Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Attorney
At The Levin Firm, we understand that representing pedestrian accident victims requires a particular type of skill and knowledge, as well as the ability to understand the rights of the pedestrian—who is often taken for granted. Our Philadelphia pedestrian accident law firm analyzes which insurance companies are responsible for paying medical bills, wage losses, and pain and suffering. Our Pennsylvania injury lawyers understand that your personal auto insurance carrier, or a relative’s insurance carrier, may be liable for the claim. In other circumstances, your bills and other damages may be the responsibility of the Pennsylvania Financial Responsibility Assigned Claims Plan.
Pedestrian Accidents Are More Common Than You Think
Every nine minutes in the United States, a pedestrian is injured as a result of a pedestrian/motor vehicle crash. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,092 pedestrians died in 2009 as a result of a motor vehicle striking them. That amounts to almost eleven pedestrian deaths per day at the hands of drivers of motor vehicles.
Pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere a person walks near traffic. This can include parking lots, sidewalks, shoulders, crosswalks, other intersections, and more. Pedestrian accidents often happen at night, because pedestrians can be difficult to see in the dark. When walking, people generally do not wear reflective or retroreflective clothing as bicyclists might, and a motorist who is not paying adequate attention can collide with someone who is lawfully walking.
Were you one of the thousands of people who were injured in a pedestrian accident this year? If so, an attorney who knows how to protect your rights should represent you. A pedestrian accident can leave you facing many challenges—but obtaining compensation from the responsible party should not be one of those challenges. The Levin Firm is on the side of accident victims and is here to help.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Except in limited circumstances, pedestrians have the right of way on roads. The vehicle’s driver bears responsibility for yielding to pedestrians who lawfully cross the street. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts to cross at crosswalks and intersections and walk on sidewalks and shoulders, pedestrians are all too frequently struck by negligent, distracted, or drunk drivers who do not properly yield the right of way.
Driver negligence can take many forms in pedestrian crashes, including:
- Texting and driving
- Not paying attention to the road
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failure to yield
- Fatigued driving
- Failing to signal
- Not having lights on
- Improper passing
While drivers are often to blame for pedestrian accidents, drivers are less likely to sustain injuries due to hitting a pedestrian. Sadly, the innocent pedestrian suffers the most serious injuries in these situations. Cuts, scrapes, and bruises are almost always present. More serious injuries, such as broken bones, concussions, internal bleeding, and even death are all real possibilities.
The Levin Firm, however, fights to recover compensation for the many types of damages to which our clients are entitled, including medical expenses, hospital bills, rehabilitation expenses, lost earnings, future wage losses, lost earning capacity, physical disabilities, scars, losses of limbs, brain and head injuries, emotional distress, depression, anxiety, grief, and pain and suffering. We understand these issues and work with our clients, their friends and family, as well as their doctors, psychologists, long-term care planners, and others, to ensure that our clients receive not only the finest legal representation but also the finest support and medical care.
A significant percentage of pedestrian accidents are hit and run accidents in which the negligent driver flees the scene. In such cases, our legal team can help find any possible solutions for you to receive the compensation you need and deserve for your losses.
Protecting Your Rights After Pedestrian Accidents
An unexpected pedestrian accident can completely shake up your life. One moment, you are walking along your regular route, or even just from your car into a building, and the next moment you may face lifelong struggles. A pedestrian accident victim will almost certainly require medical attention and treatment, and many victims need emergency transportation. The medical costs only begin with the emergency care—victims often have piles of bills from hospitals, surgeons, specialists, physical therapists, home health care, medical equipment, and more.
Medical bills are far from the only losses that a pedestrian accident victim can incur. Common losses include:
- Future medical care – Many serious injuries can require medical treatment for years following an accident. This means that you can keep incurring losses long after you resolve your personal injury claim. Have an expert calculate the estimated costs of any future treatments you need so you can include it in your legal claim.
- Lost pay – Injuries can cause you to miss work for many reasons—for example, to receive treatments or if your injuries make your return to work difficult. Even if you have medical leave, it is often unpaid, and you can lose weeks of income in many situations. This only compounds the issue of medical bills and other expenses.
- Lost future earnings – Some pedestrian injuries cause a victim to suffer permanent impairments or disabilities. These conditions can make your return to work impossible due to new physical or cognitive limitations. This can result in lost earnings during the rest of your life if you are forced to take a lower-paying job.
- Pain and suffering – Many serious injuries can be extremely painful, and constant pain can quickly wear on a person. Some injuries can cause pain every time you participate in certain tasks, or even when you move at all. For many, pain and suffering can result in depression and other emotional issues.
- Mental trauma – Seeing a car coming toward you and hitting you is a traumatic experience in itself, and many victims develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result. In addition, as mentioned above, pain and limitations from injuries can also lead to emotional and mental distress that requires treatments.
- Permanent disability – For people who suffer permanent injuries, their lives will quite literally never be the same. A disability can cause you to relearn how to do almost everything—from household chores to personal care to recreational activities—and you can lose some of the enjoyment of life that you previously had.
