The situation for pedestrians in Tucson and across the country has deteriorated in the past decade or so. A spike in fatal accidents has negated years of progress Tucson made towards safer streets. There is no sign of this trend abating.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries while walking, you need an experienced Tucson pedestrian accident attorney from Zanes Law Injury Lawyers on your side right away.

Causes of Tucson Pedestrian Accidents

MMDAF awards_logo1Drivers have a duty of care toward pedestrians and are responsible for avoiding pedestrian accidents by following the rules of the road. When a driver breaches their duty of care—such as by speeding or running red lights—and causes an accident, they can be held liable for the injuries you suffer as a result.

Pedestrian accidents in the Tucson area arise out of many different causes:

  • Distracted driving
  • Poor weather
  • Fatigued driving
  • Mechanical problems
  • Failure to follow local road laws or signs
  • Aggressive driving/road rage

Arizona has one of the highest rates of pedestrian accidents in the country. Filing a claim against the responsible party after your pedestrian accident injury can not only allow you to pursue compensation for your injuries, but may also prevent them from repeating the same negligent actions in the future.

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The Number of Tucson Pedestrian Accidents Is Steadily Increasing

Pedestrian accident statistics are downright alarming. Pedestrian fatalities underwent a long period of decline from 1975 to 2009, falling from roughly 7,500 down to 4,100. Since then, much of the progress has reversed. By 2018, the number of pedestrian fatalities had risen to 6,375 nationally.

The number of fatalities in Arizona mirrors the national trend. In 2019, 220 pedestrians lost their lives in the state, and another 1,697 were injured. The fatality rate in crashes was roughly 12 percent. Arizona has a disproportionately high number of pedestrian accidents, in part because the warm weather in the state means that pedestrians are outside year-round. In addition, Tucson is a very car-friendly city that has only recently begun to think about pedestrian safety.

Why Pedestrian Accidents Are Increasing

Many factors drive the increase in pedestrian accidents and fatalities:

  • More drivers are distracted behind the wheel because they are doing things like texting and checking social media.
  • Smaller sedans have given way to heavier SUVs and light trucks, and the larger size of the vehicles causes more significant injuries.
  • More people are walking these days because they have moved to the city core and reduced their vehicle usage.
  • The warmer weather that is the trend has people out on foot, taking advantage of unseasonably high temperatures.
  • The roadways are more crowded these days, and drivers have gotten worse.

None of these factors show much improvement, so you can expect pedestrian fatalities in the Tucson area to remain elevated.

Pedestrian Responsibility in Tucson

Negligent motorists cause most pedestrian accidents, but sometimes a pedestrian might also be at fault. Pedestrians who break state laws meant to protect them could be found negligent.

For example, Arizona Revised Statutes § 28-796 requires pedestrians to use crosswalks when available and to walk on the far left side of the road facing oncoming traffic if the road does not have sidewalks. Arizona law also requires pedestrians to use crosswalks or cross at intersections. A pedestrian crossing outside of a crosswalk or intersection must yield to traffic.

Motorists must drive safely and avoid pedestrians whenever possible. In a collision between a motorist and a pedestrian, the motorist will usually carry some of the blame. Following the law as a pedestrian could help ensure your safety and make your case stronger should an accident occur.

Drivers Must Yield the Right of Way in Crosswalks and Certain Intersections

Arizona law states that drivers must yield the right of way to a pedestrian in the half of the roadway that they are approaching or when they are very close to that half. There are serious penalties for Tucson drivers who fail to yield the right of way to a pedestrian. At the same time, pedestrians must yield the right of way to vehicles when they are crossing outside a crosswalk or on an unmarked crosswalk.

Pedestrians do not always have the right-of-way to cross where and when they want, and one of the first things that a defendant or insurance company will try to do is blame the defendant. Nonetheless, if the driver has injured a pedestrian when they have failed to yield, they could be made to pay damages.

Pedestrian Accident Injuries Are Far Worse on Average Than Other Accidents

Pedestrian accidents have a much higher statistical chance for a serious injury than a car accident because pedestrians have absolutely nothing to protect them from the force of the vehicle striking them. While car accidents are serious, nearly 40,000 people die each year when there are roughly six million car accidents across the country. By comparison, in 2019, 220 people were killed in the 1,842 pedestrian accidents throughout Arizona, a rate of 11 percent.

The faster that the car is traveling, the less chance the pedestrian has of survival.

At lower speeds, the pedestrian will most likely suffer injuries but will survive:

  • At 23 miles per hour, there is a 25 percent risk of death or serious injury.
  • At 31 miles per hour, the risk of death or serious injury rises to 50 percent.
  • When the car travels over 45 mph, there is a 90 percent chance that the pedestrian will be killed or suffer serious injury.

