A pedestrian accident happens whenever a vehicle strikes someone walking or running. These accidents can occur virtually anywhere pedestrians and motor vehicles are present simultaneously, including parking lots and garages, crosswalks, and even sidewalks.
Since a pedestrian does not have any protective barrier between their body and a vehicle or the ground, pedestrians regularly suffer debilitating and sometimes fatal injuries in an accident.
If you or a person you care about suffered injuries in a recent pedestrian accident, you need to consult with a personal injury attorney in Madison right away.
Your lawyer can investigate the circumstances of your pedestrian accident and gather copies of police reports, medical treatment records, and other documentation to prove the legal elements of your case.
After your medical treatment is complete or your providers know your overall prognosis, your pedestrian accident lawyer may file a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company and can negotiate on your behalf with insurance company adjusters for the compensation you deserve.
If a favorable settlement is not forthcoming, your lawyer may file a pedestrian accident lawsuit in the court system and navigate the litigation process.
Unlike insurance companies, which are never on your side, your pedestrian accident attorney can aggressively advocate for your legal interests throughout the process and work to secure the full monetary benefits and compensation you deserve to recover for your accident-related injuries.
No matter what caused your accident, the right attorney will be your ally throughout the process if someone else should be liable for your losses.
Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Usually Happen?
Pedestrian collisions can happen virtually anywhere that motor vehicles are. Some of the most common locations for local pedestrian accidents include sidewalks, traffic intersection crosswalks, parking lots, parking garages, alleyways, and driveways.
If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident in one of these locations, a trained accident attorney near you can investigate your accident circumstance and, if necessary, retain a certified accident reconstructionist who can independently determine how your accident happened and who the responsible driver was.
Your lawyer may then file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and pursue the monetary recovery you need for your injuries.
Types of Driver Negligence That Lead to Pedestrian Accidents
When drivers exhibit careless and reckless maneuvers while on the road, especially around sidewalks and traffic intersections, they may bring about a serious pedestrian accident.
One common cause of pedestrian accidents is traffic law violations, especially speeding and failing to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk at a traffic intersection.
Pedestrian accidents may also happen when a driver exhibits road rage (especially near a traffic intersection equipped with pedestrian crosswalks and heavy pedestrian traffic) or fails to use their mirrors and backup cameras when pulling out of a parking space in a parking lot or garage.
Another common cause of pedestrian accidents is distracted driving.
A distracted driver fails to pay sufficient time and attention to the road. Instead of watching the road near sidewalks and traffic intersections or in a parking lot or parking garage, a driver might be looking at their cellular phone or tablet, combing their hair, eating or drinking, applying makeup, listening to loud music in their vehicle, or texting on a cellular device.
All these activities may cause a driver to take their eyes off the road, preventing them from seeing a pedestrian in the vicinity, thereby causing a collision.
Finally, some pedestrian accidents happen when drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In any situation, a passenger vehicle operator is legally intoxicated and may be subject to arrest for DUI if they have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater.
The law severely criminalizes and penalizes drunk drivers because these drivers cannot drive safely and carefully, especially in an area where pedestrians tend to be.
For example, an intoxicated driver may experience blurred vision, preventing them from seeing pedestrians nearby.
Additionally, a drunk driver may experience a lack of coordination, poor judgment, confusion, delayed reflexes, and delayed reaction time. Therefore, even if an intoxicated driver notices a pedestrian, they may not have the physical ability to stop their vehicle in time to avoid an accident.
Upon suffering injuries in a pedestrian accident, you need to consult with a knowledgeable pedestrian accident lawyer in your area right away.
Your attorney can promptly investigate your accident circumstances and determine your legal options for filing a successful claim with the appropriate insurance company.
Your lawyer may then submit the necessary documents to the insurance company and negotiate for fair settlement compensation on your behalf.
Legally Proving a Pedestrian Accident Claim
Your lawyer must satisfy several legal elements for you to receive monetary compensation in a pedestrian accident claim or lawsuit.
