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Contact An Expert Pedestrian Accident Lawyer to Defend Your Rights

We Understand Personal Injury Law - And Will Fight For Your Recovery.

Pedestrian accidents change lives in an instant. A child excitedly racing across the street never expects a distracted driver to take his life. A grandmother walking to get her mail doesn't anticipate a speeding car will put her in a coma. A busy mom never imagined a routine walk to the grocery store would end with her confined to a wheelchair, facing daunting medical bills and an uncertain future. The drunk driver who struck her carried on with his life as she struggled to regain hers. These horrific, preventable tragedies leave accident survivors and their families grappling with debilitating injuries, deep trauma, and a lifetime of what-ifs.

In 2022, 7,508 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents nationwide - the highest number of pedestrian deaths since 1981. Thousands more suffered critical injuries. Our attorneys recognize that behind each statistic is a story of tremendous pain and loss. We understand these accidents are avoidable - and insist that negligent drivers take responsibility for the harm they cause. Typically, accident victims require extensive medical treatment, counseling, and other support to move forward with their lives. These costs can bring immense financial hardship on accident victims and their families if those responsible fail to be held fully accountable. Our attorneys provide skilled, compassionate advocacy to accident survivors, working tirelessly to ensure you have the compensation you need to recover and continue your life.
If you or a loved one has been impacted by a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Our attorneys are prepared to stand with you as you take the first steps toward healing and closure. Know that you don't have to shoulder the burden of your accident alone - if you’ve been hurt, please contact our team today at (877) 715-9300 or through our website for a free consultation.

What Causes Pedestrian Accidents?

Pedestrian accidents often stem from multiple contributing factors. While reckless driving clearly endangers pedestrians, hazardous road design may also play a major role in an accident. Identifying the direct cause (or causes) of your accident is important when pursuing legal action and compensation. Some of the most common causes of these accidents include:

Driver Error or Misjudgment

Even an experienced driver can make a dangerous split-second error in awareness or judgment that leads to an accident. Failing to see a pedestrian already in the crosswalk, misjudging crossing speed and turning too soon, becoming distracted and drifting out of your lane onto a sidewalk, or making improper turns at a light are some common, dangerous driver mistakes. When a driver makes a reckless split second decision that causes an accident, they are responsible for what happens to the pedestrian they struck.

Broken Traffic Laws

When motorists break traffic safety laws and drive aggressively with no regard for pedestrians, severe or fatal accidents are inevitable. Speeding, ignoring stop signs and red lights, reckless lane changes, and weaving dangerously in traffic can all endanger pedestrians and cause an accident. Distracted driving behaviors like phone use and DUI alcohol/drug impairment also severely hinder driver awareness and reaction time, making accidents far more likely.

Ignored Right-of-Way

Drivers must always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and allow them to finish crossing before proceeding with a turn. Failing to honor pedestrian right-of-way while turning or entering an intersection is inexcusable negligence responsible for numerous accidents and pedestrian deaths.

Distracted Driving

Driver distraction remains one of the top contributors to accidents. Texting, phone calls, car entertainment systems, unruly passengers, and any activity that takes the driver's eyes and focus off the road drastically reduces hazard awareness and endangers any pedestrians nearby. Slowed reaction time from multitasking behind the wheel is a direct cause of many accidents - and often proves fatal.

Driving While Intoxicated

Drunk drivers with impaired coordination, delayed reaction time, and poor judgment are unable to properly respond to pedestrians in their path. Alcohol and drug intoxication dramatically increases the risk of a pedestrian accident. Given the high speeds involved, fatalities are likely in accidents that involve drunk drivers.

Drowsy Driving

Fatigue and sleep deprivation mimic intoxication in terms of creating hazardous conditions on the road. Drowsy drivers experience slower reaction times, reduced awareness, and "micro-sleeps" where they nod off. While operating fast-moving vehicles, a reduced reaction time or a brief "microsleep" can lead to a catastrophic accident.

Speeding in School Zones

Drivers who ignore posted speed limits in school areas recklessly endanger the lives of children. Speed is a major factor in accident severity and survival odds for a struck pedestrian. At higher speeds, drivers have less time to react - and the impact of an accident is far more deadly.