While speed is a major factor in how badly the pedestrian will be injured, other factors are also at work. The size of the car that strikes the pedestrian is also important. Obviously, the larger the vehicle, the more likely it is that the pedestrian will be injured. Since more vehicles on the road are larger these days, pedestrian injuries will be more severe. In addition, injuries will be greater when the driver has not attempted to brake.

Accident Victims Will Be Left With Serious Injuries

Even when the pedestrian does survive a crash, the chances are that they will sustain serious injuries. There is a very slim chance of walking away from being hit by a car unscathed. Usually, the pedestrian will suffer a traumatic impact, whether it is with the hood of the car, the windshield, or the pavement.

Pedestrian accident injuries could include:

Comparative Negligence Could Reduce Damages

Tucson Pedestrian Accident AttorneyUnder Arizona law, an injured person could collect damages even if they were negligent. Each party is responsible for the consequences of their actions.

During negotiations, the defendant’s lawyers or insurer might try to shift responsibility onto you, which would decrease their liability. We could aggressively push back against such tactics, ensuring that you carry no more than your fair share of the blame for an accident.

If a pedestrian accident case goes to trial, a judge will allocate responsibility for the accident among the parties. If the judge decides that you bear some fault in the incident, the judge will reduce your damages by an amount that reflects your apportioned responsibility.

How to Prove Legal Responsibility for a Tucson Pedestrian Accident

The way to put yourself in a position to receive financial compensation for these injuries is to prove that the other driver was negligent. If the police come to the scene of the accident and ticket the other driver for failing to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian, that would go a long way towards determining negligence. Breaking the law is often proof in itself that the driver was negligent.

Outside that, you must make the following showings:

  • The other party owed you the duty of care (drivers always owe a duty of care to pedestrians, so this element is rarely in doubt).
  • The driver breached that duty by acting unreasonably under the circumstances.
  • You suffered an injury.
  • The driver’s actions were the proximate cause of your injury.

Examples of the Driver’s Negligence

In a pedestrian accident, some examples of drivers’ actions that would be considered unreasonable under the circumstances are:

  • Failing to see a pedestrian because they were not paying attention.
  • Driving through a crosswalk when the pedestrian is trying to cross.
  • Driving drunk and not seeing the pedestrian.
  • Not seeing the pedestrian at night because the driver cannot see.

Pedestrian accident injuries are usually serious. If you have been the one who has suffered an injury, you are in no condition to deal with your legal situation on your own. If your loved one has been injured or killed, you are similarly dealing with other things, and you cannot handle the details of your own case.

How a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Tucson, AZ, Can Help You

You do not have to navigate life after a pedestrian accident alone. There are many ways in which a pedestrian accident lawyer in Tucson can help.

Build Your Case

It is important that we build your case in a way that showcases just how significantly the pedestrian accident has impacted your life. We will collect important documents that determine who is responsible for your injuries, including:

  • Police reports
  • Witness statements
  • Images or videos from the accident
  • Driver logs
  • Recreating the scene of the accident

These documents can help us establish liability in your case, which may include the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident and/or a third party such as the driver’s employer or the manufacturer of faulty equipment.

What Your Lawyer Can Do to Help Your Claim

You must take care of many things after an accident, including:

  • Speaking with people who witnessed the accident.
  • Fielding calls from the insurance company.
  • Compiling documents that back your possible claim.
  • Collecting other evidence that could prove what happened.

These are not things that an accident victim or their family could do on their own. Beyond that, you do not have the technical knowledge about the legal process to carry the case forward. You would not know of their legal options on their own or what their case is worth. The insurance company is notoriously difficult to deal with, and they do not make it any easier because you are injured.

There are two steps to your claim for compensation if you choose to go down the insurance company route. The first is showing liability. The second is proving your damages.

Determine Damages

Tucson Pedestrian Accident LawyerPedestrian accidents are often severe, leaving you with life-changing injuries. By calculating these damages ahead of time, we can better evaluate any insurance settlement offers you might receive. This amount can also help us better determine the best legal steps to take going forward.

We will include the following costs when calculating your overall damages:

  • Medical costs (current and future)
  • Lost wages and work benefits
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Rehabilitative devices
  • Transportation needs
  • Property damage
  • Wrongful death

Manage All Aspects of Your Legal Case

A pedestrian accident injury can change your life overnight. One minute you are walking along, enjoying the Arizona sunshine, and the next, you are laying in a hospital bed.

