Pedestrian accidents typically occur when people drive carelessly and negligently – especially near traffic intersections equipped with crosswalks. In an accident scenario, pedestrians are at a significant disadvantage. This occurs because pedestrians, unlike occupants of enclosed motor vehicles, face direct exposure to the ground and their immediate surroundings. The force of a pedestrian accident may knock a pedestrian to the ground, potentially causing severe and sometimes fatal injuries.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a recent pedestrian accident, you need to retain an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer to represent you as soon as possible. Your lawyer can quickly begin an investigation into your case and file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
The amount of time it takes your pedestrian accident claim to settle will depend upon various factors, including the full extent of your injuries, the length of your medical treatment, and other accident circumstances. However, retaining an experienced lawyer to represent you as soon as possible increases your chances of achieving a favorable settlement result quickly.
Common Locations for Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can occur in various locations, with certain areas posing a higher risk due to traffic density, infrastructure design, and pedestrian behavior. One common location for pedestrian accidents is traffic intersections. While designed to enhance pedestrian safety, crosswalks can still be hotspots for collisions, especially when drivers fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.
Another prevalent location for pedestrian accidents is near public transportation stops. Bus stops, train stations, and transit hubs see high pedestrian traffic. Distractions and the rush to catch transportation can lead to driver inattentiveness and a higher risk of pedestrian accidents.
Busy urban areas, including downtown districts and commercial zones, are also susceptible to pedestrian accidents. The convergence of pedestrians, cyclists, and various types of vehicles increases the complexity of traffic dynamics. Moreover, when drivers navigate tight spaces and congested areas, they may fail to notice a pedestrian and cause a collision.
Residential areas and school zones are not exempt from pedestrian accidents either. Speeding through neighborhoods or near schools can result in collisions with children and adults.
Parking lots and parking garages are also common locations for pedestrian accidents. The mix of moving vehicles, pedestrians walking to and from their cars, and obscured sightlines can create hazardous conditions. Drivers backing out of parking spaces or turning corners may not always be aware of pedestrians in their proximity, as they might fail to use their rearview mirrors, side view mirrors, and backup cameras.
If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident in one of these locations, an experienced pedestrian accident attorney in your area can help. Your lawyer can review your accident circumstances and gather the documents necessary to pursue the full monetary compensation you deserve.
Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrian accidents can result in a wide range of injuries. Among the most common injuries are fractures and broken bones. The impact of a vehicle can cause severe trauma, leading to fractures in the legs, arms, hips, and other bones. The force of collisions varies but often results in significant orthopedic injuries.
Head injuries are another frequent outcome of pedestrian accidents. Even when wearing helmets, pedestrians are susceptible to head trauma upon impact with a vehicle. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can range from mild concussions to more severe and life-altering conditions, depending upon the force of the collision and how the pedestrian falls on the ground.
Soft tissue injuries, such as contusions, lacerations, and abrasions, are also prevalent in pedestrian accidents. These injuries can result from direct contact with a vehicle or the subsequent impact on the ground. While they may be less severe than fractures or head injuries, soft tissue injuries can still require medical attention and leave lasting scars.
Spinal injuries are a significant concern in pedestrian accidents. The force of the impact can lead to spinal cord damage, potentially causing paralysis or long-term neurological issues. Spinal cord injuries require immediate medical attention and often involve extensive rehabilitation and therapy.
Internal injuries are also common, especially when a vehicle forcefully hits a pedestrian. Organs may sustain damage, leading to internal bleeding or other complications. The severity of internal injuries may not always be immediately apparent, emphasizing the importance of thorough medical examinations following a pedestrian accident.
Psychological trauma is another consequence of pedestrian accidents. Witnessing or experiencing a collision with a vehicle can lead to emotional distress, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The psychological effects of a pedestrian accident may also require counseling or therapy.
If you suffered any of these injuries in a pedestrian accident, you must immediately consult with an experienced attorney. Your lawyer can handle all of the legal aspects of your case while you focus on receiving the medical treatment you need for your injuries.
How do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?
Pedestrian accidents are typically the result of one or more forms of driver negligence. One common cause of pedestrian accidents is driver distraction. When drivers engage in activities such as texting, adjusting the radio, or even daydreaming, they turn their attention away from the road. Failing to notice pedestrians in crosswalks or at intersections can result in collisions. In urban areas with heavy traffic, distracted driving becomes a more pronounced risk factor for accidents.
Failing to yield the right-of-way is another common cause of pedestrian accidents. This can occur when drivers fail to stop at crosswalks or give pedestrians the lawful right-of-way at intersections.
