Do I Need a Pedestrian Accident Attorney?

Posted on July 1, 2024 in Pedestrian Accidents

If a car hits you or a loved one while walking, you may wonder if you must hire a pedestrian accident attorney. In most cases, yes, working with an experienced Phoenix pedestrian accident lawyer can make a big difference in the outcome of your case.

Understanding Pedestrian Accidents

A pedestrian accident occurs when a motor vehicle, like a car, truck, or motorcycle. Strikes a person on foot

These accidents can occur in many different settings, such as:

A young man crossing the street involved in a pedestrian accident.

  • Crosswalks
  • Sidewalks
  • Parking lots
  • Roadways
  • Driveways

Some frequent causes of pedestrian accidents include:

Injuries from pedestrian accidents can be severe since the pedestrian has no protection against the force of the vehicle. Victims may suffer broken bones, head trauma, spinal cord damage, internal injuries, lacerations, and more. The medical bills can quickly pile up, especially if the injuries require surgery, rehabilitation, or ongoing care.

When You May Need a Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Some signs that you can benefit from legal representation include:

  • Severe injuries: If you suffered major injuries that have a long-term impact on your health and ability to work, an attorney can help pursue fair compensation. Estimating future medical needs and lost earning potential can be difficult.
  • Disputed liability: If the insurance company tries to blame you for the accident or downplay the driver’s responsibility, a lawyer can gather evidence and build a strong case.
  • Lowball settlement offers: Insurance adjusters often try to get pedestrian accident victims to accept a quick, low settlement before they understand the full extent of their injuries and losses. An attorney can assess a fair offer and negotiate for more if needed.
  • Missed work: If your injuries have caused you to miss substantial work, an attorney can help recoup those lost income as part of your compensation.
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement: If the accident left you with permanent impairments or scars, a pedestrian accident lawyer can fight for compensation to account for the lifelong impact of those losses.
  • Death of a loved one: If a pedestrian accident tragically took the life of a close family member, an attorney can guide you through the process of pursuing a wrongful death claim.

The Role of a Pedestrian Accident Attorney

A pedestrian accident lawyer is your advocate and guide throughout the legal process.

Some key things they can do include:

  • Investigate the accident: Your pedestrian accident attorney can gather evidence like police reports, surveillance footage, witness statements, and accident reconstruction analysis to build a strong case.
  • Identify all liable parties: In some cases, multiple parties, such as the at-fault driver and their employer, may share fault for a pedestrian accident. An attorney can identify all potential sources of compensation.
  • Handle communication with insurance companies: Insurers often try to exploit unrepresented accident victims. Your lawyer can handle all communication and negotiation to protect your rights.
  • Calculate your damages: An experienced attorney can accurately assess the full scope of your economic and non-economic damages, from medical bills to pain and suffering.
  • Negotiate a fair settlement: Your pedestrian accident lawyer can leverage their knowledge and negotiation skills to advocate for a maximum settlement that meets your needs.
  • Prepare your case for trial: If the insurance company refuses a fair offer, your pedestrian accident attorney can file a lawsuit and present a compelling case in court.

What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident

After a pedestrian accident, the steps you take can greatly improve your health and legal case.

Here are some key things to do:

  • Seek medical attention: Your health and safety should be the top priority. Call 911 if you or anyone else is seriously injured. Even if your injuries seem minor, it’s best to get checked out by a doctor to rule out hidden issues and establish a record.
  • Be cautious about insurance company calls: The driver’s insurance company may contact you seeking a recorded statement or pushing you to accept a quick settlement. It’s best to consult an attorney before giving statements or agreeing to any offers.
  • Contact a pedestrian accident attorney: The sooner you reach out to an experienced lawyer, the sooner they can begin protecting your rights and building your case. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations, so you cannot lose by seeking legal guidance.

Compensation in Pedestrian Accident Cases

If a vehicle hits you while you are walking, you may recover compensation for your losses. These can include:

Medical Expenses

One of the most significant compensation you can seek after a pedestrian accident is reimbursement for your medical expenses. Pedestrians are completely exposed and vulnerable when hit by a vehicle, which often leads to serious injuries requiring extensive medical treatment.

Doctor and patient discussing a health examination at the clinic office, close-up.

This can include:

  • Emergency room visits
  • Hospitalization
  • Surgeries
  • Prescription medications
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Medical equipment like crutches or wheelchairs
  • Follow-up doctor appointments
  • Diagnostic tests like X-rays or MRIs

Your compensation must account for your current medical bills and any anticipated future medical needs related to the accident. For example, if your injuries will require ongoing physical therapy or additional surgeries down the road, those projected costs should be factored into your settlement or award.

An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can work with expert witnesses to thoroughly assess the extent of your injuries and develop a comprehensive plan for your future care needs. They can then advocate for a compensation amount that will fully cover all of your medical expenses, both now and in the future.

