HOW ARE VIRGINIA PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS DIFFERENT?
Pedestrian involved car accidents are one of the kinds of cases that we see that result in the most catastrophic injuries. It is important to remember, if you or your loved one have been involved in a pedestrian incident, to contact a Virginia pedestrian accident lawyer who will be able to review what happened, and make the best possible claim to get you the compensation that you and your family deserve.
Difference between car accidents and pedestrian accidents
It goes without saying, that the biggest difference between the two kinds of cases is the mechanism of injury. When one car hits another car, both cars have many safety features that protect the occupants, such as seat belts and crash safety panels and reinforced steel. A pedestrian has none of this. The collision between a multi-thousand pound object, with force and inertia behind it, striking an unprotected person results in very traumatic injuries.
These injuries have a wide range. Almost universally, they include what insurance companies call "soft tissue" injuries, such as sprains and strains. The insurance companies use this term almost-dismissively, because the injuries are not usually discernible on xrays.
More severe injuries can include brain and spinal injuries, broken bones, blood loss, and even limb loss and death.
When working the case itself, this changes the nature of the investigation, in that we are able to devote more resources to searching for witnesses and obtaining camera footage. Some things are not obtainable without a subpoena - in such an instance, we may even consider the drastic step of filing the lawsuit right away. The lawsuit gives us the power to issue subpoenas to obtain information that would otherwise be beyond our reach.
Are pedestrian accidents the same as bicycle accidents?
No. They are, however, somewhat similar in nature because of the injuries often sustained. Pedestrians are their own classification under the law, as people. But someone on a bicycle is considered to be operating a vehicle, even though the vehicle is only powered by its rider.
A bicyclist is required to operate his vehicle with due regard for other motorists, and in accordance with law, and the rules of the road.
Pedestrians are required to obey the law, too.
Special concerns in pedestrian accidents
Pedestrian accidents can involve honest mistakes, where a driver legitimately did not see a pedestrian. In this instance, the question becomes: should the driver have seen the pedestrian? A driver is responsible for seeing what is there to be seen. This presents a very unique challenge in a court of law - to be able to prove to a jury that a pedestrian was visible, had the driver used more care when driving.
Contributory negligence is something that every insurance company is very quick to throw on the table in pedestrian accident cases. Due to the traumatic injuries that are sustained by the pedestrian, sometimes the person who is hit has no recollection of the event! Or, alternatively, they have a very fuzzy recollection of what happened, because of a brain injury other condition. This allows the insurance company to make arguments against the claimant's version of the facts. The best way to fight against this is to get an attorney right away who will develop the evidence necessary to prove the case, even without the claimants recollection. This is done through interviewing eyewitnesses, and most helpfully, obtaining camera footage referenced above.
Pedestrian accident claims
Some insurance companies are very quick to try to settle pedestrian accident cases, if they accept liability. However, these insurance companies want to settle very quickly because the minute the claimant accepts the money, the claim is over. This means it puts a period on this end of the sentence that is the incident. So no future medical bills, or trauma can be claimed after that point. The insurance companies work very hard to undervalue and minimize an injured person's claim.
An experienced and dedicated pedestrian accident lawyer, however, is dedicated to maximizing your claim, to get you all of the compensation that you are entitled to. If you are a loved one had been involved in a Virginia pedestrian accident, get Justice with Joe and call Blaszkow Legal today at 703-879-5910