Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Serve Injured West Virginians
Dedicated legal representation in Bridgeport and Clarksburg
Pedestrians struck by motor vehicles are at the mercy of two destructive forces: first, the impact of the vehicle that hits them and then the secondary impact of the road surface. So it’s easy to understand why pedestrian accidents often inflict catastrophic and fatal injuries on people of all ages, though young children and older adults are most of the victims. Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC has advocated for injured pedestrians for more than 30 years. Our trustworthy attorneys work closely with you to build a compelling case for the full compensation you deserve.
Common causes of West Virginia pedestrian accidents
Fortunately, West Virginia does not have the same urban conditions that lead to the high rates of pedestrian traffic accidents in cities like Miami, Tampa, Houston and Atlanta. There, congested roadways and busy sidewalks produce hazardous crossings at intersections, especially for tourists who don’t know the area and older adults who need additional time to cross the street.
However, West Virginians can’t escape these poor driving habits that lead to pedestrian crashes:
- Distractions — Distracted drivers who use cellphones, eat, drink, groom themselves, and carry on animated conversations with passengers run a greater risk of failing to see a pedestrian crossing the road.
- Speeding — Drivers on country roads often neglect to reduce speeds when they pass through a town.
- Reckless driving — Irresponsible drivers, many who already have suspended licenses, put everyone at risk.
- Drunk driving — Alcohol is often a factor in pedestrian accidents, especially at night.
Pedestrians can also contribute to accidents by failing to observe traffic regulations. Jaywalking, distracted walking (texting or wearing headphones), and walking while intoxicated are major causes of pedestrian accidents.
How does the state’s comparative negligence law affect injured pedestrians?
Some people assume that when a motor vehicle hits a pedestrian, the driver of the vehicle is always at fault. That simply isn’t so. As stated above, there are plenty of things a pedestrian can do wrong to cause an accident, and West Virginia’s comparative negligence law applies to pedestrian accidents just as it does to car and truck accidents. That means an injured pedestrian can only claim compensation for injuries if the driver of the vehicle is at least 50 percent at fault for the accident. A plaintiff who is more than 50 percent at fault cannot recover anything from the defendant. This often requires proof in the form of eyewitness testimony, video of the accident and forensic tests to determine whether any parties were under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If an injured plaintiff is in any way responsible for the accident, the court assigns a percentage of fault and reduces the amount the plaintiff may recover proportionally. Therefore, if a plaintiff entered the intersection while paying more attention to a text message than to oncoming traffic, but the court finds that the driver could have stopped in time if he hadn’t been speeding, the court could assign 20 percent of the blame to the pedestrian and 80 percent to the driver. If the pedestrian had a total claim of $100,000, he could collect $80,000 from the defendant.
Our Bridgeport law firm fights for injured pedestrians. Call us today!
Injured pedestrians in Bridgeport and Clarksburg need effective legal representation. At Kaufman & McPherson, PLLC, we fight for the maximum amount of compensation possible. To schedule a free consultation in our office or at your home or hospital room, call 304-842-4300 or contact our office online.