Walking for your health can actually be detrimental to your health if you live in the United States. At least that is what the pedestrian safety organization Smart Growth America stated in an annual publication.
According to Dangerous by Design, motor vehicles take the lives of an average of 13 pedestrians per day in the United States. Pedestrian accidents cause 7.2 times more deaths than the deaths that result from natural disasters.
At Morgan and Morgan, we understand the health and financial consequences of a pedestrian accident. Even getting hit by a motor vehicle that slowly pulls out from a parking spot can lead to long-term medical issues. This is why pedestrian accidents are one of the focal points of our personal injury law services.
If you recently suffered injuries that were caused by a pedestrian accident, contact a law firm that cares about the health of its clients.
What Are the Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Distraction and carelessness lead the list of the reasons why motorists strike pedestrians. However, negligence might have played a role in causing your pedestrian accident. If you think a motorist committed an act of negligence that led to you getting hit by a motor vehicle, you should speak with one of the personal injury lawyers at Morgan & Morgan.
Our decades of experience handling pedestrian injury cases have allowed us to compile a list of factors that cause injuries to our clients.
- Texting and driving
- Talking on a cell phone
- Driving while drowsy
- Defective vehicle
- Did not use turn signal
- Rolling a stop sign
- Ignoring a traffic signal
- Unsafe road
- Failure to operate a motor vehicle with caution in designated area for pedestrians
Which Parties Are Commonly Responsible for Pedestrian Injuries?
Careless, distracted, and negligent drivers remain the primary causes of pedestrian accidents. However, your case might involve another party that caused your injuries.
- Public works department
- Auto manufacturer
- Motor vehicle passenger
- Vehicle owner for allowing an incompetent driver to operate a motor vehicle
At Morgan & Morgan, we have worked on many cases that involved the combination of two or more parties that contributed to a pedestrian accident. For example, a driver did not signal a turn because the turn signal was defective. The auto manufacturer might be considered responsible for the defective turn signal, but the driver is also culpable because the driver should have used a hand signal to indicate a turning maneuver.
What Are the Legal Rights of Pedestrians?
Although the rights of pedestrians differ from state to state, there are several common rights that drivers must honor. The most important right is called right of way
Right of Way
When a traffic signal turns green, pedestrians have the right to move in the direction of the green traffic signal. A growing number of motorists ignore this right, especially when it comes to making a right turn. Pedestrians have the right of way at intersections. Motorists must also give pedestrians the right of way on sidewalks when they enter or emerge from a building, driveway, alleyway, and private road.
Learn more about the rights of pedestrians when you schedule a free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney from Morgan & Morgan.
What Are the Types of Compensation for Pedestrian Accident Cases?
Because of the devastating injuries that often result from a car striking a pedestrian, medical bills can run into thousands of dollars. A life-saving procedure completed in an emergency room also can send a victim of a pedestrian accident deep into a financial hole.
We seek two general types of damages: Monetary and non-monetary.
- Emergency medical care
- Diagnostic tests
- Prescription medications
- Supportive medical equipment
- Lost wages
- Funeral costs
- Pain and suffering
Pain and suffering represents the mental and emotional toll a pedestrian accident takes on a victim. For example, you might have trouble sleeping at night because of the memories that you have about the accident. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you receive just compensation for the pain and suffering that is caused by a pedestrian accident.
Why a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You
With offices located across the United States, our team of personal injury attorneys has handled thousands of pedestrian accident cases. If you suffer from injuries because a motor vehicle struck you while walking, you should learn why a personal injury lawyer can help you.
Defeating Common Defenses
Insurance companies like to shift the blame from a motorist to a pedestrian. We defeat this type of defense by submitting persuasive physical evidence, such as photographs of the accident scene and the corroborating statements made by witnesses.
