If you’re the victim of a pedestrian accident or you lost a loved one in one, then yes, you need a pedestrian accident attorney. An attorney handles every step of getting you compensation for the losses you suffered because of a pedestrian accident. You can focus your time and energy on healing from your trauma and getting back to living your life.
Want to know more? Here’s a deeper dive into why you need a pedestrian accident attorney and the services an attorney can provide.
Your Legal Rights After a Pedestrian Accident
The first thing to know is that if you got hit by a vehicle while walking anywhere, or if your loved one died in that kind of accident, you probably have the right to receive significant monetary damages from the driver, another at-fault party, or an insurance company.
Motor vehicles should never hit pedestrians. When it happens, someone other than the pedestrian—most commonly the vehicle’s driver and others—almost always did something wrong.
And when wrongful actions cause pedestrian injuries, the at-fault parties and their insurers typically owe compensation to the victim or the victim’s surviving spouse and family members.
Pedestrian accidents pose a high risk of inflicting severe or fatal trauma.
Through lawsuits or insurance claims, injured pedestrians can usually claim payment for their:
- Medical expenses in treating their trauma
- Other non-medical expenses directly resulting from the accident or their injuries
- Loss of income and job benefits from missing work while healing
- Loss of future income or job opportunities because the accident left them disabled
- Physical pain and discomfort due to injuries or medical treatments
- Emotional distress caused by the trauma of the accident or injuries
- Diminished quality of life and loss of independence
- Scarring and disfigurement
In the case of a fatal pedestrian accident, the surviving spouse or family members of the victim may have the right to claim compensation for their loss through a wrongful death lawsuit.
The monetary damages they can recover may include payment for:
- Loss of the victim’s income, inheritance, financial support, or household services
- Loss of the victim’s companionship, guidance, society, or consortium
- The emotional suffering caused by the victim’s death
- The victim’s pain and suffering before death
- The victim’s medical and other expenses before death
- Funeral and burial expenses
Pedestrian accidents also frequently involve extremely reckless or intentional misconduct by the at-fault party, such as drunk driving or illegal street racing. When that’s the case, the facts may justify an award of additional punitive damages to the victim or the victim’s family. Speaking with a skilled attorney is the most reliable way to find out about the types and amounts of compensation you could receive after getting hurt or losing a loved one in a pedestrian accident.
Why You Need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
As the victim of a pedestrian accident or a deceased victim’s surviving spouse or family member, you need a pedestrian accident lawyer for a slew of reasons. Here are just some of them.
A Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Investigate What Happened and Who’s to Blame
Pedestrian accident victims do not always have the most precise understanding of what caused their accidents or who should be held accountable for them. But that’s critically important information. Identifying a pedestrian accident’s causes and liable parties usually constitutes the first step in securing compensation.
It might seem obvious that the vehicle’s driver that struck a pedestrian bears the blame for the accident. But that’s not always the whole picture. A skilled pedestrian accident attorney knows that taking a closer look at the evidence frequently reveals that multiple individuals, businesses, or entities might share responsibility for a pedestrian crash.
They could include, for example:
- As mentioned, the driver who engaged in dangerous conduct behind the wheel
- A passenger in the vehicle who distracted the driver
- The driver’s employer, if the crash involved a work vehicle
- The driver or owner of another vehicle that triggered the chain of events leading to the pedestrian getting hit
- A municipal road agency, contractor, or private party responsible for creating unreasonably dangerous road conditions
- An automotive manufacturer that produced faulty vehicle parts that played a role in the collision
These are just a few examples. Here’s the point: a lawyer can dig into the details to ensure full accountability for a pedestrian accident. And that, in turn, gives the injured victim or the grieving spouse or family member the best possible chance of recovering maximum compensation for their loss.
A Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Handle Insurance for You
Pedestrian accidents tend to trigger coverage under at least one insurance policy, usually several. The driver of the vehicle that struck the pedestrian usually carries insurance. The injured pedestrian may also carry insurance covering their losses. And other at-fault parties may have liability insurance covering the accident, too.
An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can handle every aspect of insurance coverage, saving you that hassle and stress.
Lawyers know how to:
- Analyze insurance policies to determine if they cover your losses and, if so, for how much.
- Act as your representative in all communications with insurance companies so that calls from aggressive insurance adjusters stop for good.
- Prepare and submit claims for coverage under applicable insurance companies.
