I’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident and I want to file a claim; what’s the first step?
The first several days following a pedestrian accident you should write down as much as you can recall about the accident. Also document any injuries, pain, and other losses including wages. Make notes of conversations that you have had with other people involved in the accident or the injury claim (insurance companies, witnesses, the other party, etc.). Collect and preserve physical items and photographs or any other evidence that can document the damage. Also, locate witnesses that may help you prove your case, and notify the other party responsible for the accident, and tell them you wish to file a claim for your injuries—especially if a government agency or employee is involved. You should also please contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
If I am a pedestrian, does a motor vehicle driver owe any special duty or care toward me under law?
Yes. It is the responsibility of both pedestrians and drivers to exercise care when using public roadways. But the amount of care required by the driver of a motor vehicle is greater because he or she is behind the wheel of a dangerous apparatus that is capable of inflicting serious injuries and death. Drivers of motor vehicles are expected to keep their vehicles under adequate control in order to prevent injuries. As a pedestrian, your duty is to obey traffic laws and also to observe traffic conditions. This means that pedestrians should not begin or continue across a street if you can see a vehicle approaching.
If my child has been injured or killed by a motor vehicle when he or she was a pedestrian, what are our rights?
With cases where there is a young child involved, the law acknowledges that a greater amount of care must be exercised to keep their fragile bodies safe. Since a child’s behavior is unpredictable, the law recognized that drivers must anticipate an increased level of pedestrian impulsiveness and thoughtlessness. If a child is present in an area such as a school, playground, etc., that presence should serve as a warning for drivers to slow down and become ultra attentive.
What damages can I recover?
As the injured party, you may be able to college damages for past and future medical expenses, loss of wages and the inability to earn future wages, along with compensation for pain and suffering. If the defendant’s conduct is deemed extreme, you may also be awarded punitive damages. If the pedestrian is a loved one and he or she has died, the survivors are entitled to recover full compensation for their economic losses resulting from that death.
Do I need to retain an attorney?
Yes. It is a good idea to hire an attorney in cases involving a pedestrian accident because there typically questions that will be related to fault and comparative negligence. In addition, expert witnesses may need to be retained to reconstruct the accident and help determine responsibility.
At The Shelnutt & Varner Law Firm, our experienced lawyers take every case very seriously. We are dedicated to your claim and will fight to recover the damages you deserve. If you or someone you care about suffered injury as a pedestrian due to a motorist’s recklessness, please call 256-547-4988 or contact us online today for a free consultation. Our firm serves clients in communities throughout the southeast.