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Milwaukee Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT), there are 1,311 pedestrian accidents on average each year. Out of those, on average, 50 are killed and 1,265 are injured. In most cases, these accidents happen due to inattentive motorists. If you or a loved one was involved in this type of accident, you may have legal recourse.

By contacting Cannon & Dunphy S.C., you could maximize your settlement.

If you were involved in an accident and you were not at-fault, our Milwaukee pedestrian accident lawyers could hold the negligent motorist accountable.

How Can a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help?

Under Wisconsin law, pedestrians have the right of way when crossing a street in a designated cross-walk.  When crossing the street at an intersection controlled by traffic lights, a pedestrian has the right of way to cross the street when the light is green, which means that a vehicle approaching on a green light from the opposite directing intending to turn left across the path of the pedestrian must yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian.  This also means that any vehicle coming up from behind and alongside the pedestrian attempting to turn right on a green light must yield to any pedestrian attempting to cross the street in a crosswalk.  Nevertheless, in many cases, the insurance company for the driver will attempt to argue that the pedestrian in such instances bears some percentage of responsibility, in an attempt to minimize the compensation that is owed to the pedestrian.  Other times, the insurance company for the driver of the vehicle that strikes a pedestrian attempting to cross the street may argue that the pedestrian should have taken some type of evasive action to avoid being struck.

If you are struck by a vehicle while attempting to cross the street in a designated cross-walk, hiring an experienced law firm like Cannon & Dunphy, S.C. to represent you in such cases is critically important.  We will make sure that the insurance company is not improperly attributing fault to you and that the insurance company is applying the law properly when evaluating your claim.  The experienced pedestrian accident lawyers at Cannon & Dunphy, S.C. can also gather additional evidence such as video surveillance that may exist of the accident and identify and take statements from any eyewitnesses to corroborate your claim.

Pedestrian walking through crosswalk

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

The most common causes of pedestrian accidents include driver inattention, jaywalking, and poor visibility. A driver who does not exercise reasonable care behind the wheel, drives under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or drives while distracted by a cell phone, could seriously injure a pedestrian attempting to cross the street.

  • Distracted driving can easily cause a pedestrian accident. A driver who looks at a cell phone for even a few seconds is essentially driving blind and risks running stop signs or red lights and hitting pedestrians.
  • Driving under the influence is incredibly dangerous in any situation, but drunk drivers are more likely to cause pedestrian accidents because their reaction time is much slower due to alcohol impairment.
  • Poor visibility, such as a driver operating a vehicle with the headlights off or with a broken headlight may also contribute to a pedestrian accident.
  • Pedestrians also have an obligation to exercise due care for their own safety when crossing the street. Crossing the street illegally, such as mid-block where there is no crosswalk, or crossing the street against a “don’t walk” light, or crossing the street when the light is red, may also result in the pedestrian being struck by a vehicle.  In such cases, the pedestrian would most likely be the majority at fault, because pedestrians must also follow the rules that apply to them when crossing a street. 

When and Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Most Commonly Occur?

Most pedestrian accidents happen at night. People walking on the sidewalk and through crosswalks are less visible than other drivers, and all drivers must use additional caution at night, especially in areas with lots of pedestrian activity. Pedestrians can decrease their chances of suffering injuries at night by making themselves more visible. Reflective tape attached to clothing can assist with this, especially for joggers.

Metropolitan areas like cities are common places for pedestrian accidents to occur. Young people enjoying nightlife in the city may leave clubs and bars inebriated, causing some to wander into the street without realizing it or otherwise putting themselves in danger.

Distraction by the pedestrian may also contribute to being struck.  Just as a driver of a motor vehicle should not be looking down at a cell phone while driving, a pedestrian should pay proper attention before attempting to cross a street, and not be looking down at a cell phone.

Determining Who is at Fault for a Pedestrian Accident, and Comparative Fault

Liability is not always clear in pedestrian accident cases.  While in some cases, the driver who strikes a pedestrian may be entirely at fault, in other pedestrian accident cases, the pedestrian may bear some fault as well. Wisconsin is a comparative fault state.  What this means is that the potential fault of everyone who may have contributed to causing an accident must be considered.  If the facts and circumstances of an injury incident support that the injured party is partially at fault, that could result in either a reduction in the damages that the injured party can recover, or no recovery at all.  Specifically, under Wisconsin law, if the pedestrian is found to be more at fault than the driver, the pedestrian is not entitled to recover any damages.  Any percentage of fault attributed to the pedestrian that is less than the percentage of fault attributed to the driver reduces the pedestrian’s recovery by that percentage.  For example, if a pedestrian is found to be 20% at fault and the driver is found to be 80% at fault for causing an accident, the pedestrian’s total damages are reduced by 20%.

Elements of Negligence in Pedestrian Accidents

The success of any personal injury claim hinges on proving the defendant’s negligence.  Negligence describes one party’s failure to use reasonable care in a given situation.  Specifically, a person is negligent when, without intending to do harm, he or she does something or fails to do something that a reasonable person would recognize as creating an unreasonable risk of harm.

In order to succeed with proving a negligence claim, the injured party’s attorney must prove and establish four separate elements:

Punitive Damages for Pedestrian Accidents

In rare cases, the jury reviewing a pedestrian accident case may decide that the driver’s conduct was not simply the result of failing to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances, but rather was intentional or showed an intentional disregard for the safety of others. In such cases, the injured party may also be entitled to recover punitive damages in addition to being fairly compensated for his or her injuries.  Punitive damages exist to punish a defendant’s bad behavior and discourage similar behavior in the future. Under Wisconsin law, punitive damages are awarded in the discretion of the jury, but in no event may exceed the lesser of either two times the amount of compensatory damages awarded, or $200,000.

If the driver engaged in any criminal activity related to the accident, such as driving under the influence or fleeing the scene of an accident, it is likely the driver will also face criminal charges from the State in addition to a civil claim for damages.

Get Fair Compensation for Accident Expenses

As personal injury attorneys in Milwaukee, our job at Cannon & Dunphy S.C. is to get our clients the fair compensation they deserve based on the particular facts and circumstances of their case.

Under Wisconsin law, a person injured through the negligence of someone else is entitled to be fairly compensated with respect to all of his or her resulting injuries and damages.  This includes compensation for:

In some cases, a pedestrian may be killed as a result of being struck by a vehicle.  In such cases, certain family members of the deceased may have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim.  In wrongful death claims, fair compensation includes recovery for expenses like:

CONTACTING CANNON & DUNPHY S.C.

Cannon & Dunphy, S.C. is experienced in representing pedestrians who are wrongly injured as a result of being struck by a motor vehicle.  We are also experienced in handling wrongful death claims when a pedestrian is killed as the result of being struck by a negligent driver.  We know how to get our clients the largest recovery possible. Let us fight to do the same for you.

Call (855) 307-1140 for a free case evaluation.

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