Walking is the most cost-efficient mode of transportation. Many people walk down Main St through Downtown Racine on their way to work or to attend one of the many festivals along Lake Michigan. Unfortunately, walking poses many risks to pedestrians, especially if they encounter a negligent motorist.
Sadly, when a reckless driver strikes a person, it can result in severe injuries because our bodies are no match for tons of steel. However, if a careless driver hits you, a Racine pedestrian accident lawyer can explain your rights and may be able to recoup damages for your losses. Call a skilled injury attorney today.
How do Pedestrian Accidents Occur in Racine?
Often, drivers fail to see pedestrians because they are trained to look out for other motorists around them. Likewise, vehicle operators behave less responsibly when they are in a hurry to get to their destinations or are distracted. Common pedestrian accidents include:
- Using a cell phone function while driving
- Failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks
- Driving drunk or on drugs
- Speeding in high foot-traffic areas
- Ignoring red or yellow traffic lights
These crashes can cause debilitating harm, resulting in extensive medical care and immediate medical attention for everyone involved.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Crash
Injured pedestrians should gather as much information as possible when these collisions occur after calling law enforcement and emergency services. Police reports, eyewitness testimony, photos, and surveillance videos can all help establish how an accident happened. In addition, a knowledgeable attorney could investigate the details of a pedestrian collision to determine who was at fault for the incident and build a strong case against them.
The Elements of Negligence
Everyone sharing the roadway must act reasonably for the safety of themselves and others. If a motorist fails to act in the same way a responsible person would behave, they have met the first two elements of negligence.
However, if a motorist’s actions cause the accident and the subsequent injuries to a pedestrian, they have met the third and fourth elements of negligence. Therefore, a personal injury lawyer scrutinizes all aspects of an accident to build a negligence case.
If an injured pedestrian can prove a defendant was negligent, a jury will award them economic damages to reimburse them for their medical bills and lost wages. Juries can also award non-economic damages to compensate victims for their pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and disfigurement.
Punitive Damages in Wisconsin
Under Wisconsin Statutes §895.043, punitive damages are awarded to punish a defendant for acts considered malicious or done with intentional disregard for the plaintiff’s rights. A plaintiff can request that a jury consider punitive damages and present evidence to justify their need for these payments. Ultimately, a judge will decide whether the jury can award these damages.
The jury then decides the amount to award based on how egregious the defendant’s acts were, how badly the plaintiff was harmed, and the financial capabilities of the defendant. Since 2011, courts bar punitive damages if they exceed twice the compensatory damages, or $200,000, whichever is greater. A hardworking lawyer in Racine could fight to get a pedestrian accident victim the maximum compensation for the harm they endured.
A Racine Pedestrian Accident Attorney Fights for Your Rights
While walking to work, to a special event, or to school, you should not have to worry about the danger of getting hit by a reckless driver. Sadly, these incidents are common and usually result in devastating injuries, leaving you with medical bills and lost income.
Our job is to fight for your right to be compensated for another’s recklessness. Whether we negotiate an insurance settlement or take your case to court, our objective is to ensure your comfortable financial future. Contact a skilled Racine pedestrian accident lawyer to get started on your claim.