Near-Fatal Pedestrian-Auto Crash In Lake Charles
A young woman who inexplicably stopped in traffic and exited her vehicle is in critical condition at a local hospital, after she was injured by an oncoming car.
The woman, whose name was not released, was airlifted to the hospital following the incident. While eastbound on East Prien Lake Road, the woman slowed and stopped near the intersection of Louisiana 397. A trailing truck swerved to the left to avoid a collision, but at the same time, the woman got out of her vehicle, and the truck hit her at practically full speed. Toxicology tests on both drivers came back negative.
Police are still investigating the incident.
Statistically, one pedestrian every two hours is killed in a vehicle-pedestrian accident. Nearly half these victims were children under 14 or adults over 65, often because drivers do not see them and/or they are unable to quickly take evasive action. Speed is another critical factor. Collisions at less than 25 mph are nearly always survivable, while collisions over 30 mph are nearly always fatal.
The injuries in these cases are always serious because pedestrians are completely exposed to danger, whereas a steel cage and multiple restraint devices protect vehicle occupants. Some serious pedestrian injuries include:
- Head Injuries: The dementia-like symptoms and other effects of a brain injury are nearly always permanent, although medical intervention and physical therapy can help.
- Broken Bones: These injuries normally require metal pins, plates, or screws to set, and lengthy recovery times to heal.
- Blood Loss: Because of both external and internal injuries, many victims lose copious amounts of blood before first responders arrive and render assistance.
Typically, damages in these cases include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, including pain and suffering.
Legal Issues in Negligence Cases
The insurance company nearly always tries to shift all or most of the blame to the victim, and the sudden emergency doctrine is one such vehicle. This theory excuses a tortfeasor’s (negligent driver’s) negligence, in some cases. The elements are:
- Unexpected Situation: In this context, a “sudden emergency” is a hood fly-up, tire blowout or another truly unanticipated event; stalled cars and pedestrians crossing against the light are not generally considered sudden emergencies.
- Reasonable Reaction: When faced with a sudden emergency, the tortfeasor must do the right thing by stopping or pulling onto the shoulder; veering to the left is not a reasonable reaction.
Procedurally, the insurance company must prove that the minimum elements are present. Then, the jury determines whether or not the sudden emergency doctrine applies. So, an aggressive attorney has two chances to prove that the tortfeasor’s conduct cannot be legally excused.
Sudden car crashes, especially ones that involve a pedestrian, cause severe financial and non-financial damages. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Lake Charles, contact Hoffhoss Devall. Home and hospital visits are available.