How to File a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit in Honolulu, HI
Honolulu is a busy city with many people who get around on foot. But it’s also home to significant traffic. That combination can quickly become a recipe for disaster, putting pedestrians in harm’s way if a negligent driver strikes them.
In Hawaii, injured pedestrians can seek compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other losses if they get hit by a negligent motorist, motorcycle rider, cyclist, or another party. But how do you get started on your claim?
The Honolulu pedestrian accident lawyers at Recovery Law Center could help you file a pedestrian accident claim in Honolulu to seek the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys are experienced advocates who fight aggressively for maximum compensation from the insurance company. While a settlement is always the first goal, we won’t hesitate to file a pedestrian accident lawsuit if that’s the best way to pursue the money you are owed.
Filing a claim is a time-sensitive process, so getting started right away is essential. Call or contact us today for a free case review.
Top Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Reckless, careless, or inattentive behavior behind the wheel often results in pedestrian crashes. Some common causes of these collisions include:
- Distracted driving
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Drunk driving
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Ignoring traffic signals and crosswalks
- Reckless driving near schools, playgrounds, parking lots, or work zones
- Bad weather
- Drowsy driving
It’s important to note that the driver who hits a pedestrian is sometimes not the only person responsible for the collision. Municipalities have an obligation to provide safe streets, functional stoplights and streetlights, and proper signage. If their failure to do so contributed to your injury, they can also be named in a Honolulu pedestrian accident lawsuit.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
The size and weight differential between a human and a motor vehicle mean that pedestrian accidents can result in horrific injuries. Cars don’t have to be traveling particularly fast to cause serious damage. According to National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) data, a vehicle traveling at 30 miles per hour would kill a pedestrian in about 40 percent of collisions. At 50 miles per hour, the likelihood of a pedestrian fatality would be nearly 100 percent.
Here are some of the most serious pedestrian accident injuries:
- Skin abrasions, road rash, or friction burns
- Broken bones
- Hand, wrist, and arm injuries
- Foot, ankle, and leg injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, it is vital to take action as soon as possible to protect your right to compensation. Most injury claims settle out of court through a negotiated settlement between your lawyer and the at-fault party’s insurer. If the insurance company refuses to make a fair offer, you might need to file a pedestrian injury lawsuit to seek damages in court.
In Hawaii, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit before the state’s statute of limitations expires. If you miss that deadline, then you will likely be barred from recovering any money for the pain and suffering you experienced.
Proving Fault in a Pedestrian vs. Car Accident
Proving fault in a pedestrian accident could be relatively straightforward in some cases and challenging in others. For example, if the injured person was lawfully walking on a sidewalk when a drunk driver struck them, it would likely be clear that the intoxicated driver was negligent and at fault.
But some cases are less simple, and the driver might be able to argue that the pedestrian was at least partly at fault for the collision. To prove that a driver’s negligence led to the crash, a Honolulu pedestrian accident lawyer must show that the driver was careless or reckless in some way.
Here are some ways that a pedestrian could potentially share fault for an accident:
- Crossing a crosswalk under a “don’t walk” signal
- Jaywalking or crossing a road outside of a designated crosswalk
- Suddenly running into the road
- Walking along the side of a road but within the roadway
- Walking while intoxicated
- Distracted walking
However, even in cases where the pedestrian was partly responsible for a collision, the driver may bear more of the fault and can still be held accountable for a portion of the pedestrian’s injuries.
The bottom line is that you will not know whether you have a good case until you speak with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney can review the facts of your case, examine the evidence, and tell you honestly what your chances of a financial recovery may be.