Are Louisiana Streets Dangerous For Pedestrians?
Every year, the urban planning think tank Smart Growth America measures the most dangerous metropolitan areas and states for pedestrians in the United States, using a combination of factors like infrastructure (or lack thereof) and number of traffic accidents. In recent years, Louisiana has consistently ranked toward the top, coming in at No. 6 in 2021, while Baton Rouge and New Orleans made the list of dangerous metropolitan areas. While these statistics are not proof of danger, they do imply that pedestrians may face a higher rate of injury than drivers or passengers in vehicles.
Smart Growth America’s report hints at underlying infrastructure problems that keep driving the number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities higher, but if you have been injured, it is likely because of the alleged negligence of a vehicle driver. A Shreveport pedestrian accident attorney can help to clarify your options while you recover from your injuries, particularly if you were severely hurt – a good attorney will work with you to shoulder the legal load.
Drivers Are Often Responsible For Pedestrian Injuries
There are countless causes for pedestrian-vehicle wrecks, but the majority of them relate back to negligence, directly or indirectly. For example, alcohol is a factor in a surprising amount of pedestrian crashes, with just under half involving at least one non-sober actor. Another common cause of such collisions is distracted driving, particularly at night – whether by speeding, running red lights, or simply failing to perceive a person on foot or on a bicycle. It is true that sometimes pedestrians may place themselves in potentially dangerous situations, such as jaywalking (particularly after dark), but vehicle drivers are far more likely to be found liable, for a variety of reasons.
Even if a driver does not fall prey to any of these causes, they may wind up on the hook for causing a crash involving a pedestrian. In Louisiana, motorists have a strict duty to exercise ‘reasonable’ care toward not only other motorists, but in general, everyone using the road (which includes pedestrians). More specifically, drivers must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks or in intersections, exhibit due care if they encounter a pedestrian who appears ‘lost, intoxicated, visually impaired, confused, or disoriented,’ and other rules that may trigger a finding of negligence per se if broken (Negligence per se is a doctrine that holds that if a person breaks a law designed to protect a class of people, and they injure one of that class, they can be held negligent as a matter of law).
That said, pedestrians do not always have the right of way, and may be found wholly or partially liable for their own injuries if they acted in a reckless or negligent manner. It is important to keep in mind that if an injured pedestrian is found partially liable for the harm they suffered, this does not mean they are barred from recovery; rather, they can recover their damages minus their own percentage of fault. For example, if you were ruled 20 percent liable and the defendant was ruled 80 percent liable, you could still recover 80 percent of the damages you sought.
Call An Experienced Shreveport Attorney
While the majority of pedestrian-involved crashes do occur as a result of driver negligence, it is important to keep in mind that there are some rare situations in which another actor besides the driver may be at fault. For example, if a sign or light is broken or otherwise not able to be seen, it may be possible to file suit against the company or governmental entity whose responsibility it was to maintain it. Every case is different, which is why consulting an experienced attorney is generally a good idea.
If you have been injured due to the alleged negligence of a vehicle driver, your injuries are likely severe, and getting compensation for what you have been through can be crucial, particularly if you are your family’s breadwinner. The Shreveport-Bossier County pedestrian collision attorneys from Rice & Kendig will work hard in your case, using the lessons we have learned over years of handling these matters. We are happy to put our experience to work for you. Call today at 318-222-2772 for a free consultation.