Our Pedestrian Accident FAQ
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Will I have to go to court after a pedestrian accident if I want a financial recovery?
Pedestrian accidents can leave victims with serious, debilitating, or even disabling injuries that result in astronomical unexpected medical bills and require long periods of recuperation. Quite often, a victim isn't able to work during recovery. Suddenly, in addition to earth-shattering physical challenges, pedestrian accident victims face devastating financial challenges as well.
Fortunately, Pennsylvania law gives victims injured in accidents caused by someone else's negligence the ability to seek a compensation for related medical expenses, lost wages, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other damages. However, some victims may be hesitant to take legal action because of fear that doing so means they'll have to go to court.
While it's true that some pedestrian accident personal injury cases make it all the way to trial, the vast majority are settled long before they ever reach a courtroom.
That said, there's no reason to be afraid of going to court if the circumstances demand it. When an insurance company or defense team refuses to take a claim seriously or make a fair settlement offer, taking the case to trial may be beneficial.
One thing's for certain: Pedestrian accident victims need a qualified attorney who's committed to resolving the case in the way that's best for the client—whether that means accepting a settlement or going to court.
It's not uncommon for accident victims with no previous experience with personal injury litigation process to feel nervous, scared, or intimidated by the idea of going to court. Not to worry: experienced personal injury attorneys work closely with their clients to ensure they're prepared and know what to expect in the courtroom.
Consult a Personal Injury Attorney
Our skilled personal injury attorneys can help you understand your rights and options after a pedestrian accident. Contact the Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.
Aren't pedestrian accident cases open and shut? Why do I need a lawyer?
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, your case may seem incredibly clear cut: You were walking and a motorist struck you with a vehicle. So obviously, the motorist is responsible for both the accident and your injuries. Unfortunately, it's not always that simple.
While motorists are often at fault for pedestrian accidents, that isn't always so. In some situations, both the pedestrian and motorist may share liability to varying degrees.
Considering that pedestrian accidents often leave victims with catastrophic injuries, there's far too much at stake to go through the insurance claims or litigation process alone and unprepared. A personal injury attorney with experience handling pedestrian accident insurance claims or lawsuits can help clients:
- Seek compensation for damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering.
- Find, gather, and preserve important pedestrian accident evidence.
- Determine accident liability.
- Prove the motorist was the primarily negligent party.
- Negotiate a fair settlement.
- Litigate their cases in court.
Hiring an attorney to represent your interests after a pedestrian accident may also increase your chances of receiving a larger settlement. That's not too surprising, considering that securing legal counsel shows the at-fault party and the insurance company that you're taking the matter seriously by relying on a qualified attorney's negotiation skills and in-depth knowledge of personal injury law.
Consult a Reputable Personal Injury Attorney
If you were seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, a personal injury attorney can protect your interests while you focus on getting better. The seasoned personal injury attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group can help you fight for the compensation you need and deserve to get back on your feet. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your pedestrian accident case.
What if I'm injured by an inexperienced driver?
Pedestrian accidents are on the rise all across the country, and Pennsylvania is no exception. These accidents injure or kill thousands of people each year.
In fact, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, accidents involving pedestrians account for 14.5 percent of traffic crash fatalities, despite representing just 3.2 percent of reported accidents.
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident caused by an inexperienced driver, you're not alone.
Inexperienced drivers are a leading cause of pedestrian accidents, as novice drivers are often younger, more prone to distraction, less adept at maneuvering a vehicle, and less likely to know where to look for pedestrians.
Lacking any type of significant protection, pedestrians are extremely vulnerable to injury in the event of an accident. Common pedestrian accident injuries include:
- Broken or crushed bones
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Internal bleeding or organ damage
- Psychological injuries
- Brain or spinal cord injuries
Treatment costs for such catastrophes can quickly spiral out of control. Fortunately, if you were hurt by an inexperienced driver, you may not have to bear these financial burdens on your own.
Pedestrian accident victims injured by the negligence of inexperienced drivers can file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for injuries and other losses. You may be entitled to compensation for accident-related damages such as, but not limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand your rights and give you the information you need to make sound decisions about your case.
Do You Need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a driver's inexperience, you need a personal injury attorney with the expertise to handle these cases. The skilled attorneys and legal staff with the Accident and Injury Law Group are committed to protecting the rights of injured pedestrians. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free, no-obligation initial case review.
How do I prove a motorist drove recklessly when my injury occurred?
Pedestrian crashes are a growing problem in our state. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, they account for just 3.2 percent of reported traffic accidents, but 14.5 percent of all crash-related fatalities.
State law allows pedestrians hurt in accidents caused by negligent motorists the right to take legal action to seek compensation for their injuries, which are often serious and costly.
While it may seem obvious to the injured pedestrian that the at-fault motorist was driving recklessly at the time of the accident, the law may not see it quite the same way. This is because Pennsylvania is one of the few states that defines careless and reckless driving as separate offenses.
Under Pennsylvania law, dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding, drowsy driving, or distracted driving may be classified as “careless driving.” The term “reckless driving” is reserved for instances when the dangerous actions were deliberate, such as street racing, or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
For the most part, the different classifications don't affect an injured pedestrian's ability to seek compensation for damages.
However, a reckless driving citation issued to the at-fault driver may enable the injured pedestrian to pursue a rarely-awarded category of compensation known as punitive damages, which are intended to punish defendants for particularly heinous conduct.
