When a vehicle hits a pedestrian, the person on foot has very little chance. Cars are massive and heavy, and pedestrians don’t have any protection against them at all. This is why the injuries resulting from a pedestrian accident are often so serious. For some accident victims, it will take months to recover from the traffic collision. Tragically, some never do.
Pedestrian accident victims should not have to pay for injuries and other losses that were not their fault. Often, the motorist was at fault and the injured pedestrian can file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for their injuries. These lawsuits can be very complex, however. Anyone wishing to file one should speak to a Phenix City pedestrian accident lawyer at Bence Law Firm, LLC. Our team of dedicated personal injury attorneys have the experience necessary to pursue full recovery for your losses.
What to Do after a Pedestrian Accident
The moments following a pedestrian accident are often chaotic. You’re possibly lying on the ground, unsure of your injuries, and cars are screeching to a halt all around you. It’s understandable that pedestrians in this situation aren’t sure of what to do next.
The first thing is to remain calm and try to move out of the street if you are able to move somewhere safer. Ask the driver to remain at the scene and any witnesses, to remain at the scene until the police arrive.
Seek emergency medical treatment for your injuries. If your injuries are serious, you should call 911 and ask for an ambulance. There is nothing more important than your health and leaving serious injuries even just for a short while can quickly cause them to become more serious.
After a crash with a car, it’s natural to be running on adrenaline. While this adrenaline rush will help you take the steps you need, it can also make it difficult to assess injuries. You may think that you just tweaked your wrist. However, you may later learn your wrist is completely shattered. Be sure to get a thorough medical examination as soon as possible.
In Phenix City, the law requires you to report an accident if it resulted in injuries or death, or property damage over $500. Rarely do pedestrians walk away from these accidents without any injury, so you will need to report the accident.
While waiting for the police to arrive, it’s important to get the driver’s information. You’ll want to make sure you take down the driver’s name, contact information, driver’s license number, and insurance information. Also make sure to get the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses to the accident as well.
After an accident, you can’t take too many photos. Make sure you get pictures of the vehicle that hit you and any damage to it, along with any injuries you know of right away. Take pictures of the entire scene making sure to include signage, traffic lights, a crosswalk, or anything else relevant to the accident. It’s far better to have too many pictures than too few. If you can’t take photos yourself, ask someone on scene to do it for you.
It’s also important after an accident to make sure the police get your side of the story. Sometimes this is done right at the scene once the police arrive. Due to the severity of injuries after an accident however, sometimes the accident victim is no longer at the scene because they’ve been transported to the hospital. If this is the case, phone the police department and ask them to go over the accident report with you. If there is any inaccurate information within the report, ask them to fix it.
Any pedestrian involved in an accident should speak to a Phenix City pedestrian accident attorney about their rights and legal options for pursuing compensation. The driver may try to shift the blame onto the pedestrian, or the insurance company could stall or deny a settlement payment. A committed legal professional will work hard to ensure these things don’t happen and if they do, will continue fighting for your right to compensation.
How Our Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in Phenix City Can Help
Immediately following a pedestrian accident, you may not think you need legal representation. The truck driver was very concerned at the scene and seems likely to cooperate. Unfortunately, this is seldom how it actually plays out.
The driver’s friendliness and concern probably will not last forever. If they hear you’re seeking compensation or think their insurance rates will skyrocket because of the accident, the driver may soon try to shift the blame onto you. Due to this, anyone involved in a collision should seek help from a pedestrian accident lawyer in Phenix City.
There are a number of ways an attorney can help after an accident. Just a few examples include:
- Investigate the true cause of the accident, conducting accident reconstruction if necessary
- Gather evidence, including video surveillance, witness statements, damaged clothing, marks at the scene such as crosswalks and traffic control devices, cell phone records of the driver, credit and debit card records, and posts to social media accounts, which could demonstrate negligence on the part of the driver
- Deal with the insurance company on your behalf
- Build a strong case for compensation
- Negotiate with the insurance company
- Negotiate with the defense throughout the lawsuit
- Represent you in court
- Argue your side to a jury
These are just a few of the things a loyal attorney can do for you after a pedestrian accident. During this stressful time, a lawyer really is your ally and advocate. No one else has your best interests at heart – not the insurance company, not the police, and not even the courts.
