North Carolina, along with its beautiful mountains and beaches, is loaded with wide trails that are perfect for runners, bikers and walkers. This is particularly true in the Raleigh Durham area, where some of the Greenway and American Tobacco Trails snake though areas of streets that make folks vulnerable to passing motorists. Despite precautions such as wide and clearly marked crosswalks, pedestrians are still struck by motorists on occasion. Because humans have no real defense against a moving vehicle that may weigh thousands of pounds, serious injuries are often the result. At Maurer Law, we are accident attorneys who help pedestrians finding themselves seriously injured through no fault of their own in Raleigh and throughout North Carolina.Causes of Pedestrian Accidents and Injuries in Raleigh
Most pedestrian accidents are caused by a motorist not paying proper attention and as a result, they never see the pedestrian until it is too late. This is especially true at night when lighting conditions are poor. The problem is compounded when the pedestrian is wearing dark and/or non-reflective clothing. Although motorists are generally required by law to yield the right of way of pedestrians, they cannot yield to a pedestrian they do not see.
We find that the reason that the motorist never saw the pedestrian was because the motorist was distracted by an electronic device. Our investigations often reveal that negligent motorists were using a cellular phone or texting while driving. It is not uncommon to also find that the negligent motorist was also impaired by alcohol or drugs. If that is the case, enhanced damages may be pursued by the injured victim.Pedestrian Must Bear No Fault on Their Own
North Carolina is one of only a handful of states following a harsh rule of law known as “contributory negligence.” This law basically says that if the injured person contributed to the cause of the pedestrian accident in any way whatsoever, there can be no financial recovery from the at fault party. Thus, whether a client was “contributorily negligent” or not is usually the most heavily litigated issue in pedestrian injury cases.
Contributory negligence can arise from the fact that a pedestrian darted out in the road without warning or otherwise violated the right of way of the motorist at a place and time where the motorist in fact, had the right of way. When an insurance company alleges that one of our clients was contributorily negligent, we fight back, assuming of course we have good facts on our side.
There are several defenses to contributory negligence claims by the insurance company. An experienced and aggressive Raleigh-Durham personal injury attorney can help analyze your case to determine if you have viable defenses available if the at fault party denies liability. Give the attorneys at Maurer Law a call today for a free consultation at 919-229-8359. We would be happy to listen to your situation and provide honest recommendations.