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Another outcome of your pedestrian accident is your ability to continue working after your injuries. Your road to recovery may cause you to take time away from your work, whether you can afford to take time off or not. Losing a certain amount of income can affect your household and your financial situation in the future. Not having enough income can lead to severe financial strain.
Lingering physical pain
Your medical expenses and your lost income pale compared to the amount of physical pain you can still experience from your accident. While you may have undergone medical treatments for your injuries, you can still experience significant pain afterward. The recovery process can take longer than expected, causing you to experience prolonged physical pain.
Just as important as the physical pain you experience from your accident, there is mental trauma that your accident inflicts upon you. You may experience a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), where you suffer recurring nightmares of the accident without warning. You can also suffer from other mental disorders such as anxiety or depression following your accident. These mental disorders can cause you to experience symptoms such as mood changes, changes in personality, and changes in your everyday routine.
If you have lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you can also sue for the funeral expenses you had to pay to bury your loved one. If you are a close family member of the victim, you can seek compensation for the funeral expenses of your loved one through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Your legal rights after an accident
If your accident caused injuries and damages, you have the right to file a lawsuit against the negligent party and recuperate your losses. Personal injury law allows you to seek compensation for your injuries when another person’s wrongful actions caused harm to you. To make yourself “whole” again, you can seek financial compensation for your injuries.
Proving liability in a pedestrian accident
Before receiving compensation for your injuries, you must prove the other party was liable for your pedestrian accident. To prove the other party’s liability, you must meet the four elements of a legal concept known as negligence. Negligence is a legal concept that determines how a person’s reckless actions caused harm to another party.
The four elements of negligence include:
- Duty of care. This element must establish how the defendant owed you a specific duty of care.
- Breach of duty. This element must establish how the defendant’s actions violated the duty of care they owed you. Even failing to act can be an example of a breach of duty.
- Causation. This element must define how the defendant’s actions caused an amount of harm to you.
- Damages. This element must establish how the defendant’s actions caused you damages.
Filing a claim
Your pedestrian accident lawsuit begins when you file a complaint with the courts. In your claim, you will have the opportunity to explain how the other party harmed you and the list of damages you want to recover from the accident. When you file your pedestrian accident claim, remember that you must file your lawsuit within a specific statute of limitations.
The statute of limitations is the deadline to submit your claim to the courts for it to be valid. If you fail to file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, the court can throw out your claim, and you lose the possibility to hold the other party liable for your injuries.
Liable parties for your lawsuit
For pedestrian accidents, other drivers are the primary parties facing lawsuits. You might also sue government agencies for pedestrian accidents based on certain factors of an accident; however, the process will be a little more complex. Unlike drivers, government agencies have some protection through sovereign immunity, a legal principle that requires plaintiffs to request consent before filing a lawsuit against the government.
Sovereign immunity protects government employees and other agencies from being held liable for particular wrongful actions. Even though you can file a lawsuit against a government agency, you will have a stricter statute of limitations and procedures to follow.
How insurance companies can affect your lawsuit
Even though liability seems easy to prove, actually proving it in a pedestrian accident lawsuit is extremely difficult, mainly due to the insurance companies.
Even though you may sue the other driver, the other driver’s insurance company will cover your compensation costs. That is why they want to do whatever is possible to deny your claim or poke holes in your legal argument. There are several ways that an insurance company will paint you as negligent, and none of those methods involve integrity.
Because some pedestrians enter crosswalks at inappropriate times, insurance companies will argue that you crossed the street when you should not have. This allegation should not bar you from receiving compensation, however. Insurance companies will make this argument to reduce their client’s liability, and you need a legal professional to fight against claims of pedestrian liability.
How a lawyer can help
When you file a pedestrian accident lawsuit, you want to give yourself the best chance of reaching a successful verdict. You do not want to leave your case in the hands of the insurance company or allow them to have the upper hand when establishing liability.
When you seek the assistance of a lawyer, they can help craft the best legal strategy for your case. Every pedestrian accident case is different, and your lawyer must assess the facts of your case and use them to prove why the other party is liable for your injuries.
Establishing the driver’s negligence
The more evidence you can gather and share with your lawyer, the greater the lawyer’s chances of establishing the other driver’s liability. Your lawyer can also use their resources to gather the most credible information your case needs. An experienced lawyer knows the best evidence to prove another person’s negligent actions.
Negotiating for greater settlements
For your pedestrian accident case, your lawsuit can resolve in two different ways. The first way is a method that many people are familiar with, which is a trial. The second way is the actual method in which many personal injury cases conclude through a settlement.
Although a settlement may seem like an excellent resolution for you and the insurance company, the insurance company will still attempt to deny you the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies will lowball you by offering you an initial settlement offer that will not cover all of your expenses.
If you have representation from a lawyer, your chances of being rewarded a just settlement offer increase. Lawyers are familiar with the insurance company’s tricks and will refuse any offer that the insurance company suggests. Your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and estimate a more accurate amount of compensation for you to receive.
Building a solid case for you
Your lawsuit can still make it to trial because the insurance company wants to play tough and refuse to compromise with you. When your case makes it to trial, your lawyer must navigate the process efficiently and with the best chance of a favorable settlement. An experienced lawyer knows how to build the strongest case for you at every trial step. If the defendant’s attorney requests you to participate in a deposition or cross-examine you, your lawyer will have you covered.
Speak to a pedestrian accident lawyer today
When you or a loved one suffered a severe injury in a pedestrian accident, you want to receive as much compensation as possible for your injuries. With the help of a skilled lawyer, you can overcome the tricks of the insurance company and receive the compensation you deserve. Call a pedestrian accident attorney at a respected law office today for your consultation.