Injuries incurred from a pedestrian-vehicle accident can be severe, resulting in substantial financial and personal consequences. If you or someone you love has been hit by a car, a Montgomery County pedestrian accident lawyer could help.
From broken bones and lacerations to head or spinal cord injuries, being struck by a vehicle while walking can be scary and life-changing. These losses may result in substantial medical bills, missed time at work, or even disability or death. Our team of experienced injury attorneys is here to assist you in the event of this kind of accident.
Pennsylvania Pedestrian Laws
Pedestrians do not always have the right of way, but drivers still have a responsibility to avoid collisions with people walking. A Montgomery County lawyer could build a claim demonstrating the pedestrian was not violating any laws at the time of the accident. Actions that people walking should take include:
- Crossing at intersections, not in the middle of the road, and never diagonally across a street.
- Using an overhead crossing or pedestrian tunnel when available
- Using a crosswalk at an intersection
- Walking on sidewalks when available. If there are no sidewalks, pedestrians should walk on the left side of the roadway as far as possible from the edge of the road
These laws are essential to follow because a court will look at how the accident happened to see if the person walking is partially at fault. If a pedestrian violates these laws, they could lose their chance at recovery.
What Injuries Could Result from a Pedestrian Accident?
Even when they occur at relatively low speeds, accidents that involve motor vehicles striking pedestrians can cause life-changing injuries. In the best-case scenario, a person hit by a moving car may spend weeks or even months healing from skin lacerations, soft tissues injuries like ligament strains and tears, broken bones, concussions, and whiplash.
At higher speeds, pedestrian accidents have the potential to cause permanent disability or disfigurement through injuries like traumatic brain damage, spinal cord damage, internal organ trauma, or even limb amputation. In these kinds of situations, retaining a skilled Montgomery County pedestrian accident attorney may be especially important when it comes to pursuing appropriate compensation for both past and future losses.
Filing a Pedestrian Collision Claim
In Pennsylvania, an injured person has two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. A court will assess liability and damages, and award compensation if appropriate. A Montgomery County attorney familiar with accidents involving people traveling on foot knows the filing deadlines and the kind of evidence necessary to support an award of damages.
How is Liability Determined?
The first thing a court will review is liability. This means they must assess who is responsible for the accident. A lawyer will help determine how the accident happened, most often based on the police report and eyewitness testimony. If a pedestrian was within their rights according to the law, it is likely the driver is at fault. Pennsylvania is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that the injured party can also be at fault. In this case, so long as the pedestrian is less than fifty-percent responsible, they could be awarded compensation.
What Are the Basic Elements of Legal Liability?
It falls on the injured pedestrian to establish defendant liability by proving that the driver was negligent in some way. In other words, the defendant driver must have been engaging in reckless or careless behavior that resulted in the accident that caused the pedestrian harm.
Put simply, legal negligence has four elements: an implicit or explicit duty to act responsibly, a breach of that duty, causation of an accident through that breach, and compensable losses stemming directly from that accident. A plaintiff who can prove that all four of these elements apply to their case has a very good chance of a positive case outcome.
What Evidence Could Help Prove Fault for a Pedestrian Crash?
In many situations, negligence that leads to a pedestrian accident takes the form of an explicit violation of traffic laws, such as by a driver speeding, running a stop sign, not obeying right-of-way rules, or driving drunk. In these situations, proving negligence may be as simple as finding the police report filed by the officer who responded to the accident scene and pointing out the traffic citation the defendant received immediately prior to the incident. In other cases, though, it may be necessary to collect and preserve other forms of evidence, such as traffic and/or security camera footage, testimony from eyewitnesses, cell phone records, debris from the crash scene, and even input from accident reconstruction experts.
What Damages are Recoverable?
Damages refer to the compensation necessary to make the injured party whole again. Catastrophic bodily harm can result from being hit by a car, so damages could include things like pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical care that may last a lifetime. In the event of death, if the person killed in the accident supported a family, a court might award damages to provide for the future of their loved ones. An attorney could ensure a claimant is fairly compensated.
Speak with a Montgomery County Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
If a negligent motorist struck you, you might need help affording the necessary medical treatment. With the injuries often being severe, it may be difficult for you to seek compensation on your own. Our Montgomery County pedestrian accident lawyers stand ready to advocate for you and your loved ones. Our team could help guide you through the legal process and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Call today.