Pedestrian accidents typically involve automobiles. When car insurance companies learn of such incidents, they’re often eager to handle claims as quickly as possible – and pay out the least amount they can. Don’t be intimidated into taking a settlement that’s smaller than you deserve.
Our Virginia pedestrian accident attorneys can advocate for your needs and fight for the justice to which you’re entitled. Negligent drivers should be held liable for their actions behind the wheel.
On average, 12 people a day are struck and killed by cars – because the human body is no match for the average car on the road. Pedestrian accidents rarely result in major damage to the vehicle but typically have deadly consequences for the pedestrian. Victims may suffer serious, catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and even wrongful death.
VIRGINIA PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT LAWYER
As a Virginia personal injury lawyer, Richard Serpe advocates for those injured due to the negligence of another person or company. A substantial portion of his 35-year legal career has been devoted to representing and protecting injured children. He’s earned a reputation as a well-respected, hard-working attorney with a tenacious approach to every case he takes on. Richard Serpe has a track record of success in obtaining favorable settlements and verdicts for his clients.
Awards and Recognition
- Best Lawyers® : (2005 – Present)
- Super Lawyer : (2006 – Present)
- Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent Rating
- Avvo.com: Rated 10/10 – “Superb”
Causes of Virginia Pedestrian Accidents
A vast majority of pedestrian accidents are caused by motorists. Pedestrians must be hyperaware of how they fit into changing traffic patterns and road conditions. Drivers often fail to even recognize the presence of pedestrians from the safety and protection of their cars and trucks. When motorists do spot pedestrians on the road, they may grow impatient waiting for a safe chance to pass by. Common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted drivers
- Failure to yield to the right of way
- Pedestrians forced off the road by a car or truck entering their lane of traffic
- Improper passing
- Excessive speed, along with reckless and careless driving
- Drunk driving and driving under the influence of drugs
- Failing to obey traffic laws – running stop signs and red lights, etc.
- Backing up without looking
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 69,000 pedestrians were injured in car accidents in 2011. Another 4,400 people lost their lives in pedestrian crashes that same year. That’s approximately 14 percent of total traffic deaths annually. In Virginia, about 10 percent of the state’s total traffic fatalities stem from pedestrian accidents.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
When a person is struck by a vehicle, even a minor collision can cause serious physical damage. The human body is delicate. Soft tissue and bone can’t withstand the weight of the one and half tons of metal, glass, and rubber that comprise the typical motor vehicle.
Even worse, many pedestrian accidents are preventable. When drivers exercise caution behind the wheel, injuries can be avoided altogether. A Virginia pedestrian accident lawyer can review the facts of your case and help you determine next steps. Body parts often injured in pedestrian accidents include:
- Lower extremities
- Head, neck, and face
- Upper extremities
Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
Pedestrian accidents often lead to severe and even fatal injuries. The force of a car can cause traumatic bran and spinal cord injuries, leaving the victim with life-changing disabilities.
Traumatic brain injuries, also known as TBI, happen when a foreign object penetrates the skull. They can also occur when a jarring motion causes a disruption to the brain’s normal functions. Immediate medical care can help mitigate the damage, but the injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents are often permanent. A TBI may cause mental and cognitive impairments, sensory issues, memory loss, personality changes, and beyond. TBI injuries can be hard to evaluate and even harder to diagnose. The brain’s unique characteristics can make it difficult for doctor’s to understand exactly what damage has been done.
Traumatic spinal cord injuries happen when the spinal cord becomes compressed, torn or impacted. These injuries hinder the communication between the brain and sensory system. Spinal cord injuries may result in mobility loss, impaired sensory perception, and more.
Severe pedestrian accident injuries often warrant constant medical or rehabilitative care. They rob victims of their independence and quality of life. When such injuries are the result of a careless driver, you may have grounds for compensation to assist with medical bills, lost income, and other damages.
What to Do After a Virginia Pedestrian Accident
It’s easy to settle into panic mode after a pedestrian accident has occurred. Take a few deep breaths and then assess the safety of your current situation. If you’re not in a safe place, move outside the danger zone. Many pedestrian accidents happen along busy roads and highways. If you’re able to move, do so carefully. If you’re with other pedestrians, check in with them, too. Then call 911.
When on the phone with 911, it’s important to remain calm. An ambulance and police may need to respond to the scene. Depending on the severity of the crash, speak with the driver of the vehicle involved in the incident. Have someone record their license plate and collect their insurance information.
Even if you don’t think you’ve been injured in the crash, it’s important to seek medical attention. Get checked out by the paramedics who arrive on scene or visit your primary care physician as soon as possible. Pedestrian accidents often involve serious, life-threatening injuries, so it’s important not to delay treatment. Some injuries aren’t obvious at first, but you may be experiencing internal bleeding or suffering from a traumatic brain injury.
Once you’ve been seen by a doctor, you may want to get in touch with a Virginia personal injury lawyer. An attorney can help you establish liability and determine if the driver responsible for your injuries was negligent behind the wheel. They can also guide you through next steps and shed light on what your claim may be worth.
Compensation for Virginia Pedestrian Accident Victims
In Virginia, damages are usually broken down into one of two categories: economic or non-economic. Economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, and potential future medical expenses, lost future earnings because of a permanent injury, and costs associated with a Virginia wrongful death.
Expert testimony is often necessary for calculating economic damages. An economist or vocational rehabilitation expert may need to weigh in to help determine the exact damages you’re owed. If your suffered a permanent injury that jeopardizes your ability to do your job, an economist can help you project your future earnings. A vocational rehabilitation expert can evaluate your abilities and help you determine which kinds of jobs you may be able to do. They can offer insight into the availability of such jobs and how much they pay in your market. An economist then takes those numbers to project your future earnings over the course of your work-life expectancy.
A life care plan can also be developed if you require a lifetime of care. By projecting out future medical costs and other expenses you might need, experts help establish the damages you are owed.
Non-economic damages must also be factored into the equation. This is often referred to as pain and suffering, but it can also include the impact that your injuries have on your daily life. After a serious, life-changing injury, everything from taking a shower to cooking dinner and driving to work can become a challenge. You may no longer be able to enjoy hobbies like golfing or going to the gym. Perhaps you’re able to return to work but spend your entire shift in pain. You deserve to be compensated for these factors, even if it’s challenging to assign a dollar value to them.
When negligent drivers strike pedestrians, they breach the duty of care they owe to their fellow human being. Should an accident victim sustain injuries because of a careless driver, they should be compensated. It’s often up to a jury to award non-economic damages, but an attorney can make all the difference when advocating for fair compensation for their clients.
Virginia Pedestrian Accident Time Deadlines
In our state, there are strict deadlines for filing a lawsuit. In many cases, the Commonwealth of Virginia provides a two-year deadline also known as a Statute of Limitations. However, special circumstances apply depending on the age or disability of the person injured. Don’t wait to seek compensation – speak an experienced attorney as soon as possible after the accident. This is vitally important in protecting your rights so that you can receive the maximum settlement for your case. If a deadline is missed, your opportunity to file a claim may be lost forever.
Virginia Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you should know your legal rights. Call attorney Richard Serpe now for your free, no obligation case review 877-544-5323. We charge no legal fees unless you receive a settlement and it will cost you no money to get started on your case.