An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer is a huge blessing for anyone suffering after being hit by a vehicle. Walking should be a safe activity, but if a negligent driver is on the road walking can be fatal.
Pedestrian accidents are caused by many things, including driver negligence, absence of a marked crosswalk, or even low visibility. Whatever the reason may be, pedestrian accidents are unbelievably common and can cause serious injuries.
It is important to have an attorney or lawyer with considerable experience dealing with the insurance company on your behalf. If you wish to discuss your claim with Schuerger Shunnarah Personal Injury Attorneys without any charge or obligation, call 833-692-5038.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Driving is a discipline that requires dedicated focus. Every driver has due diligence to stay focused on the road, and not be distracted by things around them.
Unfortunately, all too often drivers are trying to multitask and their focus becomes impaired. There are many ways that drivers get distracted. The following are examples of distracted driving:
- Cell phones: making calls or texts
- Radio: changing stations
- Talking to passengers
- Checking GPS
- Aggressive or Reckless Driving
The reasons are widespread. All these activities and others compromise the driver’s ability to focus on what is important.
This one is a no-brainer. You could say it’s why speed limits exist. Many of the drivers who hit pedestrians do so because they are going so fast that they fail to respond to a situation.
Crosswalks are meant to represent a place of safety where pedestrians can cross the road. However, if a pedestrian should think it’s safe and a driver is approaching too quickly, there is often not enough time to stop by the time the vehicle gets to the crosswalk.
Even when you take crosswalks out of the equation, it doesn’t make things any less dangerous. High speed is the perfect recipe to lose control of a vehicle. When this happens, pedestrians who may be going about their business are often the ones to suffer.
You would think since the parking lot is a place for non-moving vehicles, it would represent a safe space for pedestrians. Unfortunately, it’s the presence of these vehicles that create a sticky situation.
Both pedestrians and drivers often have their visibility severely obstructed in parking lots. This is especially true when you have a mixture of smaller vehicles such as sedans and hatchbacks and larger vehicles such as SUVs and pickup trucks.
While pedestrians are not exempt from responsibility, drivers must pay special attention to what’s going on around them and observe low parking lot speed limits. If not, they are going to be held accountable when they cause a pedestrian accident.
Intoxication is another well-documented reason for pedestrian crashes. At this point, you’ve likely heard the phrase “don’t drink and drive” numerous times. Still, it doesn’t stop many drivers from doing exactly that.
Naturally, drunk driving is a terrible idea. Drunk persons are typically severely impaired, being rendered unable to make effective decisions or even have full cognitive control.
How many times have you heard of people making decisions that lead to unfortunate consequences or high regret just because they were drunk or under the influence of drugs? How is anyone in such a state going to be capable of the focus and coordination needed for effective driving?
Some of the most severe injuries pedestrians deal with are caused by drunk drivers. It takes a compassionate and experienced personal injury attorney to help victims navigate such a situation.
Types of Damages in a Pedestrian Accident Claim
A pedestrian accident attorney helps you to navigate the legal system to seek compensation after being hit by a car. The damages you can seek in a pedestrian accident case fall under economic and non-economic categories.
On the economic side of the spectrum, you find the damages that can be quantified financially. On the other hand, the non-economic damages aim to compensate you for a change in the quality of life.
Economic damages are things that we can quantify financially. These amounts are easy to calculate and can be compensated in a pedestrian accident claim. Examples include lost wages, medical expenses, and wrongful death damages.
Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment.
Let’s further discuss these damages.
- Lost Wages: Many pedestrian accident victims have to miss work for some time or leave their job altogether when healing from their injuries. Financial compensation can be received for all time the victim missed work, including for doctors or medical appointments.
- Medical Expenses: The cost of emergency treatment, transportation to the hospital, and any other medical attention you received after the accident would apply here. Ongoing treatment also falls under this umbrella and includes potential necessities, such as physiotherapy. It is crucial to continue to get treatment and keep all medical bills.
- Wrongful Death: Unfortunately, when a driver hits a pedestrian it can be fatal. Pedestrian fatalities can add on more damages brought on by the surviving immediate family members. The pedestrian accident lawsuit can also include a wrongful death claim including funeral costs, burial expenses, loss of future benefits, among others.
- Pain and Suffering: The physical pain and suffering of the injured pedestrian after a serious injury can be astronomical. But also the mental anguish that comes with being hit by a car can also be overwhelming. Pain and suffering include all types of pain and suffering, including physical, mental, and emotional.
- Loss of Consortium: This damage type is typically sought on behalf of a spouse. Sometimes, accidents and their associated injuries leave pedestrians unable to fulfill marital obligations, such as proper companionship or intimacy. Seeking loss of consortium intends to gain compensation in such a case.
- Loss of Enjoyment: Unlike the loss of consortium, this one is sought by the injured party. Some injuries prevent victims from partaking in activities they previously enjoyed. For example, an avid runner who suffered paralysis can no longer run and may sue for this kind of damage.
