Lawrenceville Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
While heading out on foot is an excellent way to sneak in some exercise and enjoy the beauty that the State of Georgia has to offer, it also leaves you exceptionally vulnerable to the impact of a pedestrian accident. When you’re walking, you have no buffer to protect you in the event of an accident, and the damages you face can be overwhelming. If a motorist’s negligence leaves you injured in a pedestrian accident, don’t put off reaching out to an experienced Lawrenceville pedestrian accident attorney at Spaulding Injury Law for the legal guidance that you need.
Pedestrian Accidents: The Sobering Statistics
Pedestrian accident statistics tell a sobering story, including the following numbers reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- There were almost 6,000 pedestrian fatalities in 2017, which amounts to one pedestrian death every 88 minutes.
- Another 137,000 pedestrian accidents resulted in injuries so serious they required emergency room treatment.
- Compared to the occupants of passenger vehicles, pedestrians are one and a half times more likely to be killed in traffic accidents (per trip).
Unfortunately, pedestrians in Georgia are even more at risk. In fact, in the first half of 2019, Georgia and four other states (that together add up to about one-third of the population in the United States) accounted for almost half of all fatal pedestrian accidents (as reported by the Governors Highway Safety Association).
The damages associated with pedestrian accidents are often exceptionally serious, including:
- Medical expenses that can include ongoing medical needs and secondary health concerns
- Lost earnings that can evolve into a decrease in earning potential and to an altered career trajectory
- Emotional and physical pain and suffering that can be the most difficult obstacle to successfully address
These hardships leave you particularly ill-suited to take on the insurance company on your own.
How a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
The at-fault driver’s insurance company that is handling your claim recognizes your vulnerability and can bulldoze right over you if you’re not careful. Having an experienced pedestrian accident attorney on your side can help in all of the following important ways:
- By protecting your legal rights and skillfully advocating for your rightful compensation
- By skillfully negotiating with the insurance company for compensation that addresses your physical, financial, and emotional damages in their entirety
- By conducting thorough independent investigations that uncover critical evidence in support of your claim
- By ensuring that, if negotiations with the insurance company stall, your legal case is solid, is timely filed, and is in compliance with all applicable legal rules and regulations
- By knowledgeably representing you in court (if it comes to that)
While many accident victims worry about whether they’ll be able to afford a Lawrenceville pedestrian accident attorney – on top of all the additional expenses they’re facing – this isn’t something you need to concern yourself with. Most reputable pedestrian accident attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means that their pay is contingent upon (or based upon) your settlement or court award. If you do prevail with compensation for the damages you’ve suffered, your pedestrian accident attorney will receive a prearranged percentage of that compensation.
The Motorist’s Fault
An important component of your pedestrian accident claim is demonstrating the motorist’s fault in the matter. Generally, pedestrian accidents come down to driver negligence in one form or another.
Excess speed allows motorists less stopping distance, makes accidents of every kind more likely and increases the likelihood that accidents will be deadly.
Drunk drivers endanger everyone with whom they share the road, including pedestrians.
Drowsy drivers suffer cognitive and physical impairments that imitate those suffered by drunk drivers, and the danger is just as real.
When a motorist has his or her nose in his or her phone – or is engaging in any other dangerous distraction – it renders the driver far less likely to spot and protect vulnerable pedestrians.
Additionally, motorists who fail or refuse to drive safely in general, to follow the rules of the road, and/or to do as instructed by traffic signs, lights, and signals often put pedestrians in harm’s way.
A Note about Commercial Vehicles
Commercial drivers are professional drivers who are held to more careful rules and regulations. These drivers do a lot of starting and stopping, pull in and out of traffic frequently, and spend long hours behind the wheel – all of which can contribute to dangerous pedestrian accidents. Additionally, there are more commercial drivers on the road than you may realize, including all of the following:
- Taxis and rideshare vehicles, such as Uber and Lyft
- Food delivery vehicles, such as Grubhub and DoorDash
- Mail and package delivery trucks, including USPS, FedEx, UPS, and Amazon
- Delivery trucks for major chains and small businesses
- Passenger buses
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident that was caused by a commercial driver’s negligence, you can seek compensation via the commercial entity, which can enhance your ability to obtain just compensation.
Pedestrians share responsibilities when it comes to keeping our roads safer for everyone, and these responsibilities include closely adhering to the rules of the road. If you share fault in the pedestrian accident that leaves you injured, however, it does not necessarily mean that you will be barred from obtaining compensation for your damages. In the State of Georgia, as long as you are less than 50 percent responsible for the pedestrian accident that leaves you injured, you can seek the percentage of compensation that the motorist is deemed responsible for.
The Insurance Company
If you have been injured by a motorist’s negligence in a pedestrian accident, you’ll look to the at-fault driver’s insurance provider to cover your claim and compensate you for your losses. This is exactly what insurance companies are paid to do, but an overriding concern for massive insurance companies is keeping their profits high. As such, you may be surprised by the tactics the insurance company handling your claim may employ in the course of covering it.
Making an Early Settlement Offer
You’ve been injured and are facing physical, financial, and emotional losses, and the insurance company is acutely aware of your vulnerability. While an early settlement offer may strike you as a generous gesture that you are afraid to reject, it’s important to take a big-picture view. Early settlement offers are often insurance companies’ attempts to finalize claims before claimants like you have had time to get their bearings and accurately assess their total losses. It is always in your best interest to discuss any settlement offers with your seasoned pedestrian accident attorney prior to accepting one.
Denying the Claim Outright
Sometimes, insurance companies gamble on claimants being too overwhelmed to fight back, and as a result, they simply deny claims early on – weeding out those claimants who are willing to walk away. It’s important to remember that the value of your claim is commensurate with the covered losses you’ve experienced as a result of the motorist’s negligence, and this is ultimately established by the law (at both the state and federal level) – not by insurance companies.
The insurance company may attempt to shift fault away from its policyholder and toward you – the injured pedestrian. In pedestrian accidents, however, motorists are generally held responsible unless the pedestrian engages in unmistakable negligence, such as:
- Blatantly ignoring a pedestrian light or signal
- Running into the street seemingly out of nowhere
- Crossing the street where it is forbidden
Fault in your claim will be established by the available evidence, which can potentially include eyewitness testimony, expert testimony, and accident recreation models – and not by the insurance company’s proclamations.
Denying the Extent of your Losses
In an attempt to keep your settlement low, the insurance company may claim that the losses outlined in your pedestrian accident case are overblown. Establishing the full extent of your losses will begin with compiling evidence of your related medical expenses and lost wages, but there are additional steps you can take to help support the veracity of your claimed losses, including:
- Follow your physician’s instructions and advice from the outset
- Attend all follow-up medical appointments
- Reach out to a skilled pedestrian accident attorney as soon after the accident as possible and work closely with him or her throughout the claims process
- Take a break from your social media habit (the insurance company is on the hunt for posts that it can manipulate in a manner that damages your claim)
You want to have the right lawyer providing advice so you do not have to worry about jeopardizing your claim.
It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced Lawrenceville Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If a negligent motorist leaves you injured in a pedestrian accident, the Lawrenceville pedestrian accident attorneys at Spaulding Injury Law have the experience, legal skill, and drive you are looking for. We take great pride in helping clients like you obtain the compensation to which they are entitled, and we’re here to help you do the same. To learn more, please don’t wait to contact or call us at 678-541-8841 today.