In cities across the United States, pedestrians generally have the right of way when crossing the street. However, state traffic laws require pedestrians and drivers to yield to each other based on specific rules and expectations, making it difficult to determine liability.
Regardless of who has the right of way and who should yield, some drivers may not see or notice a pedestrian on the roadway. These mistakes frequently happen when it is dark, stormy, or the driver is elderly or cannot see well.
No matter how your pedestrian accident occurred, you are most likely entitled to compensation for your losses. Contact a experienced pedestrian accident attorney for legal guidance. You might wonder how much you may receive, which is a common question with a more complex answer than you might imagine.
Why do pedestrian accidents commonly happen?
When drivers hit pedestrians, they are most likely not following the law or paying attention to their surroundings. Usually, the driver needed to yield the right of way, leading to a senseless accident.
When this happens, pedestrians can suffer severe injuries or even die instantly.
A responsible driver can prevent pedestrian accidents by not:
- Texting and driving
- Talking on the phone and driving
- Eating and driving
- Driving while drunk or intoxicated
- Driving while tired, drowsy, or fatigued
- Failing to check surroundings or blind spots
- Making improper turns
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Not following traffic rules and laws
- Driving aggressively or having road rage
- Running stop signs or lights
Pedestrian accidents can also happen because of faulty car parts. If this is the case for you, you can file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the vehicle or auto part. Mechanic shops and repair companies may also receive a lawsuit if they fail to check or adequately fix any parts of the vehicle that caused your accident.
What types of injuries do pedestrians often face when involved in an accident?
Pedestrians often face catastrophic injuries when struck by a car, pickup truck, 18-wheeler, bus, motorcycle, or any other form of transportation. As a result, they will likely spend the rest of their lives receiving medical treatment, caregiving services, counseling, surgeries, and more.
Here are some of the injuries that victims of pedestrian accidents suffer from:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Back and spinal cord injuries
- Facial, dental, and eye injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Broken and fractured bones
- Mental trauma
- Cuts, punctures, and lacerations
- Crushing injuries
- Permanent nerve damage
- Soft tissue injuries
- Neck injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Torn ligaments, tendons, and muscles
Pedestrian injuries often cause expensive financial expenses for individuals and their families. Therefore, when a person is involved in a pedestrian accident, they may feel lost and hopeless while losing income, watching their medical bills accumulate, and falling behind on their house payment and other living expenses.
What should I expect when filing a pedestrian accident claim?
Suppose you were a pedestrian struck by a car or any other vehicle. In that case, you should hold the driver accountable for their negligent behavior, as it will ensure you get the justice you deserve and possibly prevent the same thing from happening to someone else.
A pedestrian accident attorney will pursue a pedestrian accident claim after the driver of a car or another type of vehicle hits a victim. This process usually requires filing an insurance claim against the driver’s car insurance company. Your attorney will handle all communication with the insurance company and negotiate a fair settlement based on your losses and the money you need to turn your life around.
You can also file a lawsuit against the driver and proceed to a court hearing. Your lawyer will review your claim’s facts and circumstances and let you know if this is a good option for you.
Sometimes, insurance companies fail to cooperate and provide fair compensation, which can lead to a court trial hearing even if you file an insurance claim. However, your pedestrian accident lawyer will inform you about the best possible legal routes to pursue to obtain the desired outcome.
How do I prove that a driver caused my pedestrian accident?
When filing a pedestrian accident claim or lawsuit, you must show that the vehicle’s driver was at fault for the pedestrian accident, provide compelling evidence that they caused the accident, and prove that they are directly responsible for your injuries and other losses.
An experienced pedestrian lawyer will secure all necessary materials and documentation, and you and your attorney will work together to gather the following evidence to show the driver’s negligence:
- Surveillance footage
- Police reports
- Medical records
- Eyewitness testimonies
- Expert witness statements
- Documentation, bills, receipts, or paperwork related to the accident/ injuries
What does the driver have to pay for if they are negligent in a pedestrian accident?
If adequate proof shows that the driver was negligent, they will be liable for your pedestrian accident, requiring them or their insurance company to pay you for your losses. Your losses are any adverse effects you have experienced since the accident occurred.
Some of the most common losses that individuals experience in a pedestrian accident claim include:
- All future and past medical expenses related to the pedestrian accident
- All prospective and past lost income and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Modifications to your home to help you cope with your injuries
- Counseling fees
- Physical therapy costs
- Hired services to assist you with daily tasks and duties
- Occupational therapy expenses
- Disability and disfigurement
- Emotional and mental trauma/distress
- Loss of quality and enjoyment of life/activities
These factors might make you wonder how much compensation you should receive for your pedestrian accident case. Everyone’s pedestrian accident case is unique and different, as individuals may receive no standard or set compensation for their accidents.
Instead, certain factors can determine how much money you deserve, including:
- How severe your injuries are
- Who and how many parties are at fault
- How the pedestrian accident has affected your life
- The costs you have accumulated from the accident
- The losses you have suffered
- Whether or not you can work again
- Whether or not you experience any permanent or lifelong disabilities
It is normal to want to know how much money you may receive from your pedestrian accident claim.
You must schedule a free consultation with a pedestrian accident lawyer to discuss and review your case’s factors and learn about the compensation you may receive. An attorney will work with professionals, such as accountants, doctors, nurses, and physical therapists, to calculate and determine how much your pedestrian accident claim is worth.
How can you prepare to handle the insurance company in a pedestrian accident case?
Pedestrian accidents are usually severe. An individual will have little to no chance of protecting themselves and enduring the force of a car.
You are most likely vulnerable during this time as you are recovering and in the middle of your healing journey. Insurance companies think this is the perfect time to get you to admit fault or state that your injuries are not very serious.
While you may believe that insurance companies are trustworthy and will never steer you wrong, the truth is that insurance agents receive extensive training to manipulate you to say anything that can incriminate you. They will twist, turn, and use your words against you in court.
That said, call an experienced and skilled pedestrian accident attorney who knows insurance companies’ tactics and how to communicate with them.
Insurance companies will also offer you a low-ball settlement. They know you are eager for quick money to begin paying your increasing bills.
A professional and knowledgeable attorney knows the fair and accurate compensation amount depending on your injuries and losses. As a result, they will likely tell you never to take the first offer the insurance company gives you. Instead, wait for a higher offer that will completely cover your bills and allow you to rebuild your life.
Do you have to attend court for a pedestrian accident?
Settlements for pedestrian accidents usually occur outside of court; therefore, you probably will not have to attend a trial hearing for your accident. However, if the insurance company does not cooperate, and your attorney believes you deserve a higher settlement, your pedestrian accident claim may proceed to court. You may need to attend court hearings if so.
Always hire an attorney to handle your legal issues. Your rights are too important to attempt to handle a pedestrian accident claim on your own.
Are there pedestrian rules I should be aware of?
Many state laws impose rules that pedestrians must follow, but never allow an insurance company to pin liability on you for potential violations. Drivers must yield to pedestrians at nearly all times, so pedestrians can recover compensation when they suffer injuries in crashes.
Talk to an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer today
A pleasant neighborhood stroll, a walk along the beautiful ocean, or getting some much-needed exercise can turn tragic when you are in a pedestrian accident.
When this happens, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer who knows and understands how to secure the compensation you need and deserve for your damages. They will guide you through the legal process by gathering essential evidence, communicating with the insurance companies, and ensuring you comprehend your legal rights and options. An experienced personal injury attorney will allow you to focus on your recovery so you can get your life back on track.