Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrian accidents are not at the top of the list when it comes to traffic crashes, but data indicates that people on foot are disproportionately affected in collisions. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Penn DOT) reports that just 3.3 percent of all accidents involve pedestrians, yet these incidents lead to 14.5 percent of all traffic-related fatalities. In total, there are more than 4,100 pedestrian accidents, causing 170 deaths and almost 4,100 injuries to victims. If you were hurt or someone close to you was killed, you might realize that you have legal remedies under state law. However, it can be difficult to know where to begin with enforcing your rights.
Our team at Quinn Law Group has extensive experience representing victims of pedestrian accidents, so we are ready to pursue the at-fault motorist for damages. We will protect your interests in settlement negotiations, but we will take your case to court to ensure fair compensation. Please contact our firm to schedule a free case evaluation with a Philadelphia pedestrian accident attorney who can explain details. You may also benefit from reviewing some background information about the process.
Liability in Pedestrian Accident Claims
Even though you were not in a motorized vehicle, many of the same laws apply when you pursue your legal options. For purposes of liability, you must prove the essential elements of negligence:
- The responsible driver had a duty to drive safely and avoid causing a risk of harm to any road users, including those on foot.
- The other motorist breached the legal duty of care through unsafe, careless driving.
- The breach of duty was the direct cause of the collision in which you were injured, such that you would not have been hurt but for the breach.
- You suffered physical, financial, and emotional losses because of your injuries.
Examples of motorist negligence include speeding, running red lights, failure to yield to pedestrians, and making illegal lane changes. However, drunk and distracted driving also impacts those walking around traffic. When a motorist is impaired by alcohol or not paying attention to the road, pedestrian accidents are more likely.
Pennsylvania Comparative Negligence Laws
The concept of negligence also applies to your own actions in a pedestrian collision, and it can lead to unexpected consequences. Pennsylvania follows the law of comparative negligence, in which the compensation of a victim is reduced when he or she was also at fault in causing an accident. The reduction is based upon apportionment of fault, i.e., how much responsibility is assigned to the driver versus the walker. Therefore:
- A pedestrian who recovers $100,000 in a claim will only receive $70,000 when assigned 30 percent of liability.
- If the pedestrian was 51 percent at fault, he or she is barred from obtaining any compensation.
One key concern is alcohol impairment. Around one-third of all pedestrians who were killed in crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent. Being legally drunk while walking could be a type of negligence that prevents you from recovering monetary damages. Comparative negligence could also reduce compensation if you were jaywalking, crossing the street against the light, or listening to headphones.
Legal Process for Recovering Compensation
Your first step is filing a claim with the insurance company that covers the at-fault motorist, which kicks off settlement discussions. It may be possible to work out an agreement, but keep in mind that the insurer protects its own interests. These companies often deny rightful claims or make lowball counteroffers to minimize their losses. If the company refuses to pay fair monetary damages, the next step is suing in court.
The Quinn Law Group will advocate on your behalf during dealings with the insurance company, and we are prepared to take your case to court. A Philadelphia pedestrian accident lawyer will fight to ensure you receive amounts for:
- All medical costs for emergency care, surgery, hospitalization, and treatment from specialists.
- Lost wages if you were not able to work because of your injuries.
- Pain and suffering.
- Emotional distress.
- Scarring and disfigurement; and,
- Many other losses that impact your quality of life.
Speak to a Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Attorney for Free
It is helpful to know the legal process, but you will need skilled legal representation to support you in a real-life pedestrian accident claim. For additional details, please contact Quinn Law Group at (215) 360-3666 or visit our website. We can set up a no-cost case review with a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer who will advise you on the process.