Pedestrian accidents typically happen when drivers speed excessively and drive inattentively. When the force of a collision knocks a pedestrian down, they may suffer severe and debilitating injuries affecting them for the rest of their lives.
If you suffered injuries in a recent pedestrian accident, retain an experienced attorney who can handle every aspect of your case. A knowledgeable pedestrian accident lawyer can file a claim with the appropriate insurance company and negotiate fair settlement compensation from the adjuster handling your case.
Additionally, your attorney can file a lawsuit in the court system and, if necessary, take your case to a civil jury trial or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceeding. Your attorney can also answer all your legal questions so you can make informed and intelligent decisions throughout your case. Your lawyer will do everything possible to maximize the monetary compensation you recover for your injuries.
How Do Pedestrian Accidents Frequently Occur?
Pedestrian accidents usually happen when drivers commit serious errors while behind the wheel. These accidents are prevalent when drivers speed excessively in areas where pedestrians tend to be present, including at traffic intersections, parking lots, and parking garages. Pedestrian accidents may also occur when drivers fail to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian who is lawfully present at an intersection crosswalk.
Pedestrian accidents can also happen when drivers fail to observe the road in areas where pedestrians are present. Drivers may become distracted by texting, making calls, using GPS, passengers, eating, or many other activities. When drivers turn their heads away from the road, they may not see a pedestrian approaching. Consequently, they might cause their vehicle to strike the pedestrian, leading to severe injuries.
A pedestrian accident can also happen because of an intoxicated driver. These substances may affect a driver's vision, concentration, and mindset. Consequently, an intoxicated driver may not even observe a pedestrian who is present in the vicinity.
A drunk driver may also exhibit erratic driving maneuvers, causing them to drive their vehicle onto the sidewalk or, through a red light, hitting a pedestrian.
Finally, an intoxicated driver may experience delayed reflexes and reaction time. As a result, even if they see a pedestrian in the vicinity, they may not stop fast enough to avoid an accident.
Often, drivers simply fail to pay attention to walk signals when making turns, especially right-hand turns. Drivers might be looking at oncoming traffic and fail to notice pedestrians have a walk signal and someone enters the road. When they accelerate to turn, they can crash directly into a pedestrian. Even with confusing traffic signals and intersections, drivers must watch for pedestrians and yield to walk signals.
If you suffered injuries in a recent pedestrian accident that resulted from one of these types of negligence, you are not alone. A pedestrian accident lawyer can go over all your legal options with you, select the best course of action for your case, and begin pursuing the monetary compensation you deserve to recover for your injuries.
Injuries in Local Pedestrian Accidents
When a negligent driver causes a pedestrian accident, the force of the collision may be so significant that it causes a pedestrian to fall directly on the ground. Unlike motor vehicle occupants, pedestrians do not have a protective covering surrounding them in an accident. Consequently, they will likely suffer severe injuries if they strike the ground.
The nature and extent of a pedestrian accident victim's injuries will typically depend upon the collision's force, the accident's specific circumstances, and how the pedestrian falls on the ground. The surface a pedestrian falls may also affect the injuries they ultimately suffer. When pedestrians fall on macadam or concrete, they are highly likely to suffer permanent and debilitating injuries.
Some of the most common injuries that a pedestrian accident victim may suffer include:
- Road rash
- One or more broken bones
- Rib fractures
- Soft tissue injuries
- Mouth and teeth injuries
- Complete and incomplete paralysis
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal organ injuries
If you sustained one of these injuries in a pedestrian accident, follow all the instructions your healthcare provider recommends. For example, you might need to consult a specialist, such as an orthopedic doctor, and attend ongoing physical therapy sessions.
Failing to complete your medical treatment regimen or discharging yourself from treatment sends a red flag to the insurance company that your injuries are not severe. As a result, the insurance company may not offer you the fair monetary compensation you deserve to recover. By completing your medical treatment regimen, you show the insurance company that your injuries are severe and that you deserve to recover appropriate compensation.
While you attend your medical appointments and focus on recovering from your injuries, your pedestrian accident attorney can begin working for you. Your lawyer can start gathering essential documents in your case, including police reports, statements from witnesses, medical treatment records, and medical bills, and begin assembling them into a complete settlement demand package for the insurance company adjuster to review in your case.
If the insurance company accepts fault for your pedestrian accident, your attorney can begin the settlement negotiation process on your behalf.
Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim
In those pedestrian accident scenarios, the accident victim's attorney will deal directly with the insurance company for the responsible driver. However, insurance adjusters will do everything they can to undervalue a pedestrian accident claim. This is because insurance companies have absolutely no incentive to fairly compensate accident victims for their injuries.