First, you must establish that the driver owed you a legal duty of care under the circumstances. Drivers must drive safely and carefully at all times for the benefit of other drivers and pedestrians. They also have a duty to follow all traffic laws and regulations and to refrain from road rage, intoxicated driving, and distracted driving maneuvers.
Next, the injured pedestrian accident victim must establish that the at-fault driver violated their legal duty of care by breaking a traffic law or otherwise engaging in reckless or careless behavior. The accident victim must also establish that the pedestrian accident occurred as a direct result of this breach.
Finally, an accident victim must show that they suffered at least one physical injury due to the accident caused by negligence. The specific injuries an accident victim suffers will vary from case to case, as well as the monetary damages an accident victim is eligible to recover.
A skilled pedestrian accident lawyer can retain experts to help ensure your case satisfies the necessary legal burden of proof.
For example, a medical expert may determine that you suffered a permanent injury in your accident. They may also causally relate your claimed injuries to the pedestrian accident.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim for Negligence
A local pedestrian accident attorney can file a negligence claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company on your behalf.
As part of this claim package, your lawyer will include various documents, including medical treatment records, medical bills, lost-wages documentation from your employer, injury photographs, property damage photographs, video footage of the occurrence (if any), and other evidence that the insurance company can use to evaluate your claim.
If the insurance company adjuster accepts fault for the accident, your lawyer can handle all settlement negotiations and other insurance company communications on your behalf.
During settlement negotiations, a pedestrian accident lawyer will typically demand a monetary settlement within the available and applicable insurance policy limits. The insurance company adjuster will then usually make a settlement offer that is far less than the settlement demand amount.
Insurance companies take this approach to try to resolve cases for as little compensation as possible to the accident victim. After all, the insurance company wants to save itself as much money as possible.
An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can aggressively negotiate on your behalf, file favorable expert reports and medical evidence, and highlight the strength of your case.
Additionally, if the adjuster still refuses to make you a fair settlement offer, your lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit in the court system and litigate the matter.
During litigation, your attorney can represent you at all legal proceedings, including a discovery deposition, settlement conference, jury trial, or alternative dispute resolution (ADR) proceeding.
For example, during a civil jury trial, your attorney can call witnesses, enter evidence on your behalf, and pursue the maximum monetary compensation you are entitled to receive in your personal injury case.
Recovering Monetary Damages for Pedestrian-accident Injuries
Pedestrian accident victims frequently suffer severe and sometimes permanent physical injuries. Consequently, they may incur high (and ongoing) medical bills, and they must miss a significant amount of time from work, thereby losing considerable income.
Fortunately, accident victims can recover various types of monetary compensation for a favorable settlement offer from the insurance company or a favorable litigation result in the court system.
First, accident victims can pursue economic damages to compensate for their out-of-pocket losses, including lost earnings and related past and future medical expenses.
Similarly, pedestrian accident victims may pursue compensation for their intangible losses, including monetary damages for mental distress, loss of spousal consortium, pain and suffering, inconvenience, permanent disability or disfigurement, long-term care costs, loss of life enjoyment, and loss of the ability to use an injured body part, such as from a paralysis injury.
Your pedestrian accident attorney can ballpark the likely value of your case and will do everything they can to maximize your overall monetary award.
Contact an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Right Away
According to the state statute of limitations, pedestrian accident victims have limited time to file a lawsuit seeking monetary recovery.
Specifically, they must file their lawsuit within three years of their accident date. Otherwise, unless some exceptional circumstance applies, they will not receive monetary compensation for the injuries they suffered in their accident.
Sometimes, an accident victim might believe their case to be simple, so they might think they don’t need the help of a pedestrian accident lawyer. This is nearly always a mistake. Insurance companies have a lot of experience in finding any way to deny a claim they can. The best way to ensure that this does not happen to you is by getting the help of a legal professional.
A knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney can file a claim or lawsuit well within the applicable statute of limitations time frame. In addition, your lawyer can handle every step of the claims-filing and settlement negotiation processes.
If litigation is a viable option in your case, your attorney can make a necessary recommendation and file a lawsuit in the court system on your behalf.
Finally, if the insurance company still refuses to compensate you fairly, your lawyer can take your case to a civil jury trial or ADR proceeding.