Other evidence that can help build a strong personal injury case against careless or reckless drivers includes:
- Police accident reports—although inadmissible in court, accident reports can provide personal injury attorneys with valuable information
- Dashcam or area surveillance video footage
- Statements from people who witnessed the accident
Contact a Knowledgeable Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you're a pedestrian seriously injured in an accident caused by a careless or reckless driver, you may be entitled to compensation for damages. It's important to thoroughly understand your legal rights and options before making any decisions about your case.
Contact the pedestrian accident attorneys at Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case.
If I'm injured in a parking lot, can I hold the business accountable?
Parking lot accidents are far more common than most people realize. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), approximately 20 percent of all vehicle accidents occur in parking lots, and these incidents account for roughly 30 percent of pedestrian accidents.
In fact, research from the National Security Council shows that the more than 50,000 crashes that occur in parking lots each year lead to approximately 60,000 injuries.
Some of these, such as broken bones, internal injuries, head traumas, and spine or back injuries, can be quite serious.
When a pedestrian is injured in a parking lot accident, the first line of recourse is to file a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit against the at-fault party, which allows an individual to pursue compensation for a wide range of damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and others. However, depending on the details of the case, the injured pedestrian may also have grounds for a premises liability claim against the business that owns the lot.
Business owners have a duty to take reasonable measures to protect customers from being injured on the premises. This duty includes installing parking lot pedestrian crosswalks in a prudent manner, and posting appropriate warning signs and traffic signals. Business owners who fail to take reasonable precautions to protect customers from harm while in their parking lots may be held partially liable for the accidents and injuries that occur.
Were You Injured in a Parking Lot Pedestrian Accident?
If you were seriously injured in a pedestrian accident that occurred in a parking lot, you may be entitled to compensation. The seasoned premises liability and pedestrian accident attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group can review your case to determine if you have grounds for claims against both the at-fault driver and the business itself.
Contact the Accident and Injury Law Group today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.
What if I'm struck by a government or commercial vehicle?
There were 4,438 pedestrian accidents in Pennsylvania in 2016, resulting in 4,218 injuries and 172 fatalities, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
While most of those accidents involved regular passenger vehicles, some involve government or commercial vehicles. This complicates a victim's ability to collect compensation for recovery.
Pedestrians fortunate enough to survive being struck by a government vehicle or commercial truck often require extensive medical care and rehabilitation, and costs for these services add up quickly.
When a government or commercial driver's negligence causes a pedestrian accident resulting in serious injury, the injured pedestrian may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, damaged property, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
However, that's not to say that bringing a personal injury claim or lawsuit against a government agency or commercial driver is without its challenges. For example, before filing a personal injury lawsuit against a government agency for injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident, the injured pedestrian is required to notify the appropriate agency within six months of the incident in question and provide specific information.
In pedestrian accident cases involving commercial vehicles, such as semi-trucks, tankers, and buses, the challenges involve the severity of the injuries, and the rigors and resources of a corporate defense. Additionally, commercial truck drivers are subject to a number of state and federal regulations that don't apply to the average motorist. Proper evidence vital to the case—such as log books, driver qualification files, and vehicle inspection and maintenance records—needs to be obtained quickly before it's recorded over or otherwise destroyed.
Consult a Knowledgeable Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent government or commercial driver, the experienced pedestrian accident attorneys with the Accident and Injury Law Group can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact our firm today to schedule an appointment for a free initial review of your case.
When can a pedestrian be blamed for a collision with a car?
While drivers have a duty of care to watch out for pedestrians and to avoid hitting them if at all possible, there are times when the driver will attempt to pass blame on to the pedestrian for a crash. If he presents a strong case, the driver of the car may not be held liable, or may share blame with the pedestrian. We take a look at situations where the pedestrian may be found to be at fault for his or her injuries.
Pedestrians Do Have Responsibility
Many people believe that pedestrians always have the right of way because they are more likely to be injured in a run-in with a car. However, this is not true. Drivers cannot be expected to watch for pedestrians in areas where they are not expected to be. In particular, if a pedestrian is in violation of traffic law when he is hit, he is likely to be held at least partially responsible for the crash. Some examples of this include the following:
- Crossing in the middle of the street, outside of a crosswalk—also known as jaywalking
- Walking along a highway, bridge, or causeway where pedestrians are prohibited
- Crossing in a crosswalk, but against the signal
- Walking while distracted or intoxicated
However, even when a pedestrian is breaking a traffic law, a driver is still expected to take reasonable action to avoid hitting him. Depending on the exact circumstances of the situation, the pedestrian could be held partially or fully responsible for the accident.
Comparative Negligence in Pennsylvania
If you're hit by a car and seriously injured in Pittsburgh, you may find yourself fighting for compensation if the driver of the car claims that you were partially to blame for the accident. Pennsylvania follows the law of comparative negligence, which means that your compensation from the other party’s insurance will be reduced by the amount you are found to be at fault.
For example, if the driver claims you crossed against the light, but the driver was found to be exceeding the speed limit, a jury may decide that the driver was 75 percent at fault and you were 25 percent at fault, so your recovery would be reduced by 25 percent. It is important to understand that the lawyer or insurance adjuster for the driver will almost always try to pin a portion of the blame on the pedestrian to reduce their monetary responsibility. You may have to argue your side and provide evidence to prove it.
Why You Need an Attorney
Unless you are offered a maximum settlement right away by the driver’s insurance company, you would be smart to consult with an attorney following a pedestrian accident. We will take a look at the circumstances, gather necessary evidence, and fight for the recovery you deserve. Do not hesitate to call the pedestrian accident attorneys at Accident & Injury Law Group when you are hit by a car in Pittsburgh.