Pedestrians on a crosswalk making it across a cobblestone road in the middle of the day.

Pedestrian accidents erupt with a terrifying suddenness. One moment, you’re navigating the sidewalk; the next, the screech of tires and a sickening thud shatter your world.

The event unfolds in a blur, leaving you reeling from the shock of what transpired. This abruptness leaves victims deeply traumatized, struggling to process the event’s violence and the violation of their sense of security.

The physical wounds of a pedestrian accident are often severe. Broken bones, debilitating muscle tears, and head injuries are all too common.

However, the repercussions extend far beyond the physical. The emotional and psychological trauma can be immense. Victims grapple with fear, anxiety, and depression, and the once-simple act of walking can become fraught with apprehension.

The world that once felt navigable now harbors a hidden danger. Financial burdens can cripple families struggling with medical bills and lost wages.

The path to recovery is also often long and arduous, demanding not only physical therapy but also a significant investment in mental health support.

In the aftermath of a pedestrian accident, you don’t have to face the immense challenges alone. A New Mexico pedestrian accident lawyer from Olson Personal Injury Lawyers can be your advocate, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

At Olson Personal Injury Lawyers, we will navigate the complexities of the legal system, gather evidence, deal with insurance companies, and fight for your rights. With our skilled attorneys by your side, you can focus on healing while they work to hold the negligent party accountable and secure the resources you need to rebuild your life.

Why Hire a New Mexico Pedestrian Accident Attorney?

After a pedestrian accident, securing your physical and financial well-being is paramount. A New Mexico pedestrian accident attorney offers crucial support.

They understand the intricacies of New Mexico law and can fight for fair compensation from the at-fault party. With their expertise, you can focus on healing while they handle the legal battle, ensuring you receive the resources needed to move forward.

Here are some of the ways a New Mexico personal injury lawyer can help you:

  • Negotiate with insurance companies: Attorneys adeptly negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure you receive a just settlement for the injuries sustained in the accident.
  • Investigate the accident: These legal experts meticulously gather evidence pertinent to the case, including police reports, witness statements, and traffic camera footage. Through comprehensive investigation, they ascertain the root cause of the accident and identify the party responsible for the damages.
  • Handle the legal paperwork: Navigating the labyrinth of legal documents and procedures can be daunting, particularly while recuperating from injuries. Attorneys alleviate this burden by proficiently managing all legal paperwork associated with your case.
  • Calculate damages: Skilled attorneys assess the full extent of your losses stemming from the accident. This encompasses calculating various damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage, ensuring you seek adequate compensation for your ordeal.
  • Represent you in court: In cases where an equitable settlement cannot be reached through negotiations with the insurance company, your attorney serves as your advocate in court proceedings. With their expertise in litigation, they present your case compellingly to secure the best possible outcome.

What to Look for in a Lawyer

Here are some key things to consider when searching for a New Mexico pedestrian accident attorney:

  • Experience: Pedestrian accident law has its own nuances. Look for an attorney with a proven track record of handling pedestrian accident cases specifically. Their experience in New Mexico courts is a plus.
  • Results: While past performance isn’t a guarantee of future results, it can be a good indicator of an attorney’s skill. Ask about their success rate in settling or winning pedestrian accident cases.
  • Resources: Personal injury cases can involve complex investigations and expert witnesses. Make sure the attorney you choose has the resources necessary to build a strong case for you.
  • Communication: This is crucial. Choose an attorney who is responsive to your questions and concerns and keeps you informed throughout the legal process.
  • Fees: Personal injury attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if they win your case. However, be sure to understand the fee structure upfront and get everything in writing.
  • Comfort Level: Trust your gut feeling. During consultations, pay attention to how comfortable you feel with the attorney’s communication style and bedside manner. You’ll be working closely with them during a stressful time, so it’s important to feel like a good fit.

Here are some additional things to look out for:

  • State Bar Association: The New Mexico Bar Association website allows you to search for attorneys by location and area of practice, and it should be one of the first resources you turn to when in doubt about your attorney.
  • Online Reviews: While online reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, they can offer some insights into other people’s experiences with different attorneys.

Risk Factors in Pedestrian Accident Cases

Pedestrian accident risks can be dissected into two main categories: those related to pedestrians themselves and those related to drivers. Understanding these factors is crucial for developing effective safety measures and reducing the occurrence of pedestrian accidents.

Pedestrian-related Risk Factors:

  • Age: Children and older adults are particularly vulnerable due to their physical fragility and slower reaction times. Their smaller stature can also make them less visible to drivers, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
  • Impairment: Being under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly impairs judgment, coordination, and reaction time, making pedestrians more prone to accidents. Impaired individuals may misjudge traffic speed or distance, increasing the risk of collisions.
  • Distraction: The use of electronic devices such as smartphones or headphones distracts pedestrians from their surroundings, leading them to step into traffic without awareness. Distraction can also stem from engaging in conversations, listening to loud music, or being preoccupied with other thoughts.
  • Location: Pedestrians walking in areas with inadequate infrastructure, such as poorly lit streets, heavy traffic, or absence of sidewalks, face higher risks of accidents. These environmental factors diminish visibility and increase the likelihood of collisions with vehicles.
  • Behavior: Engaging in risky behaviors such as crossing streets outside designated crosswalks, disregarding traffic signals, or jaywalking heightens the chances of pedestrian accidents. Such behaviors can catch drivers off guard and result in unexpected collisions.