Dangerously Designed Intersections

Beyond driver error, pedestrian accidents often result from hazardous road engineering. Poor intersection design lacking clearly marked crosswalks, adequate lighting, proper signage, and functional walk signals creates confusion and risk for both drivers and pedestrians.

Lack of Crosswalks

Clearly painted crosswalks serve as a vital visual cue to drivers and pedestrians of the appropriate place for safe road crossing. Missing crosswalks force pedestrians to cross blindly and make drivers less prepared to yield. This creates uncertainty and danger for both sides - and can lead to a serious accident.

If the driver, the city, or another party is found in any way at fault for the accident that injured you or killed a loved one, the law may entitle you to financial compensation. While a successful civil lawsuit can never heal your wounds or replace your loved one, it may ease your financial and medical burdens, and it will hold responsible parties accountable for their negligence.

Contributory vs. Comparative Negligence in Pedestrian Accidents

In any personal injury case, including pedestrian accidents, liability is defined as the legal responsibility one party has for the harm caused to another. Determining liability often involves proving negligence, although there are other grounds on which someone can be held liable. Contributory negligence and comparative negligence are two different approaches states use to assign liability.

Contributory Negligence

Contributory negligence is a legal doctrine practiced in a few states, including Alabama. According to this principle, if the plaintiff (the pedestrian injured in the accident) is found even slightly responsible—just 1% at fault—for the accident, they are denied the ability to recover any compensation from the defendant (the driver who caused the accident). Even in cases where the defendant might be overwhelmingly at fault, the plaintiff will not receive any damages unless they are deemed entirely without fault. Because this standard is so strict, it's extremely important to have skilled pedestrian accident lawyers on your side to defend your rights.

Comparative Negligence

States like Florida and Tennessee adopt the comparative negligence principle, which determines liability based on the degree of fault. For instance, if a pedestrian is deemed 25% responsible for an accident due to jaywalking, they can still seek 75% of the damages from the driver who holds the majority of the blame. The financial responsibility for the accident is divided according to each party's percentage of fault.

State Laws

Alabama is one of only three remaining contributory negligence states, while Tennessee and Florida use modified comparative negligence. In Florida, a plaintiff can recover damages as long as their negligence is not greater than that of the defendant. In Tennessee, the plaintiff must be less than 50% at fault to recover any form of compensation.

Key Differences

The primary distinction between these two legal principles revolves around the assessment of fault and entitlement to compensation. Under comparative negligence, an individual can recover damages proportionate to their level of responsibility in the incident. In contrast, contributory negligence denies any compensation if the individual holds even the slightest degree of fault. This places a significant onus on the injured party to prove their complete absence of liability, often favoring the defendant.
Ultimately, in pedestrian accident cases the negligence laws of the state where the accident happened will profoundly impact the strategy involved in seeking damages. Our experienced pedestrian accident lawyers know how to build the strongest case possible, regardless of state, jurisdiction, or legal framework.

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Common Injuries Sustained In Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents can lead to a wide array of traumatic injuries, ranging from minor to catastrophic. Being struck by a fast-moving vehicle often results in severe blunt force trauma that can damage the body in a variety of ways, including:

Head and Brain Injuries

Head trauma is extremely common and potentially fatal for pedestrians involved in car accidents. Victims may suffer concussions, skull fractures, contusions, hemorrhages, and traumatic brain injuries. Symptoms include headaches, confusion, nausea, seizures, loss of consciousness, and coma. Long-term effects of a car-induced head or brain injury can include cognitive deficits, personality changes, and loss of motor function.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The neck and back are vulnerable to serious spinal injuries during pedestrian accidents. Spinal cord trauma can cause temporary or permanent paralysis, affecting mobility, sensation, and the ability to navigate everyday life.

Broken Bones and Fractures

The high-impact force of a car can lead to broken bones, particularly in the legs, arms, hips, and ribs. Compound or open fractures that break through the skin carry higher risks of infection. Healing broken bones after these accidents requires immobilization and extended physical therapy.