Pedestrian Accident Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Cost?
Pedestrian accident injury cases are considered to be a type of personal injury lawsuit. Typically, personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you don’t need to worry about paying your lawyer unless you win your case. A percentage of your settlement forms the payment for legal fees.
Working on a contingency fee basis means there are no upfront costs or out-of-pocket fees. Also, they typically will provide a free consultation. So there is no risk to you to get initial legal advice about your accident.
What if the Responsible Party’s Insurance Company Contacts Me?
Insurance companies are very good at using just about anything you say to limit the amount of compensation you can receive. Even if you have not yet contacted a lawyer, let the insurance company know that you would rather have the conversation with your attorney present.
What If I Wasn’t At A Crosswalk or I Am Partially at Fault?
As a pedestrian it is important to take precautions for your safety. Staying on a sidewalk, crossing only at crosswalks, and paying attention to oncoming drivers is essential. Being hit by a car can cause significant injuries and change your life forever. So, what if you have some fault in causing the pedestrian accident, or contributory negligence, can you still seek compensation?
The answer is yes, you can still recover compensation for your injuries. This is more difficult and your amount of compensation will be reduced depending on the amount you played in causing you to be hit. Having an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer will be greatly helpful if you are partially at fault to factor in your comparative negligence.
What If The Driver Does And Hit and Run?
The only thing you can do is use all the information you have to your advantage. Important details such as where you were and a description of the vehicle along with the license plate number can assist greatly.
What Are Typical Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Depending on the location, type of vehicle, type of accident, and speed, the injuries that pedestrians suffer can be mild, severe, or a combination of the two. The most common injuries among these are:
- Cuts and lacerations – These Can occur anywhere along the body and are often accompanied by bruising. With severe enough impact, there may even be internal injuries to major organs.
- Spinal cord injuries – Unfortunately, you find that these are often irreparable. The result tends to be partial or total loss of function, the former of which spells paralysis.
- Orthopedic damage – This Injury type is defined by musculoskeletal damage, which may often even include broken bones.
- Head injuries – The types of head trauma that form this category are widespread, including severe traumatic brain injuries (TBI), concussions, etc.
- Facial damage – Damage to this face can range from moderate to severe. In the worst of cases, necessities, such as vision could be lost. Alternatively, facial reconstruction surgery may be needed.
- Catastrophic injuries- this type of injury includes life-changing injuries such as amputation or loss of sight.
- Fatal injuries- in the worst pedestrian-involved accidents, the pedestrian does not survive their injuries.
Why Do I Need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
Why would you engage an injury law firm to get a pedestrian accident lawyer on your side? Well, as difficult as the initial accident may be, it often only gets more difficult from there. Dealing with insurance companies is a nightmare, as is the painstaking recovery process that tends to follow.
Additionally, there may be estate matters to deal with, which also creates a level of stress and confusion that you would much rather not deal with.
This is all before the mention of the legal principles and processes that you would need to get through to get the compensation you deserve. Your accident claim becomes a whole lot less stressful when you have a lawyer that specializes in pedestrian accidents on your side.
You get better claim protection, and you also don’t have to deal with predatory insurance companies that are doing nothing more than trying to save themselves from paying out what is truly required.
Note also that the said insurance companies are not going to enter settlement or trial proceedings without lawyers on their side. Unfortunately, even as the victim, without proper representation, opposing lawyers can spin much of the truth, leading you to walk out injured and without proper financial or moral support.
What Should I Do If I Am Hit By A Vehicle?
As a pedestrian accident victim, you’re likely dealing with pain and shock. Therefore, it helps to see information like this, as imprinting it on your brain can lead to a series of proper decisions that are synonymous with the most desirable outcome.
First, you must seek medical attention. Many pedestrian accidents cause serious injuries, even fatalities. The most important thing for the injured victim to do is to seek medical attention.
You want to call the police next for investigation purposes. Again, you may find that the people around you may have already called the police. What you don’t want is a driver being able to manipulate the situation to put you at fault if you are the victim.
Additionally, officers prepare an official accident report that is often key in your receipt of compensation.
Start gathering information next, including the vehicle’s license plate number and insurance information. Potentially more important is the driver’s name, driver’s license number, and address.
Photographs are your friend, as are witnesses. For the former, you want to capture your injuries, the offending vehicle’s damage, traffic signals or signs, etc.
A pedestrian accident lawyer should be one of the very next people you call. It’s usually a good idea to do so even before speaking to your own insurance company. Personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation there is no reason to delay calling them.
Let Us Go To War For Your Compensation
Being a victim of a pedestrian accident is challenging in many ways. Navigating the recovery and legal landscapes concurrently is a chore. However, who said you had to do it alone?
Reach out to the pedestrian injury attorneys at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys for a free consultation today. Let a qualified pedestrian accident lawyer perform a free case evaluation and help you plan the next steps.