You do not have to manage the complexities of the legal system on your own. The pedestrian accident legal team at Zanes Law will help you navigate your case during this difficult time. We cater our legal services to meet your individual needs, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

Negotiating a Settlement for Pedestrian Accident Injuries

You may not find it too difficult to obtain a settlement offer in a pedestrian accident. After all, unless the insurance company has evidence that you were at fault, cars do not usually hit pedestrians. However, a settlement offer is not the end of your case. Often, it is just the beginning.

Receiving an offer is only part of the story. The important thing is to get the right amount of compensation because you may be feeling the impacts of your injuries for the rest of your life. You may never be the same again, with continuous medical care and missed work. The insurance company knows this, but they do not want to pay you what you deserve.

There are two keys to negotiating a pedestrian accident settlement with the insurance company:

  • Knowing how much the claim is worth
  • Being unafraid to stand up to the insurance company and say no if they are trying to underpay you

You Can Reject a Settlement Offer

You can say no by rejecting the insurance company’s offer and filing your own demand letter with what you believe you deserve. Be prepared for protracted negotiations, especially when the value of your claim is high.

You also can file a lawsuit if your claim is either denied or if the insurance company will not make a settlement offer that fairly compensates you for your injuries. In the end, the jury has the ultimate decision-making power about your legal rights. The insurance company is not the jury.

These are reasons why you need the experience and toughness that we bring to the table for you at Zanes Law. We know when to continue negotiating with the insurance company and how to put pressure on them to be more reasonable.

Filing a Wrongful Death Claim for a Pedestrian Accident

If your loved one has died in a pedestrian accident, you can file a wrongful death claim against the driver and may receive the following compensation:

  • Burial expenses
  • Funeral expenses
  • Costs of medical care provided to the loved one before death
  • Lost income of the loved one and future financial support
  • Lost household services
  • Lost love, affection, companionship, moral support

You may also file a lawsuit where you can recover for your loved one’s suffering before they die. These damages could add up if your loved one did not die immediately after the accident.

The insurance company or the defendant may try to blame the accident on the pedestrian, which is a common way that they try to escape liability. They may argue that the pedestrian did not have the right-of-way when they tried to cross the street.

You Could Recover Something Even If You Shared in the Blame

However, Arizona laws for pedestrians do not restrict them from crossing only at marked crosswalks. They may still cross when there is no crosswalk, yielding the right-of-way to a vehicle. However, drivers could still bear some fault when they strike a pedestrian outside the crosswalk.

For example, the driver could have been speeding, drunk, or distracted at the time of the accident. Just because the pedestrian was crossing outside a crosswalk would not mean that they are completely to blame.

In Arizona, however, you may receive financial compensation so long as the driver was at least partially to blame for the accident. It doesn’t even matter if you were more than 50 percent responsible. You could still recover in proportion to your own fault. Never assume that financial compensation is out of the realm of possibility. Always check with a lawyer to see if you have a possible case.

Discuss Your Case With a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Tucson Today

Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in TucsonIf you were the victim of a pedestrian accident in Tucson, you may be eligible to recover compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses.

Statute of Limitations

Pursuing legal action may be the last thing on your mind after suffering a pedestrian accident. However, Arizona law requires you to file a claim no later than two years after the date of your pedestrian accident.

This sounds like plenty of time, but many preparations must be made to create a strong case that supports the compensation you deserve. Getting the process started as soon as possible can make it easier to collect evidence like witness accounts, videos of the crash scene, and medical records within the established time limit.

Notice of Claim for Government Defendants

If a state, city, or county are potential defendants in your case, you must act urgently. A government might be a defendant in your case if the driver who hit you was a public employee, if malfunctioning traffic devices contributed to your accident, or if poor road maintenance or traffic markings were a factor.

You must file a notice of claim within 180 days of your injury, or you lose the right to sue a government defendant. If you file the claim timely, you then have one year from the date of filing to bring your lawsuit.

You Can Afford a Tucson Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Doug Zanes

Doug Zanes, Tucson Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

When it comes to hiring an attorney, you do not need to worry about finances. You already have enough on your plate, and stressing about how you will afford a lawyer is not something that you even need to consider. Unlike other lawyers, a personal injury attorney does not ask for a retainer as a condition for representing you. They also will not send you hourly bills for the duration of your case.

Not only is the initial consultation free, but our services will not cost you any money unless we help you win. Legal help is not out of your budget. In fact, budgetary considerations will not come into play at all. The thing that you really cannot afford is to be without legal representation after a serious accident because that is what will really cost you money.

Do not wait to contact the legal team at Zanes Law Injury Lawyers at (520) 777-7777 for assistance and allow us to evaluate your rights and options.

Tucson Office
4580 E Grant Rd #101
Tucson, AZ 85712
(520) 777-7777

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