Internal Organ Damage

Being struck by a car can damage internal abdominal organs like the liver, kidneys, spleen, pancreas, and bladder. This is incredibly dangerous, especially if not caught early, as it can lead to internal bleeding, organ failure, and other life-threatening conditions. Symptoms of internal damage include intense abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, and bloody urine.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Pedestrians struck by a car frequently suffer sprains, strains, contusions, abrasions from road rash, lacerations, and serious bruising. The muscles, tendons, ligaments, and skin bear the brunt of the initial impact. Healing from these injuries can be slow and painful.

Psychological Trauma

Aside from immediate physical harm, pedestrians often endure psychological problems like post-traumatic stress disorder long after their accidents. Depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, flashbacks, and uncontrollable thoughts are common after traumatic accidents or injuries.

If you've recently been in a pedestrian accident, we urge you to pursue a complete medical evaluation - even if you feel fine. Some dangerous conditions, like bleeding in the brain or internal damage, may not be immediately obvious.

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What Should I Do Immediately After a Pedestrian Accident?

Being struck by a vehicle is an extremely traumatic event. You will likely feel dizzy, disoriented, terrified, or numb. If you are able to keep some presence of mind in the difficult moments after your accident, it is crucial that you take the steps below to protect your rights and health:

If you're in a position to do so, your first step should be to dial emergency services to report the accident. When speaking with the dispatcher, provide as many details as you can about the vehicle, the driver involved, and your specific location. If there are any immediate life-threatening injuries or dangers, communicate them clearly. Having emergency medical personnel on the scene ensures that you and any other injured parties receive immediate attention.

While the adrenaline rush might mask pain or discomfort initially, it's vital that you see a doctor immediately after the accident. Some injuries, such as internal bleeding or traumatic brain injuries, may not manifest symptoms immediately but can have severe consequences if left untreated. A timely medical check-up not only safeguards your health but provides a record of the injuries you sustained in the accident, lending credibility to a potential accident claim.

If your condition allows, try to collect essential information from the scene. This includes:

  • The driver's full name, contact details, insurance information, and vehicle registration number
  • Contact information of any witnesses
  • Photographic evidence of the accident scene, including the positions of vehicles, any skid marks, damage to infrastructure, and your injuries

This evidence can be invaluable when piecing together how the accident occurred and determining responsibility.

Provide any police officers on the scene with an accurate recounting of events. This objective record is essential, especially if there are odd differences in accounts by different parties later on. Once the report has been filed, make sure to request a copy. This official documentation can significantly strengthen your accident claim.

Do not provide any sort of statement to insurers before first consulting a lawyer. This information can and will be used against you in a lawsuit. Speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer early on can make an enormous difference in the success of your accident claim. Our injury attorneys have seen cases like yours before, and are prepared to handle communications with the insurance company, investigate fault, determine liability, and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf - all the way to the courtroom, if necessary.

Organization is key to a successful accident case. Create a dedicated file or folder to store all accident-related documents, from medical bills to any correspondence with insurance companies. Maintaining a record of all related expenses, including medical treatments, lost wages, and any other costs is vital when calculating and substantiating your claim.

Following these steps quickly after any pedestrian accident helps ensure you receive a full and fair recovery. Securing skilled legal representation right away reduces stress and arms you with critical knowledge to make informed choices during the claims process.

What Damages Can I Recover After My Pedestrian Accident?

Surviving a pedestrian accident often comes with steep physical, emotional, and financial costs. When the accident was caused by another party's negligence, the law entitles injured victims to claim compensation for their losses. Some common damages that can be recovered in a pedestrian injury settlement or court award include:

Medical Expenses

This includes all medical costs related to injuries sustained in the accident. Emergency transport, hospitalization, surgeries, medications, assistive devices, physical rehabilitation, home health aides, and ongoing care can add up to staggering sums. Keeping itemized bills and receipts ensures you receive full compensation for all required past and future medical treatment.

Lost Income

If your injuries prevent you from working for any period, whether a few weeks or the rest of your life, you are entitled to claim those lost wages. Provide pay stubs, tax returns, and other documentation of your income before the accident to calculate losses accurately. Benefits like health insurance, retirement contributions, and bonuses should be included.

