen losses that still make an enormous impact on a victim’s life. Examples include:
- Loss of the pleasures of life
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
There may be other types of compensation specific to your case, depending on several factors, such as the severity of your injuries, the calculated total losses, and the insurance policy limits. Catastrophic injuries will likely result in higher settlements than more minor ones. Calculating all of the damages for a pedestrian accident claim is no easy feat. You need a firm that has access to financial experts, medical teams, and economic experts to find the value of your claim.
Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim
It is up to you to pursue compensation for your damages through the proper outlets. First, you can contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company and file a claim. The insurance company, however, may deny culpability or try to lowball your settlement amount.
Never admit fault for a pedestrian collision. Instead, seek counsel from our attorneys before talking to insurance companies. You could risk your recovery by saying the wrong thing.
You will have better odds of securing recovery with a personal injury lawsuit. Generally, you have three years from the date of your collision to file a claim with the Colorado courts. After this, you’ll lose your right to file. A lawyer can help you with the claims filing process.
Speak With Varner Faddis Elite Legal, LLC’s Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Take the necessary legal steps after a pedestrian accident right away since Colorado Revised Statutes bars pedestrians from making claims three years after the injury date. While you might believe this is a long time, evidence can disappear quickly, damaging your chances of recovering any compensation.
Accidents involving pedestrians often result in life-altering injuries. Often, the outcome is the death of a loved one, which leaves the family aching for answers. The surviving family of a pedestrian accident victim can also file a wrongful death claim to hold liable parties responsible for their actions and receive payment for their losses. You have options after a pedestrian accident. We are eager to explore these with you during a free consultation.
The attorneys at Varner Faddis Elite Legal, LLC strive to provide our clients with skilled legal representation with our combined 32 years of experience. Contact us for a consultation about your Denver pedestrian accident today at (720) 770-8335.
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