No one should have to live with a permanent disability because of another person’s negligence. The law recognizes that seriously injured pedestrians should recover compensation for intangible losses—such as pain and suffering—as well as for financial losses like medical bills and lost income.
At The Levin Firm, we understand the full range of losses that you can experience after a serious accident, and we stand up for your rights to recover compensation for all of it. You have different ways to recover compensation for your losses, and we will explore every option to resolve your case in the most efficient manner we can.
Some pedestrians may obtain compensation through a claim with the negligent driver’s insurance coverage. However, insurance policies have limits, and the costs of a devastating pedestrian injury can easily exceed such coverage. Our personal injury attorney, however, will negotiate the largest possible settlement under the policy and will identify when even the maximum payment will not cover your losses.
If the insurance in your case is not sufficient to cover the cost of your injuries, the next step to seek financial recovery is to file a claim in civil court. This claim will be for personal injury (or wrongful death in the event of a fatal pedestrian accident), and many rules apply to the lawsuit process. The Levin Firm has significant litigation experience and will handle each step of your case with knowledge and skill. We will work to reach a favorable settlement agreement as soon as possible, but will never push you to accept any amount that is less than that to which you are entitled. While most pedestrian accident cases settle out of court, some do not, and we are ready and willing to protect your rights at trial when necessary.
Contact A Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer For Help Today
Representing pedestrian accident victims requires a team of aggressive investigators and lawyers all devoting their maximum efforts to their clients. At The Levin Firm, our Pennsylvania, and New Jersey personal injury attorneys investigate every claim so that we may aggressively and zealously represent our clients and obtain the best possible results.
Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident FAQ
A passenger vehicle that weighs several thousand pounds can do massive harm to a pedestrian in an accident. Victims of a collision between a car and a person rarely escape with anything short of severe, catastrophic, or fatal injuries. In the wake of an accident, victims and their families frequently have questions about their legal rights. Below, we answer some of the most frequently asked of those questions. Consult the experienced Philadelphia pedestrian accident attorneys at the Levin Firm today to get answers to specific questions about your case.
1. A car hit me while I was crossing the street. What are my rights?
Generally speaking, in Pennsylvania a pedestrian who gets hit by a motor vehicle has a legal right to seek compensation for the injuries caused by the collision. The specific circumstances of the accident—where it happened, the time of day, the behavior of the driver and the pedestrian, and so on—may affect those rights to some degree. However, the bottom line is that pedestrians should never get hit by motor vehicles, and when that happens in Philadelphia, it is a sign that someone should be held accountable for making a terrible decision or engaging in a dangerous action that harmed the pedestrian.
2. Does the driver who hit me have legal liability for my injuries?
In many cases, yes. A vehicle should never collide with a pedestrian. Drivers have a crucial responsibility to prevent it from happening. A collision with a pedestrian in Philadelphia usually the driver failed to live up to that responsibility, and thus will likely have legal liability for the pedestrian’s injuries.
But not always. Sometimes it truly is not the driver’s fault that the vehicle struck a pedestrian, or at least not entirely the driver’s fault. Other individuals or entities can sometimes make decisions or take actions that lead to a Philadelphia pedestrian accident and saddle them with legal liability.
- If a mechanical failure causes an accident, the manufacturer of the vehicle or the component part that failed may share some (or all) of the blame for causing the accident. Likewise, a mechanic whose negligence led to a mechanical failure that caused an accident may also have liability.
- If a commercial struck the pedestrian, then the driver’s employer may have some legal liability for the pedestrian’s injuries, particularly if the employer’s failure to maintain the vehicle or to train and supervise the driver contributed to the cause of the accident.
Ask our experienced Philadelphia pedestrian accident injury attorneys to evaluate the factors that may have contributed to your accident and who may have legal liability to you for it. Identifying multiple liable parties can increase the compensation you can receive for your injuries, which may make it easier for you to pay your medical bills and handle your other financial responsibilities during recovery.
3. What should I do after an accident as a pedestrian?
Remain at the scene of the accident and report it to the police. Do not leave the scene of the accident without speaking with a police officer unless you require immediate medical attention. Try not to move around the scene of the accident unnecessarily, especially if you suspect serious injury.
Beyond everything else, after any accident as a pedestrian, prioritize seeking medical care. Adrenaline may cloud your perception of pain, and you may fail to appreciate the extent of your injuries at the scene of the accident.
Immediate medical care:
- Helps diagnose any injuries and protects against those injuries getting worse. A swift diagnosis can prevent you from causing further damage to yourself after a serious accident. What seems like a minor neck injury, for example, may signal a growing risk of paralysis. What seems like a minor headache could in fact reflect a dangerous brain injury. Do not play games with your health and wellbeing. See a doctor to make sure you receive immediate, appropriate treatment for any pedestrian accident injury.