Compensation for Pedestrian Accident Victims
Compensation for a pedestrian accident is generally divided into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages have a specific monetary value. Some types of economic damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Physical therapy expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of future earning capacity, if you’re unable to perform the same kind of work after an accident
- Accommodations made to a home
- Property damage
Non-economic damages do not come with a price tag or an invoice. They are more difficult to calculate but no less real. Non-economic damages often include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Social losses
These are just a few types of damages available after a pedestrian accident. A pedestrian accident attorney in Phenix City can review your case and help you determine all the losses you sustained.
Understanding Your Own Insurance Coverage in a Pedestrian Accident
After an accident, many pedestrians don’t understand that their own insurance may cover some of the costs of their accident. This is particularly true when the driver didn’t have any insurance, didn’t have enough insurance, or when the accident was a hit-and-run and the driver left the scene.
In Alabama, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) is included in every insurance policy. Drivers who don’t wish to pay for this type of insurance can opt out of it, but insurance companies are required to include it initially.
If your auto policy included UM/UIM, you may be entitled to tap coverage under your own policy even when you were injured as a pedestrian. Your auto policy’s UM/UIM coverage may also extend to your children or other household members who are hurt in a collision with a vehicle while on foot.
Even though this coverage comes from “your” insurance company, don’t expect to be able to recover full compensation without a fight. Even “your” insurance company wants to pay out as little as possible on a claim. That’s how they increase their profits. Our team of legal professionals are ready to stand up for your rights in pursuing a UM or UIM coverage claim after a pedestrian accident.
Time Limits for Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Alabama
Alabama has a deadline or statute of limitations on pedestrian accident claims. This statute of limitations is a time limit you have to file these claims. In Alabama, this time limit is two years from the date of the accident.
The statute of limitations is an important consideration in any pedestrian accident claim. When a lawsuit is filed after this time, the defense will most likely make the argument that the statute of limitations has passed. They will argue that the court should throw the case out, and in most cases, the courts will agree. This will bar you from receiving any compensation at all for your injuries.
Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents frequently cause severe injuries for those involved in them. Due to the fact that they are so exposed, any area of the pedestrian’s body can become injured during an accident.
Some of the most common injuries after a pedestrian accident include:
The severity of the injuries will depend on a number of factors, particularly the speed of the vehicle. Other factors include the type of vehicle, and the age and health condition of the pedestrian.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Driver negligence is a very common cause of pedestrian accidents. Too often, motorists simply don’t watch out for pedestrians, particularly at intersections. While a driver will look for other cars, they somehow miss people on foot.
Drivers failing to yield right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks is one of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents. Accidents are most likely to happen at crosswalks when drivers are turning left at an intersection. The pedestrian is looking straight ahead, while the driver is looking to ensure there are no vehicles coming. As the driver turns, they may hit the pedestrian who had the right-of-way.
Drivers making right turns also pose a danger to pedestrians if they fail to use their signal. Pedestrians are expected to watch out for themselves and pay attention to the vehicles around them. When entering a crosswalk they may watch for vehicles and think none are turning because they don’t see any signal lights. When a driver does turn but doesn’t signal and hits the pedestrian, the pedestrian could hold them liable for the accident.
Technology is also a factor in many pedestrian accidents. While Alabama bans texting and driving, drivers are still able to use their phones behind the wheel. Even if they’re not texting, drivers easily become distracted looking at GPS, changing music, or entering phone numbers. Any time a driver watches their phone instead of the road, there’s a chance a pedestrian could get hit.
Speeding, a major factor in most motor vehicle accidents, is also a common cause of pedestrian accidents. Drivers may speed up trying to make a light before it turns red, or they may simply speed down a road and fail to see marked crosswalks. If a pedestrian is in the path of the speeder, the driver may not have time to stop before hitting the pedestrian.
Talk to a Phenix City Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
Pedestrians involved in an accident are likely to sustain severe injuries. A lawsuit can help pursue compensation to cover the costs of those injuries and help ease the financial burden on the accident victim. However, no one should try and file these claims without the help of a Phenix City pedestrian accident lawyer.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact the Bence Law Firm LLC today. We know the injuries these types of accidents cause, and we want to help you seek compensation for yours. Put our experience to work for you.
Call us today or fill out our online form for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help.