In many cases, a negligent motorist is responsible for the collision even though the pedestrian frequently suffers more severe injuries in these crashes. According to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian collisions with cars have risen significantly in recent years, due in part to distracted driving.
When a pedestrian gets hurt in a car accident, it is important to know what to expect on the path toward filing a pedestrian hit by car lawsuit against the responsible driver. Speak to a Louisville pedestrian accident attorney for more information.
Seeking Medical Attention After the Accident
The first thing any injured pedestrian should do is to seek medical attention for injuries. It is important to have a healthcare provider assess your injuries as soon as possible. Your medical records can serve as important evidence in a car accident lawsuit.
Filing a Claim for Compensation
Before filing a lawsuit, you will likely attempt to seek compensation by filing an insurance claim.
Since Kentucky is a “no fault” state, most pedestrians who are injured in an accident with a motorist will need to file a claim with their own insurance company. If the pedestrian’s insurance company cannot cover all of the plaintiff’s losses, or if the pedestrian does not have health insurance, the next step is to file a claim against the negligent driver. And even if the plaintiff’s insurance does provide some compensation, the plaintiff can still seek compensation from the driver by filing a lawsuit.
Moving to a Lawsuit Against the Driver
The statute of limitations for most Louisville pedestrian accident lawsuits is one year under Kentucky law (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 413.140). This means that a pedestrian who sustains injuries in a collision with a motor vehicle must file a lawsuit within one year from the date of the accident. Failure to file a lawsuit within this one-year period can result in the pedestrian’s claim being time-barred. Even though one year might seem like a long time, the time can go quickly when you are dealing with doctor’s appointments and follow-up treatments.
Be Prepared for a Comparative Fault Defense
When you file a claim against the negligent driver, you should be prepared for the driver to raise the issue of comparative fault. Kentucky operates under a pure comparative fault law (Ky. Rev. Stat. § 411.182), which means that the plaintiff’s percentage of fault will offset a damages award.
Comparative fault is a defense raised by the defendant, arguing that the plaintiff (or another third party) bears some responsibility for the accident. If the defendant alleges that the pedestrian is partially responsible and the court agrees, the pedestrian can still recover damages. However, that award will be reduced by the pedestrian’s portion of fault. For example, if a pedestrian is found to be 10 percent at fault and received an initial damages award of $100,000, that award would be reduced by 10 percent (or $10,000), and the pedestrian would receive $90,000.
Contact an Experienced Louisville Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a collision with a motor vehicle and have questions about filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit, you should reach out to a Louisville pedestrian accident attorney about your case. Contact Harville Law Offices, PLLC for more information.