Have You Suffered a Pedestrian Accident Injury?
Pedestrians are susceptible to serious injuries if they are involved in accidents. They have no protection from cars that speed through crossings or mount the pavement and can suffer life-changing injuries when hit by vehicles. If you were involved in an accident as a pedestrian, then you need the help of a pedestrian accident lawyer. They are experienced in representing pedestrians and helping them recover full compensation for their injuries. In this article, our expert pedestrian accident lawyers will explain everything you need to know following a pedestrian accident.
A Pedestrian Accident Lawyer’s Advice on Determining If You Have a Case
If you were injured as a pedestrian in a collision, then we recommend calling a pedestrian accident lawyer. Most attorneys offer free consultations to discuss the circumstances of your accident and determine if you have a strong case.
Pedestrian accident lawyers look at the following aspects to see if you have a strong enough case to file a lawsuit:
- Negligence – The accident must be someone’s fault in order to file a claim for damages. You will sue the at-fault party, claiming that their negligence caused the accident and, therefore, your injuries. The at-fault party may have broken a road rule or behaved in an irresponsible manner that put you in harm.
- Damages – You must have suffered “harm” as a result of the defendant’s actions. That harm could be property damage, injuries and therefore medical bills, or lost wages. If you are not financially worse off for the accident, then you cannot sue the negligent party.
These are the two factors a pedestrian accident lawyer will look at when determining if you have a case. If there is no at-fault party and you suffered no injuries, then you do not have a case.
What Is Negligence?
Most people hear the term negligence and think of child or pet neglect. While the meaning is similar, it has different connotations in terms of personal injury cases. If someone is said to be negligent in a car accident, it means they did not exercise proper care. This could apply to a driver who failed to slow down at a crosswalk or a pedestrian who darted in front of moving traffic.
As experienced pedestrian accident lawyers, we can tell you that most pedestrian accidents are caused by negligence. Very few accidents are intentional; they are more often caused by people acting carelessly. A driver may adjust the radio and fail to see the pedestrian crossing the road or may instinctively swerve to miss a cat and run up onto the pavement. The driver does not need to break the law to be negligent. Often they are making mistakes that many of us do. They may be changing the track on their stereo or look down at their phone for a split second.
You may ask why negligence matters to a pedestrian accident lawyer. Well, the accident needs to be someone’s fault in order to claim compensation. You cannot claim damages if it was just a freak accident that was no-ones fault or if it was your own fault. Negligence is a way of pedestrian accident lawyers and plaintiffs saying, “we know you didn’t intend to hurt someone, but you did, and you need to pay for their losses.”
In California, multiple parties may share fault in a car accident. If that is the case, then you will definitely need the assistance of a pedestrian accident lawyer. They can help you identify all liable parties and name them in your lawsuit.
Damages In a Pedestrian Accident Case
Your pedestrian accident lawyer and you share the goal of recovering maximum damages for your case. But what damages can you claim? Every accident is slightly different, and therefore, the damages you can claim differs in each accident. If you want to know what damages you can claim, it is best to speak to your pedestrian accident lawyer for a specific quote.
You will be able to claim damages for any costs directly incurred in the accident, like:
- Medical bills
- Ambulance bills
- Lost income while recovering
- Property damage
- Prescription medicine
- Medical equipment
You can also claim what we pedestrian accident lawyers refer to as general damages or intangible damages. These include things like:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of opportunity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Future medical costs
- Future rehabilitation costs
- Higher living costs
Your pedestrian accident lawyer will quote a ballpark figure and meet with medical experts and economists to work out the financial impact your injuries will have in the future. They will also calculate the impact your injuries will have on your standard of living and ability to work. The figure your pedestrian lawyer gives to these damages is based on what they believe they can prove and argue at trial or during settlement negotiations. This is why it is best to work with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer.
In addition to these damages, if the at-fault party broke the law, they may be charged punitive damages or treble damages. These are more to do with the defendant’s behavior, but you as the plaintiff will receive these damages.
What Does a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Do?
A pedestrian accident lawyer is your best asset after your accident. Because they specialize in pedestrian accidents, they have experience working with people who are seriously injured in an accident. Pedestrian accident lawyers exercise compassion and patience with their clients who are trying to heal and recover from severe injuries while juggling the stress of a lawsuit and insurance claims. The pedestrian accident lawyer will take a lot of the tasks off your hands and can even use their contacts to help you receive the medical care you need.
On top of filing the lawsuit paperwork and advocating on your behalf in trials and settlement negotiations, a pedestrian accident lawyer will investigate the accident to uncover all at-fault parties. While the accident may be primarily the driver’s fault, there may be other at-fault parties whose negligence had a hand in the accident. Your lawsuit must name all liable parties, so your pedestrian accident lawyer will investigate to see if anyone else was at fault. They will also consult experts in order to give you an estimate of your damages.
Throughout the whole process, your pedestrian accident lawyer will keep you updated and answer any questions you may have. They will give you the options you have and inform you of what each option may mean for your lawsuit. The pedestrian accident lawyer will represent you in settlement negotiations and advise you on whether you are being offered a fair settlement. If necessary, they will represent you in court and present evidence to the judge and jury. Having a pedestrian accident lawyer in your corner is essential following a devastating accident.