Roads are made mainly for motor vehicles. However, car drivers have to share the road with others: motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. The latter may need to cross a road or walk along it where there is no sidewalk. In many cases, they become victims of pedestrian accidents when a negligent driver hits them. If you or someone you know suffered such an accident, a Bridgeport personal injury lawyer at Jacob & Wallace law firm can help you file and negotiate auto accident claims.
Personal injury law in Connecticut allows injury victims to recover their economic damages and other damages, which we will discuss in detail in this article. However, you need to retain the legal services of experienced auto accident lawyers to help you win your case. As we will explain, the fault driver's insurance company will try to deter you from filing a claim or will use all the possible delay tactics so that when you decide to start the legal process it is too late.
The Most Frequent Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
A motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian is usually caused by the car driver's negligence. In some cases, the accident victims share a percentage of fault for the accident. Nonetheless, as you will learn in this article, you are still entitled to receive a fair compensation for your pain, suffering and financial losses.
The most frequent causes of car or truck accidents with pedestrian victims are:
- distracted driving (especially texting and driving)
- driving under influence of alcohol or drugs
- failure to yield right of way and similar traffic law violations
- driver fatigue
- vehicle malfunction (defective tires or brakes).
In each of these cases, the injured person has the right to hold the liable party responsible for their medical expenses and other economic and non-economic damages. An experienced Connecticut pedestrian accident lawyer can identify all the persons whose negligent actions caused your severe injuries and help you file a claim or a pedestrian accident lawsuit.
Common Injuries Sustained in Pedestrian Accidents
A pedestrian hit by a car or a truck usually suffers catastrophic injuries. The sheer size of the vehicle can cause devastating damages to an unprotected pedestrian, such as:
- loss of limb
- internal injuries
- spine injuries
- traumatic brain injuries.
Pedestrians who are injured in an automobile accident usually have to spend a lot of time in hospital and require specialized medical care to heal. Some of them suffer fatal injuries and their families can hire an accident attorney to help them file a wrongful death lawsuit. Others are left with permanent disabilities and the financial burden of long term life care.
For this reasons, you need to hire an attorney with extensive experience to help you file your pedestrian accident claim and win the maximum compensation that covers all your damages.
What Types of Damages Can You Claim in Compensation Claims?
Your lawyer will include all the eligible damages in your accident injury compensation and seek to negotiate the maximum financial compensation for you. Personal injury law in Connecticut allows victims of auto accidents to seek economic damages, non-economic damages and punitive damages.
Economic damages will take into account all your present and future expenses related to the accident injuries, such as:
- hospital bills
- medical treatment expenses
- physical therapy costs
- expenses with assistive devices (wheelchairs, walking frames)
- lost wages
- loss of earning capacity.
Non-economic damages compensate personal injury victims for the physical pain caused by the severe injury they suffered, as well as for the emotional distress, loss of quality of life and loss of consortium.
You may also seek punitive damages if you can prove that the traffic accident was caused not just by negligent action, but by gross negligence, recklessness or willful intent. For example a drunk driving accident caused by a speeding driver may be qualified as reckless action.
The Effect of the Comparative Negligence Principle on Your Personal Injury Claim
Personal injury attorneys know that no case is cut and dry, with 100 percent of fault belonging to the driver. In our legal experience, many pedestrians are partly responsible for their accident - for instance, crossing the road without looking out for oncoming traffic.
However, the state of Connecticut applies the comparative fault principle to personal injury cases. This means that an injured person who is less than 50 percent at fault for the incident has the right to obtain financial compensation from the other party. However, the actual amount they will collect will be reduced by their percentage of fault from the damage award. Thus, a $100,000 compensation for a pedestrian accident in which the victim was 10% at fault results in a $90,000 payout.
What You Must Do after Being Injured in a Pedestrian Accident
Our personal injury law firm has handled many pedestrian accident cases over the year, which allowed us to create a list of best practices that anyone should follow after an accident. Acting in a certain manner can help your pedestrian injury claim or personal injury lawsuit, while other actions can be detrimental.
Therefore, this is what you need to do after an accident:
1. Call 9-1-1
You must seek medical attention as soon as possible after the accident. The impact with a vehicle can lead to a catastrophic injury which may threaten your life if left untreated. The ambulance will usually arrive accompanied by a law enforcement team who will investigate the accident scene. If you did not suffer life threatening injuries, you should remain at the scene of the crash and answer the questions the police will ask you.
However, do not say anything that may be interpreted as an admission of fault. Simply be honest and describe the way the events unfolded.
2. Do Not Negotiate Your Claim with the Insurance Adjuster
Insurance adjusters are skilled at making accident victims accept a lowball settlement or even being persuaded that they do not have a case. Thus, you should refuse to talk to the adjuster and sign any document at all. Every word you say may be recorded and will certainly be used against you.
3. Hire a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Accomplished accident lawyers know how to build a solid case on your behalf. They will collect all the relevant evidence, including an accident reconstruction, if necessary, the accident details from the police report and your own hospital record indicating the extent and cause of your injuries.
Once you hired the attorney, they have the right to take care of all the legal issues pertaining to filing your claim or lawsuit. There is a statute of limitations of 2 years starting from the date of your accident and exceeding it will bar you from getting any kind of compensation.
Finally, the Bridgeport personal injury lawyer will estimate the total amount of your compensation conduct negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf.
Hire a Team of Experienced Trial Lawyers!
At Jacobs and Wallace personal injury law firm, we have decades of experience in helping accident victims obtain the maximum compensation they deserve. We have the know-how to obtain good results even in challenging cases.
If you were injured by a car while walking or crossing the road, remember that you have legal options to recover your financial losses. You do not have to pay any upfront legal fees, as we work on a contingency fee basis. Call us now to discuss your case with an experienced pedestrian injury attorney in Bridgeport CT: 203-332-7700!