Oklahoma City Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Pedestrian Accidents in Oklahoma
Every year, hundreds of pedestrians are involved in collisions with cars, SUVs, motorcycles, and large trucks throughout Oklahoma. According to the most recent data, 500 pedestrians were injured in pedestrian-vehicle collisions in Oklahoma in 2020 and another 86 died.
Because pedestrians are completely unprotected, they often suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries when they are hit by careless, reckless, or negligent motorists. At Fulmer Sill, we understand just how devastating these accidents are, which is why our Oklahoma City pedestrian accident attorneys fight tirelessly to hold liable motorists accountable. By employing a collaborative and meticulous approach to litigation, we are able to utilize the unique experience and skills of each member of our staff, as well as the full resources of our firm, to effectively pursue maximum compensation for our clients.
If you were injured or if someone you love tragically passed away due to a pedestrian accident, reach out to our firm today to learn how we can help during a free initial consultation: (405) 433-7414.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Motorists have a strict responsibility to drive with care, especially when pedestrians are present. Unfortunately, many fail to uphold this duty of care, leading to serious and even deadly pedestrian accidents.
Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving
- Failure to see or notice pedestrians in or along the roadway
- Failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians
- Disobeying red lights, stop signs, and other traffic control devices
- Speeding, including driving too fast in parking lots and other pedestrian-heavy areas
- Failure to yield to pedestrians crossing driveways and alleyways
- Reckless and aggressive driving, including road rage
- Poor visibility due to heavy traffic, dangerous road design, weather, and other hazards
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Defective traffic lights, pedestrian crossing signals, sidewalks, etc.
- Driving too fast or recklessly through school zones
- Unlawfully passing another vehicle that has stopped for a pedestrian
While motorists have a responsibility to drive with caution and avoid collisions with pedestrians whenever possible, pedestrians should also be careful when crossing roadways or otherwise sharing the road with large, fast-moving vehicles. In some cases, pedestrian negligence is a significant contributing factor in pedestrian-vehicle collisions.
Do Pedestrians Always Have the Right of Way?
Although it is a common refrain, pedestrians do not always have the right of way. In fact, there are several instances in which, legally, pedestrians must yield to motorists on the road.
Under Oklahoma pedestrian laws, pedestrians should yield to vehicles in the following situations:
- When crossing a roadway anywhere other than a marked or unmarked crosswalk
- When waiting to cross a roadway at an intersection and oncoming vehicles have a green light or another traffic signal granting them the right of way
- When specifically instructed to yield the right of way via a “yield” sign, “wait” signal, or another traffic control device
Additionally, Oklahoma has banned “jaywalking,” or crossing a roadway outside of a marked crosswalk between two adjacent intersections where traffic control devices, such as signals, are in operation. Pedestrians are also required to use sidewalks when they are present and available and should always avoid “darting out,” or suddenly leaving a curb, sidewalk, or another place of safety to enter a roadway when oncoming vehicles cannot reasonably stop in time to avoid a collision.
That being said, motorists have a stricter duty of care to pedestrians than vice versa, as they are more likely to cause severe injury or death in the event of a collision. Oklahoma law requires motorists to yield to pedestrians whenever it is reasonably safe and possible to do so, including when pedestrians are using marked or unmarked crosswalks or lawfully walking along a roadway where there are no sidewalks present or available. If a pedestrian appears confused, lost, disoriented, impaired, or intoxicated, motorists should exhibit extreme caution.
How Comparative Negligence Could Affect Your Pedestrian Accident Case
Most states, including Oklahoma, follow some form of comparative negligence. Under comparative negligence rules, partial fault does not prohibit an individual from filing a personal injury claim and recovering compensation for injury-related damages. However, it does affect the amount an individual can recover in compensation. Specifically, the percentage of fault assigned to the individual will be the same one used to reduce the individual’s recovery.
For example, if a person was hit by a careless motorist while crossing the street, but the pedestrian was texting and walking at the time of the collision, the court might find the pedestrian 20 percent at fault for the accident. If the injured pedestrian sustained catastrophic injuries and damages amounting to $100,000, the recoverable amount would be reduced by 20 percent, meaning the pedestrian could only recover up to 80 percent of the total amount in damages, or $80,000.
Additionally, Oklahoma follows a rule of modified comparative negligence with a 49 percent threshold. This means you are unable to recover compensation if you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault for the accident.
Because insurance adjusters are typically the ones responsible for assigning fault for an accident, it is important that you protect your rights by working with an experienced attorney. Often, insurance adjusters attempt to limit the insurance company’s losses by overinflating a claimant’s degree of fault, meaning they may offer you a settlement that is worth less than what you are really owed. If the insurance adjuster argues that you were 50 percent or more at fault for the accident, they could deny your claim altogether.
We are aggressive when it comes to standing up for the rights of our clients, and we have a long history of success to prove it. Our team has recovered numerous million- and multimillion-dollar results for our clients, and we are prepared to take your case to trial if necessary.
In Oklahoma, the statute of limitations on most personal injury (and wrongful death) lawsuits is two years. This means that you typically only have two years from the date of injury to file a lawsuit against the liable party. If you wait too long, you could lose your right to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, suffering, and other damages.
We encourage you to reach out to our firm right away for help with your claim. Although two years may seem like a long time, preparing your case takes considerable time. The sooner our attorneys can begin investigating your claim and communicating with the insurance company on your behalf, the better.
You can rely on our tenacious and hardworking team to fight tirelessly for every penny you are owed.