Pedestrians are among the most vulnerable road users because they have nothing to protect them from the force of a traffic collision. What’s more, motorists often overlook them or fail to exercise proper care when driving in areas with heavy foot traffic, increasing the risk of preventable accidents. Even though motorists are frequently to blame for resulting collisions, the person on foot usually suffers the brunt of the consequences.

If you were hit by a reckless, careless, or otherwise negligent driver in Wisconsin, they could owe you compensation for the harm they caused you. This could include money for your medical bills and lost wages while you’re unable to work, as well as for the pain and suffering you experienced and other losses. Let the Schwaba Law Firm demand this compensation on your behalf.

Andrew Schwaba has been protecting injured Wisconsinites and helping them get their lives back on track since 2010. His reputation for aggressive representation and success has made him well-known throughout Green Bay, Marinette, Appleton, and the Northeast Wisconsin region. Let Andrew put his reputation to work for you, taking on the at-fault motorist and their insurer and demanding they pay you fair compensation.

Don’t let an accident define your future. Reach out to Schwaba Law Firm today to find out how a pedestrian accident lawyer in Wisconsin can help you pursue the money you deserve from the person who hurt you.

What Are the Wisconsin Pedestrian Laws?

Drivers and pedestrians alike have rules and responsibilities they have to observe when sharing the road.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), motorists must:

  • Yield to pedestrians when crossing sidewalks, driveways, and alleys
  • Yield to pedestrians who have entered crosswalks while given a walk sign or who have a green light, if no walk sign is present
  • Yield to pedestrians crossing highways in marked or unmarked crosswalks or at intersections without control signs
  • Refrain from overtaking vehicles stopped to allow pedestrians to cross

For their part, pedestrians must:

  • Yield to motorists when crossing roads without intersections or crosswalks, or when they don’t have a walk signal or green light
  • Refrain from suddenly moving in front of approaching vehicles
  • Walk on the left side of the road, against motor vehicle traffic, when not on a sidewalk

What Are the Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Wisconsin?

While many different factors can contribute to a pedestrian accident, many are the result of the same handful of underlying causes, including the following:

  • Careless or Reckless Motorists – Many accidents occur due to reckless behavior from drivers, such as speeding, distracted driving, failing to yield at crosswalks, and not following traffic signals or signs.
  • Poor Visibility – According to the National Safety Council (NSC), about two-thirds of fatal pedestrian accidents occur in dark light. Conditions like heavy rain, fog, or snow can reduce visibility and increase the risk of accidents. Low light conditions during dawn, dusk, or night can also make it hard for drivers to spot pedestrians. Obstructions such as parked cars or trees can further impede visibility.
  • Intoxication – Accidents are more likely to occur when drivers or pedestrians are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The NSC estimates that 41 percent of all fatal pedestrian accidents involved alcohol impairment. Impaired individuals have slower reaction times and reduced motor control, and they often make risky decisions that can lead to accidents.

How Many Pedestrians Are Killed in Wisconsin Annually?

Pedestrian accidents are a serious and growing problem in Wisconsin. WisDOT reported that in one recent year:

  • There were 1,137 pedestrian crashes.
  • Fifty of these collisions proved fatal.
  • Over 1,000 pedestrians suffered injuries.
  • About a quarter of those injuries were described as serious.

What Compensation Can I Recover After a Wisconsin Pedestrian Accident?

If you were injured in a pedestrian accident in Wisconsin that someone else caused, the at-fault party could owe you money for your:

  • Medical Expenses – Compensation can cover all medical costs related to your injury, including immediate expenses like emergency room visits as well as future medical costs for ongoing treatment and rehabilitation.
  • Lost Wages and Earning Capacity – If the pedestrian accident injury caused you to miss work or diminished your future earning ability, you can seek compensation for these losses. Lost wages can also include things like benefits, bonuses, tips, and commissions.
  • Pain and Suffering – This legal term describes the physical discomfort and emotional turmoil associated with your injuries. These are non-economic in nature, making them more difficult to prove without experienced legal help.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life – This term describes diminished happiness caused by your inability to participate in your favorite activities because of your injuries.
  • Property Damage – If the accident also damaged your personal belongings, you may be entitled to recover the cost of repair or replacement.

