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Pedestrian Accidents FAQ

Even a low-speed accident involving a pedestrian can cause serious injuries. Drivers are protected by a heavy metal vehicle, seat belts, and airbags. Pedestrians have no real protection in a crash.

If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, here are some answers to frequently asked questions to help you get compensation for your injuries.

What are the common causes of pedestrian accidents?

Certain things are more likely to cause a pedestrian accident. One common cause of these accidents is drunk driving. When someone is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, their response time increases. They are also more likely to ignore traffic signals.

Some of the other causes of pedestrian accidents include:

  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Motorists cross an intersection without the right-of-way
  • Not using the crosswalk
  • Jaywalking

When you file your injury claim, your personal injury lawyer must demonstrate that the other motorist caused the accident. Depending on the cause, you may be entitled to significant compensation.

I've been hurt in a pedestrian accident and want to file a claim for my injuries. What's the first thing I should do?

You should do certain things in the hours and days after your pedestrian accident. This will increase your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries.

Some of these include:

  • Call the police immediately after the crash. They will do a thorough investigation of the accident. They will put their findings in their police report. They will also include contact information for the other drivers and eyewitnesses. This report will be valuable in proving your pedestrian accident claim.
  • Try to document as much as you can about the accident, such as your injuries and any other losses you've suffered due to the accident.
  • Make notes of conversations you have had with people involved in the accident.
  • Preserve evidence of the accident by collecting physical items and taking photographs or videos.
  • Locate eyewitnesses and other people who can help you prove your case.
  • Contact a personal injury attorney to evaluate and pursue your claim.
  • Keep track of medical bills your health insurance pays.
  • Have your attorney notify anyone who might be responsible for the accident to pursue a claim for your injuries.

All motorists owe a certain duty of care toward pedestrians. They need to be held accountable if they fail to exercise this care. The best way to do this and protect your legal rights is to have an experienced attorney review your claim. They can help gather the evidence needed to prove your case and secure you and your loved ones the compensation you deserve.

What if I was partially at fault for the accident?

You may bear some responsibility for the accident, which may reduce your eventual recovery. States generally follow three types of contributory and comparative negligence laws.

In states that follow the contributory negligence rule, such as Alabama and Virginia, you cannot collect any damages if you were partly at fault. In states that use a pure comparative negligence standard, you can demand damages regardless of your percentage of fault.

Most states follow something called the modified comparative negligence rule. In these states, pedestrian accident victims can recover damages if they are less than 50% responsible for the incident. In these states, your damages will be reduced by your percentage of fault.

Do pedestrians have a legal duty to avoid accidents?

All pedestrians have a duty to obey traffic laws and to adapt to traffic conditions. Most states apply a "reasonable person" standard. This standard measures your behavior against the way a reasonable person would behave in similar circumstances.

Pedestrians also have an obligation to use common sense. For example, if the city provides crosswalks, you must cross in that designated space. If a pedestrian suffers an injury while not using the crosswalk, the injured pedestrian may be unable to collect damages.

How long do I have to file a pedestrian accident lawsuit?

Every state has a law that dictates how long an accident victim has to file their claim. This law is called the statute of limitations. In some states, you may only have one year to file a personal injury lawsuit. However, most states give you two to three years to file your personal injury case.

If you miss the statute of limitations deadline, your claim will likely be dismissed. There are very few exceptions to this rule. This is why it is important to talk with a pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident.

What damages can you recover in pedestrian accident cases?

In most motor vehicle accidents, you can demand compensation for your physical and financial injuries. Your pedestrian accident attorney will include your damages in your initial complaint.

The most common types of damages recovered in a pedestrian accident case include:

  • Medical expenses and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future income
  • Damages for pain and suffering
  • You may also be entitled to compensation for continuing care or disability.

If a pedestrian dies due to an accident, their family members may be entitled to sue the other driver for wrongful death. In these cases, the decedent's heirs may receive compensation for the economic losses that result from the pedestrian's death. They may also claim damages that stem from the loss of companionship and consortium suffered by the decedent's family.

If I wasn't using the crosswalk, can I still collect damages?

Many pedestrians assume they cannot receive compensation if they do not use the crosswalk. While this may impact how much you can receive, it may not prevent you from filing a legal claim.

The insurance company will argue that you caused the accident by failing to use the designated crosswalk. What your pedestrian accident lawyer must prove is that the other driver was primarily at fault. For example, you may be able to demonstrate that the other motorist was speeding at the time of impact.

Will the driver's insurance company pay your medical bills?

If your pedestrian accident attorney can prove that the defendant caused your injuries, their insurance company may pay for your medical care. If they do not pay these bills, your lawyer can file a claim demanding that you be compensated for your medical expenses. They will also demand that your health insurance provider be reimbursed for any bills they pay.

What should I do if the driver leaves the scene after a pedestrian accident?

It is hard to imagine a motorist hitting somebody with their car and fleeing the scene. Unfortunately, this does happen. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run, you need to call the police immediately. The police will attempt to track down the person who hit you.

If the police cannot find the driver, your pedestrian accident attorney can hire a private investigator to try to locate them. If they are unsuccessful, you may be able to file a claim with your state's uninsured motorist's fund. Not all states offer this protection. Your attorney can check your state laws and let you know if this is an option.

What is the average settlement for a pedestrian accident case?

It is hard to say exactly what to expect for a settlement in pedestrian accident cases. It all depends on the specific facts of your case.

Some of the factors that can impact the size of your settlement include:

  • The severity of the pedestrian's injuries
  • Whether you will need long-term medical care
  • The extent of your pain and suffering
  • How much time you missed from work
  • Whether you will be able to work again
  • If you suffered a disability

When you first meet with your pedestrian accident attorney for your free case evaluation, they can give you a better idea of what your personal injury case may be worth.

Should I seek medical treatment if my accident was minor?

Regardless of whether you think you are hurt, you should seek immediate medical treatment. You may have suffered internal injuries or a brain injury. Just because you think you are OK does not mean you are not injured.

It is also important that you seek medical attention to document your injuries. Your attorney will need proof that you were hurt to secure your damages.

What should I bring to my meeting with a lawyer?

When you first contact an attorney, they will schedule your free case evaluation. When you visit your lawyer for the first time, you should provide them with any documents that might be relevant to your case.

Police reports, for example, contain eyewitness information and details about the conditions surrounding auto accidents. Copies of medical reports, fire department records, ambulance records, and bills from doctors and hospitals will help demonstrate the extent and nature of your injuries.

It is also helpful to provide your attorney with information about the driver's insurance coverage. Any photographs or video you have of the accident scene, property damage, and injuries can also help your case.

The more information you can give your lawyer, the easier it will be for them to determine if your claim will be successful.

Get Legal Help With Your Case Involving a Pedestrian Accident

Being involved in a pedestrian accident can be a jarring experience. It's recommended to get legal advice from an experienced attorney. They can help answer questions related to fault and comparative negligence.

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