Loss of Future Earning Capacity

For serious, permanent disabilities that diminish your ability to work and earn as you could have before, experts can provide estimates of overall lost earning potential. Our injury lawyers will consider your earnings history, education level, qualifications, projected career path, and other factors to project lifetime lost wages.

Pain and Suffering

You may be eligible to receive compensation for ongoing, long-term physical pain stemming from accident injuries. Your medical provider may be able to prove the severity and duration of your pain to give a sense of the suffering endured. Multiple surgeries and lengthy recoveries often justify a higher compensation figure.

Emotional Distress

These damages address any mental effects - such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, anger issues, and therapy needs - that resulted from the trauma of the accident. A psychologist can evaluate your mental state and recommend a treatment plan. Emotional distress compensation aims to cover the cost of this treatment.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

If the injuries you sustained in your accident impaired your ability to participate or find joy in activities you used to love, whether sports, hobbies, or travel, you can receive compensation for this loss of fulfillment.

Permanent Disability

For lifelong conditions like paralysis, loss of limb function, brain damage, or other permanent impairments, higher damages account for any major ongoing lifestyle adjustments, including assistive care, transportation, home modifications, and other disability needs.

Wrongful Death

For fatal pedestrian accidents, compensation is available to cover funeral and burial costs, loss of financial support the deceased would have contributed, and emotional grief of losing a loved one. Damages aim to ease the family's transition and help cover household changes.

Your skilled pedestrian accident attorney will fight to recover full and fair compensation on your behalf, based on your unique losses and needs. These damages cannot erase what happened, but may be able to help you move forward in comfort.

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Our 3-Step Process

Connect With Us:

Call our office at (877) 715-9300 or use our online form to arrange a no-cost, no-obligation consultation with our legal team.

We Assess Your Case

In our initial review, our experienced team will analyze the details of your case and map out potential strategies. If you've experienced an injury due to negligence, we’ll assign one of our expert personal injury attorneys to handle your case.

We Defend Your Rights

As one of the Southeast’s top personal injury firms, Wettermark Keith is fully committed to advocating for your rightful compensation and recovery. If an injury has disrupted your life, let our dedicated attorneys seek justice on your behalf.

Frequently Asked Questions

The statute of limitations for filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit varies by state, but is typically between 2-4 years from the date of the collision. It is crucial to consult with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after any accident to avoid exceeding time limits, as missing the filing deadline could result in dismissal of your case regardless of merits. An experienced lawyer can advise if exceptions apply or if there are strategies to pursue compensation even after expiration.

As a pedestrian victim of a motor vehicle collision, you have important legal rights to seek compensation for your damages from any driver found negligent. Drivers must obey all traffic laws and exercise reasonable care to avoid striking pedestrians on sidewalks, crosswalks, shoulders, and roadways. If a pedestrian suffers injury in an accident caused by driver negligence, they can pursue damages like medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Comparative negligence laws may also allow for partial recovery if the pedestrian was partially at fault. Your attorney can help you understand your rights - and ensure they are protected.

Choosing an experienced attorney is critical after any pedestrian accident. You need a lawyer well-versed in motor vehicle negligence laws and litigating injury claims in your state. Your attorney will handle the complex legal process with skill while you focus on recovering from your injuries. Our pedestrian accident attorneys have decades of combined expertise investigating liability, calculating damages, negotiating excellent settlements, and advocating for clients in court.

We understand the financial burdens many accident victims face in addition to the stress of legal action. To this end, our attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. This means that if your lawyer fails to win your case, you pay our firm nothing. At no point will you pay your lawyer out of pocket - any legal fees will be collected from your winnings.

