Walking is an excellent form of exercise, a good way to get to know your city, and enjoy local sights. Despite all the benefits of walking, pedestrians have a higher risk for injuries if a motor vehicle strikes them. Access to full compensation for injuries pedestrians sustain following an accident is paramount. If you were involved in an accident with a car, motorcycle, truck, or SUV, you are entitled to recover financial compensation for your injuries.
Getting the full financial compensation you deserve isn’t always easy because big insurance companies rarely make the claims process simple. Our lawyers have experience negotiating with insurance companies and can help you recover a fair settlement amount so you can focus on recovery.
At Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers, we have a dedication to excellence that our case results make clear. While your case will be unique, we will commit to seeking the full value of your claim. Read on to learn more about how a St. Petersburg pedestrian accident lawyer can improve your chances of getting the full financial compensation you deserve.
Table of Contents
Many pedestrians who are victims of car accidents often suffer serious injuries because they have no protection and nothing to lessen the force of an impact. A pedestrian who survives motor vehicle crashes often requires months or years of intensive medical treatment before they recover. In severe cases, pedestrian accident victims may sustain permanent disabilities, traumatic head injuries, or even lose their lives.
Some examples of catastrophic pedestrian accident injuries include:
- Skull fractures
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Torn ligaments
- Severe soft-tissue injuries
Unfortunately, pedestrian accident victims who sustain serious injuries are often unable to return to their everyday life. Sustaining a permanent or even temporary disability can make it difficult to return to work, and some may require daily care and assistance. Contacting a pedestrian accident lawyer is essential in these situations and can help you cover the cost of your losses after an accident. Call our office or schedule an appointment online to speak with one of our pedestrian accident attorneys.
Establishing Liability in a Pedestrian Accident Case
When a driver hits a pedestrian, they do not face automatic liability. Instead, the burden of proof falls on the injury victim. Under the law, the pedestrian accident victim must prove that the driver was directly responsible for the accident to recover compensation.
Some examples of negligence a pedestrian may accuse the driver of include:
- Traffic violations
- Fatigued driving
- Reckless driving
- Exceeding the speed limit
- Using a cell phone while driving
- Drunk driving
It can be challenging to prove that a driver was negligent and that their reckless actions directly contributed to a pedestrian accident. In some cases, the driver is not the only responsible party. When a driver attempts to stop for a pedestrian but experiences a brake malfunction, the vehicle manufacturer may be held accountable for designing or assembling faulty brakes. Having a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer represent and thoroughly investigate your case can keep you from facing blame, even partially, for the accident.
After being in a pedestrian accident, the first thing you should do is seek professional medical attention as soon as possible. Injured pedestrians should take an ambulance to their nearest hospital if they’re experiencing an emergency. Even in non-emergency situations, a medical evaluation is still recommended and, in most cases, required. Common pedestrian accident injuries like concussions or soft tissue damage could take days to develop fully. Because you may be more hurt than you even realize, seeking the advice of a medical professional is essential.
The next most important thing a pedestrian should do beyond attendant to their medical needs is to document the collision as much as possible. The scene of an accident is often confusing and chaotic but obtaining relevant evidence regarding the accident is essential to the success of your legal claim.
After calling the police, you should try to take photos of the accident, document your injuries, obtain witness contact information and the contact information for the at-fault driver.
Never admit fault or apologize after an accident. Also, refrain from sharing information with an opposing insurance adjuster as they will not act in your best interest.
Consulting with a pedestrian accident lawyer is the final and perhaps most important step in recovering the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Pedestrian accident claims can involve big and exploitative insurance companies notorious for their aggressive tactics.
Our lawyers have developed a wide array of tactics to deal with an insurance adjuster who will try and reduce your settlement offer. By choosing one of our attorneys, you can rest assured that we will protect your rights against the insurance company.
In the worst motor vehicle crashes, pedestrian accident victims do not survive their injuries. Losing a loved one is never easy, and in some cases, the deceased may also be their family’s sole provider. Dependents of the victims and certain close family members have the right to file a legal claim for wrongful death.
Surviving family members of the victim may seek recovery for losses including:
- Burial expenses
- Cost of medical services provided to the victim before death
- Lost income and future financial support
- Lost house services, including childcare
- Lost companionship
While no compensation will ever return your loved one or your life to what it once was, it can, however, help you and your family move forward. Securing compensation after a wrongful death claim will put you in a better financial position and allow you to focus on emotional healing.
Do I need to see a doctor even if I’m just a little sore?
