When a car hits a pedestrian, the person on foot is often seriously injured. These accidents can result in death or severe injury to victims, including broken pelvic bones and limbs and serious internal damage to organs and the nervous system. People who survive are often left paralyzed.
The reason is quite simple: While people often take car safety for granted, a car weighs thousand of pounds, and, even at speeds of less than 5-miles-per-hour, that weight translates into a tremendous amount of energy and force being transferred to the pedestrian.
According to a recent news report from WXII 12, a pedestrian was killed after being hit by a car on University Parkway in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Accident investigators report a 64-year-old man was crossing University Parkway when an 18-year-old driver hit him with his car.
Witnesses say driver saw pedestrian in roadway, tried to swerve left to avoid pedestrian, but could not get out of the way in time to prevent this fatal car accident. Authorities are continuing to investigate the cause of this deadly Winston-Salem pedestrian accident but have already stated they do not believe driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or speeding when he crashed into the pedestrian.
As our Winston-Salem auto accident lawyers understand, the mere fact a driver was sober and not cited for speeding or any other motor vehicle infraction does not mean you do not have a valid basis to file a civil car accident lawsuit. The reason for this is because, once police determine driver was sober and did not appear to be intoxicated, they may simply conclude their investigation by declaring pedestrian victim was at-fault for crossing in an unsafe manner, or determine it was simply and accident for which nobody was responsible.
However, law enforcement personnel who investigate fatal traffic accidents are often only looking for evidence of a crime (drunk driving or reckless driving) or liability for civil motor vehicle infraction. The mere fact a driver was not arrested or cited for a motor vehicle infraction does not necessarily mean he or she was operating his or her car in a negligent manner. While negligent operation alone may not constitute a valid basis for a moving violation or criminal traffic charge, this same conduct may still be used a basis for filing a claim with driver’s insurance company or, if a fair settlement is not reached, file a civil car accident lawsuit.
However, it should be noted this assessment will be entirely fact dependent, and it may be necessary for your attorney’s car accident investigator or accident reconstruction specialist to perform his or her own investigation to determine if there is sufficient proof of negligence to warrant bringing a civil action.
If this situation applied to you, the sooner you seek a consultation, the better your chances of obtaining a full and appropriate financial recovery as compensation for any pain and suffering, lost wages, property damage, special damages, and, in some cases, loss of consortium. The reason it is often necessary to act fast is evidence of negligence, such as skid marks, and witnesses’ statements will be harder to collect as more time passes. Skid marks will fade, as will witnesses’ memories of the accident.
Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
Pedestrian dies in crash on University Parkway in Winston-Salem , May 1, 2015, WXII 12
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Vargas v. FMI, Inc. – Graves Amendment Protection Not Granted to Motor Carrier, Feb. 12, 2015, Winston-Salem Accident Lawyer Blog