- Represent you throughout the claim process, following up with an insurance company and responding to requests for information when appropriate.
- Negotiate with an insurance company to secure a favorable settlement of your claim whenever possible.
- Appeal or take an insurance company to court if your claim gets denied
Pedestrian accident attorneys, in other words, speak the language of insurance and know how to navigate the process of forcing insurers to pay what they owe you. Those invaluable skills can unlock maximum compensation for your pedestrian accident losses.
A Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Go to Court For You
Getting you the full compensation you deserve for the losses you suffered in a pedestrian accident may require filing a lawsuit and taking your case to court.
An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can handle that process for you, which may require:
- Finding and collecting evidence to prove someone else’s liability and your damages
- Working with expert witnesses to provide additional support to your case
- Preparing the paperwork for filing a claim for damages in court
- Handling discovery and other pre-trial procedures on your behalf
- Representing you in a trial in front of a judge and jury
Just as importantly, having a lawyer on your side who knows how to take your case to court and win lends strength and credibility to your claim. It signals to at-fault parties, their lawyers, and insurance companies that you’ll go the distance if necessary to see justice done and fair compensation paid. And that frequently leads to those parties settling your claim for top-dollar amounts rather than risk the uncertainty of a larger payout after a courtroom trial.
A Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Advise and Counsel You
Pedestrian accident lawyers tend to define their primary job as getting you the maximum compensation available for your losses. But that’s hardly their only function. A pedestrian accident attorney can also serve as your trusted advocate and ally during a difficult time in your life.
The initial days, weeks, and months after a pedestrian accident can feel like a whirlwind. Injured victims must contend with the daunting task of healing from often-severe injuries, some of which may permanently alter their lives. Surviving spouses and family members of a deceased accident victim likewise confront significant emotional trauma and financial strain in the wake of a tragic, preventable death.
During those vulnerable and upsetting times, it’s not easy to make even simple decisions about medical care, finances, and future plans. But in an experienced pedestrian accident attorney, you have someone who has witnessed others overcome the challenges you now face and can guide you in making safe, intelligent choices that protect your rights and position you for success in your claims and lawsuits.
Believe it or not, as much as lawyers enjoy winning large settlements and jury verdicts for their clients, they take equal satisfaction in advising and counseling clients through difficulty toward a brighter future.
A Pedestrian Accident Attorney Gives You Your Best Shot at Maximum Compensation
By providing the services described above, a pedestrian accident lawyer gives you the highest possible probability of success on your claim for compensation. Hiring a lawyer doesn’t guarantee results, of course. But it does put the necessary skills, resources, and experience behind your claim to obtain the best possible outcome.
There’s also little doubt that if you don’t have a knowledgeable lawyer representing your interests, your odds are slim to none of getting paid enough to cover medical expenses and meet your future needs. No one—not judges, juries, defense lawyers, or insurance adjusters—takes a pedestrian accident claim seriously if the victim isn’t represented by an experienced lawyer.
When to Get a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Now is the best time to hire a pedestrian accident lawyer. You gain nothing by waiting to connect with an attorney about your case. And waiting could cost you dearly.
The sooner you have a pedestrian accident attorney in your corner, the better your chances of a favorable result. It can take time to build a solid pedestrian accident case, so giving an attorney as much to work with is helpful. Plus, the evidence to support your pedestrian accident damages claim tends to be easiest to find and use the sooner after the accident a lawyer goes looking for it. Waiting to bring an attorney on board in your case could make proving it more difficult, which only serves to undermine its potential value.
Talking to a lawyer soon also protects you against missing critical deadlines. Every state sets an expiration date on your right to seek monetary damages for your pedestrian accident, called a statute of limitations. If that deadline passes without a lawyer who has taken legal action on your behalf, you could lose your rights entirely.
The statute of limitations applicable to a pedestrian accident varies widely from state to state, but it can be as little as just a few months, depending on your circumstances. The most reliable way to avoid missing a deadline and losing your rights is to speak with an attorney right away.
Contact an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
You deserve compensation for the losses you suffered because of a pedestrian accident. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can handle the process of getting it for you. An attorney can also be a trusted advocate and advisor who can guide you through this challenging time.
Don’t wait to learn about your rights after a pedestrian accident harms you or someone you love. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area today for a free, no-obligation case consultation. You have nothing to lose by speaking with a knowledgeable legal professional and potentially lots to gain.