Protecting your rights to damages for your injuries or your loved one’s death
Defendants commonly try to minimize damages by blaming the victim for the accident. In some cases, a defendant may avoid paying any compensation by using this tactic. In Des Moines, The Hope Law Firm, PLC is proactive about countering assertions that pedestrians contributed to their own injuries.
Our law firm aggressively investigates accidents with pedestrians to determine what happened and who was at fault. We meticulously collect evidence to build a solid case in anticipation of the driver’s comparative fault defense. Our lawyers hold the motorist responsible for the injuries sustained or the death of a loved one. If you were involved in a pedestrian accident, there is Hope.
Understanding how contributory negligence and comparative fault work
Pure contributory negligence bars a plaintiff who is even 1 percent at fault from recovering damages. Very few states apply this standard.
Iowa has adopted a modified comparative fault standard, which bars recovery for a plaintiff who is 51 percent or more to blame. The amount of damages is reduced by the amount of blame assigned to the plaintiff.
For example, if your claim is valued at $100,000, and you are found to be 10 percent at fault, the court will order a judgment for $90,000 — or 90 percent of the total damages. However, if you are found to be 52 percent at fault, you are not entitled to any money from the defendant.
Joint and several liability for multiple defendants
Multiple defendants may be considered jointly and severally liable for the damages you sustain if more than one defendant caused the accident. In this case, all defendants’ negligence must equal at least 50 percent of the total blame.
For example, if driver A is found 20 percent responsible for your accident and driver B is found 60 percent to blame, the defendants owe you 80 percent of the damages.
Pedestrians have a duty to follow traffic laws and to act with care while walking, jogging, biking or skating on Iowa’s roadways and sidewalks. Behaving responsibly protects your rights in a court of law if you are hit by a motorist. More important, taking simple steps could help you avoid an accident altogether:
- Looking both ways for traffic before crossing a road
- Never crossing a road against the red signal or Don’t Walk sign
- Crossing only at intersections and designated crosswalks
- Not texting, using the phone or engaging in other distractions while walking
- Not using earphones that block sounds of cars and horns
- Wearing bright, reflective clothing at night
- Obeying Des Moines traffic regulations
- Complying with Iowa traffic codes if you are on a bike
It is important to protect yourself as a pedestrian, but if you are injured anyway, we can help.
Pursue compensation for your pedestrian traffic accident injuries
The Hope Law Firm, PLC builds a strong case to recover the maximum damages possible for a pedestrian accident. Our law firm offers a free initial case assessment, during which you learn about your rights and the potential outcomes of your claim. To ease your financial stress, we take your case on contingency, so you owe us no attorney fees unless we successfully obtain compensation on your behalf. Call our law office today at (515) 298-5056 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.