The goal is always zero fatalities in the state of Virginia, but the number of pedestrians who are killed in accidents involving motor vehicles on an annual basis is shocking. Indeed, in a single year, Virginia Traffic Crash Facts, published by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, revealed nearly 80 pedestrian deaths. This number is unacceptable, and the extent of pedestrian harm is even more upsetting when one considers that during the same period, there were over 1,700 pedestrians involved and injured in collisions.
Pedestrian accidents are preventable, and almost always occur as the result of negligence of one of the parties involved. At the law offices of Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., we are passionate about helping injured pedestrians recover compensation for the damages they have incurred, and want to review your case today.
Understanding Fault in a Pedestrian Collision
The vast majority of pedestrian accidents occur as a result of human error, and are completely avoidable as such. Most of the time, this error is the failure to yield, with either the pedestrian or the driver of the motor vehicle proceeding when they do not have the right-of-way. However, failure to yield is not the only reason that pedestrian crashes occur. Other negligent acts include:
- Failing to stop/come to a complete stop at a traffic light, intersection, or stop sign;
- Performing a right or left-hand turn without checking to ensure that the roadway is clear;
- Driving while intoxicated;
- Driving while distracted (often by a mobile device);
- Failing to check rear view mirrors before reversing; and
- Driving up onto the sidewalk.
Pedestrians can also be to blame for collisions, as actions like walking while intoxicated or distracted, or attempting to cross a roadway illegally, can increase the risk of a collision.
The Damages in a Pedestrian Accident Are Serious
Of all accidents that occur throughout the state of Virginia, pedestrian accidents are often the most serious. This is due to the fact that pedestrians have no protections – it is literally their body vs. a motor vehicle, which weighs at least 4,000 pounds on average. When a pedestrian is struck by a car, injuries can be incurred by the force of the vehicle itself, when the pedestrian hits the ground, or if the pedestrian–in the most tragic of cases–is crushed under the vehicle. Examples of injuries that are probable in a pedestrian crash include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI);
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Back and neck injuries;
- Soft tissue injuries, including ligament, muscle, and tendon sprains, strains, and tears;
- Fracture injuries;
- Crush and amputation injuries; and
- Internal injuries.
Injuries have the potential to be, and often are, fatal. When injuries are not fatal, they may result in permanent disabilities that necessitate long-term care, and forever impair the individual from doing the things they once did, ranging from working and earning and income to simply strolling around the block. The emotional and psychological consequences of this, for both the injured party and their family members, can be significant.
Filing a Claim after a Pedestrian Accident
In the state of Virginia, it is required that all drivers have proof of financial responsibility, a mandate that most drivers satisfy via the purchase of automobile insurance in the amounts of at least $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $20,000 in property damage liability coverage.
When a pedestrian accident occurs that is the fault of the driver involved, the injured pedestrian can file a claim with the driver’s liability insurance. The insurance company will provide damages up to the individual’s policy limit, barring any complications (disputes about fault, extent of injuries, coverage, etc.).
Of course, complications are common – an insurance adjuster’s job is to save the insurance company as much money as possible, which means that they are never eager to pay out a claim in full or without a bit of a fight. As such, working with an experienced Virginia pedestrian accident lawyer who can assist you in filing your claim and maximizing your settlement is recommended.
Damages You’re Entitled to After a Pedestrian Accident
If you are struck by a car and suffer serious injuries, you have the right to seek compensation for the full value of damages that you have suffered. This includes compensation for:
- Medical expenses;
- Future medical expenses;
- Lost wages and future loss of earning capacity;
- Pain, suffering, and emotional anguish; and
- Any other economic or noneconomic damages.
In some cases, recovering the damages to which you’re entitled may take more than just aggressive negotiation. Filing a lawsuit may be the only way to recover the full value of compensation for your losses.
Why Work with the Pedestrian Attorneys at the Offices of Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C.
Following a pedestrian crash, there is no doubt that you should work with an attorney, and should contact a pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. This is true even if you believe that fault is very clear in your case, and that you will have no trouble recovering what you deserve.
But you shouldn’t just hire any attorney; instead, you want to work with an attorney who is experienced in pedestrian injury claims and personal injury laws, and has successfully negotiated and litigated cases like yours in the past. You also want to work with an attorney who is committed to protecting your best interests and putting your needs first.
At the law offices of Olmstead & Olmstead, P.C., we have decades worth of combined legal experience, both in and out of the courtroom. Further, we have recovered millions of dollars on the behalf of our clients, and tirelessly advocate for our clients’ interests. We will review your case for free, and work hard for you, even if you’re not sure what your case is worth, you’ve already initiated the claims process, you cannot afford to pay for legal services out of pocket, or you’re unsure of whether you even need an attorney. We ask that you contact us within two years from the date of your pedestrian crash, as this is the statute of limitations for pursuing a legal action in Virginia.
To schedule your free case consultation with our personal injury attorneys today, please call us at 703-361-1555. You can also tell us about your case using our confidential contact form, or visit our law offices in person to request a consultation.