If you are injured as a pedestrian in an accident caused by a negligent driver, it is crucial to take proactive steps to protect your health and legal rights:

  • Seek immediate medical attention to assess and document injuries, even if you feel unharmed initially - some trauma like brain bleeding is not visible.
  • Report the pedestrian accident to police and obtain a copy of the official report for your records - this creates vital evidence about the driver's potential liability.
  • Take photos and video of the accident scene, involved vehicles, and your injuries to support your claim.
  • Get contact details for any witnesses who saw the collision - their accounts help establish what happened.
  • Consult with a pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible about your legal options and have them handle communications.
  • Keep detailed records of all medical expenses, lost income, injuries, and impact to your life to claim as damages.
  • Follow all doctor's treatment plans and attend every appointment to facilitate maximum recovery.
  • Avoid providing any recorded statement to insurance adjusters before discussing your case with your lawyer.

Even if you believe you might have been at fault in the accident, factors like driver negligence, car malfunction, or unclear road signals could play a role. An experienced attorney can help you understand the nuances of your case. Depending on the jurisdiction, you may still be eligible for compensation even if partially at fault. This underscores the importance of seeking a lawyer's advice before making any decisions.

An attorney is invaluable in navigating the legal complexities of pedestrian accidents. They understand the law, can negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and can ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Our attorneys will:

  • Handle the legal complexities so you can focus on recovery
  • Thoroughly investigate the accident circumstances to prove driver negligence
  • Estimate the full value of your personal injury claim for damages
  • Forcefully negotiate with insurers to maximize your settlement
  • Are ready to take your case to court if needed to obtain justice
  • Ensure you comply with deadlines and avoid losing your rights
  • Reduce stress and frustration by managing the legal process on your behalf

When multiple pedestrians are involved in an accident, the legal proceedings can be more complex. An attorney will first determine the liability of each party, including every pedestrian, driver, and potentially, car manufacturer. Evidence collection becomes crucial, and statements from all involved pedestrians are taken. The lawyer will then determine the damages for each pedestrian based on their injuries. Settlement negotiations might involve multiple insurance companies, making legal representation even more vital.

Pure contributory negligence completely bars recovery for a negligent pedestrian plaintiff, while comparative negligence allows reduced compensation proportional to the pedestrian's percentage of fault, which must be investigated and determined. Under "pure" comparative negligence, a 99% at-fault pedestrian can still recover 1% of damages. But in "modified" comparative negligence states, recovery is barred if the pedestrian plaintiff's fault exceeds 50% (or 51%, depending on the state).

Safety is paramount for both drivers and pedestrians. Pedestrians should use crosswalks, obey traffic signals, and avoid using electronic devices that distract them. Wearing visible clothing at night and making eye contact with drivers before crossing can reduce risks. For drivers, it's crucial to obey speed limits, be extra vigilant in pedestrian-heavy areas, and never drive under the influence. Both pedestrians and drivers sharing mutual respect and awareness can significantly minimize accidents.

Filing a liability claim against another driver's insurance after being hit as a pedestrian will not increase your own auto insurance rates. Insurers determine your premiums based on your driving history and risk profile, not whether you were the innocent victim of someone else's negligent driving. However, if you are found partially at fault as a pedestrian, a comparative negligence settlement could impact future rates. This is because insurers will consider your overall risk profile when setting your rates, and being involved in an accident, even if you are a pedestrian and not at fault, can make you appear to be a riskier driver. The amount of your rate increase will depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the accident, your state's laws on comparative negligence, and your insurance company's policies. In general, however, you should not expect a significant rate increase if you are found to be less than 50% at fault for the accident.

Several factors determine settlements and awards. Sometimes, the driver's degree of fault plays a role in determining the award amount. Our expert lawyers will work to ensure all damages, both tangible and intangible, are accounted for in the calculation.
The total value of your accident settlement is calculated based on:

  • Documented medical costs
  • Lost past and future income
  • Estimated future medical expenses
  • Pain, suffering and emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Other applicable damages

However, your exact settlement or award amount depends on the circumstances of your accident and the details of your case.

Seek Justice - Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today

Surviving a pedestrian accident comes with extensive physical, emotional, and practical challenges. In this situation, contacting the right pedestrian accident attorney is crucial. The right lawyer will be your ally and advisor, guiding you through the confusing claims process while you focus on healing. We understand this is an incredibly difficult time, and treat each and every client with the compassion and respect they deserve. Our attorneys can conduct a thorough investigation of your accident to identify all negligent parties and build the strongest case possible.

