When vehicles hit pedestrians, the results can be devastating. Many victims of pedestrian accidents suffer extremely serious injuries and are left with lifelong medical issues. Fortunately, in many instances, pedestrian accident victims are entitled to compensation under state law. If you have suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, you need a qualified pedestrian accident attorney to represent you to ensure you receive the maximum compensation available.
Determining how much compensation you should get for a pedestrian accident is a complicated legal matter. The value of your claim comes from factors such as the severity of your injuries, the impact the injuries have on your earning potential, and the long-term impact the accident will continue to have on you and your loved ones’ lives following the initial aftermath. While it is impossible to put a number on the mental and physical anguish you suffered, your experienced attorney will ensure you receive every cent you deserve. For more information, reach out to a pedestrian accident lawyer.
How Much Is Your Case Worth?
It is impossible to determine the value of a pedestrian accident claim without conducting a thorough analysis of the facts of a case. That said, there are certain factors that allow you to get a rough idea of how much compensation you can recover. These include the severity of your injuries, your prognosis, your age, what you do for a living, and the specific circumstances of your accident. A pedestrian accident attorney can evaluate your case, determine whether you have a viable claim, and give you an idea of how much compensation you can recover.
Never rely on what the insurance company says regarding the value of your claim. They are not on your side and want to settle your case for as little as possible. In fact, if they can find any way to justify denying your claim, they will. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to retain a pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as you can.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
While pedestrian accidents can occur for a number of reasons, some causes are more common than others.
Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Not stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks
- Running stop lights or stop signs
Texting and Driving is Particularly Dangerous
One of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving is texting and driving.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies three categories of distractions:.
- Manual distractions require the driver to focus on using their hands for tasks other than driving, such as opening a water bottle or eating while driving.
- Visual distractions are any form of distraction that requires the driver to take their eyes off the road. These distractions can include looking at a phone or a passenger in the car.
- Cognitive distractions take the driver’s mind off the road, including driving while tired or daydreaming. Texting involves all three, making it a particularly risky form of distraction.
Drunk Driving and Pedestrian Accidents
Drunk driving is among the most common causes of pedestrian motor vehicle accidents. Under state law, a driver is under the influence when their blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 or higher. For most people, a 0.08 BAC significantly impairs their cognitive abilities, including reaction time and depth perception. This level of impairment significantly increases the risk of accidents, including pedestrian accidents.
Common Injuries Pedestrians Suffer After Being Struck by a Vehicle
Tragically, the injuries pedestrians often sustain in pedestrian-vehicle accidents are often extremely severe. In many cases, the pedestrian absorbs the full impact of the crash and can even be thrown into the air, potentially resulting in secondary injuries when they hit the ground.
Some of the most common injuries victims sustain include:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Traumatic amputations
- Abdominal injuries
Seek medical attention immediately after a pedestrian accident. First and foremost, it’s critical to your health and recovery that you start treatment as soon as possible. In many cases, outcomes are much better when victims seek immediate medical care.
Additionally, seeing a medical professional as soon as you can will protect your legal rights. When you make a claim, you need to provide evidence of your damages and connect them to your accident. When you seek treatment, your medical professional will create an official record documenting your injuries. Your lawyer will likely use this record to establish your damages to the insurance company or the court.
Recovering Lost Wages
You may be unable to work for an extended period following a severe pedestrian accident. Being out of work can be stressful for you and your family, especially if the injuries you sustained from the accident make it impossible for you to return to your previous position. Fortunately, many victims can recover compensation for their lost income, including income they will lose in the future.
Your pedestrian accident attorney can establish the amount of your lost wages in one of several ways. If you have been in your current position for more than one tax year, your attorney can use your previous W-2s or tax returns to establish what you might have been earning had it not been for the pedestrian accident.
Suppose you have been at your current position or pay rate for less than one tax year. In that case, your pedestrian accident attorney can also use your most current pay stubs to ensure that the amount you receive accurately represents your wages before your injuries. If you can’t locate any of your tax returns or pay stubs, your attorney can obtain a wage verification form from your employer, which will provide your current salary, regular work hours, and the dates you were unable to work as a direct result of your injuries from your pedestrian accident.