When a car strikes a pedestrian, it can cause serious damage to the victim because the pedestrian’s body is unprotected. However, that damage isn’t always visible, and you may be unaware that you’re suffering a brain injury or internal organ damage. Seeking the advice of a medical professional is the only way to determine if you sustained injuries. Showing the insurance company that you sought medical attention right away will also make it easier for you to recover compensation in your case.
The driver received a citation, and my pedestrian accident was clearly their fault. Why should I hire a lawyer?
Having someone on your side who understands what comes next after you suffer injuries can alleviate a tremendous amount of stress. Not only will hiring an attorney allow you to focus on recovery, but your lawyer will also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Personal injury lawyers have experience dealing with tricky insurance adjusters who attempt to get you to accept less compensation than what you actually need. Having a dedicated advocate on your side who will investigate every aspect of your case is essential if you hope to obtain a fair settlement award.
What compensation can I receive after a motor vehicle hits me?
The damages you recover will depend on the unique facts of your case. Because every case is unique, it is difficult to determine what compensation and how much a pedestrian accident victim may receive.
Some types of damages that are often awarded to pedestrian accident victims after a crash include:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Lost earning potential
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Modification to your car or home if you are permanently disabled
If your attorney can prove that you suffered a loss due to the negligent actions of another party, you should, in essence, be eligible to collect compensation for that loss. Compensation awards should help pedestrian accident victims make their life as whole as possible again, and for this reason, they are usually tax-exempt.
Do I still have a case if I wasn’t walking in a crosswalk?
Even if you were illegally crossing the street, you might be able to recover compensation for your injuries. The at-fault driver must still uphold a duty of care and remain vigilant for pedestrians inside and outside the crosswalk. If the driver was texting, distracted, or fatigued, these circumstances might help to prove your claim.
How long will it take to settle my pedestrian accident case?
The circumstances of your accident, the extent of your injuries, and the liable driver’s insurance company are all factors that contribute to the amount of time it may take to resolve your case.
Our lawyers start negotiating with the insurance company as soon as you complete your medical treatment. Some cases settle within a few months, while others might take longer, especially if they require a personal injury lawsuit. Our attorneys never shy away from the courthouse if your case goes to trial and are prepared to fight for you.
How should I prepare for my meeting with a pedestrian accident lawyer?
Provide your lawyer with any documents that may be relevant to your case, including police reports, eyewitness information, copies of medical reports, and any details about the conditions surrounding the auto collision. Having the potentially liable party’s insurance provider information will also help.
If you documented the accident, your injuries, or property damage that resulted from the accident with photographs or video, you should hand this type of information to your lawyer. The more information you can provide, the easier it will be for your attorney to determine how much your case is worth and whether it will succeed.
Will the driver’s car insurance pay all my medical bills?
Until your case resolves, the driver’s insurance company will not pay for any of your medical bills. You will be responsible for your medical bills in the meantime and can submit them to your health care coverage provider. Once your case settles, your settlement will be a lump sum. Your health insurer may have a right to reimbursement from your settlement, and this is called subrogation.
How can I prove that a driver was texting when they hit me?
If witnesses saw the driver texting just before the accident, their statements will be in the investigation. Your attorney may also subpoena the potentially at-fault driver’s phone records to see whether a text was sent or received during the time you were hit. Proving that the driver was negligent by texting or talking on the phone will make it easier to collect compensation for your injuries.
The driver who hit me was uninsured, or their insurance is less than my case is worth. What happens now?
If you were in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured (UM/UIM) driver and carry UM/UIM coverage, you may seek compensation from your auto insurance carrier. If you do not have UM/UIM coverage but live with a relative who does, you may be able to utilize their car insurance policy. To ensure that the insurance company won’t try and deny coverage, you should file a police report immediately after the accident.
Who can I sue other than the driver in a pedestrian accident?
In pedestrian accident cases, other parties may be responsible for your accident. For instance, if the driver experiences a brake malfunction, the auto shop that serviced the vehicle or the car manufacturer may be held liable for the crash. Suppose one of our investigation experts finds that the intersection or roadway where the car struck you was poorly lit or designed inadequately. In that case, you might hold the city or county responsible for your accident.
Our St. Petersburg pedestrian accident attorneys at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers work hard to determine liability in our client’s cases. We have experience gathering the evidence necessary in pedestrian accident claims and using it to negotiate fair settlements. Let us make the legal process as stress-free as possible; our lawyers can help you recover full and fair compensation for your losses. Contact us today at (727) 845-5972 for more information.