Car Accidents Involving Pedestrians: What Are the Legal Implications?

Car accidents can have devastating consequences. What is most scary is that you don’t even need to have a driver’s license to get involved in a car accident because pedestrians are the most common victims. Since such an accident can have profound repercussions on the lives of everyone involved, understanding the legal implications is critical. And by knowing your rights and obligations as a pedestrian, you can do a better job at protecting yourself.

Here is all you need to know about car accidents involving pedestrians, so you can protect your rights and file a claim correctly.

Establishing Fault

There are many causes behind car accidents, but most of them are related to human errors or negligence. Whenever an accident happens, it’s typically someone’s fault. Most commonly, there’s a drunk, distracted, or negligent driver involved. Some drivers think that they can get away with running red lights, not yielding the right of way, or backing up in the parking lot without looking. Thus, they end up hurting innocent people. These types of accidents also happen often because people drive in other countries without knowing the local traffic laws. If you are a pedestrian hurt in a car accident, establishing fault is crucial because you may be entitled to compensation. It’s important to keep in mind that the driver is not always at fault. The entity responsible for maintaining the road or the parking lot where the accident took place can also be at fault due to not complying with the legal safety measures.

From a legal perspective, establishing who’s at fault in an accident can only happen after all the information has been gathered and analyzed following the state legislation. Importantly, legislation can vary from one state to another. In general, establishing legal responsibility requires an in-depth look at personal injury and traffic laws in the state or country where the accident took place. Proving fault also requires taking statements from all the witnesses and parties involved in the accident. The police should also provide a report with relevant observations about the circumstances of the accident.

Receiving Compensation

Statistics show that a shocking number of pedestrians are involved in traffic accidents. Not only that these accidents are common, but they’re also quite severe. There’s nothing that can protect a pedestrian from an impact with a vehicle. Whereas the driver often leaves the accident scene unscathed, protected by the metal body of the car, the pedestrian usually suffers physical and emotional trauma. If your physical and mental well-being were affected as a result of a pedestrian accident, you deserve fair compensation for your injuries.

To receive compensation for a pedestrian accident, you need to file a claim. The driver or entity responsible for the accident will have to provide a compensation package through their insurance provider. In such situations, the parties involved negotiate a settlement, and most cases don’t go to court. You can follow a similar path to avoid wasting time, money, and energy with legal proceedings. Of course, to get fair compensation, you’ll need legal counsel. Without strong representation, you risk leaving the negotiation table with a disadvantageous deal.

Finding Legal Counsel

A car accident involves witnesses, law enforcement officers, insurance providers, and lawyers, so you have a lot to deal with in addition to seeking medical help. Even if you agree with an informal settlement outside of court, don’t go to the mediation meetings unrepresented. Seek legal counsel from someone specialized in Pedestrian Accidents. An experienced lawyer can tell you whether the other party is offering you a good deal or you should go to trial. Legislation can be highly intricate, so a layperson can never know all the rules and laws that apply to a unique real-life situation. Only a specialized lawyer has the experience and know-how to navigate each particular case with ease. Moreover, a lawyer will file the claim correctly to make sure you get the maximum compensation for all the tangible and intangible losses associated with the accident. Getting a satisfying settlement without legal representation is difficult.

Understanding Compensation

When injured due to someone else’s negligence, a person deserves financial compensation for all injuries and damages associated with the accident. And this is equally valid when it comes to car accidents involving pedestrians. Most people assume that injury compensation only covers medical bills. However, an injured person suffers many other related losses. For example, if you’ve been injured severely, you’ll need weeks or months of medical treatment and care. You will also have to take significant time off work. Any injury will thus put your professional, personal, and social life on hold without any fault of your own, so someone must be held accountable for diminishing your quality of life.

It’s difficult to calculate in monetary terms how much an injury will affect a person’s life. A young person will recover from the same injury much sooner than an elderly person. However, a young person with a physically-demanding job will have to give up on their career if their injury has permanent consequences. Both the short-term and the long-term effects of an injury play an important role when calculating compensation.

In general, an injured pedestrian is entitled to compensation for medical treatment and care, lost wages and loss of income, physical pain, emotional distress, permanent disability, and other relevant damages associated with the accident. However, if you’re the victim of an accident but don’t have a lawyer, you’ll have no option but to guess how much your claim is worth. A lawyer with extensive professional experience can ensure you get the maximum value possible. If the driver’s car insurance provider attempts to keep your compensation as low as possible, your lawyer can fight back.

A car accident is a traumatic event for everyone involved. However, statistics show that pedestrians are the most vulnerable category of traffic participants. The pedestrian death rate is staggering. If you’ve been involved in a car accident as an innocent pedestrian, you have to seek justice. The law is by your side, so make sure the person or entity responsible for your injury helps you return to your normal life as quickly as possible.

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