Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
It may have started out as a normal day for you. Perhaps you decided to run out on a quick errand, go jogging or even stretch out on a blanket in your neighborhood park. Then the car struck – and your life was suddenly anything but normal.
Sadly, Michigan does not have the best record when it comes to pedestrian traffic accidents. Preliminary data from the Governors Highway Safety Association found that in the first half of 2010, Michigan ranked among the top 10 states for pedestrian accident fatalities. Nationwide, pedestrian accidents accounted for 4,092 deaths and an estimated 59,000 injuries in in 2009. That equates to one pedestrian being killed every two hours and one being injured every nine minutes in traffic crashes, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Even though the number of pedestrian fatalities and injuries has declined steadily since 2005, there is concern that the growing number of drivers distracted by technologies, text messaging and smartphones pose more dangers to pedestrians than ever before.
If you or a loved one were harmed in a Michigan pedestrian accident, there are state laws that protect you and can provide compensation for your injuries. Call Michigan Injury Lawyers at (888) 454-0801 or contact our pedestrian accident lawyers online for a free evaluation of your claim. If there is no recovery in your case, there is no fee for our services.
Michigan: A No-Fault State
The laws pertaining to pedestrian accidents and motor vehicle accidents in Michigan are quite complicated. Michigan is a “no-fault” state. In simple terms, that means that if you are injured in a pedestrian traffic accident, you can recover benefits from your own insurance company, regardless of who is to blame. Every driver in Michigan is required by law to carry no-fault insurance.
Here is a simple breakdown to help you understand some of the key points of Michigan’s no-fault laws. As you will see, even some of the basic parts of the No-Fault Act are complex. If you have specific questions related to your pedestrian traffic accident, you should speak with a qualified Michigan attorney who can explain how the laws apply to your individual case.
First-Party and Third-Party Benefits
There are two types of claims that you can make under Michigan no-fault laws when you have been injured in a pedestrian or other motor vehicle accident.
- First-party benefits: Also called “personal protection insurance,” or PIP benefits, this is payment to cover your economic losses after your pedestrian accident. First-party benefits are typically paid by your own insurance company and may cover your medical bills, wage loss, home health care, or money you paid so that someone else could perform household duties that you normally did before you were injured. You may also be reimbursed for mileage expenses you incurred to attend doctor’s appointments. In the case of death, the dependents of the person killed in the pedestrian accident may be able to receive survivor’s benefits through first-party claims. These benefits are payable for life and have no dollar limitation.
- Third-party benefits: The Michigan No-Fault Act also allows injured pedestrians to make claims against the at-fault driver for noneconomic losses. The law allows third-party claims if the victim has sustained a “threshold injury” – defined as damage that seriously impairs bodily function, causes permanent scarring or disfigurement, or causes death. Noneconomic damages may include compensation for pain and suffering, disability, incapacity, or lessened quality of life. In some cases, third-party benefits may also cover wage losses that continue for more than three years.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
There is no excuse for drivers to act negligently behind the wheel. However, pedestrians must behave responsibly as well. Talking on a cell phone, listening to music, or chatting with a friend can be just as distracting for those walking down the street as they can be for those driving a vehicle. Here are a few suggestions to improve pedestrian safety:
- Always use a designated crosswalk if possible. Look left, right, and then left again before stepping into traffic.
- If you can’t see beyond a parked vehicle, step at the edge line of the vehicle and check around it before crossing.
- Walk facing traffic if there is no sidewalk available.
- Don’t walk on freeways or in restricted zones.
- Use a flashlight or reflective clothing if walking at night.
- When in doubt, stay back. Wait to cross until you feel comfortable that it is safe and legal to do so.
- Hold your child’s hand while crossing or in parking lots.
- Take special care if you or a loved one has consumed alcohol.
- You are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in marked and unmarked crosswalks. Be especially careful when you are turning on to another street at intersections.
- Watch carefully for pedestrians in bad weather or when it is very dark. They can be difficult to see.
- Obey the speed limit, especially in school zones, busy neighborhoods and parking lots.
- Never pass or overtake other vehicles stopped for pedestrians.
- Stay sober when operating a vehicle.
- Keep your windshield clean and check your blind spots.
Were You Hurt in a Pedestrian Accident? Call Michigan Injury Lawyers Today
Pedestrian accidents can be devastating. If you or a loved one were injured in a traffic accident, call the personal injury attorneys at Michigan Injury Lawyers Our Michigan accident attorneys understand the complexities of Michigan’s no-fault laws and can help you recover money to ease your financial burdens.
Don’t let insurance companies cheat you out of what you deserve. Call our pedestrian accident attorneys at (888) 454-0801 or contact us online for a free evaluation of your claim. We represent clients throughout Michigan, including Macomb County, Oakland County, Warren, Clinton Township, Sterling Heights, St. Clair Shores, Mount Clemens, Utica, Roseville, Troy, Farmington Hills, Waterford, Southfield, Pontiac, Birmingham Michigan, Rochester Hills, West Bloomfield and Bloomfield Hills.