Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in New Mexico
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Most New Mexico pedestrian accidents involve a vehicle colliding with a pedestrian while they are in or near the street. These accidents can be particularly dangerous for pedestrians because they don’t have the same protection as a passenger vehicle. New Mexicans may be at a higher risk than citizens of other states—GHSA data shows that for the first six months of 2019, New Mexico had the highest per capita rate of pedestrian accident fatalities of any state in the union. Hiring a New Mexico pedestrian accident attorney may be your best shot at seeking maximum compensation for your injuries.
WHAT IS A PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT?
A pedestrian accident is any accident involving a pedestrian, or simply someone walking, and another person operating some sort of vehicle, which could be a car, bike, truck, or even a skateboard. According to the CDC, in 2017, a pedestrian died from a pedestrian accident roughly once every 88 minutes.
Pedestrian accidents can range in severity from minor bumps to fatalities. Unfortunately, the results of a pedestrian accident can tend to be more serious for the pedestrians involved than the vehicle. This is because pedestrians have none of the protection that is offered by other types of transportation. When you are driving in a car, the car offers various safety features including seatbelts, airbags, and the ability of the car itself to absorb impact from any collision. A human on their own is not nearly as strong as any vehicle.
Read More: New Mexico Car Accident Lawyers
WHAT TO DO AFTER A PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT
No one expects to be caught in a pedestrian accident when they are walking on or near the road. Because of this, the time after a pedestrian accident, even one that is relatively minor, can be very stressful and confusing. However, accident victims to complete a few important steps.
1. Report the Accident
As soon as possible, contact law enforcement in the area where your accident occurred. First responders can aid in getting you immediate medical coverage for your injuries. Police officers play a critical role in documenting your accident. The police should make a thorough report of the accident, which can be helpful later when it comes to filing your personal injury claim.
2. Seek Medical Attention
After contacting the police and dealing with the aftermath at the scene of the accident, seeking medical attention for your injuries should be the next step. Getting medical attention quickly is important for a couple of different reasons. First, many injuries can become worse if left untreated, and some injuries may not even be readily apparent to you after your accident. Your claim will likely depend on being able to establish a link between your accident and your injuries. Getting medical attention quickly helps to strengthen this link.
3. Document the Accident
It is impossible to determine at the outset of a case what might eventually become important in your quest for maximum compensation. This means that you should gather every detail that you can think of. This can include collecting the contact information of the other people involved in your accident, taking pictures of the scene and other vehicles, and writing down all of the details of the events immediately preceding and following your accident.
4. Contact a New Mexico Pedestrian Accident Attorney
After a pedestrian accident, it is important to remember that none of the other parties involved in your case have your best interests at heart. Insurance companies are businesses, and they are out to pay you as little money as they are legally obligated to after your accident. One of the best ways to ensure that you aren’t taken advantage of during a very vulnerable and stressful time is to seek the guidance of an experienced lawyer in New Mexico with a specialty in pedestrian accident claims.
Learn More: Why Hiring a Lawyer Will Help Your Case
COMMON PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT CLAIMS
There are as many different types of pedestrian accidents as there are pedestrians. However, accidents can generally be sorted into a few different categories. These include:
Pedestrians on the road always have the right-of-way in crosswalks, and drivers have an obligation to pay close attention to make sure that they don’t collide with a pedestrian. However, drivers sometimes drive while distracted or may believe they have the right-of-way, which can lead to accidents in a crosswalk.
Accidents on Sidewalks
Most pedestrians feel that they are in a safe spot when walking on the sidewalk. However, it is important to remember that sidewalks are often right next to roadways, and drivers may swerve onto sidewalks in certain circumstances. For example, a drunk driver or a driver who is texting and driving may collide with a pedestrian on a sidewalk.
Children Getting Hit by a Vehicle
Children, especially children who are unaccompanied by an adult, may be at an especially high risk for a pedestrian accident. Children are often unaware of how to behave appropriately near a motorway and could be more difficult for drivers to see because of their small size.
COMMON PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT INJURIES
Both pedestrians and drivers may be injured in a pedestrian accident, but it is typically the pedestrian who bears the brunt of the injuries. Pedestrians who are hit by a car traveling under 15 MPH, such as in a parking lot, may not suffer severe injuries, but the faster the vehicle is traveling, the worse the injuries may be. A few of the more common types of pedestrian accident injuries include:
Head trauma can result in a few different ways from an accident, whether it be the victim’s head colliding with the vehicle, slamming to the ground after being tossed, or whipping back and forth as a result of a sudden change of direction. Whatever the case, head trauma can have very significant consequences and should be addressed with a medical professional as soon as possible.
Read More: New Mexico Spinal Cord Injury Lawyers
Impact to the pedestrian’s body can lead to broken bones, and the risk of injury increases with the driver’s speed. Broken bones, depending on the severity, can lead to a lack of mobility, painful surgeries, and permanent damage in the worst cases.
Most pedestrians who are walking on or near a motorway do not realize what a vulnerable position they are in. Pedestrian accident victims, however, are harshly confronted with this reality. Being in a pedestrian accident is certainly a very traumatizing experience and can leave victims with lasting emotional damage.
COMPENSATION FOR A PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT
No two pedestrian accidents are ever the same, and there are many variables that go into whether you will receive compensation, and how much that compensation will be. However, there are a few different types of damages that may be available to you. Both economic and non-economic damages attempt to put the victim back into the position that they were in before the accident, but they do it in different ways. Economic damages compensate victims for costs like medical bills, property damage, and lost wages from missing work. Non-economic damages compensate victims for the pain and suffering their injuries cause. There is not an exact science to calculating this number, but generally, non-economic damages will be higher the worse that your injuries are.
In certain cases, punitive damages may be available. As opposed to the other types of damages, which focus on making the accident victim whole again, punitive damages attempt to punish the liable party and help deter similarly situated parties from acting the same way in the future.
Learn More: How to Calculate the Value of Case
LEGAL TIME LIMITS
One important point to bear in mind during this process is that there is a legal time limit, also known as a “statute of limitations,” for every kind of personal injury claim. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations for a pedestrian accident is three years. This means that an accident victim has three years from the date of their accident within which to file a claim or risk their claim being barred by the law.
There may be certain exceptions to the general statute of limitations that apply to your case. For example, if the victim is a minor at the time of the accident, then the statute of limitations may be paused until they reach their age of majority. If a victim does not find out about their injuries until after their accident, then the statute may not begin to run until the date of discovery. However, it is advisable to speak with an experienced New Mexico pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that you don’t have a valid claim dismissed for failing to bring it on time.
CONTACT THE NEW MEXICO ATTORNEYS AT ZINDA LAW GROUP TODAY
If you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident, you are likely looking for help and guidance on what to do next. Zinda Law Group may be able to help. We believe that accident victims shouldn’t need to worry about affording legal representation, so you don’t pay us anything unless we win your case. That’s our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
If you or a family member have sustained injuries after being involved in a pedestrian accident, contact Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with one of our New Mexico lawyers.
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