When a motor vehicle hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian may suffer debilitating or fatal injuries.
Insurance companies are never on the side of an accident victim following a pedestrian accident, and they will do everything they possibly can to undervalue a personal injury claim or lawsuit. The insurance company you deal with and the court system where your case takes place may affect the time it takes to resolve a pedestrian accident claim. However, a skilled attorney increases your likelihood of achieving a favorable settlement within a reasonable timeframe.
A pedestrian accident attorney can immediately investigate your pedestrian accident circumstances and determine your eligibility to file a claim. If you can move forward with a pedestrian accident claim, your lawyer can gather the necessary documents and send them to the insurance company.
Your lawyer can also aggressively negotiate with insurance company representatives in your case, helping you pursue the settlement compensation that you deserve. Finally, if the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, your lawyer can resolve your case efficiently in court.
Every step of the way, your attorney will streamline the process and work to get you the full compensation you deserve. Your lawyer can also make intelligent decisions throughout your case and represent you in all legal proceedings along the way.
Common Reasons Pedestrian Accidents Happen
Pedestrian accidents usually result from careless, negligent, or distracted driving. This is especially true when people drive carelessly in areas where pedestrians are present, including parking lots and garages.
One common cause of pedestrian accidents is excessive speeding by drivers. When a driver speeds through a parking lot, parking garage, or traffic intersection, they might be unable to stop their vehicle in time to avoid hitting a pedestrian, causing the pedestrian to strike the ground and suffer serious injuries.
Pedestrian accidents may also happen when drivers fail to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian while they are present in a designated area, such as a crosswalk.
Another common cause of pedestrian accidents is distracted driving. A driver can get distracted when they turn their head away from the road or otherwise fail to watch the road carefully or attentively.
The common types of distracted driving include texting and driving, making cell phone calls without using a hands-free Bluetooth device, programming a GPS navigation system while driving, roughhousing with vehicle passengers, combing one's hair, applying makeup, and adjusting the volume on a radio or stereo system.
All these activities may cause drivers to look away from the road, preventing them from seeing a pedestrian and stopping their vehicle.
Another common cause of pedestrian accidents is failing to use side view and rearview mirrors. When a driver fails to look into their rearview mirror or backup camera when pulling out of a parking space, they may drive directly into the path of a pedestrian, causing severe injuries.
Finally, some pedestrian accidents result from intoxicated driving. An intoxicated driver may not react to a pedestrian's presence in a timely manner, especially near an intersection crosswalk or sidewalk.
An intoxicated driver may drive erratically and experience various physical and mental symptoms, including blurred vision, limited concentration, and delayed reaction time. Blurred vision might prevent a driver from seeing a nearby pedestrian, while little concentration or delayed reaction time may prevent them from using their reflexes to stop in time to avoid a crash.
If you suffered injuries in a recent pedestrian accident, you need to immediately obtain the legal help you need to streamline your case. A knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney in your area can file a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company and pursue the full monetary compensation you need to recover in your case.
Common Injuries That Pedestrian Accident Victims Suffer
Unlike individuals riding in a car or truck, pedestrians do not have any type of protective covering that surrounds them in an accident scenario. Rather, they are directly exposed to their surrounding environment. When a vehicle hits them, they may suffer severe and sometimes permanent injuries.
The injuries a pedestrian might suffer in an accident will depend on the surface where they fall, the amount of force involved in the collision, and the body parts or parts on which they land. Some of the most common injuries that pedestrian accident victims sustain include traumatic brain injuries, mouth and teeth injuries, eye injuries, broken bones, soft tissue contusions, rib fractures, spinal cord damage, complete and incomplete paralysis injuries, internal bleeding, internal organ damage, and death.
One of the most important steps you can take to streamline your personal injury case is to complete all your recommended medical treatment. By taking this step, you increase your chances of fully recovering and show the insurance company that your injuries are serious.
Attending all your medical appointments on time shows the insurance company that you take your injuries and medical treatment seriously. Consequently, the insurance company may offer you a fair settlement within a short period.
While you focus on completing your medical treatment, your lawyer can perform the legal aspects of your claim, including gathering important documents to assemble into a settlement demand package.
