If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident in Philadelphia, you’re understandably worried about getting the compensation you need. Medical bills begin piling up, you start losing time from work, and you may even have permanent, life-changing disabilities. Your case is too important to take on yourself. Let the professionals at Cooper Schall & Levy go to work for you.
Common Causes Of A Pedestrian Accident
Irresponsible drivers put everyone in danger, and pedestrians are especially at risk. Understanding how and why your accident occurred will help establish the necessary liability to recover damages. These are some of the most common reasons pedestrians are struck by vehicles:
- Distracted driving. This includes texting while driving, talking on the cell phone, talking to passengers in the vehicle, and anything else that takes the driver’s focus off the road.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Driving under the influence impairs judgment with respect to other vehicles, but also makes it far more difficult to see and stop for pedestrians.
- Failure to yield. Motorists are generally (but not always) required to yield, and failure to do so frequently causes accidents.
- Turning at intersections. When a driver approaches an intersection, he or she should check both ways and look out for pedestrians who may suddenly cross.
- Violating traffic laws. Speeding and running red lights are two illegal behaviors that immediately endanger pedestrians in the area.
Some causes of pedestrian accidents are not due to driver negligence. Examples include malfunctioning traffic and crosswalk signals, or crossing the street near construction sites. The risk of a pedestrian accident increases with:
Lack of sidewalks
Sidewalks that are closed for repairs
Dense vehicle and foot traffic
Every driver is responsible for obeying traffic laws and operating their vehicles in a reasonably prudent manner. Failure to do so could give rise to a negligence claim in the event a pedestrian is struck and injured.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Because they don’t have the protection of an automobile, a pedestrian can be seriously hurt even in a low-speed crash. Among the most common pedestrian accident injuries are the following:
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Dental or facial injuries
It’s important to remember that not all injuries are immediately evident following an accident. Sometimes, the degree of your injury also may not be known until much later. You could develop complications from injuries that were thought to be minor, or have problems that will be uncovered only by seeing a doctor. These injuries could mean serious medical bills down the road, so consult your attorney to make sure you get the proper medical attention.
Who’s At Fault For My Pedestrian Accident?
Many cases of pedestrian accidents are clearly the result of driver negligence. But the facts in your specific case can complicate liability. As mentioned above, some accidents occur due to crosswalk or traffic signal problems. Government entities and engineering firms that maintain signals are required to do so with due care for pedestrian safety. When they don’t, streets and intersections can become unreasonably dangerous.
After an accident, it’s critical that you speak with an experienced accident attorney who will review all of the relevant facts. You have to consider evidence that someone other than the driver was partially (or even totally) at fault. This helps you and your attorney anticipate possible arguments that the driver was not responsible for your injuries. A knowledgeable injury lawyer will examine all of the evidence and pursue your claim against all appropriate parties.
Proving fault requires establishing all of the necessary elements of a negligence lawsuit. In Pennsylvania, those are:
- The driver or other party (the defendant) owed you a duty of care
- The defendant breached that duty of care by some act of negligence
- The breach was the cause of your injuries
- Those injuries resulted in quantifiable damages
What Are The Damages I Can Pursue?
Every case is different, but these are the typical damages in a pedestrian accident claim:
- Medical bills, including for hospitalization, future treatments, rehabilitation, and similar costs
- Prescription drug medications
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost wages and earnings due to time missed from work
- Decreased earning capacity because of the nature of the injuries
- In the event the victim dies, wrongful death damages
One critical element of your negligence claim is quantifying your damages; without damages, there is no case. But a skilled attorney understands that your accident will potentially affect numerous parts of your life, including many that you might not initially consider. For example, you might only be thinking about your immediate recovery from your physical injuries. If you were a hiking enthusiast, however, a serious injury could limit your ability to engage in such recreational activity in the future. This may have a substantial impact on your quality of life. Wherever possible, your lawyer will put a dollar figure on your losses and demand fair compensation to account for them.
Contact A Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
You deserve an attorney who not only understands Pennsylvania’s personal injury laws, but who knows how to demand the compensation you need. Cooper Schall & Levy will take on the at-fault driver’s insurance company and, if necessary, take your case to court.
But don’t wait to take action. Most personal injury lawsuits have to be filed within two years of the accident, or they could be forever barred by Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations. Our attorneys will fight for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and get started on your case.