Boulder is known as a pedestrian-friendly city and was even named a Gold-Level Walk Friendly Community in 2020. However, with so many pedestrians and the occasional negligent driver, accidents are unfortunately common.
If a negligent motorist collides with you while you are walking around town, you should contact a Boulder pedestrian accident lawyer to discuss the compensation you deserve to offset your injury losses. A knowledgeable attorney from Mac Hester Law is skilled in constructing a lawsuit and recovering the damages owed to you.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Boulder
Pedestrian accidents are more likely to be deadly because walkers are no match for heavy vehicles built of steel and moving at high speeds. Some common causes of these incidents are:
- Motorists distracted by their cell phones, or who are eating, drinking, or applying makeup
- Poorly marked crosswalks where a pedestrian is lawfully crossing with no stoplight
- Motorists making left-hand turns who may not see pedestrians until it is too late
- Pedestrians walking at night where street lighting is substandard
- Motorists impaired by alcohol or drugs
A Boulder personal injury legal advisor could analyze the circumstances of a pedestrian accident case to determine if a lawsuit for compensation could be successful.
Negligence is the Basis for Pedestrian Accidents
Colorado Revised Statutes Title 42 § 42-4-802 gives a detailed account of what is expected of motorists and pedestrians. For instance, a “Do Not Walk” sign means different things depending on if it is flashing or not. If the sign is flashing, pedestrians must not leave the sidewalk to cross the street, but if they have already begun to cross, they may continue to safety. Motorists should not assume that a flashing sign means a pedestrian will immediately stop to let a car pass.
If a motorist hits and injures a pedestrian, the victim could claim the driver was negligent and file a lawsuit for financial compensation. Motorists in Boulder have a duty to drive safely around others, including pedestrians. If they instead drive carelessly, then injure a pedestrian after causing an accident, the threshold for a negligence claim may be met. To build a claim for compensation, a local personal injury legal team will look for the elements of negligence such as a duty of care, a breach of care, causation of the accident, and damages.
Statute of Limitations for Injury Claims
The Statute of Limitations is the amount of time the courts give a plaintiff to file a lawsuit against a defendant. The statute of limitations for an auto-pedestrian accident is three years. However, if the pedestrian was not injured by a motor vehicle but by a non-motor vehicle (e.g., a bicycle), then the statute of limitations is two years.
A local injury attorney familiar with Colorado law could make sure any filings are timely made to preserve a pedestrian’s ability to recover damages sustained in a pedestrian accident.
Damages Available to an Injured Boulder Pedestrian
Colorado permits an accident victim to recover compensatory damages broken into three components: economic damages, non-economic, and physical impairment damages. Economic damages are the damages that are ascertainable in dollar amounts such as medical expenses, lost income and property damages. Non-economic damages compensate the injured person for the things that make life valuable but are hard to quantify, such as physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Physical impairment damages provide compensation for permanent injury that impairs the body.
Although Colorado puts a recovery cap on non-economic damages, there are no limits to receiving payments for physical impairment and disfigurement.
Colorado pedestrian accident victims may be awarded punitive damages if the court finds that the defendant’s conduct was sufficiently fraudulent, malicious, intentional, or wanton. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the victim, but to punish the perpetrator.
Colorado law generally caps punitive damages to an amount no more than the compensatory damages. However, in cases where the defendant’s bad acts are ongoing or outlandishly egregious, the courts could award punitive damages up to three times the amount of compensatory damages. A hit-while-walking accident representative in the area could discuss punitive damages if they seem warranted in a plaintiff’s situation.
Get Help from a Boulder Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Although it is common sense that motorists and pedestrians should watch the roads, sometimes accidents happen. If you have been injured while walking around the city, a Boulder pedestrian accident lawyer is available to help you get the compensation you need to return you to good health and to get your life back on track. Mac Hester Law is only a phone call away, contact them today to schedule your initial consultation.