Don’t get stuck paying out of pocket for medical costs caused by someone else’s negligence. Let a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer fight for the full medical compensation you deserve.

Lost Income

In addition to medical bills, being injured in a pedestrian accident can result in significant income and potential losses. If your injuries caused you to miss work while recovering or attending medical appointments, you can seek compensation for those lost income.

But the income losses don’t necessarily stop there. If your injuries result in a permanent disability or impairment that impacts your ability to do your job, you may recover compensation for your reduced future earning capacity.

For example:

  • A teacher who suffers a traumatic brain injury and can no longer handle the demands of a classroom
  • A construction worker who sustains a back injury and cannot do heavy lifting
  • A salesperson who experiences severe anxiety and PTSD and can’t interact with clients

In these cases, the injured pedestrian may need a lower-paying job or cannot work at all. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can work with vocational professionals and economists to calculate the lifetime income losses you may suffer due to the accident. They can then fight to compensate you for those lost future earnings.

Losing your ability to provide for yourself and your family after a pedestrian accident can be scary and stressful. But you don’t have to shoulder that financial burden alone. Consult a knowledgeable pedestrian accident lawyer to get the full scope of lost income compensation you deserve.

Pain and Suffering

Not all losses from a pedestrian accident are easily quantifiable in dollars and cents. The physical pain, emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life stemming from the accident and injuries are very real hardships, even if they don’t come with a precise price tag. That’s where pain and suffering damages come in.

Close-up of a male hand with a bandage and cast, giving a thumbs up, symbolizing health care, injury, and first aid.

Pain and suffering is a type of non-economic damage that compensates pedestrian accident victims for things like:

  • Physical pain and discomfort from injuries
  • Emotional distress, anxiety, depression, or PTSD
  • Disfigurement or scarring
  • Loss of enjoyment of hobbies and activities
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Embarrassment and humiliation from permanent impairments

You need an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to put a monetary figure on these subjective losses and demonstrate their significant impact on your life.

They may:

  • As you to keep a journal documenting your physical pain levels and emotional state
  • Gather statements from friends and family about changes to your lifestyle and personality since the accident
  • Work with mental health professionals to diagnose and treat accident-related emotional distress

Using this evidence and their knowledge of past jury awards and settlements in similar cases, your attorney can build a compelling case for a substantial pain and suffering award. While no amount of money can erase the suffering you’ve endured, it can provide a measure of justice and the financial security to move forward.

If a vehicle has hit you, the clock is ticking on your potential legal case. Don’t discount the very real toll the accident has taken on your life. Work with a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer who can advocate for the pain and suffering compensation you deserve and help navigate the complexities of your case.

Punitive Damages

In most pedestrian accident cases, the compensation pursued directly addresses the losses suffered by the injured person, such as medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. However, in rare cases, an additional kind of compensation called punitive damages may be available.

Punitive damages punish the at-fault party for particularly egregious, reckless, or intentional behavior. The purpose is to convey that the conduct is unacceptable and deter the at-fault party and others from engaging in similar actions.

You might pursue punitive damages in pedestrian accident cases involving:

  • A driver who was heavily intoxicated and driving recklessly
  • A driver who intentionally tried to run down a pedestrian after an argument
  • A company that knowingly let a dangerous driver operate a commercial vehicle
  • A municipality that knew about a dangerous intersection but failed to make safety upgrades

Pursuing and recovering punitive damages can be challenging. More proof is required, and not all states allow punitive damages in personal injury cases. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can assess whether your case might warrant a punitive damage claim and build a strategy to pursue it.

While rare, punitive damages can result in significant additional compensation when warranted by particularly bad conduct. If you suspect that actions beyond mere negligence caused your pedestrian accident, it’s worth consulting with an attorney to explore a potential punitive damage claim.

Statute of Limitations

Lawyers consulting with business clients, discussing statute of limitations and legal services.

It’s important to be aware that there is a time limit for filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations. This deadline varies by state but is often around two years from the date of the accident. If you miss this window, you may lose your right to seek compensation in court.

This is why promptly consulting with a pedestrian accident attorney after the accident is vital. They can ensure that all necessary paperwork is filed on time to protect your legal rights and maximize your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and damages.

Additionally, an experienced attorney will gather evidence, interview witnesses, negotiate with insurance companies, and provide you with valuable guidance throughout the legal process.

By taking swift action and seeking legal representation early, you can strengthen your case and focus on your recovery with peace of mind.

Contact a Knowledgeable Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today

If a vehicle has hit you, the clock is ticking on your potential legal case. Don’t let the insurance companies take advantage of you or allow the statute of limitations to expire on your rights. Seek guidance from a skilled personal injury attorney in Phoenix to protect your legal interests and pursue the compensation you deserve.

Contact a knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney today for a free, no-obligation consultation. They can answer your questions, explain your options, and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.

By seeking experienced legal guidance, you have nothing to lose and potentially much to gain. Take action now to protect yourself and your family.