Across the United States, pedestrian accidents are becoming more commonplace. With roads constantly buzzing with distracted drivers, there’s plenty of room for incidents involving those on foot. Over 500,000 pedestrians die every year from incidents involving motor vehicles. Another 76,000 suffer injuries from the same types of accidents. Arizona’s 7th congressional district was just named the most dangerous area to walk. This covers most of Phoenix and parts of Glendale. Around five citizens per 100,000 in this district, died due to pedestrian accidents. With numbers so high, it’s important to know your rights as a pedestrian as well as a driver involved in a pedestrian accident.
Is the Driver Always at Fault?
Many people believe that because there was a vehicle involved, the fault lies with the driver. However, this isn’t always the case. Both the driver and the pedestrian have to be within the law when incidents occur. Of course, it’s always wise for those driving vehicles to be aware of those around them. However, with busy streets such as the ones you’ll find in Phoenix, it’s not always so cut and dry when avoiding pedestrians. Many times, once a pedestrian is seen, especially in an area they’re not expected to be, there’s not enough time to slow down or react to avoid an accident. Both sides will be taken into account when a pedestrian accident occurs. However, there are other factors where the driver is handed more responsibility. This often lies with the age of the pedestrian in question.
What Should I Do if I’m Involved in a Pedestrian Accident?
There is a basic code of conduct that should always be followed in accidents, including a pedestrian accident.
- Always call the police and an ambulance if needed. This should be your first focus.
- Whatever you do, don’t leave the scene, even if you think everything is under control. Get released by an officer before leaving.
- Don’t start talking and offering stories to other drivers, pedestrians, or random people standing around. Keep your words to yourself until you can talk to an official.
- The only talking that should be occurring is getting the names and numbers of witnesses that may be able to affirm what occurred.
Duty of Care
There is a certain level of care that is referred to as “duty of care” for those that could be involved in a pedestrian accident. Of course, a driver’s duty of care is to pay attention, not drive while distracted, follow traffic laws/signs, and practice extra caution in work, play, school, etc. zones. A pedestrians duty of care is not to walk where the law prohibits, follow signs, not disrupting the flow of traffic, walking out in front of moving cars, etc. In other words, common sense and following basic law go a long way when it comes to pedestrian accidents.
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, whether you were the pedestrian or the driver, be sure to ask an attorney about your rights and how to move forward.
The problem with filing any legal action, especially wrongful death, will be to determine who is primarily at fault. The wildfires have been blamed on everything from climate change to bad forest management, which allowed flammable dead trees and wood debris to remain scattered about, tinder waiting for ignition. Even the practice of building homes too close to forested areas are cited as a cause. Wrongful death actions by bereaved relatives will be of particular interest.
When lives are disastrously changed because of a death caused by the negligence of another party, regaining of damages can’t sufficiently reimburse the loved ones left behind. If you are searching for the very best attorneys, you have found the right law firm. We have the compassion and forceful advocacy to win, which are the foundations of our representation.
Wrongful death cases allow victims to seek compensation from the neglectful party. Family members who are entitled to a wrongful death lawsuit include a spouse and surviving children.
Who can bring a wrongful death lawsuit under Arizona law?
Wrongful death actions are brought by a family member such as the deceased’s spouse or the deceased’s children. If there is neither a surviving spouse nor any surviving children, other next of kin that is entitled to bring a wrongful death suit include parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews. If the deceased was a child, parents and siblings are entitled to bring a wrongful death suit. If there is neither a surviving spouse nor any next of kin, the deceased’s estate itself can bring a wrongful death action.
What types of compensation are available?
Wrongful death damages include:
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of services
- Loss of future income
- Loss of consortium
- Medical expenses
- Past lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Physical disability
- Property damage
How are damages awarded if there is more than one person entitled to recover?
After damages are awarded by either a jury or judge, the judge will determine what amount will be received by each entitled family member. This determination is based primarily on the closeness and quality of the relationship with the deceased family member.
Although no money in the world can bring back your loved one killed in a wildfire, you’re entitled to financial compensation for your emotional trauma, grief, funeral expenses and other losses and damages associated with the death. Wildfire claims involve complex litigation, and a wrongful death lawsuit is the last thing any company would want, which is why negligent parties and their insurance companies may attempt to meddle with the investigation to avail themselves of the liability and/or minimize the compensation. With the help of an experienced wrongful death attorney, you can ensure that your case is being properly handled to get you significant compensation for your losses and damages.