Moreover, speeding is a significant factor in pedestrian accidents – particularly in residential areas and near schools. Higher speeds reduce a driver’s reaction time and increase the severity of injuries in the event of a collision. Speeding also diminishes the likelihood that drivers can stop in time to avoid accidents involving pedestrians.
Pedestrian accidents may also happen when drivers come under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Impaired judgment and coordination compromise a driver’s ability to navigate traffic safely. Alcohol and drug intoxication may also cause drivers to experience blurred vision, delayed reflexes, and delayed reaction time, preventing them from seeing pedestrians or reacting in time to avoid a collision.
If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident resulting from driver negligence, you have legal options. A skilled pedestrian accident lawyer in your area can review your options and take the necessary steps to secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
How Much Money Can I Recover for My Pedestrian Accident Injuries?
Recovering monetary compensation following a pedestrian accident typically involves several key steps, including assessing damages, determining liability, and navigating insurance claims or legal action.
The first step in recovering monetary damages is to assess the extent of the damages that the injured pedestrian incurred. This step includes assessing medical expenses, such as hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, and ongoing healthcare needs. Lost income due to the inability to work during recovery, property damage, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering are also recoverable.
Determining liability for the accident is also a pivotal aspect of the process. Establishing the driver at fault for the pedestrian accident is crucial in pursuing a successful compensation claim. This assessment involves examining traffic laws, eyewitness accounts, surveillance footage, and professional opinions to ascertain the responsible party.
Insurance claims are a common avenue for seeking compensation after a pedestrian accident. The at-fault driver’s liability insurance covers the accident victim’s medical expenses, property damage, and other economic losses. However, insurance claims can be complex, and insurers may attempt to minimize payouts. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can provide the insurance company with thorough documentation of damages and negotiate effectively with settlement adjusters.
If an insurance settlement is insufficient or unattainable, pursuing a personal injury lawsuit may become necessary in the pedestrian accident case. This process involves filing a legal complaint against the at-fault driver. In some instances, legal action may involve third parties, such as government entities responsible for maintaining safe road conditions.
In an injury lawsuit, the accident victim seeks compensation for damages through the legal system. This process involves gathering evidence, presenting a compelling case, and negotiating or litigating in court. A successful lawsuit may result in compensation for medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Experienced legal representation is crucial in pursuing monetary damages after a pedestrian accident. Personal injury attorneys focus on navigating the complexities of these cases, advocating for their clients, and ensuring that they receive fair and just compensation for their losses.
A skilled pedestrian accident lawyer can assess your circumstances, build a strong case, negotiate with insurance companies, or represent you in court. If your case proceeds to litigation, your attorney can represent you during all legal proceedings (such as a jury trial, mediation session, or binding arbitration hearing) and zealously advocate for your rights and interests.
What Happens if Your Pedestrian Accident Case Doesn’t Settle?
If the insurance company disputes fault for your accident or the handling adjuster declines to offer a reasonable settlement, there might be no settlement in a pedestrian accident case if the insurance company disputes fault or the handling adjuster refuses to offer a reasonable settlement. In those instances, your case will typically proceed to a civil jury trial or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceeding for a resolution. During a civil jury trial, a jury will decide all disputed issues in the case, including the amount of monetary compensation to award you for your injuries. During a trial, all of the following may occur:
- The attorneys will call witnesses, including professionals, to take the witness stand and testify.
- The lawyer will introduce various types of documentary evidence, including medical records, medical bills, and police reports.
- The accident victim will testify as to their version of events.
- The attorneys will make closing arguments in support of their version of events.
If the parties elect not to take their case to a jury trial, they may agree to pursue various types of ADR. For example, a neutral mediator will help facilitate the parties’ ongoing settlement discussions during a mediation hearing. However, at a binding arbitration hearing, a pre-selected arbitrator will listen to the evidence that the parties present and decide the amount of monetary compensation to award the injured pedestrian.
Your attorney can provide counsel to decide between settlement and litigation in your pedestrian accident case, considering factors such as the extent of your injuries and the circumstances of the incident. Additionally, they will vigorously represent you, advocating for your rights and interests at every stage of the legal process.
Speak with a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Right Away
If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a pedestrian accident, seeking prompt counsel from a skilled personal injury lawyer in your locality is crucial. Your attorney can assess your legal options, considering the specifics of the accident and the injuries sustained. Moreover, they will passionately advocate for your legal rights and interests throughout all legal proceedings, ensuring your case receives effective representation.