With no protection against impact, pedestrians commonly experience serious and extensive consequences when involved in a car accident. The aftermath almost always involves physical and emotional pain and financial instability.
Securing representation from a skilled car accident attorney is critical to your recovery if you sustain a car accident as a pedestrian. The team at Barrios Virgüez is ready to help you.
What Is the Average Settlement for a Pedestrian Hit by a Car?
Every accident is different. Settlement amounts depend on the specific circumstances of the related accident and a variety of other factors. These can include the severity of your injuries and their consequences, the level of negligence involved by the at-fault party, and the extent of your suffering. Therefore, an “average” does not truly exist.
An experienced car accident attorney will evaluate every aspect of your accident and all relevant factors. They can use that information to calculate what the at-fault party owes you for economic and non-economic damages, and in some cases, for punitive damages.
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How Are Economic Losses Calculated?
Economic damages are the financial expenses and losses the accident caused you. These damages usually include costs of medical care, both what you have already received and what you will require in the future. You can also request reimbursement for lost wages and property damage.
Your accident may render you unable to work again or at the same earning level as before you were injured. Your attorney will calculate your future lost wages, retirement, and other work-related benefits.
Compensation for additional accident-related expenses also falls into the economic damages category. For example, if you can no longer handle childcare or other household responsibilities on your own, you can pursue coverage for those hiring expenses.
How Are Non-Economic Losses Calculated?
Non-economic losses address the emotional damage incurred by the accident and subsequent injuries. The pain of your injuries can leave you emotionally drained and depressed. The trauma of the accident itself can leave you with anxiety or even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
If you cannot participate in social activities or simply care for your daily needs independently, you will probably experience diminished quality of life. In cases involving severe brain injuries, you may not be able to interact or share affection with friends and loved ones as you once did.
Though money cannot restore you to your previous condition, a financial award acknowledges those losses and can give you greater access to resources or other opportunities to improve your quality of life.
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How Are Punitive Damages Calculated?
Punitive damages are not compensatory. Instead, they work to punish defendants for particularly egregious acts of negligence or intent and to deter others from such acts.
To secure punitive damages, Georgia law requires “clear and convincing” proof that the at-fault party’s behavior “showed willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or that entire want of care which would raise the presumption of conscious indifference to consequences.”
Typically, punitive damages are capped at $250,000, though there are exceptions that both lower and raise that cap. For example, if you prove the at-fault party deliberately caused you harm, driving into you intentionally, there is no cap on punitive damages.
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What Kinds of Evidence Do I Need to Support My Claim?
To receive a settlement, you must prove the at-fault party’s negligence. As a pedestrian hit by a car, you would have to prove the driver failed to use reasonable care while driving, and this failure caused your injury.
You also need to provide evidence supporting the amount of your settlement demand. Your car accident attorney will manage this process, reviewing your medical bills, collecting employment information, consulting with experts regarding your prognosis and long-term needs, and gathering any other necessary documentation.
Can I Be Blamed for the Accident?
It is rare for pedestrians to be found fully at fault for an accident. Pedestrians almost always have the right of way, and drivers must slow down or stop, even for pedestrians who are on the road illegally. Sometimes, though, pedestrians can be found partially responsible.
Georgia law requires pedestrians to follow traffic signals when crossing streets and to use crosswalks when they are available. Pedestrians must also give vehicles enough space to yield. You cannot walk or run into a street without giving an oncoming car time to avoid hitting you.
If you are walking on the roadway while intoxicated or in areas closed off to pedestrians, you will most likely hold some fault for the accident.
How Can I Get a Fair Settlement?
Navigating personal injury law is a complicated process. The best way to ensure a fair settlement is to have a car accident lawyer handle your case and all negotiations for you.
The at-fault party’s insurance representatives will work to protect their assets, which means they will try their best to avoid fault and avoid compensating you fairly. Since Georgia reduces a victim’s compensation by their percentage of fault, insurance representatives may use intimidating and sometimes dishonest strategies to inflate your level of fault.
A skilled car accident lawyer is aware of and not intimidated by these tactics and will stand firm against these insurance companies. Your lawyer will not settle for less than your case warrants. If the at-fault party refuses to act fairly, your attorney will present you with all options and represent you in court should you take your case to trial.
How Long do I Have to File My Claim?
You have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. However, when it comes to partnering with a car accident lawyer, sooner is always better. The more time your attorney has to investigate your accident and determine the best course of action, the more likely you are to see a substantial settlement.
Your Case Matters to Us
Barrios Virgüez is a law firm committed to helping victims get justice. When you are hurt by someone else’s negligence, a settlement brings that justice by taking care of your needs, restoring your financial losses, and providing you with a stable, more hopeful future. Visit our contact page to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated, compassionate personal injury lawyer and start working toward justice today.