If you lose someone, your life is on hold, and unexpectedly it is devastating, and any process that involves attorney is probably the last thing on your mind. However, if the death of your loved one was the result of another’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated. Hiring a wrongful death lawyer is necessary.
You need to realize that any law firm is going to tell you that hiring an attorney is in your best interest. Try to take a moment and consider the following tips shortly. If you’re asking yourself, when is the right time for Wrongful Death Attorney, some situations outlined below will help you find experienced Personal Injury Lawyer:
Motor Vehicle Accidents
If you lose someone you love due to a motor vehicle collision; whether it is a truck, motorcycle or a car, you will need the help of a wrongful death attorney when filing a lawsuit. A vehicle accident caused by drunk, reckless, or negligent drivers is one of the leading causes of wrongful death across the Arizona and United States.
Some cases point out that misdiagnosis, surgery error, failure to diagnose or treatment can occur due to medical malpractice. It is impossible to file a lawsuit against the medical professional or organization that caused wrongful death, if you don’t have the legal help and experienced attorney.
Pharmaceutical Drug Error
If a drug company fails to disclose or cover up any potentially harmful side effects that are associated with their drug a wrongful death can occur. Example- Widowed spouse of Chris Cornell is suing the doctor who prescribes him Ativan as she describes can lead to irrational thoughts. Ativan is a brand name for Lorazepam, a type of benzodiazepine which is used to cure anxiety and panic disorder symptoms.
A crib could have bars that are too far apart and pose a treat to an infant. Countless products are defectively designed, or even market and can lead to wrongful death.
Compensation and Damages
If the case works out in your favor, you can expect to receive some financial compensation and reimbursement for injuries that you and your loved ones have suffered.
One way to calculate the proper compensation is to determine the value of future income of the lost person, and the amount of that person’s companionship to you regarding money. Of course, no financial payment can compensate for harm or death. But compensation and damages can make up for some financial losses and factors such as pain and suffering, and it sends a message to all that people’s lives have value and deserve protection.
Some people out there who are injured or killed through no fault of their own- each is a terrible loss. Unfortunately, wrongdoers are often not willing to admit their error. Insurance companies are in the business of making money by paying as little as they can to get away with – not by automatically paying the victim the full amount of damages owed under the law.
Losing a loved one is a trying and difficult reality that many of us will face as sometime in our lifetime. Not only is it an emotional burden but deaths, especially unexpected ones, can be financially cumbersome. If you believe that someone else is at fault for the death of family member then you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Definition
Wrongful death claims are made when a defendant has allegedly caused someone’s death either negligently or through intentional harm. Wrongful death is a civil action that allows the estate of the deceased person to file a lawsuit against the party that is liable for the death. The suit is typically filed by an attorney on behalf of the surviving family members and other affected parties.
What Kind of Deaths Do Wrongful Death Lawsuits Include?
A good way to think of when a wrongful death claim is applicable is to ask, “Would the victim have filed a personal injury claim had they survived the offending incident?” This can come in a wide variety of forms including when,
The victim was intentionally killed
Murder is a criminal trial, but you can still seek financial compensation for the death of a loved one despite the outcome of a criminal trial. For example, OJ Simpson was acquitted in a criminal child for the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman, however he was still found liable in a civil wrongful death case. The case was based on an intentional act.
If a doctor fails to diagnose a condition or if a doctor is careless to the level of incompetence then they may be open to a wrongful death lawsuit. Common examples include doctors being under the influence of drugs/alcohol, and doctors dismissing patients without giving a thorough examination.
Car Accidents involving Negligence
If a victim dies as a result of a car accident injuries, a wrongful death claim may be brought to the courts. The driver might be deemed negligent if they were intoxicated, texting or simply not paying attention while behind the wheel of the car.
How to Prove Wrongful Death
In order to determine a defendant liable in a wrongful death claim, the plaintiffs must meet the same burden of proof that the victim would have to had they survived the incident. Using negligence as an example, the plaintiffs would have to show that the defendant owed the victim a duty of care, that the defendant breached this duty and, finally, that the breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of death. The judge will then determine the compensatory damages caused by the death of a loved one.