It goes without saying that getting hit by a car is a traumatic experience. Nearly five thousand pedestrians get killed and another seventy five thousand get injured in traffic crashes in the United States annually. In the chaotic aftermath that follows the accident, securing evidence or identifying potential witnesses may be the furthest thing from the victim’s mind. However, often times, taking the necessary steps immediately after the accident becomes crucial for the victim or the victim’s family in their claims for personal injury or wrongful death. If the pedestrian was hit by a negligent driver, the victim or victim’s family must be compensated for loss.
Few people immediately realize how serious their injuries are when they are hit by a car. Symptoms of a severe injury do not always present immediately after the accident. Concussions, brain injuries, neck sprains, back injuries, disk herniation and nerve damage may take weeks or months to detect. It is a good idea to visit an emergency room immediately after the accident to be checked for any serious injuries. However the full extent of the injuries is not likely to be revealed solely by the emergency room visit. The emergency room doctors are only tasked to avert immediate threats to life and to stop deterioration of vital signs. Often times, the emergency radiology examinations are limited to only X-rays and CT-scans, which can only detect obvious fractures, but not “stress fractures”, “hairline fractures”, or spinal disk injuries such as herniated disk, bulged disk, or extruded disk. Therefore, it is important to follow up with a primary care physician or a specialist to ensure that all of the injuries have been properly diagnosed and documented.
The amount of insurance compensation you will receive largely depends on the objective diagnosis of your injuries. Subjective symptoms, such as pain and complaints, will play a little role in convincing the insurance adjusters or insurance claim representatives that you deserve a higher monetary compensation. It is the objective diagnosis and objective examination reports that play the most crucial role. Therefore, it is important to ensure the proper medical examination and proper documentation of your injuries.
There are multiple types of insurance coverage that can come into play in a pedestrian accident case. The losses can be covered one or more of the following types of coverage: the liability insurance of the wrongdoer, the liability insurance policy of the wrongdoer’s employer, the insurance on the vehicle involved, the personal excess liability insurance policy of the wrongdoer, umbrella coverage, Uninsured (UIM) and Underinsured (UM) policy of the victim or victim’s household member, the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage of the wrongdoer and/or the victim or victim’s household member, Medical Payment (MedPay) coverage of the wrongdoer, the victim or the victim’s household member, and other possibly applicable insurance policies. In contrast with the accidents involving two vehicles, a pedestrian may also recover the cost of her medical bills from the driver’s PIP or MedPay coverage, in addition to the third party liability coverage. Additionally, in Virginia, the medical bills may also be paid by the health insurance company, which is prohibited from subrogating (asking for a refund) by a statute. Thus, in some circumstances a pedestrian victim can legally recover and keep for his own use double the amount of full medical expenses, even after those expenses have been paid by the health insurer. Finally, in some circumstances, the amounts of insurance coverage available through various policies described above can be stacked, i.e. added together, maximizing the amount of available insurance coverage for the claimant.
I.S. Law Firm has successfully helped many clients from Virginia, Maryland, and District of Columbia with pedestrian injuries to receive substantial insurance compensations for their losses. Using extensive experience and knowledge in the area of pedestrian injury and compensation, I.S. Law Firm will seek out every source of insurance coverage available to make you eligible for the maximum amount of compensation from your pedestrian-car accident and plan a tailored course of legal action to help you, recover the monetary compensation that you deserve for medical expenses, physical injuries, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
Pedestrians often get injured due to the inattentiveness of drivers, whether due to running a red light, failure to yield at a crosswalk or right turn, speeding, or texting and cell phone use. This irresponsibility of the drivers can lead to very dangerous situations for pedestrians, resulting in serious injuries and death. This type of reckless behavior on the road should not be endured by anyone, and it is essential to seek restitution immediately through legal means. However, determining who is negligent in pedestrian accident cases is not always easy. The laws applicable to pedestrian accidents differ depending on the jurisdiction.
The determinative liability factors in pedestrian cases are negligence laws and statutes of limitations. Negligence refers to the failure to exercise the proper degree of care expected by a reasonable person in a given situation. Negligence, as a legal matter, tries to determine whether a person had a duty of care to another, and whether he or she failed in fulfilling that duty. If so, the wrongdoer may be liable for any resulting injuries. The wrongdoer’s insurance company must compensate the victim. This would be most applicable to pedestrian accidents when proving that the driver was in fact negligent and caused injury to the affected pedestrian.