Quality legal representation levels the playing field against insurance companies and their vast resources. Too often, insurance providers try to lowball victims or deny valid claims altogether. Our attorneys know how to overcome these tactics and secure full coverage for all your losses and future needs. We work closely with medical experts to document the true extent of your injuries and treatment requirements. Our attorneys will gather police reports, analyze road conditions, request medical records, interview witnesses, consult traffic engineers, and take any actions necessary to prove liability and obtain your compensation.

With over five decades of combined experience representing injured pedestrians, we understand the inherent stress of pursuing a civil case after an accident - and seek to minimize your stress and maximize your compensation. Filing insurance claims and lawsuits is time-consuming and complex, especially when dealing with the aftermath of an accident. With our pedestrian accident lawyers on your side, you can leave the required paperwork, negotiations, court appearances, and other legal matters to us. Our attorneys know how to maximize compensation under state negligence laws, and will fight relentlessly to help you recover damages for medical bills, lost income, disability accommodations, pain and suffering, and other losses resulting from the accident. We will thoroughly investigate liability, negotiate aggressively with insurance companies, and are fully prepared to take your case to court if needed to obtain fair compensation.

While we work through the legal details, you can concentrate on your recovery and surround yourself with loved ones. Contact us today at 877-715-9300 to schedule a free consultation. You handle the initial phone call, and we'll handle the rest.

About Wettermark Keith

Wettermark Keith, with offices located throughout Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida, has an excellent reputation as one of the most accomplished personal injury firms in the country. Our reach is not only regional but includes a diverse range of practice areas, including premises liability law, personal injury cases, auto wrecks, trucking wrecks, nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, on-the-job injuries, social security disability, and veterans’ disability claims, to name just a few. At Wettermark Keith, we believe in taking cases personally. Our purpose is to practice with care and compassion - to tell our clients’ stories and make their voices heard. We do this by building strong relationships based on constant communication and an unwavering dedication to truth and trust. You should never wonder what’s going on with your case. We will keep you in the loop and represent you as if you are family- because to us, you are.

Wettermark Keith was extremely professional and helpful. This personal injury law firm helped my husband over 10 years ago when he fell and broke his foot on vacation. I called them first because I liked their TV commercials. They are very nice people and I would call them again if I needed a lawyer.

- Juanita

Law firm Wettermark Keith has exceeded my expectations! I recommend these lawyers to anyone and everyone I come across. Their commitment to their clients is outstanding. Communication is easy. And I got my settlement very fast. I definitely recommend working with Lee Hawker. He is very gracious and kind. He looked out for me and my family and went above and beyond for us. I’m very grateful!

- Alexa

My personal embattlement with the Social Security Administration went downhill. From a personal recommendation, I reached out to Wettermark Keith law firm. Brian Smith and his team took my case and throughout the whole process, I felt more than just another number. Frequent updates were provided, and emphasis was placed on ensuring all needed documentation was in place. In the end, the accident case resulted in a favorable victory. A big thank you to my lawyer Brian Smith and the team at Wettermark Keith for the hard work throughout the entire personal injury process.

- Dallas

I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Mark English at Wettermark Keith law firm after my car accident in December 2021. He was very thorough in everything, did a wonderful job of explaining everything that was happening, and was super easy to get in touch with when I needed him. I never had a question that was left unanswered by this lawyer. He's very kind and patient, and he made the personal injury claims process so easy for me. I absolutely recommend him, it was a pleasure working with him!

- Rose

I am so elated that I utilized Mr. Muhammad Abdullah’s services. In the beginning, he told me the compensation that I would receive for my personal injury claim and I actually received more than that! After my car wreck (in my brand-new vehicle), I was actually surprised that I was in the pain that I was in. Mr. Abdullah made sure I saw the necessary people for therapy and worked hard to get me back into my car after the accident. I felt that he was diligent, listened to my concerns, and quickly got me back in my car and compensated! I will be utilizing Mr. Abdullah again and again, anytime I ever have to hire a lawyer.

- Madinah