Birmingham School Crosswalk Accident Lawyers
If your son or daughter suffered injuries at a school crosswalk due to a motorist’s negligent actions, the Birmingham child injury attorneys of Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP can help. You might be entitled to compensation for your child’s required medical treatment, emotional trauma endured, and other losses that result from the car accident.
Children are at a higher risk of injury in accidents involving vehicles when they are pedestrians. That’s because drivers often forget about people walking near their cars. Instead, they’re watching for other vehicles to avoid during their daily commutes. That places young kids in danger whether they’re walking to school or crossing the road.
Crosswalk accidents are common when school is in session. Unfortunately, some motorists don’t pay attention to traffic signals indicating that children may be nearby. Other people might try to beat a red light, putting them on a collision course with a student already in the middle of the road.
Any pedestrian, including children, can suffer debilitating injuries from being struck by a car. Without the protection afforded to vehicle occupants, such as airbags and seatbelts, victims must suffer the full force of the impact. A kid could fall to the pavement during the collision, become airborne, or get run over by the car. They could also suffer additional injuries from flying debris and other hazards.
At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, our Birmingham school crosswalk accident lawyers understand the devastation of finding out your son or daughter has been the victim of a severe car accident. They likely require emergency medical care and ongoing treatment to heal. The cost of these bills can significantly affect your finances and lead to crushing debt.
You should not be forced to pay out of pocket for any costs resulting from the school crosswalk accident if your child’s actions didn’t contribute to their injuries. Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP is ready to help you hold the negligent driver liable and seek the maximum available compensation for you. Call us at (205) 324-1212 or contact us online today for your free consultation.
Common Causes of School Crosswalk Accidents
Pedestrian accidents involving school zones often happen when a driver isn’t paying attention to their surroundings or makes some type of error at the wheel of their car. Looking down at their cell phone for a few seconds or poor decision-making could lead to an accident that harms a child walking across the street.
The most common causes of crosswalk accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Speeding in a school zone
- Failure to stop for a stopped school bus
- Driving under the influence
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Turning right without checking for child pedestrians in a crosswalk
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Weaving in and out of traffic in a school zone
- Passing a stopped vehicle at a crosswalk
This isn’t the complete list of all possible causes of crosswalk accidents involving children. If your kid suffered injuries while walking to or from school, do not hesitate to call Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP to discuss your case. We can review the circumstances of the accident and determine the available legal options for holding the at-fault party liable.
Injuries Children Often Sustain in Crosswalk Accidents
Although car crashes commonly occur at crosswalks, they can happen anywhere. Someone could back out of a parking space as a child cuts through the parking lot to get to school. Or a vehicle might drift towards the sidewalk as the driver reaches for something in the back seat. No matter what led to the accident, young kids can suffer severe injuries and even death as pedestrians.
The most common injuries associated with school crosswalk accidents include:
- Loss of limb
- Concussion, traumatic brain injury, and other head injuries
- Broken bones
- Twisted or sprained ankles
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Spinal cord and back injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Psychological trauma
- Cuts and road rash
It’s devastating to see the pain your child is in because of someone else’s reckless behavior. The severity of an injury during a pedestrian accident can range from minor to life-threatening. If there’s permanent physical damage, your child could require ongoing physical therapy to improve mobility, prescription medications to treat anxiety or depression, or an assistive device, such as a wheelchair.
The expenses associated with car accidents can become an economic burden. If your kid doesn’t share fault for their injury in any way, you should be entitled to the full and fair compensation available. At Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP, our legal team has over 20 years of experience handling cases like this. We can create an effective strategy to try to recover the money you’re owed, so you’re not left with medical bills to pay for on your own.
Who You Can Hold Liable for a Crosswalk Accident
Multiple people or entities could be at fault for a crosswalk accident in Alabama. Determining who to hold liable might be challenging for you to handle alone. You will need an attorney with the skills and resources to thoroughly investigate the accident and locate crucial evidence to prove who caused your child’s injuries.
The parties commonly involved in school crosswalk accidents are:
- Motor vehicle drivers
- Bicyclists, motorcyclists, and other pedestrians
- Manufacturer of cars and parts
- Government agency and employees responsible for maintaining roadways
Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP is familiar with state laws and the procedures we need to follow to show what happened and prove to an insurance company that you deserve compensation for the trauma your child experienced. You should never attempt to handle a case like this without seeking legal representation.
Compensation You Can Recover in an Insurance Claim
Alabama is a fault state. That means the at-fault driver becomes financially responsible for the injured victim’s losses.
Motor vehicle operators must carry car insurance with minimum liability limits of:
- Bodily injury per person – $25,000
- Bodily injury per accident – $50,000
- Property damage – $25,000
If you choose to file a claim with their liability insurance company, you could seek compensation for the losses suffered from the crash, such as:
- Mental anguish
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Permanent disability
- Damage to personal property
Despite state laws requiring liability coverage, you could end up in a situation where the at-fault driver doesn’t have car insurance. Under these circumstances, you might be able to file a claim with your insurance company.
Even though your child wasn’t in a vehicle when the accident occurred, you could use your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage to compensate for the incurred losses. This type of insurance is available if the negligent driver doesn’t carry liability coverage. However, you should confirm you have it on your policy. It’s not a requirement by state law, so you might have signed a form to opt out of the coverage.
Unfortunately, the compensation you receive can’t cover all losses when you file a UM claim. Coverage will depend on the specific policy but usually only compensates for medical bills and lost wages. Some insurance companies will also pay for pain and suffering and damage to personal property.
Filing a Lawsuit After a Crosswalk Accident in Alabama
If you want to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, you must obey the statute of limitations. This is a strict timeframe you have to sue someone after a car accident. Alabama enforces a two-year statute of limitations. That means you have two years from the date of the car crash to file your lawsuit if you want to seek compensation for your child’s injuries through the courts.
The only exception is if you miss the deadline and your child wants to pursue a lawsuit. They would have to wait until they turn 19 years old to file. They would then have two years from the date of their birthday to initiate their case in court.
When you’re preparing your lawsuit, you could choose to pursue punitive damages. This is something you must include in the original filing if you want to recover this financial award. Instead of compensating you for your losses, an award of this type punishes the defendant for their actions. However, you must provide the jury with clear and convincing evidence of the driver’s malice, fraud, or wantonness.
One specific statute that could negatively affect your case is known as contributory negligence. This prohibits an accident victim from pursuing compensation from the at-fault party if they partially contributed to their injury in any way. If your son or daughter shared any percentage of fault for the crosswalk accident, you wouldn’t be allowed to recover compensation from a lawsuit.
Speak to an Experienced Birmingham school crosswalk accident Lawyer from Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP
The Birmingham child injury lawyers of Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP have been representing young accident victims since 1997. We will fight for your child’s rights and seek the justice they deserve. The compensation we help you pursue should compensate for the total losses suffered in the accident if the negligent driver were entirely at fault.
The Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP law firm takes cases on contingency, so you don’t have to worry about the cost of hiring an attorney. You won’t owe us our legal fees or costs unless we receive compensation from the at-fault party on your behalf. If we lose your case, you won’t have to pay us anything.
If your child suffered injuries in a school crosswalk accident, call Farris, Riley & Pitt, LLP at (205) 324-1212 or contact us online for your initial free consultation. We will advocate for your child and work towards the best possible outcome we can reach.