Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Ready To Fight For Hit And Run Victims
Being a pedestrian is dangerous in America.
According to the National Highway Traffic Association, someone is injured in a pedestrian accident every 8 minutes! These injuries tend to be more severe, leading to vulnerable plaintiffs and serious legal conflicts.
If you’ve been in a pedestrian accident, it’s important to connect to a qualified pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we maintain an active network of experienced lawyers who can provide a free consultation regarding your case. Call us at anytime to get connected.
There are no upfront fees: you don’t pay until and unless your attorney is able to secure a payout on your behalf.
Common Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents may be caused by a number of different factors, including situations where the defendant-driver:
- Was speeding or driving recklessly
- Failed to come to a stop at a traffic signal
- Did not account for environmental conditions (i.e., presence of schoolchildren, elderly)
- Did not yield the right of way to a pedestrian
- Failed to look before turning into a crosswalk
- Was under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating their vehicle
- And more
It’s important to understand that these are non-exhaustive causes. Simply put, if the defendant’s behavior contributed to your injuries, then you may have a legal claim through which you can obtain compensation.
Obtaining Compensation For Serious Injuries
As an injured pedestrian, you may have a right to sue and recover compensation as a result of the defendant’s negligence or misconduct.
Damages include compensation for the following:
- Wage loss
- Loss of earning capacity
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Property loss
- And more
In some particularly egregious cases — such as an intentionally malicious or reckless defendant — you may be entitled to make a claim for punitive damages, which can push your total recovery into the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.
How do punitive damages work?
Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for their actions and discourage others in society from engaging in similarly problematic behavior.
So, for example, a drunk driver defendant who hits a pedestrian may be sued for punitive damages, too, in an effort to increase the amount they have to pay out (and thus discourage others from driving while intoxicated).
Punitive damages act as a multiplier on the baseline damages total — up to seven times the total damages. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident and are claiming compensation of $100,000, for example, then the punitive damages may be as much as $700,000, leading to an $800,000 recovery in total.
As such, it’s critical that you and your attorney make a claim for punitive damages if it is available.
How Does Pedestrian Right Of Way Work?
Pedestrian right-of-way rules can vary from state to state, but the general principles tend to be the same. Simply put, pedestrians have the right-of-way when crossing the street at a crosswalk or traffic signal, even if the crossing is “mid-block.”
What does this mean? Ultimately, if you, the pedestrian, have the right-of-way when the defendant-driver hits you, then you’ll have a much easier time showing that the defendant was negligent and is therefore legally responsible for your injuries.
It’s worth noting, that sometimes you may not have right-of-way as a pedestrian, and this can impact your ability to sue and recover damages. If you cross the street when you do not have right-of-way, the court may find you partially at-fault for your own injuries.
In some states, this can preclude you from recovering any damages whatsoever. In most states, however, you’ll still have access to damages — the damages will just be reduced by your partial fault contribution.
You can counter this argument by showing that, even if you did not have the right-of-way as a pedestrian, the defendant-driver noticed you crossing the street and should have engaged in reasonable efforts to avoid a collision. If they did not, then you’ll still have a strong claim for damages.
Why It’s Necessary To Find A Lawyer Early
Too often, victims delay talking to a personal injury lawyer and find out it’s too late to file a claim. If you do not file a claim within the “statute of limitations” deadline applicable for your state, then you could lose out on your right to sue and recover damages under the law. This can prevent a payout altogether.
Don’t make the same mistake!
The sooner you pursue legal action for your pedestrian accident, the greater your chance of receiving full compensation. Here at 1-800-THE-LAW2, we maintain a network of experienced personal injury attorneys who have successfully litigated a variety of claims, including pedestrian accident claims.
Q: Can I still sue the driver if I was illegally crossing the street?
A: Yes, you can — though it depends on the circumstances.
Illegally crossing the street (i.e., not having right-of-way by going mid-block without a crosswalk) will make you at least partially at-fault for your injuries. In truth, however, the defendant can be held liable if they were aware of your presence while crossing the street. If the defendant could have taken actions to avoid hitting you, then they can be held liable.
If you illegally cross the street and are hit by a car suddenly (it didn’t have time to see and avoid you), then you would arguably have a claim against the defendant who crashed their vehicle.
Q: What happens if the driver has no (or limited) insurance?
A: If the defendant-driver has no (or limited) insurance, then you can still recover significant damages as compensation for your injuries, but your case strategy will have to open up.
First, you’ll want to evaluate whether you have significant uninsured motorist coverage under your own insurance plan. If so, then that is an excellent option for securing a recovery.
Alternatively, you can explore legal options against other defendants — not just the driver — who may be liable for your injuries. For example, if the defendant’s car spun out of control due to faulty brakes, then you could arguably sue and recover from the car manufacturer.
Q: Do I have to pay my pedestrian accident attorney upfront?
A: No, you do not.
Most pedestrian accident attorneys work on contingency. Contingency fees create a win-win situation for the plaintiff and the attorney. Attorneys cover all upfront, out-of-pocket expenses for the plaintiff (i.e., medical expenses, cost of hiring an investigator, cost of hiring experts, costs of litigation, etc.). In return, the attorney gets a “cut” of the compensation obtained in the end.
Contingency fees are not paid out unless the attorney successfully obtains compensation on your behalf. In other words: you only pay until and unless you win the case. This dynamic incentivizes the attorney to advocate for you in an efficient and effective manner.