Instead, the insurance company wants to resolve the matter as quickly and cheaply as possible to keep their money in-house rather than pay it out to the accident victim. Some adjusters will argue that the pedestrian somehow caused or contributed to their accidents. They might also contend that one or more of the pedestrian's injuries did not occur because of the accident.
Your attorney can combat these tactics by introducing favorable medical records and testimony on your behalf and, if necessary, litigate your case in state court.
Your attorney can also determine whether a particular settlement offer from the insurance company adjuster is favorable and worth accepting, given the facts and circumstances of your accident case. If so, your lawyer can finalize the settlement process. Otherwise, your attorney can file a lawsuit and litigate your case to a resolution in court.
Pedestrian Accident Lawsuits
By filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit on your behalf in the state court system, your attorney begins the litigation process in your case. During litigation, both parties may continue their settlement negotiations, and the matter may still reach a resolution at any stage of the process.
Also, during litigation, the parties will answer one another's written interrogatories and submit to discovery depositions. During a deposition, the defense attorney may ask you about how your pedestrian accident happened, the extent of your injuries, the medical treatment you underwent, and the consequences of the accident and injuries on your life. Your pedestrian accident attorney can prepare you for an upcoming deposition.
Following the discovery portion of litigation, the insurance company might increase its settlement offer. Otherwise, the parties may take their case to a civil jury trial and allow a jury to decide the outcome of all disputed issues.
The parties can also pursue ADR, such as mediation or binding arbitration, and allow a neutral third party to assist with resolving the pedestrian accident case. Your attorney can determine which options best suit your needs, given the facts and circumstances of your case.
What Is a Pedestrian Accident Victim's Legal Burden of Proof?
In a pedestrian accident claim or lawsuit, the injured pedestrian has the sole legal burden of proof. The at-fault driver who caused the accident, on the other hand, does not need to prove anything in the case. Instead, the sole legal burden rests with the injured pedestrian.
All drivers have a duty to drive in a careful, prudent, and safe manner at all times. They also have an obligation to follow all applicable traffic laws and to refrain from road rage, distracted driving, and intoxicated driving while they are behind the wheel.
An injured pedestrian must establish that the at-fault driver violated this duty of care in some way. Next, they must show that as a direct result of the driver’s breach, their pedestrian accident occurred. Finally, they must show that they suffered at least one injury as a direct and proximate result of their pedestrian accident.
A skilled pedestrian accident attorney will make sure your case satisfies these legal elements by gathering the necessary documents to support your claim. Your lawyer can also retain experts, such as an accident reconstructionist or medical expert, to testify in support of your pedestrian accident case.
What Monetary Damages Can a Pedestrian Accident Victim Recover in Their Case?
In a pedestrian accident claim or lawsuit, the injured accident victim may be eligible to receive various types of monetary damages, depending upon several factors.
Those factors may include the nature and extent of the pedestrian's injuries, the medical treatment they underwent, the total cost of their medical treatment, whether they suffered a permanent injury, and whether they had to miss time from work following their pedestrian accident.
Some of the most common types of monetary damages that injured pedestrians can recover include compensation for past and future medical expenses, past and future lost income, loss of earnings capacity, loss of spousal consortium, loss of life enjoyment, loss of use of a body part, inconvenience, pain and suffering, mental anguish, lifetime care costs, and permanent disability or disfigurement, such as from scarring.
Your attorney will do everything possible to maximize the monetary recovery you receive through settlement or litigation. Your attorney can also guide you to make important decisions throughout your case.
Talk to a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today
Sometimes, people might think their accident case is straightforward and they do not need to hire an attorney. Thinking this is nearly always a mistake. As we've previously discussed, insurance companies put a lot of time and effort into finding any excuse not to pay accident victims the compensation they deserve. The best way to prevent this is by enlisting the services of a lawyer.
If you recently sustained injuries in a local pedestrian accident, time is of the essence. Victims of pedestrian accidents have limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit pursuant to the state statute of limitations.
According to that statute, accident victims must file a personal injury lawsuit within two years of their accident date. Otherwise, they forever waive their right to recover any monetary recovery for their injuries. Therefore, act right away so that your ability to collect financial compensation is not in jeopardy.
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney in your area can handle every aspect of your case, from gathering important claim documents to filing your claim to negotiating with insurance company representatives to litigating your case in the court system. Your attorney will stand by your side every step of the way, aggressively advocating for you and pursuing the maximum monetary award you deserve to recover for your losses.