Pedestrian-Motor Vehicle Collisions
Perhaps the most unfair of all accidents is when an automobile hits a pedestrian. Pedestrians, despite their best efforts to be safe and cautious, have little protection against distracted or reckless drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that over 4,000 pedestrians were killed by cars in 2010. The number of pedestrians injured by motor vehicles numbered over 70,000. But even if a pedestrian survives a motor vehicle collision, he or she may be left with life-long debilitations. From broken bones to traumatic brain injuries, pedestrians are vulnerable to any type of injuries whose effects can follow them for life.
The law provides protection for injured pedestrians if the driver of the vehicle was negligent in the duties of driving. Reasons for negligence can include:
• Distracted driving- Talking on a cellphone or texting in states where such actions are illegal when driving.
• Drunk Driving- The NHTSA reports that nearly 15% of pedestrian accidents involve a driver whose blood alcohol level was over the legal limit.
• Failure to Yield Right of Way – Pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks. Not yielding to pedestrians is illegal and negligent.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian-motor vehicle accident, you will likely be approached by the driver’s insurance company looking to make a personal injury settlement with you. It is in your best interest not to immediately accept the offers made by the insurance company, no matter how good they may first seem. You should contact a personal injury attorney to help you negotiate with the insurance company.
A personal injury attorney familiar with pedestrian related cases can help secure the amount of money that you really need to compensate you for your possible lifelong injuries. A pedestrian accident attorney will consider a number of factors in your case, including:
• Medical bills
• Time lost from work
• Pain and suffering
And, in the case of lifelong disabilities:
• Modifications needed to homes and automobiles for daily functioning
• Home health aids
• Cost of living increases
• Loss of long term income
If you have lost a loved one to a pedestrian- motor vehicle collision, you may be eligible for a wrongful death suit that would help you cover funeral costs, loss of future income, and compensation for your suffering.
Pedestrian accidents are traumatic and stunning events. You may be overwhelmed by your sudden change of circumstances and will likely be too exhausted to truly consider the personal injury settlement an insurance company is offering you. The insurance company may pressure you to quickly accept a settlement, though the time you can file a claim with a company is often as long as two years after an accident. You should never feel pressured to quickly accept a settlement. Contact a pedestrian accident attorney who will be able to negotiate with the insurance company for you so that you can spend your time adapting to life after the accident.