Remember, each case is unique, and your potential compensation will depend on the specific circumstances of your pedestrian accident and the losses you incurred. Discuss your situation with an experienced Wisconsin pedestrian accident lawyer to learn more.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Pedestrian Accident in Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, the person who causes an accident is generally liable for its consequences, including the financial and subjective costs of the damage. Depending on the circumstances of the pedestrian accident, any of the following parties may be to blame:

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The Driver – In many instances, the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident is liable because of their negligent behavior, which means their failure to exercise due care given the circumstances. Examples of negligence include speeding, driving under the influence, or not yielding to pedestrians where appropriate.

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The Pedestrian – In some cases, pedestrians themselves are partially or fully responsible, especially if they were jaywalking, crossing against traffic signals, or walking in areas not designated for pedestrian traffic. It’s important to note, though, that Wisconsin follows a “comparative fault” rule. This means that a pedestrian can still recover damages even if they are partially to blame, as long as their share of the blame is not greater than the driver’s.

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A Government Entity – A government entity could be liable if the accident occurred due to poor road conditions, insufficient signage, or malfunctioning traffic control devices. These cases can be challenging, as they require proving that the government entity was negligent in maintaining safe roadway conditions. They are also subject to tighter deadlines than other pedestrian accident cases.

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A Private Property Owner – If a pedestrian accident occurs on private property, such as in a parking lot or a private roadway, the property’s owner could be to blame. This could be the case if there were hazards on the property, such as poor lighting, badly maintained walkways, or other unsafe conditions that contributed to the accident.

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A Vehicle Manufacturer – If a vehicle defect like faulty brakes or steering contributed to the accident, the vehicle’s manufacturer might be held accountable.

Benefits of Hiring a Wisconsin Pedestrian Accident Law Firm

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The aftermath of a pedestrian accident can be painful, financially draining, and emotionally overwhelming. While you could be owed money, pursuing this compensation on your own could prove difficult. Instead, turn to a Wisconsin pedestrian accident attorney at Schwaba Law Firm for help. Andrew Schwaba can:

  • Investigate the accident to determine everyone who could owe you money
  • Work with experts like healthcare providers and accountants to calculate the full extent of your losses and what fair compensation entails
  • Timely file demand letters and other paperwork to keep your pedestrian accident claim on track
  • Negotiate aggressively with liable insurance companies, demanding they pay you every cent you’re owed
  • Pursue your case through to trial if the liable parties won’t make a fair settlement offer

How Long Do I Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin has a deadline, called the statute of limitations, for filing personal injury claims like those involving pedestrian crashes. This deadline generally allows three years from the date of the accident to initiate legal proceedings against those responsible for your injuries. If you fail to file your claim within this time frame, you may lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries and losses.

While three years may seem like plenty of time to file a lawsuit, acting as quickly as possible after a pedestrian accident is crucial. Physical evidence at the accident scene can change or disappear, and memories of the event can fade or become less accurate over time. Acting quickly also allows your attorney to thoroughly investigate and gather evidence like surveillance footage or eyewitness testimonies, which can strengthen your case. Moreover, promptly starting the legal process gives your legal team more time to build a robust case, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, prepare for trial.

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Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Wisconsin Today

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The Schwaba Law Firm is committed to the belief that no one should have to pay the price of a pedestrian accident someone else caused. If a careless motorist hit you or a loved one, reach out to Andrew Schwaba today. He works to protect accident injury victims and help get their lives back on track as expeditiously as possible. You’ll never be charged any attorney fees unless Andrew recovers compensation for your case, so you have nothing to lose.

Get a free initial consultation and case review with a Wisconsin pedestrian accident lawyer from Schwaba Law Firm today.