When a vehicle strikes a pedestrian on or off the road, the pedestrian is normally the party that sustains the most injuries. Though, if the pedestrian is proven to be at fault for causing the accident, getting compensation from the driver may not be a simple process. For this reason, people who were struck by vehicles should make every effort to hire a Duluth pedestrian accident lawyer if they want to file a personal injury claim.
At Barrios & Virguez, we understand the legal processes involved with filing a claim with an at-fault party’s insurance. With our help, you can ensure that your case is handled quickly and with appropriate care. When necessary, our team will also bring your court to trial and participate in that process on your behalf.
A Pedestrian Accident May Be Your Fault
Pedestrian accident claims revolve around the concept of negligence. The person who is proven to be negligent in the events leading up to the accident will be deemed responsible for a majority of or all of the associated damages. To prove that a party was negligent, the claimant must show that the perceived at-fault party did not act reasonably or carefully, causing the accident.
As the victim of a pedestrian accident, you may be assuming that the person who hit you is automatically negligent and therefore responsible for damages. This is not true. In order to claim compensation from the person who hit you, you must be able to prove that they were actually at fault.
Doing this requires significant evidence which must be presented throughout a lengthy period of negotiations with the driver’s insurance company.
For a free legal consultation with a pedestrian accidents lawyer serving Duluth, call 678-888-2222
Determining Fault in Pedestrian Accidents
When pedestrian accidents occur, it may be unclear who actually caused the accident. Though, if the driver was clearly distracted or breaking the law, chances are high that they are liable for the damages caused by the accident. To get to the bottom of the ordeal, your lawyer will assess the following:
- The speed of the car
- Whether the driver was distracted
- Whether the accident occurred in a crosswalk
- Whether the area was well-lit
- The time of day that the accident occurred
- Whether traffic signals were nearby at the scene of the accident
- Whether any traffic laws were broken leading up to the accident
By figuring out the facts behind the accident, your lawyer can assess fault to strengthen your claim against the driver who hit you. They will look for as much evidence as possible during this process. This includes key documents, such as medical records and police reports.
Eyewitnesses and Surveillance Footage
In the police report, there may be additional context provided by the officers or eye-witnesses. Depending on what they say, their statements could be beneficial during settlement negotiations.
Pedestrian accident lawyers in Duluth may also collect footage from nearby surveillance cameras that could have captured the accident on camera. Using said footage, they can paint a clearer picture of what events led to the accident and who was at fault.
Duluth Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Near Me 678-888-2222
Are Pedestrian Accident Cases Time-Sensitive?
Pedestrian accident cases are time-sensitive because every state has a statute of limitations on filing personal injury claims. In Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injurious accident. If you wait until after this timeframe ends, you will likely be unable to file a claim.
Though, the statute of limitations is not the only reason you need to file your pedestrian accident claim quickly. As a Duluth pedestrian accident lawyer would tell you, there is a significant chance of valuable evidence becoming unavailable if you wait too long to recover it. To increase your chances of successfully recovering the maximum possible compensation, have a Duluth pedestrian accident lawyer review your case immediately so they can find out what evidence to collect.
Sometimes Pedestrian Accidents Are Caused by Drunk or Drugged Drivers
Maybe the driver who hit you was intoxicated when the accident injured you. If this is the case, your chances of winning fair compensation increase dramatically. Though, there is no guarantee that you will be able to recover the maximum amount without a Duluth pedestrian accident attorney.
While drunk driving is illegal, illegality typically only results in criminal penalties like jail time and fines. To recover compensation in civil court, you must present a valid case to the driver and potentially their insurance provider. Unfortunately, though, many insurance companies refuse to pay claims related to drunk drivers because their actions are not covered in their policies.
If the insurance is unwilling to pay, the only option left is to file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault driver. While they may not have the funds needed to pay your damages immediately, trying to collect as much as possible from them is the best way to ensure that some of your losses are still covered.
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Pedestrian Right of Way
In Georgia, pedestrians have the right-of-way. Therefore, pedestrians who are using crosswalks have the right to cross the street before vehicles can pass through. If the driver of a vehicle did not yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, their actions are technically negligent and illegal.
Still, this is not a catch-all law, and there are some limitations. For example, if a pedestrian decides to rush in front of a moving car without offering the driver enough time to react, that pedestrian has made an unreasonable choice that could be called negligent in court proceedings. If there is evidence that this is what happened, the pedestrian could be liable for their own damages.
Pedestrian Accident Damages and Compensation
If you suffered due to a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the driver who hit you. The level of compensation you can recover depends on the specific nature of the accident and its outcomes.
Here are some losses that can be claimed as damages in a pedestrian accident claim:
- Past, present, and future medical bills
- Lost wages associated with the accident
- Lost career or business opportunities
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Wrongful death
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Duluth Today
A pedestrian accident attorney in Duluth will evaluate the circumstances of your claim to give you a reasonable estimate of what your claim could be settled for. To find out more, get in touch with a lawyer from Barrios & Virguez. You can reach us by using the contact form featured here on this page.