Statute of limitations is every state’s set timeline (constraint) for filing lawsuits. Essentially, a civil statute of limitations sets a time limit on filing a lawsuit. This can be extremely important in a time-sensitive matter such as a pedestrian accident case. For example, if John gets hit by a car, and does not obtain a compensation or file a lawsuit on time before the statute of limitation of his state expires, John can end up with no compensation at all. This can be even worsened if the victim does not have insurance. If John himself did not have any insurance when he got hit and did seek legal counsel or sue within the statute of limitations, he will not only be hurt and without compensation, but he will also have substantial medical bills to pay and the negligent driver who caused John all his suffering will unjustly get away.
Under negligence laws in Virginia, Maryland, and DC, if you are found to have contributed to the accident or injury in any way, you may not have a case. This is called “contributory negligence.” So, for example, if John was jaywalking while he was struck by a car, he may not be able to collect any compensation for his pain and suffering. John may still be eligible for a compensation for his medical expenses under PIP or MedPay coverage of his own insurance and/or insurance of the driver. Proving negligence involves defining what a reasonable person would or would not do in a situation, which can be rather difficult without the help of a personal injury attorney to argue your case.
Virginia’s statute of limitations laws are fairly standard, but shorter than the other two jurisdictions, with a two-year limit of injuries to a person (including pedestrian auto accidents.) Maryland and DC have generally three year statute of limitations on personal injury claims.
It is difficult to equate money with such overwhelming emotional and physical damages, but it is good news that in personal injury cases such as pedestrian accidents, damages are meant to compensate for all harm which was suffered by the victim, including past and future medical expenses, lost wages due to absence from work due to injury, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. In order to get the maximum amount of recompense however, you need to hire the right lawyer. Otherwise you may face difficulties or failure in the end to recover the compensation that you deserve as a victim of unrighteous irresponsibility. If the case involves multiple drivers, you may have the right to sue both of them. For example, if John is crossing the road and Car 1 makes an abrupt stop in the road, causing Car B to swerve and hit John, John now has the entitlement to sue both drivers for putting him in harm’s way and injuring him.
“Do I really need a lawyer?” That question comes up quite often in pedestrian injury cases. The answer to that is “absolutely”, as this type of complicated personal injury case it can be extremely difficult to go it on your own because of the maximal focus on the minutiae details, such as “Did the driver run a red light?”, “Was the driver speeding?”, “Was the driver intoxicated?” Did the drive through traffic while texting? “Could the driver have avoided the accident?” All of these questions can be difficult to answer or prove in a court of law, so the right legal representation is essential to a successful pedestrian injury claim.
I.S. Law Firm has the experience and knowledge to help you get back on track, armed with the compensation you deserve. In addition to reimbursement for your medical bills and property damage, you may also be entitled to compensation for lost wages and past, present, and future pain and suffering.
We are experts at protecting your rights and ensuring that you receive maximum benefits for your loss. Our dedicated team will help you every step of the way, navigating the complex field of personal injury so you don’t have to. The following steps are generally followed in most cases:
1-We obtain the police reports and interview witnesses.
2- We contact the insurance companies and adjusters, and deal with them directly so that they do not take advantage of you and deny you adequate payment.
3-We collect all of your hospital and medical records, and work with your doctors every step of the way.
4-We work directly with your doctors on payment, and negotiate your bills to get you the highest possible compensation.
5-If we you are not offered a fair settlement from the insurance representatives, we will litigate to get you the highest compensation you deserve.
6-Our attorneys and professionals are adept at handling the insurance companies, your medical treatment, and your bills – and we will do everything possible to get you the compensation you deserve.
Please do not speak to an insurance adjuster without first consulting one of our experienced car accident lawyers. It is a common misconception that the insurance companies work for you. The insurance company’s goal is to pay you as little as possible for your injuries, medical expenses and property damages. Our goal is to see that you receive compensation to the full extent allowable by law.
If you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to obtain a financial compensation. Our attorneys are committed to securing the highest monetary compensation you are entitled for your injuries. We can achieve the maximum results if you contact us immediately after your accident. If you have suffered injury from an accident, take the first step to protect your legal rights–call I. S. Law Firm today for a free consultation.
I.S. Law Firm will represent you on a contingency basis—that means you pay no legal fees until we recover money for you. For a free initial consultation and case evaluation, please contact us: +1-703-527-1779 or via e-mail: [email protected]