Driver-related Risk Factors:

  • Speeding: Higher vehicle speeds reduce the time available for drivers to react to pedestrian movements. Speeding drivers have less time to stop or maneuver around pedestrians, increasing the severity of accidents when collisions occur.
  • Impaired Driving: Similar to impaired pedestrians, drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs experience impaired judgment, reduced coordination, and slower reaction times. These impairments significantly increase the likelihood of accidents involving pedestrians.
  • Inattention: Distractions such as texting, using a phone, eating, or attending to passengers divert drivers’ attention from the road and pedestrians. Failing to scan the environment for pedestrians increases the risk of collisions, especially in busy urban areas or near pedestrian crossings.
  • Left Turns: Drivers making left turns at intersections may overlook pedestrians crossing in the opposite direction, leading to collisions. Limited visibility due to parked vehicles, foliage, or other obstructions can exacerbate this risk, particularly in urban environments.
  • Poor Weather Conditions: Adverse weather conditions such as rain, fog, or snow impair visibility and road conditions, making it challenging for drivers to detect pedestrians. Reduced visibility and slippery road surfaces increase the likelihood of accidents, especially in areas with high pedestrian traffic.

In pedestrian accident cases, identifying and understanding the relevant risk factors plays a crucial role in establishing liability, determining damages, and supporting claims. By pinpointing factors such as speeding, impairment, distraction, and environmental conditions, legal teams can effectively demonstrate how the accident occurred and who bears responsibility.

This evidence strengthens negotiations for settlements and educates juries about the complexities of pedestrian accidents. Moreover, analyzing risk factors not only serves immediate legal purposes but also contributes to broader efforts to improve pedestrian safety by informing policy changes, infrastructure improvements, and public awareness campaigns.

Ultimately, a comprehensive understanding of risk factors helps seek justice for victims, prevent future accidents, and enhance road safety for pedestrians.

Fault in New Mexico Pedestrian Accident Cases

In New Mexico, the concept of “pure comparative fault” applies. Here, the fault for the accident is assigned proportionally among those involved. The compensation an injured party receives is then reduced based on the percentage of fault attributed to the accident.

New Mexico’s pure comparative fault system stands in contrast to contributory negligence, which completely bars an injured party from recovering damages if they are found even slightly at fault for the accident. Contributory negligence can result in unfair situations where someone who is minimally responsible for an accident receives no compensation for their injuries.

Under pure comparative fault, the focus shifts to assigning a percentage of blame to each party involved. This means that even if a pedestrian is partially responsible for an accident caused by a reckless driver, they can still seek compensation for their injuries.

The jury will determine the percentage of fault attributable to each party, and the pedestrian’s damages award will be reduced by their assigned percentage.

For example, imagine a pedestrian crossing the street with the light but also looking at their phone. A driver runs a red light and strikes the pedestrian. The jury might find the driver 80% at fault for running the red light and the pedestrian 20% at fault for not being completely attentive.

If the pedestrian’s damages totaled $100,000, they would still be entitled to recover $80,000 (100,000 x .80).

The New Mexico Statute of Limitations for Pedestrian Accidents

In New Mexico, the legal system imposes a time limit on filing lawsuits, known as the statute of limitations. This applies to pedestrian accidents as well.

If you’re a pedestrian injured in an accident, you generally have three years to file a lawsuit for bodily injury. There’s a slightly longer window of four years for filing a claim solely for property damage sustained in the accident.

While three or four years might seem like a significant amount of time, it can surprisingly slip by quickly, particularly when you’re dealing with recovering from an injury. There can also be unforeseen delays in processing a claim, such as gathering medical records or negotiating with insurance companies.

These delays can significantly impact your ability to seek compensation. The longer you wait to file, the weaker your case might become due to fading memories or lost evidence.

A New Mexico pedestrian accident lawyer can be a valuable asset in navigating the legal process after an accident. They can ensure your claim is filed promptly and fairly represent your interests.

An experienced attorney will handle the complexities of the case, including gathering evidence, communicating with insurance companies, and negotiating a settlement or preparing for court if necessary. By seeking legal guidance as soon as possible after your accident, you can maximize your chances of a successful outcome.

Work With a New Mexico Pedestrian Accident Lawyer to Make the Most of Your Claim

The aftermath of a pedestrian accident can be overwhelming. Between the physical pain, emotional strain, and navigating medical bills, it’s easy to feel lost.

But here’s the important thing: you are not alone. Many people experience pedestrian accidents every year, and there’s a network of support available to help you through this challenging time.

At Olson Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand the immense difficulties that follow a pedestrian accident. We are dedicated to helping victims recover the compensation they deserve.

Our team of experienced attorneys will fight for your rights and ensure you receive fair treatment from insurance companies. We handle all the legal complexities, allowing you to focus on healing and getting your life back on track.

If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, don’t face this burden alone. Contact Olson Personal Injury Lawyers today for a free consultation.

During this initial meeting, we’ll discuss your case, answer your questions, and outline a clear path forward. Remember, the sooner you seek legal representation, the stronger your case will be. Call Olson Personal Injury Lawyers at (505) 391-4149 – because, after an accident, you deserve justice.