If you are self-employed and do not have any documents listed above, your pedestrian accident attorney can still establish the amount of money you are entitled to from being out of work. They can do this by assisting you in reviewing your business’ banking records and combing out the checks you received for your services. You are still entitled to compensation for your lost wages, even if you don’t work a traditional job. Your pedestrian accident attorney and their experienced legal team will work to ensure your and your family’s financial burden gets eased.
Additionally, suppose you can no longer work in your previous profession due to the injuries you incurred from the pedestrian accident. In that case, your pedestrian accident attorney may also receive the costs of new vocational training.
As noted above, the injuries sustained when a pedestrian gets struck by a vehicle can be severe, even deadly. Suppose your loved one was killed due to a pedestrian accident or later passed away due to injuries sustained from the pedestrian accident. In that case, you can receive compensation. The time following the death of a loved one is highly emotional, and the emotional trauma requires time to heal. While it is impossible to put a monetary value on a loved one’s life, the justice system recognizes that their loved ones deserve compensation for the loss.
Each state’s statute defines who can recover from a wrongful death claim. Fortunately, a car accident attorney in your state can identify whether you have a claim and how much you can recover. Working with a lawyer can save you countless hours of stressful research and inform you of your options immediately.
Suppose you do qualify under your state law to recover wrongful death damages. In that case, your pedestrian accident attorney can work with you to determine how much you may qualify for.
Categories of damages your pedestrian accident attorney can assist you in receiving compensation for often include:
- Medical expenses incurred by your loved one before their passing,
- Funeral and burial costs,
- Emotional distress caused by having to watch your loved one suffer and ultimately pass,
- Loss of companionship, and
- Loss of income if you were financially reliant on your loved one.
Your pedestrian accident attorney and their team will ease the burden on you following your loved one’s passing by ensuring all necessary documentation is kept in order. They can contact your loved one’s health care providers to obtain the necessary record to show the extent of the injuries your loved one suffered and the number of medical expenses they incurred.
Additionally, they can work with your loved one’s employer to ensure accurate documentation of their wages before their passing is available to the courts, so your compensation amount will be based on the most current data available.
Wrongful death compensation amounts are not subject to estate, inheritance, or income tax and go directly to the plaintiff rather than to the victim’s estate.
How a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Accidents caused by a motor vehicle striking a pedestrian can cause severe and long-lasting harm to the victim and their loved ones. When you have a pedestrian accident attorney and their legal team on your side, you do not need to worry about missing something or being taken advantage of by the driver’s insurance company or legal team.
Your pedestrian accident attorney will ensure that all avenues of potential compensation available to you are explored and will take your case in the direction that best suits your particular situation and needs. We know that nothing can restore what you have lost due to the pedestrian motor vehicle accident, but your attorney and their team will do everything they can to ease you and your loved ones’ burdens.
Some of the specific ways a lawyer can help include:
- Identify whether you have a viable claim
- Identify all potentially viable parties
- File your claim along with supporting documentation
- Attempt to negotiate a settlement agreement
- File a lawsuit, if necessary
How Much Will a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Cost?
If you are facing the aftermath of a pedestrian accident, it’s only natural that you are concerned about how much legal representation is going to cost you. Fortunately, you can retain legal representation with no money up front and with no risk to you.
The overwhelming majority of personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they will take you on as a client at no cost to you unless they recover compensation on your behalf. If you obtain a settlement or award, they will take a pre-arranged percentage of that settlement or award as their fee. If you do not recover compensation, you will not owe your lawyer anything.
Call a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
Was a loved one injured or killed in a pedestrian accident? Were you injured crossing the street when you had the right of way? You deserve compensation for your lost wages, medical expenses, and other damages. Call an experienced and compassionate pedestrian accident lawyer to discuss your case. You have a limited window to file a claim, so be sure to speak to a pedestrian accident lawyer today.