Know Your Rights If You’re Hit by a Car in a Pedestrian Accident
Pedestrians face an increased risk for severe injuries because they do not have the standard protections afforded to someone inside a vehicle. Whereas a person inside a car is probably wearing a seatbelt and has the benefit of airbag deployment in the event of an accident, a pedestrian is completely exposed. If you were struck by a car while walking you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
You May Be Eligible to Pursue a Pedestrian Accident Claim
If you were involved in a pedestrian accident and were injured due to a motorist’s negligence, you may have a case for compensation. It is important that you document everything about your accident, including any injuries you sustained, medical treatments, and statements from anyone who might have seen the accident occur. When a driver hits a pedestrian, they are legally required to stay at the scene, seek medical attention for the victim, and wait for the police to arrive. If a driver flees the scene (also called a hit-and-run accident) the driver could face anything from a traffic ticket to serious criminal charges depending on the severity of the incident and whether or not there were any fatalities.
A driver’s failure to obey traffic safety laws such as speeding, failing to yield at a crosswalk or failing to stop at an intersection or stop sign are just a few of the causes associated with pedestrian accidents. Most commonly though, it is due to a negligent driver’s failure to observe the pedestrian’s right-of-way, rolling stops and distracted driving that cause the most significant damage.
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You might immediately think that the person driving the car is at fault. While pedestrians do have right of way across many states, there are situations when a pedestrian could be partially or fully at fault for their own injuries. Vehicles, for example, must yield to pedestrians inside marked crosswalks and motor vehicles have to follow the posted speed limit, especially when pedestrians are present. However, if you were jaywalking at the time of your incident, and ran out in the middle of traffic, this could affect your injury claim.
Another important factor to determine how you will be compensated for your pedestrian accident is whether or not you sustained significant injuries. If a vehicle were traveling at an unsafe speed or hit you while you were in a marked crosswalk, there is a strong chance that the driver in this instance would be found at fault. But the amount you receive in compensation can vary depending on a number of factors, which is why you should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible following your incident so that they can secure the maximum amount in a settlement on your behalf.
Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers Serving Pedestrian Accident Victims Throughout Western Pennsylvania
A third-party claim may enable you to file a claim against the driver’s automobile insurance policy and this is a crucial first step in getting compensation. It is also necessary if you intend to move forward to have your lost income covered and your medical bills paid for. In most of these third-party claims, the insurance company may offer a settlement that could include pain and suffering.
However, it is strongly recommended that you have an experienced personal injury attorney at your side to help you negotiate a full and fair settlement for the injuries you have sustained. A prompt accident investigation may uncover details pertinent to whether or not you will be eligible to recover money for the injuries you have suffered. For this reason, schedule a consultation with an attorney you can trust today.
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The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.