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Legal Options for a Pedestrian Hit by a Car
Walking is an excellent exercise, but unfortunately for pedestrians, it isn't without its dangers. Millions of people each year suffer an injury in car accidents involving pedestrians. Pedestrians walking along sidewalks or passing through crosswalks sustain injuries in more accidents than people realize.
When a car hits a pedestrian, the physical harm the victim faces is often dreadful and catastrophic. If you suffered an injury in an accident, you need a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer to represent your case and protect your best interests.
A lawyer can review how your pedestrian accident happened and advise you of your options. If someone else was at fault, they (through their insurance company) should have to cover your losses, including medical bills, lost income, and more. You can file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit if necessary. Seek a free case evaluation with an experienced lawyer immediately after your accident and injuries.
Who Covers Your Medical Costs After a Pedestrian-Auto Accident?
When a pedestrian gets hit by a car, the injuries are typically severe, and the road to recovery is often long and challenging. Pedestrians in motor vehicle accidents often suffer traumatic injuries to their heads, pelvis, knees, legs, or brain. After being involved in a pedestrian accident, you may wonder who will cover the cost of your medical care and treatments. Typically, the person who caused the accident is ultimately legally responsible for paying for any accident-related costs.
Some examples of parties that may be accountable for medical costs after an accident include:
The owner of the vehicle (if the owner is not the driver)
Any government agency that contributed to the accident (i.e., failing to maintain a road)
The pedestrian’s insurers (health and auto)
If the driver was on company business, their employer
Paying your bills is not automatic, so you must hold the appropriate parties liable.
Drivers have a legal obligation to be alert, follow all traffic laws, and do their best to avoid colliding with any person or object on the road. Even if a pedestrian is not in a crosswalk, the car’s driver will usually be responsible for the accident. For losses related to pedestrian-car accidents, the at-fault driver’s car insurance will typically cover the victim’s medical costs and other accident-related expenses.
If you're involved in an accident with a driver, you can file a claim with their insurance company. Be wary of any settlement offer made too quickly, as it is likely far too low. Always consult a pedestrian accident lawyer before you accept anything - or even before you speak to the insurance company.
When failures of traffic control devices occur, the town, city, or state that laid the street or highway out may be held responsible for a pedestrian-auto accident. A poorly placed crosswalk is an example of municipal negligence. A crosswalk right after a curve on a busy street creates a safety hazard and can lead to a devastating pedestrian-motor vehicle crash.
Determining the liable parties for your injuries can be challenging. There might be multiple parties that share liability, which means you need to file multiple claims. Always have a lawyer evaluate who is responsible and which claims you need to file to seek full compensation for your losses. If you fail to identify certain liable parties, you can lose the financial recovery that you deserve.
Recoverable Damages in Pedestrian Accident Cases
Some of the most devastating accidents that occur on roadways involve pedestrians. These accidents are uniquely severe and almost always result in serious or fatal injuries. The types of damages or financial compensation available to the victim of a pedestrian-auto accident will depend on several factors, including the severity of the victim’s injuries and the types of losses they’ve sustained.
If your pedestrian accident claim is successful, you can recover:
Medical expenses (including future costs)
Emotional pain and suffering
Diminished earning capacity
Costs for physical therapy or counseling
Permanent scarring or disfigurement
Wrongful death damages
As a pedestrian accident victim, you have the right to demand financial compensation. Suppose you or a family member were involved in a pedestrian accident. In that case, consult an experienced pedestrian accident attorney who can evaluate your case and determine its actual value. They will fight for the compensation you need and deserve to move forward after a life-changing accident.
Get in Touch with a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today!
After a pedestrian-auto accident, having an experienced attorney on your side is essential and can be incredibly helpful in your case. Your attorney will determine liability, assess the value of your case, and walk you through every step of the often complex legal process.
Handling your own claim after a pedestrian accident, especially if your injuries are severe, may result in a lowball settlement offer. Contact our office to schedule an initial consultation with one of our lawyers, who will discuss your legal options and help you decide the next steps you should take.
Pedestrian Accident FAQs
How long will it take for my pedestrian accident case to resolve?
Each case is unique and will have its own timeline. Factors such as the extent of your injuries, the at-fault driver's insurance company, and the circumstances of your accident will determine how long it takes for your case to resolve. Despite most pedestrian-auto accident cases settling out of court, your lawyer should prepare every case for trial in case the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement.
The driver who hit me was uninsured/underinsured - what are my options?
