Posts

When someone is involved in a pedestrian personal injury involving an automobile, the results are often heartbreaking. The Layton Law Firm began its reputation for representing pedestrians by successfully represented a 17-year-old boy who was seriously injured by a driver, while crossing a busy Charlotte street at night. After fighting a denied claim and ultimately prevailing against the insurance company for the child and his family, we made it a priority to fight hard for injured pedestrians.

We currently represent numerous pedestrians in personal injury and wrongful death actions. We take each law firm client’s injuries seriously, but injuries to children and pedestrians are specifically important to us because of the extreme nature of the injuries and the age of the individuals involved. As a result, children and pedestrian injuries have become a passion of ours. Unfortunately, winning a pedestrian claim can be an uphill battle requiring persistence, creativity, and diligent pursuit of recovery.

Don’t Pedestrians Always Have The Right Of Way?

This is the question always asked when there is a pedestrian injury. As a Charlotte pedestrian personal injury lawyer, unfortunately I find myself quite often answering “Not always”. While pedestrians often start with a presumption of right of way, they can easily forfeit it by being too far outside a crosswalk, crossing the road at a non-designated spot, or being inebriated. In fact, there are some instances where a pedestrian actually must yield to the motorist.

How Do I Preserve The Pedestrian Right Of Way?

There are a few guidelines which will help preserve your right of way as a pedestrian. Always strive to:

  • Walk with the cross-walk signals
  • Stay inside specifically marked cross-walk pathways
  • If a sidewalk exists, use the sidewalk (and not the roadway)
  • Electric wheelchair users: follow the rules for pedestrians, NOT for vehicles

Do Drivers Have Responsibilities To Pedestrians In NC?

Yes, there are. Even in a situation where a pedestrian may have yielded the right of way, the operator of a motor vehicle must still exercise reasonable care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian in the roadway. The doctrine of Last Clear Chance can also be applied, and your Charlotte Pedestrian Personal Injury Lawyer will discuss it with you. Essentially, it says that even if a pedestrian has forfeited the right of way, if the operator of the vehicle has the last clear chance to avoid an accident, he or she must avoid the accident. This doctrine applies in other personal injury situation as well, such as automobile accidents between the operators of two vehicles.

How Can A Personal Injury Lawyer Help?

A Charlotte personal injury lawyer will help to make sure you are treated fairly. Insurance companies often deny pedestrian claims based on contributory negligence, or some other factor. An aggressive legal strategy can often overcome this denial and help achieve a fair result. It is our opinion that pedestrians make good plaintiffs.

When an insurance denial is met with a threat of a lawsuit, quite often we are able to reach settlement before entering the courtroom. In most cases, an insurance company does not want to appear in court against a pedestrian, because it shows an unwillingness to settle the case or to be reasonable in accepting liability for the plaintiff’s injuries.

Pedestrian injuries also often lead to large medical bills. Your personal injury lawyer will not only work to secure a fair offer for you, but can also negotiate some of your medical billing. The end result is you end up with more money in your pocket. The ability to negotiate these bills stems from the attorney’s understanding of N.C.G.S. 44-49 and 44-50, which is a limiting factor when it comes to liens resulting from medical treatment related to the injury.

You deserve to have someone fight for your rights. Insurance companies are focused on the bottom line. We focus on the client.

Speak With A Charlotte Pedestrian Lawyer Today

If you were a pedestrian, and you were hit by the driver of an automobile or motorcycle, please call us at 704.749.7747. Or, if you’d like us to call you, just click HERE to request a call online. An attorney will be happy to discuss your rights and provide you guidance, at no charge. There’s no obligation to hire us but we hope you’ll choose to Recover With Us.

If you need a free copy of your accident report, we’re happy to obtain that for you as well– just click HERE to request one and simply let us know the date of your accident, the location, and your full name.

Pedestrian Injury

Layton Law Protects Pedestrians

As part of our 2019 campaign to protect pedestrians, we are giving away our “Layton Law Protects Pedestrians – SLOW DOWN” yard signs. In our personal injury practice, we are surrounded by injured individuals. When the injury is a pedestrian injury, the injuries are quite dramatic. If a pedestrian is hit by a motor vehicle there is of course a significant chance they may never recover. These are heartbreaking cases, especially when the pedestrian is a Minor. As a parent of young children, I am fearful every day that a careless driver will injure my children or other children in our neighborhood.

