Pedestrian Accidents: Getting the Compensation You Deserve

Nearly 5,000 pedestrians are killed in traffic crashes each year in United States, and another 70,000 pedestrians are injured under the same circumstances. Pedestrian accident injuries are typically serious and costly to treat; recovering from a pedestrian accident can require several months away from work.

If you have been injured by a motor vehicle while walking, it is a good idea to seek the counsel of a pedestrian accident lawyer and pursue a personal injury claim. Pedestrian accident attorneys not only understand and are familiar with the process of dealing with insurance companies and the court system, but are also the best professionals to help you get the compensation you deserve.

In most cases of a pedestrian accident, the car driver is clearly at fault and will be held legally liable for damages. In some instances, dangerous intersections or poorly maintained roadways are the source of the problem, in which case liability will be more difficult to determine. Pedestrians involved in accidents such as these should not hesitate to contact a pedestrian accident attorney to help them file their claim; they may be up against government offices or large corporations with significant amounts of money with which to fight back.

Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

A wide array of elements can lead to a pedestrian accident, from distracted drivers to poorly designed intersections and malfunctioning traffic lights. The Municipal Transportation Agency of San Francisco found, for example, that the maneuvers most frequently performed directly before an accident involving a pedestrian are: making a left or right turn, making a U-turn or backing up. Several of the most common sources of pedestrian accidents are:

Dangerous intersections. Intersections can be dangerous because of their design, their maintenance or the volume of traffic present at the time of the accident. Inherently dangerous intersections suffer from design flaws, while poorly maintained intersections, such as those with improper signage or defective traffic lights, may be designed well but function poorly. Intersections that have a high volume of traffic at certain times of day, such as during rush hour, may lead to chaotic or unpredictable behavior in the drivers passing through.

Aggressive driving: When drivers succumb to road rage or feel anxiety and internal pressure to move more quickly, they lose their ability to stay alert to their surroundings and frequently lose control over their ability to drive safely. Aggressive drivers consistently violate traffic laws, run red lights and stop signs, ignore others’ right-of-way and move at unsafe speeds. Pedestrians involved in an accident with an aggressive driver can be expected to sustain terrible injuries or perish as a result.

Distracted driving: More and more motor vehicle operators eat or drink, talk on the phone, put on make-up or text while they are driving, all of which are activities that have been shown to reduce reaction time as much as driving while intoxicated. A distracted driver is an unpredictable driver who is unaware of their surroundings and behaves in an erratic fashion.

Confused or lost drivers: A driver moving in unfamiliar streets can be distracted by navigating their way, especially if they are programming their GPS or reading a map while operating a moving vehicle.

Securing Fair Compensation

When pedestrian accident lawyers seek to gain compensation for their clients, they pursue three avenues of questioning in the investigation:

First, lawyers work to secure evidence of whom or what was the direct cause of the accident. If the cause of the accident was negligence on the part of a person or an entity, they are clearly held legally responsible for all damages. In the case of pedestrian accidents, individual motorists, a government entity or an automobile manufacturer may be held responsible for the incident.

Second, attorneys look into who will ultimately pay out the damages for the accident. In pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles the negligent driver’s insurance companies will most likely pay the compensation. It may be necessary to file a lawsuit against the individual, or to file charges against an entity, such as the government office responsible for maintaining the dangerous intersection, in order for their clients to receive fair compensation.

Finally and third, if an attorney encounter snags in his or her search for repayment, such as: the responsible party was driving without insurance or was underinsured, he or she will investigate other methods through which their client can be repaid.