If you or someone you know has been hit by a vehicle in Mobile, Alabama, what next steps you should take are likely confusing. This is particularly true if you are a pedestrian involved in an accident with a vehicle, as the likelihood of you suffering injuries – at least minor, and possibly severe, in nature – is high.
Moreover, the driver of the vehicle may try to blame you for the accident in an effort to avoid being financially liable for damages. Unfortunately, a Mobile car accident involving a pedestrian can happen anywhere – even while the pedestrian was legally walking on a crosswalk. It is important to know that both drivers and pedestrians have rights and responsibilities under Alabama law.
Duty of Care Under Alabama Law
While pedestrians in Mobile are subject to rules under state law, drivers are generally held to a higher standard of care. Specifically, pedestrians must obey traffic signals unless law enforcement instructs them otherwise. That being said, if a pedestrian is walking on a sidewalk, he or she generally has the right-of-way.
A Mobile pedestrian also has the right-of-way if he or she is on a crosswalk with a signal or on a crosswalk with a non-working signal. Indeed, Alabama law mandates that drivers in vehicles slow down or stop when approaching pedestrians if they are in or near their lane of traffic.
Because pedestrians do not have the physical protection of a vehicle like drivers and their passengers, Alabama law favors them. This does not mean that a pedestrian cannot still be found liable for causing the accident and resulting harm.
If a pedestrian does not exercise reasonable care and darts out in front of a vehicle, not allowing them enough time to brake or swerve, or if the pedestrian decides to cross the street against the traffic lights, he or she can be found to be at fault. Other examples of situations where a pedestrian can be found negligent in an accident involving a vehicle include if the pedestrian:
- walks along the roadway despite a usable sidewalk being available to him or her;
- is under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident;
- is attempting to hitchhike when the accident happens; or
- was soliciting donations, business, or employment from passengers or drivers at the time of the incident.
How an Attorney Can Help
There are several ways in which a Mobile, Alabama car accident attorney can help if you are involved in a car accident, whether or not a pedestrian was involved. This includes:
- Spearheading the accident investigation on your behalf;
- Making sure you fully understand the legal process including statutes of limitations;
- Calculate the monetary compensation owed to you for injuries, property damage, and lost income;
- Negotiate with the insurance company for payment of a reasonable settlement;
- Fight in court on your behalf, through trial, if negotiations are not successful.
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a Mobile, Alabama car accident first seek medical attention. Then, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at Stevenson Klotz. With years of representing the injured in Mobile and across the state of Alabama, we will fight for the compensation you deserve.
Following graduation from Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, Eric Stevenson held a number of positions including Assistant State Attorney in the First Judicial Circuit of Florida. Eric has been practicing with partner Christopher Klotz since 2015 litigating personal injury and car accidents in Alabama and Florida.