Proving the Existence of Serious Injuries
Because pedestrians often have the right of way, insurance companies try to deny the existence of serious injuries. A personal injury attorney gathers and organizes your medical records to present to the insurance company, as well as to the judge overseeing a civil lawsuit if your case gets that far.
Prevent Critical Mistakes
Your attorney will coach you when the time comes to give your account of the accident in front of the motorist’s insurance company or a civil court judge. Another critical mistake that your lawyer can help you avoid is forgetting to meet a deadline for filing proper documents.
Determine the Value of Your Claim
Many insurance companies try to reach quick settlements that under-value a claim. An experienced personal injury lawyer determines a claim value that matches your expenses, lost wages, and if applicable, your pain and suffering.
Insurance companies address claims with a team of attorneys, experts, adjusters, and investigators. Hiring a state-licensed pedestrian accident lawyer balances the scale of legal power.
Hiring the Right Pedestrian Injury Attorney
We have established the importance of hiring a personal injury attorney who specializes in handling pedestrian accident cases. Now, how do you find the right one to handle your case?
Word of mouth advertising is alive and well in the legal profession. Ask your friends, family members, and professional peers to recommend a personal injury lawyer. If you know an attorney, but the lawyer does not practice pedestrian accident law, you can still receive a recommendation on a highly qualified litigator for your pedestrian accident case.
State Bar Association
Virtually every state bar association operates a database that contains the names of thousands of lawyers that are licensed to practice law in the state. All you have to do is click the personal injury link in the database to get a long list of personal injury lawyers. State bar association databases also let potential clients know if the state has taken any disciplinary actions against an attorney whose legal services interest you.
How to Choose the Right Lawyer
You might get more than one recommendation, which means you need to conduct research about any lawyer on your shortlist of candidates. Even if you are down to one potential candidate, you still need to learn more about the attorney by completing research.
Find out where the attorney graduated from law school, and then ask the following questions to determine the experience of the lawyer.
- How long have you practiced pedestrian accident law?
- What percentage of your cases involve personal injury law
- Do you mostly represent plaintiffs or defendants?
- What percentage of your cases ended with a favorable outcome for a client?
- Have you worked claims with the defendant’s insurance company?
Who Will Represent Me?
Some law firms send their most experienced attorneys to meet with clients during free case evaluations. Then, the same law firm assigns a less senior lawyer to handle the case. Since experience matters for litigating personal injury cases, you want the same experienced lawyer that you meet during the free case evaluation to represent you in front of a civil court judge and across the table from an attorney representing the defendant’s insurance company.
Open Line of Communication
We are not talking about an attorney’s communication skills at a conference with a representative of the defendant’s insurance company. We are talking about the communication between you and your personal injury lawyer. You want to hire an attorney who promptly responds to emails, phone calls, and text messages. Pedestrian accident cases can be difficult to understand, which means you can expect to ask a lot of questions.
Make sure those questions get answered in a timely manner.
Matches Your Settlement Goal
You are going to hear plenty about ‘being on the same page” with your personal injury lawyer. Perhaps no other issue requires as tightness of unity as deciding on the settlement for your claim. Your pedestrian accident attorney must want the same things that you want out of a settlement.
Here are three common approaches to reaching a settlement:
- · Get a settlement that falls within an acceptable range of value and minimizes costs
- · Ask for an amount that is higher than what the insurance company has offered
- · Obtain as much money as possible
Read Online Reviews
As the last step before you decide on which personal injury attorney to hire, reading online reviews on sites such as Facebook and Google can confirm the expertise of a personal injury lawyer. You should also access the attorney’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) page.
Take Action Today
If you suffer from injuries that were caused by a pedestrian accident, you should act with a sense of urgency by contacting an experienced personal injury attorney. Even if your injuries cause incredible pain and/or you feel emotional distress such as acute anxiety, the faster you act, the faster your claim gets resolved in your favor.
Morgan & Morgan has successfully represented hundreds of pedestrian accident clients. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to determine the best course of legal action.