Factors That Affect the Settlement Time for a Pedestrian Accident Case
The total amount of time that it takes to settle or litigate a pedestrian accident case will depend on:
- The amount of time that it takes a pedestrian accident victim to finish their medical treatment
- The amount of time it takes for the accident victim's attorney to obtain copies of important documents, including police reports, expert witness reports, medical treatment records, and medical bills
- The amount of time it takes to get an accident reconstructionist, medical expert, or other expert on board in the case
- The specific insurance company and adjuster with whom the accident victim is dealing and the adjuster's willingness to offer favorable settlement compensation to resolve the pedestrian accident case
- Whether the accident victim decides to file a lawsuit and take their case to court, which can be time-consuming
- Whether the accident victim accepts a pending settlement offer during the litigation stage of the case or decides to take their case to a civil jury trial or binding arbitration hearing
- The court where the premises accident case is pending and the availability of a quick trial date
Obviously, some of these factors are within the accident victim's control, such as whether to go to court. However, other factors exceed the accident victim's control, including the time it takes for the matter to proceed to a civil jury trial.
A skilled pedestrian accident attorney streamline the process, make it more efficient, and obtain the settlement or litigation compensation you need as quickly as possible.
Filing a Timely Claim or Lawsuit Following a Pedestrian Accident
Once you complete your medical treatment, your lawyer can begin advocating for you by sending a settlement demand package to the insurance company. A settlement demand package will include copies of medical treatment records, medical bills, expert reports, injury photographs, and other pertinent documents that the insurance company will use to evaluate the case.
If the insurance company accepts fault for your pedestrian accident, then the adjuster handling your case might make a settlement offer.
Your attorney can negotiate with insurance company representatives and let you know whether a settlement offer is reasonable, given your injuries and other case-related factors.
In most cases, the insurance company's initial offer is not good. In that scenario, your attorney can efficiently negotiate with the adjuster on your behalf and swiftly file a lawsuit in court if the adjuster does not increase their offer within a reasonable timeframe.
If you decide to litigate your case in the court system, your lawyer can handle every stage of the proceedings, further helping to resolve your case efficiently. For example, your lawyer can ensure that the defense attorney schedules your deposition within a reasonable timeframe and that the court system's litigation proceedings move as smoothly as possible. Your attorney can also request the earliest court date on your behalf if you need to take your case to a civil jury trial.
In addition, your attorney can also pursue alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation or binding arbitration. These proceedings may occur far sooner than any trial date in the court system.
For example, the parties may pursue binding arbitration. They can schedule an arbitration hearing date well in advance of the court's scheduled trial date. The parties will then go to the arbitrator's office, present evidence, and obtain a decision in relatively short order.
At every stage of the legal proceedings in your case, your attorney can make informed decisions that will afford you the most efficient and favorable result.
Compensable Pedestrian Accident Monetary Damages
In pedestrian accidents that result from driver negligence, injured accident victims may qualify to recover various types and amounts of monetary damages.
The monetary compensation that an accident victim recovers in their case, either through settlement or litigation, will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding their pedestrian accident, as well as the types of injuries they suffered, the medical procedures that they underwent, and the overall cost of their medical treatment.
Generally, a pedestrian accident victim who suffers a permanent injury will recover monetary damages than for a non-permanent injury. Some of the most common types of monetary damages that pedestrian accident victims can recover include compensation for loss of earnings, loss of earning capacity, past and future related medical expenses, lifetime care costs, loss of spousal consortium, permanent disability or disfigurement, mental distress, inconvenience, pain and suffering, lost quality of life, and loss of the ability to use a body part.
Your attorney can maximize monetary damages by downplaying weaknesses while highlighting your case's strengths.
Speak With a Knowledgeable Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Your Area Today
Under the statute of limitations, pedestrian accident victims have only a limited time to file a lawsuit seeking the monetary recovery they deserve. Specifically, a pedestrian accident victim must file a lawsuit within two years of their accident. Otherwise, they will not recover any monetary damages for their injuries.
If you sustained injuries in a recent pedestrian accident, you must retain the experienced legal counsel you need immediately. Your attorney can handle every aspect of your case efficiently and obtain the highest amount of monetary damages possible within the shortest amount of time.
The key is to have patience and allow a trusted personal injury attorney to handle your claim. They know how to build a strong case and negotiate as long as it takes to obtain the compensation you need and deserve. They should take your case to court when insurers refuse to offer a fair settlement.