Prevention Is The Goal

According to www.watchformenc.org, roughly 3,000 pedestrians and 850 bicyclists are hit each year in NC. When a pedestrian is injured, we are there to help protect their rights. However, a much better solution would be to play a role in preventing pedestrian injuries in Charlotte. Our yard signs have that goal in mind. We’ve seen numerous yard signs in the past encouraging drivers to Drive Like Your Kids Live Here. We love those signs! However, some careless drivers remain undeterred. Our signs are meant to remind them there are serious consequences awaiting drivers who hit pedestrians. Our hope is that we are able to get the attention of more drivers by delivering this slightly different message.

The Yard Signs Are Free

We are making these yard signs free to anyone who would like one. The more of these signs we are able to get into view throughout the city, the better. If you or any of your neighbors would like a Layton Law Protects Pedestrians yard sign, simply click HERE to send us a request. Just tell us you’d like a sign and we will arrange to have one at the office for you for pickup.

How Can You Help?

First, by simply placing the sign in your yard, we believe you’re raising driver awareness. Second, if you like the law firm’s pedestrian safety campaign and want to encourage more efforts, simply leave us a Google Review letting us know. Lastly, share this post on social media within Charlotte so others will know the signs are available. Sometimes the encouragement from others in the community helps to keep the momentum rolling.

Call Us With Questions Or Ideas

Lastly, if you have questions about the yard signs or the pedestrian campaign, please call us. If you have ideas you would like to share regarding other ways in which we can become involved in pedestrian safety, please reach out with those ideas. You can call us at 704.749.7747 or click HERE to submit ideas and questions.

Further Reading

If you would like to read more articles on our website, check out our Personal Injury Blog or our Bankruptcy Blog.

Bike accidents in Charlotte, NC increase annually as the city grows. Smart bicyclists follow the rules of the road when they are out riding. Bicycle owners ensure their safety by increasing their knowledge of these rules. Recognize that according to N.C.G.S. Sec. 20-4.01(49):

bicycles shall be deemed vehicles and every rider of a bicycle upon a highway shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter

Avoiding Bike Accidents

To avoid bike accidents, start by abiding by the rules of the road. Bicycles are treated as vehicles, per the statute above. Generally, this means the bicycle rules of the road are the same rules that a car follows, including the following: yield to traffic already established in the roadway, drive on the right side of the road, yield before entering a primary road, and yield before moving laterally or turning.  These rules were created for your personal safety and should be followed. A great many bicycle accidents could be avoided if more of us followed these guidelines.

When to Yield

  • To established traffic
  • Before turning or moving laterally (an exception is when you have a green arrow)
  • Before entering a primary roadway (from a side street or otherwise)
  • Stop signs, one way streets, traffic lights, etc

Safety Requirements and Personal Injury

If you are injured in an accident with a vehicle, quite often the insurance company representing the driver will want to know whether you had reflective wear or if you were wearing bright clothing. The success of a bicycle personal injury claim or a pedestrian personal injury claim can turn on this point. Not only should reflectors and lights be worn on the person, but they should also be attached to the bicycle and helmet.

Pedestrians are not as easily visible as other vehicles, which may be equipped with bright lights and reflectors. The size of another vehicle such as a car, generally means it will be noticed. When you’re walking or operating a bicycle, not only are you typically on the ‘side’ of the road, but additionally you are a smaller object occupying less space in the field of vision of other drivers. As a result, you can avoid accidents by taking extra safety precautions. These same precautions provide you with legal protection in the event you are injured by another driver.

Are Bicycles/Bicyclists Treated as Vehicles or as Pedestrians?

Bicyclists on some occasions are considered pedestrians, rather than being considered operators of a vehicle (bicycle). One example is where someone on a bicycle is riding the bicycle on the sidewalk. In some instances, this individual will be treated as a pedestrian, for legal purposes, or it will be argued that by failing to operate the bicycle in a manner designed to alert other drivers of his presence, the bicyclist has compromised his or her rights against other drivers.

BikeWalk NC

BikeWalk NC is a great resource for rules of the road for bicyclists as well as other material. You can access it HERE.

Call A Lawyer

If you or someone you know has been injured while riding a bicycle, please call us to find out your rights. We are more than happy to hear your story and give you a complimentary assessment of your case or claim. If we can’t take your case for some reason, we will help to refer you to another lawyer that we trust, who can assist you. If you’d like to speak with an attorney today, call 704.749.7747 or click HERE to send us a request for a phone consultation. We hope you’ll choose to Recover With Us.