Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help Victims of Pedestrian versus Vehicle Accidents
Any experienced personal injury attorney will tell you – some claims are just more difficult to handle on your own than others. When a pedestrian is injured by a vehicle, the claims process can get extremely complicated. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side can make the process much less stressful to get through.
A pedestrian is considered any person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting, or lying down. When an automobile hits and injures a pedestrian, it is highly likely that massive injuries will result. In 2018, the most recent year for data, there were 6,283 people killed in pedestrian accidents.
This averages out to nearly 121 people every week. Additionally, the number of pedestrians injured by automobiles in 2018 was nearly 75,000 – that’s over 1400 pedestrians being hit and injured by a car each week.
Pedestrian Accident Claims Aren’t Easy!
Clearly the injuries sustained from pedestrian accidents are horrific and can easily be life-threatening. The claims process surrounding pedestrian accidents are often complicated and can be incredibly frustrating.
Eighty-nine percent of the pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in 2018 were from single vehicle crashes – indicating there is only one insurance company to try to convince to cover the costly damages this type of injury will have.
Additionally, when the driver is under the influence or the accident is a hit-and-run, it is imperative to have a personal injury attorney on your side to help you resolve the claim in a manner that protects your rights and brings justice to the table.
Why Get A Personal Injury Attorney For Your Pedestrian Claim?
The personal injury attorneys at Ritchie Reiersen Law know how absolutely devastating a pedestrian accident can be. These injuries are rarely minor – in fact, they are usually life-changing. When the absolute worst possible scenario happens and you lose a family member to a pedestrian accident, you deserve to have justice.
Ritchie Reiersen Law’s personal injury attorneys are passionate about helping individuals who have experienced the effects of devastating accidents in their lives. We are dedicated to not only treating each client with compassion and respect, but to fight with everything we have to help our clients receive the compensation and the justice they deserve.
When you’ve been injured as a pedestrian due to the negligent actions of another person, know that you don’t have to handle the personal injury claim on your own. With an experienced personal injury attorney on your side, you will be sure to receive fair treatment and appropriate compensation from the insurance company.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I see a doctor even if I feel fine after my pedestrian accident?
While it is highly likely that you will have injuries after being in an accident as a pedestrian, you may not realize it for some time due to the shock of being hit. It is important to see a doctor for two main reasons: first of all, to ensure your injuries are accounted for and are treated; secondly, to provide documentation of injuries not only for insurance reimbursement, but also if you later seek to file a claim against the driver who hit you.
What if I was hit by a car, but I wasn’t using the crosswalk? Can I still file a claim?
Generally speaking, motorists have a responsibility to yield to pedestrians who are in the crosswalk. Likewise, pedestrians have a responsibility to use a crosswalk when possible to assist them in safely crossing a busy road. Just because you weren’t using a crosswalk, however, you don’t bear full responsibility for the accident. Even if you are found to be partially responsible, it is still possible to receive compensation for your injuries. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine what your rights are and assist you in receiving the compensation you deserve.
What should I do if I am hit by a car while I am walking?
This is definitely a scary and unexpected situation. In order to protect your health and your right to be compensated for your injuries, we suggest the following:
Call 911. Seek medical care on the scene if you need it. Don’t be afraid to have the police come and do an accident report. Not only will they assess the driver for possible intoxication, but a police report carries a great deal of weight when it comes to determining liability.
Take pictures of the scene of the accident, the vehicle, and your injuries.
Get the driver’s information, including name, address, phone number, license number, and insurance information. Also get any witness information you can from those who saw the accident.
See your doctor. If you were not seen by an EMT, schedule an appointment with your physician as soon as possible to be checked out. Even if you don’t think you have anything more than a minor injury, it is better to receive a full medical assessment.
Write down the details of the accident as soon as you can, including time of day, location, any mitigating factors (ice on the roads, etc), and all injuries you sustained.
Keep track of all medical expenses related to the injuries from the accident.
Contact a personal injury attorney to make sure your rights are protected and you are able to receive appropriate compensation for the injuries you sustained.
Are drivers always at fault when hitting a pedestrian at or near a crosswalk?
While our initial reaction is usually to place all responsibility on the driver of the car, it isn’t necessarily always that individual’s fault if they hit a pedestrian. Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk. And in general it is one of the responsibilities of a driver to be aware of what is happening around them and do what they can to avoid collisions. However, it is not expected that the driver of a vehicle will be able to anticipate when a pedestrian unexpectedly steps into the roadway, and in this way some auto vs pedestrian accidents are truly just that – unfortunate and unforeseeable tragic accidents.
Will the driver’s insurance pay for all of my medical bills?
The answer to this one can be complex. The driver’s insurance company will not pay anything until your case is resolved. In the meantime, you are responsible for your medical bills and can submit them to your health insurance carrier or pay them on your own. Some providers are willing to allow you to sign a lien form, allowing you to pay the bills out of any future settlement funds.
Once your case settles, you will be paid in a lump sum. There will be no separate settlement for medical expenses, per se. Your health insurance company may have a right to be reimbursed out of your settlement amount for the costs they paid on your behalf.
How much will it cost to hire an attorney for my pedestrian accident?
Victims of pedestrian accidents are represented by personal injury attorneys. Most personal injury attorneys work on what is called a contingency fee. This means that there will be no upfront fees to hire the attorney, and you don’t pay them unless they win your case for you. When you have agreed to a settlement offer from the insurance company, the attorney will receive a portion of that for their fees; you receive the remainder of the lump sum. The amount you receive with the help of an experienced attorney, even after the attorney fees are taken out, will typically be significantly more than you would be able to negotiate on your own.
Do I have to cross the street at an intersection and/or use a crosswalk?
You can cross the street outside of a crosswalk as long as you yield to traffic. You may not enter a roadway to cross if there are traffic signals at the intersections on both sides adjacent to where you are crossing, however. In this case, you must use the crosswalk.
What should I do if the driver who hit me in a pedestrian accident doesn’t want me to call the police?
It is important that you insist the police be called to the scene of the accident. In some states, it is legally required that police are called if there is a serious injury from an accident.
The driver of the car who hit me was cited. Why would I need the help of a lawyer for my pedestrian accident claim?
Simply because a driver was cited does not necessarily mean they are given liability for the accident and the injuries you sustained. Most of the time you can expect the driver to claim that you were responsible for at least part of the accident. Having a personal injury attorney on your side will ensure your rights are protected.
Insurance companies will do everything they can to get out of paying a claim. If you have a pre-existing condition or have previously received medical care for a body part that is injured in the accident, it’s almost a guarantee the insurance company will attempt to question the validity of or outright deny the injury claim. Additionally, history has shown that when an individual has an attorney on their side, the insurance settlement offers are significantly higher than when an individual is handling the claim on their own.
This is a large part of why Ritchie Reiersen Law offers free, no-obligation consultations. Once we hear the details of the accident, if we feel you don’t need the help of an attorney, we will let you know.
Causes of Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents
- Failure to stop at right of way
- Failure to stop at red light or stop sign
- Failure to stop when school bus stop arm is visible
- Failure to stop at crosswalk
- Driving under the influence
- Driving negligently by speeding
- Texting while driving
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— Jordan from Yakima.
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