If you or a loved one was struck by a car while you were out for a walk or run, you could be facing a long road back to health. Pedestrian accident victims may experience serious or life-threatening injuries. You may need extensive medical treatment and care, and you may not be able to return to work for weeks or even months. Meanwhile, you may have no way to pay your medical bills or cover your basic living expenses.
Pursuing legal action against the motorist who struck you can help get you the financial resources you need to get back on your feet. If your accident took place in Indiana, Illinois, or Kentucky, an experienced pedestrian accident attorney from Gerling Law can help.
Why Do Pedestrian Accidents Occur?
Although you can suffer an injury accident in virtually any manner, wrongful actions by motor vehicle drivers are some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents. Some of the most common reasons why motorists hit pedestrians include the following:
- Distracted driving,
- Drunk driving,
- Aggressive driving,
- Excessive speed,
- Failure to stop,
- Failure to yield, and
- Failure to obey traffic signs and signals.
Sometimes external factors, such as roadway obstructions, poor signage, obstructed views, etc., can cause or contribute to these accidents. You could also slip and fall on cracked or broken sidewalks or asphalt or slip due to poorly maintained sidewalks during bad weather.
Whatever the circumstances of your injury accident might have been, chances are you suffered a variety of serious injuries.
Why Pedestrian Accidents Are Especially Dangerous
When a motorist strikes a pedestrian, the impact rarely does much more than cause some minor damage to the passenger vehicle. It is rare that the vehicle’s driver or passengers sustain serious injuries. For the pedestrian who was struck, however, the results can be much more dire.
These types of accidents can throw the victim a significant distance, depending on the circumstances and the speed of the car. In other cases, the victim can be crushed under the vehicle’s tires or sustain burns from hot engine parts under the car.
Some of the most common types of injuries that occur in pedestrian accidents include:
- Broken or crushed bones,
- Dislocated joints,
- Internal injuries,
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI),
- Spinal damage,
- Thermal burns,
- Paralysis and
- Lost digits or limbs.
Long-term or permanent injuries are not uncommon when a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle. Victims can be left with paralysis, brain damage, or other types of permanent injuries and disabilities. Pedestrian accidents frequently end in death for the victim and devastation for the surviving family members.
What Is the Value of My Pedestrian Accident Claim?
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you might be wondering what your claim could be worth.
An insurance settlement or jury award can provide the financial resources you need to obtain comprehensive medical treatment and to pay your bills until you can return to work. Typically, you can pursue compensation for your medical treatment, lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, and more. If you need future treatment or care or if you will experience future lost income, your attorney can include those damages in your claim, along with compensation for any permanent injury, scarring, etc. that you suffered.
The value of your claim could be affected by other variables. For example, if the at-fault party can demonstrate that your actions contributed somehow to the accident, you may not be entitled to collect 100% of your award.
These and other factors make estimating a claim value difficult or impossible without additional details. Talking to a knowledgeable injury attorney is the easiest and fastest way to determine the potential settlement value of your case.
Are Motorists Always at Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?
Anyone who drives a vehicle has the legal obligation or duty to act reasonably, so as not to expose others to undue harm on the roadways. Drivers should not drive while tired or impaired, for example. They should obey posted traffic control signage and all applicable laws.
If a driver fails to uphold this duty and, as a result, causes an accident in which others are harmed, the driver will likely face responsibility for the damages of any injured party.
Can Pedestrians Be at Fault for an Injury Accident?
In some cases, pedestrians can cause or contribute to an accident in which they sustain injuries. However, as long as they take reasonable precautions, pedestrians should not have to fear being harmed by motorists. For example, a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk should not have to fear being struck by a car unless they are crossing against a traffic signal or darting out in front of oncoming traffic. You should be safe while on the sidewalk as well.
If a pedestrian fails to act reasonably, however, they could bear some responsibility for any accident that subsequently occurs. For example, darting out into the street from between parked cars might not provide a motorist with adequate warning to stop in time to avoid a collision. If the driver was not paying attention or driving at an excessive speed, that motorist might still bear the majority of the responsibility for the accident and, consequently, the victim’s damages.
Even if you did do something to contribute to an injury accident, you still have legal rights and, potentially, the ability to pursue a legal claim. Talking to an attorney will help you explore your options and decide on the best course of action.
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How Do Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Document a Case?
To build the strongest possible case, your pedestrian injury attorney will begin investigating and documenting your claim. This typically centers on identifying the at-fault party (or parties) and gathering evidence to prove their liability. Your lawyer might assemble documentation that includes the following items:
- Accident report,
- Witness accounts,
- Accident scene photos,
- Traffic camera videos,
- Accident reconstructions, and
- Subject matter expert opinions.
Having access to these resources is just one of the ways that an experienced attorney can help maximize your claim’s value and get you the most compensation for your injuries and other damages.
How Can a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Help You?
Although you are not legally required to hire an attorney, having a pedestrian accident law firm to handle your case can provide many significant advantages. Experienced pedestrian accident lawyers understand how the legal process works and are familiar with the tactics that insurance companies commonly use to minimize settlement payouts. For these reasons, having an attorney on your side helps level the playing field for accident victims.
Another compelling reason to let a lawyer fight for your compensation is that throughout the legal process, your attorney will take care of everything. This allows you to relax and focus on getting the care and treatment you need to get back to health.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
If you were struck by a motor vehicle, seek medical attention immediately. Getting a full evaluation from a qualified medical professional is critical for your safety and well-being. This will also provide critical medical records that your lawyer will use to document your claim. Get photos of the accident scene If you can—or ask someone else to do so. Collect names and contact information for any witnesses present as well as all relevant information from any involved motorists.
Contact the police immediately to file an accident report. Provide basic facts and information to the police and make note of the responding officer’s name and badge number for future reference. Beyond these steps, however, do not comment on the events of the accident, even if you believe you might have done something to cause or contribute to the accident.
If you are contacted by the at-fault party’s insurance company, do not provide any statement or discuss any details about the accident until you speak to an attorney. The insurance company can (and will) use your own statement against you if it believes it can justify denying your claim. The insurer may also try to offer you a lowball settlement. Don’t discuss any settlement until you’ve fully explored your options for pursuing legal action.
Will My Pedestrian Accident Claim Have to Go to Court?
The good news is that you probably won’t have to take your case to court to get compensation for your injuries. In most cases, Gerling Law is able to negotiate with the insurance company to get a settlement. This helps ensure you get your money as quickly as possible.
If it becomes necessary, however, we will be prepared to file a lawsuit and take your case to court. For more than 50 years, our team of experienced personal injury attorneys has helped thousands of clients, recovering more than $500 million in settlements and awards. Your consultation and case review is free, and we never collect any legal fees unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
Talk to a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
Before you make any decisions about your case, schedule a free case review with one of Gerling Law’s pedestrian accident attorneys in Indiana, Illinois, or Kentucky. We understand that you might prefer not to come into the office or that you might be hospitalized and unable to travel. To accommodate these needs, we can conduct your consultation by phone or video conference. In fact, we can handle your entire case without having to meet in person. Or if you prefer, we are happy to come to your location.
Although your situation might feel overwhelming right now, you don’t have to fight the battle on your own. Gerling Law Injury Attorneys will put all our resources to work for you and fight to get you the justice and compensation you deserve. With our extensive experience and proven track record, we know what it takes to get the job done for you. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation or to speak with one of our pedestrian accident attorneys now. Remember,
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