Pedestrian AccidentPedestrian Accidents: Pursuing Legal Options After Being Hit By a Vehicle

June 12, 20240

Being hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian can lead to serious physical injuries, emotional trauma, financial hardships, and disruption to your daily life. While no amount of compensation can undo the harm done, pursuing legal action can help pedestrians and their families receive some form of justice, accountability, and resources for recovery. This article explores the key steps pedestrians can take after being hit by a vehicle.

Assessing Your Injuries and Documenting the Incident

The first priority after any collision is to seek proper medical care right away. Not only is this vital for your health, but documentation of your injuries also builds your case. Be sure to keep records of all hospital and doctor visits, treatment plans, imaging scans documenting internal injuries, disability equipment, medications, medical mileage, and other injury-related expenses.

It’s also crucial to gather information to reconstruct the accident while the details are still fresh. If possible, file a police report, take photos of the accident scene, get contact details of witnesses who saw the collision, etc. If the at-fault driver admits fault at the scene, capture it on video or audio. Thorough documentation strengthens the liability claim.

Consulting a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Those injured by vehicles should strongly consider hiring a pedestrian accident lawyer. An experienced accident attorney understands the complex legal processes, helps collect supporting evidence, deals with insurance companies on your behalf, determines all available compensation and legal recourses, and represents your best interests every step of the way.

Most reputed personal injury law firms offer free first consultations and handle cases on a contingency fee basis, taking payment only after securing a settlement. We have lots of experience in handling pedestrian lawsuits specifically, not just personal injury cases generally.

Key Laws and Possible Defendants

For pedestrian accident victims, the two major grounds for seeking compensation are driver negligence and reckless driving. Typical defendants in such cases can be:

  • The at-fault driver
  • Owner of the vehicle (if different from the driver)
  • Government entity responsible for unsafe roads, signals, signage, lighting issues
  • Vehicle manufacturer in case of mechanical defects

Depending on the specific circumstances, more than one party can share liability. One of our experienced lawyers can identify all potential defendants.

Building a Strong Liability Claim

The burden of proof lies with the pedestrian to establish liability and damages. Some key elements your attorney will likely focus on are:

  • Police reports indicating the driver’s responsibility
  • Witness statements
  • Video footage of the accident
  • Photographs of visible injuries, property damage, accident location
  • Medical reports clearly linking the accident to diagnostics, treatment, expenses
  • Expert opinion on vehicle defects or other liabilities

Vital steps like preserving evidence, documenting expenses, and reporting injuries in a timely manner should happen soon after the crash.

Typically Claimed Damages

Besides liability, the pedestrian also has the right to seek compensation for wide-ranging harm, including:

  • Medical expenses – All treatment costs, equipment, therapy. These costs can add up over months or years of treatment, so keeping careful records is important. Future medical expenses may also be included if injuries cause lasting impacts.
  • Lost income and future earnings – If injuries cause lost work hours/wages currently and projected future loss of earnings capacity. Lost promotions, raises, and benefits may also be included.
  • Disability and disfigurement damages. Compensation can cover changes to lifestyle, activities, independence, and emotional distress from permanent disability or scarring. Juries determine appropriate amounts based on severity.
  • Pain and suffering. Both physical and emotional pain from the trauma of the accident itself and lasting injuries qualify. Severity and duration help determine reasonable compensation.
  • Property damage – Repair/replacement cost of belongings like clothes, shoes, bags, mobility aids, etc. destroyed in the crash. Even small personal items have value, so documenting everything damaged or destroyed builds the claim.
  • Wrongful death damages – In fatality cases, compensation for grieving families, lost companionship, and burial costs are important. Loved ones may also receive damages for loss of expected inheritance or ongoing care the deceased would have provided.

Consult us to ensure you seek all eligible compensation sources, including insurance claims.

Steps of a Pedestrian Injury Lawsuit

Though each legal case has its unique aspects, the overall pedestrian accident claim process typically involves:

  • Initial fact-finding and evidence collection
  • Calculating damages and formulating legal arguments
  • Notification letter sent to at-fault parties
  • Settlement negotiation with insurer or liable parties
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit if negotiations fail
  • More evidence disclosure and legal motions
  • Additional settlement discussions and mediation
  • Civil trial if still no settlement

At any stage, most accident claims end in a settlement. But if negotiations reach an impasse, the judge or jury decides on compensation.

Stay Hopeful In Your Recovery

Being injured as a pedestrian causes physical, emotional, and financial distress. But by pursuing liable parties legally and leaning on loved ones emotionally, you can continue progressing toward recovery. Consult a pedestrian accident lawyer to understand your legal rights and options fully.

Though the road to justice seems daunting initially, we can guide you towards just compensation. Get in touch with us today. You can visit our office at 700 Bishop St, Ste 2100, Honolulu, HI, 96813.

Or call us today for a free consultation on (808) 745-1592.

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