If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, you can seek compensation from your own auto insurer. However, your own insurance company can fight your claim. Have your lawyer immediately report the accident to the insurance company and file a police report as soon as possible to avoid the insurer denying coverage.
What are some common injuries pedestrians suffer in auto accidents?
Whether you're crossing the street to enter a restaurant or jogging around your neighborhood, you're sharing the road with motorists. If a negligent or distracted driver strikes you, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries and losses.
Here are some common injuries pedestrians suffer when cars strike them:
It is not uncommon for the at-fault driver’s insurance company to attempt to avoid liability even if the pedestrian did not do anything wrong. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can gather evidence on your behalf, review video surveillance footage, and locate and interview eyewitnesses. If you were involved in a pedestrian-auto accident, don’t hesitate to contact an injury attorney who can advise you on the next best steps in your case.
What are some common causes of pedestrian accidents?
Most pedestrian accidents involve motor vehicles with bystanders.
Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
A driver failing to obey traffic signals
A driver speeding or losing control of their vehicle
A driver failing to give the right of way to pedestrians
Reckless lane changes
A driver failing to utilize headlights
A driver failing to yield
Survivors of pedestrian-auto accidents often incur large medical bills and must deal with significant pain. Fatalities are frequent in vehicle-pedestrian collisions.
What are some examples of relevant pieces of evidence in pedestrian accident cases?
In most pedestrian accident cases, a negligent motorist will attempt to deny responsibility. Some essential pieces of evidence to prove fault in pedestrian-auto accident cases include security or dashcam video, medical evidence, electronic truck logs, cell phone records, and eyewitness testimony.
Following an accident with a motor vehicle, get in touch with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you preserve evidence and protect your rights throughout the process. After an accident, your primary focus should be on recovery.
Steps a Pedestrian Should Take After a Car Accident
If you’re ever involved in a pedestrian accident, knowing what to do in the next few moments is essential to protecting your rights. Being prepared will make it easier to hold all liable parties in your case accountable and ensure that you receive full and fair compensation for your losses. After an auto-pedestrian accident, take the following steps to safeguard your health and financial future.
Seek medical attention
If you or anyone involved requires immediate medical care after an accident, call an ambulance or have a witness at the accident scene help. Even if you believe you've only suffered a minor injury, it is in your best interest to seek proper medical treatment as soon as possible. In some cases, symptoms of more severe injuries may not appear for days or even weeks after the accident.
By seeking a medical professional’s advice, you are ensuring you remain in good health and haven’t been affected by a hidden injury that can cause serious harm in the future. Seeing your doctor is also essential for your claim because it creates a medical record of your injuries that can serve as a critical piece of evidence in your case.
Gather evidence and exchange contact information
If you do not need immediate medical treatment after an auto-pedestrian accident, you should do your best to gather as much evidence at the scene as possible. In some cases, it may be possible to return to the accident scene and gather evidence.
Start by taking pictures of the accident scene, including any nearby traffic signals or crosswalks. Photograph your injuries, any damage to the car that struck you, and anything else you believe will help prove liability in your case.
Be sure to exchange contact information with the driver who hit you and any witnesses. If the driver you were involved in the accident with isn’t the car’s owner, make sure you ask for the owner’s contact and insurance information. While retrieving this information, don’t apologize or discuss the accident. If you have insurance, covering medical bills and other losses may be possible through your own insurer.
Your pedestrian accident attorney can acquire witness statements, dashcam footage, a copy of the police report, and any medical documentation of your injuries.
Consult With a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
After you've been in a motor vehicle collision as a pedestrian, there's a good chance you're experiencing an incredible amount of discomfort and struggle to get by and complete your everyday activities. Building a viable and compelling lawsuit that will give your case the best chance of recovering compensation requires time, energy, and understanding of the complexities of pedestrian accidents.
A pedestrian accident lawyer with the proper legal knowledge can handle almost every aspect of your lawsuit while you work on getting back to normal.
If you sustained any injury after a car hits you, seek the proper medical attention as soon as possible. If you fail to seek medical attention promptly, insurance adjusters and juries might assume that you weren't as hurt as you claimed.
Seeking a medical evaluation from your primary care provider is not only essential to safeguarding your health but is also crucial in fully protecting your legal rights. Being prepared in case of a pedestrian-car accident will give you peace of mind and increase your chances of receiving the maximum amount of compensation available in your case. For reliable advice and powerful advocacy to get you everything you're owed in your case, get in touch with the experienced attorneys at Galine, Frye, Fitting & Frangos, LLP. Contact us at 650-345-8484 or through our website.
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