- Provides a chain of evidence to show how you suffered your injuries. By seeking medical care immediately after a Philadelphia pedestrian accident, you also generate records to show that you suffered those injuries in the accident and that, therefore, anyone legally-responsible for the accident should have liability to you. Without these records, your lawyer could have difficulty proving liability.
After addressing your medical needs, contact an experienced Philadelphia pedestrian accident injury attorney to begin the process of obtaining the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
4. I did not realize I was injured at the scene of the accident and did not seek medical attention immediately. Hours later, I found those injuries more serious than initially imagined. Can I still seek compensation for my injuries?
Probably. A pedestrian accident victim can often seek compensation for injuries without having sought immediate medical treatment. However, failing to seek prompt medical care could make it more difficult for that victim to obtain the full measure of damages authorized under Pennsylvania law. Contact an attorney to learn more about what to do next if you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, but did not seek immediate medical care.
5. Since I did not know I was seriously injured, I did not file a police report after a pedestrian accident. What do I need to do next?
Contact an attorney as soon as you realize that you suffered serious injuries in a pedestrian accident, especially if you failed to report the accident immediately. An experienced Philadelphia pedestrian accident injury attorney might yet have the ability to obtain important evidence, such as traffic camera or security footage of your accident, to prove someone’s liability for your injuries. Keep in mind, too, that even if you did not report the accident, the driver whose vehicle hit you might have done so. As the accident victim, you still have rights.
6. How much compensation should I expect from a pedestrian accident?
The amount of money you might hope to obtain for your Philadelphia pedestrian accident injuries generally depends on two broad factors: (1) the severity and life-impacts of your injuries; and (2) the financial resources (including insurance) that anyone with a legal liability to you has available to pay damages. Generally speaking, the more severe your injuries and the more significant the impacts on your life, the higher the amount of money you might hope to receive. Similarly, the more parties with a legal liability to you, or the higher their insurance limits, the more money you might hope to recover.
For example, in Pennsylvania, the minimum auto liability insurance is $15,000—not a lot, when considering the potential costs of caring for injuries after a pedestrian accident. However, if a large business owned the vehicle that struck you, and the driver was its employee, then you may have recourse to a larger business liability insurance policy with higher limits.
To figure out how much money you should recover for your Philadelphia pedestrian accident injuries, contact an experienced Philadelphia accident injury attorney today.
7. Does the driver of the vehicle that hit me have to pay my medical bills?
Any individual or entity who caused your accident—or, more likely, the insurance company that covers that entity—may have a legal obligation to pay compensation for your injuries, including your medical costs. However, it can take some time for your attorney to force those parties to pay you what they owe.
In the meantime, other sources of payment for your medical bills may include:
- Your personal injury protection insurance. Owners of cars registered in Pennsylvania must carry personal injury protection insurance, which covers a person’s own injuries in an auto accident regardless of who was at fault. If you suffered serious injuries in a pedestrian accident, and you own a car registered in Pennsylvania, then your personal injury protection coverage may cover some of your medical bills.
- Your health insurance. If you carry health insurance, then it will likely cover at least some of the medical costs associated with serious injuries resulting from a Philadelphia pedestrian accident, subject to co-payments, deductibles, and coverage limits, of course. Contact your health insurance provider to learn more about your coverage.
8. How long do I have to file a claim after my pedestrian accident?
In most cases, you have two years from the date of a Philadelphia pedestrian accident to take legal action for damages. However, two years (and sometimes less) represents the outside limit. To ensure you give yourself the best possible chance of recovering every dollar you deserve for your injuries, contact an attorney to discuss your claim as soon as possible.
9. What’s the rush, if I have two years to file a claim?
Two years might sound like a lot of time, but when it comes to getting you the most money possible for your Philadelphia pedestrian accident injuries, it leaves not a moment to lose.
- You might not realize who has a legal liability to you. Your attorney may need time to investigate the facts and circumstances of your pedestrian accident to identify all parties that have a legal liability to you for your injuries. Generally speaking, the more parties who have a legal liability to you, the better your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve. Give an attorney the time necessary to conduct a full review of the evidence by reaching out today.
- Evidence goes missing and memories fade. Evidence relevant to your Philadelphia pedestrian accident is most available in the hours and days afterward. Hiring an attorney right away gives you the best chance of collecting that evidence while you can, and of interviewing witnesses while their memories are fresh. Do not risk losing access to important information that could help prove your claim and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact a lawyer right away.
- It takes time for your injuries and needs to come into focus. Months might pass after a serious Philadelphia pedestrian accident injury before you get a clear picture of your prospects for recovery, and what it will cost to get you there. Spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain damage, and even severe burns, including road rash, can involve significant uncertainties. For that reason, your ability to recover the maximum compensation you deed may depend on developing an understanding of your long-term physical, emotional, and financial needs. Give your lawyer as much time as possible to do this analysis: it could make a world of difference when it comes time for an insurance company or legally-liable party to cut you a check.
10. How long will it take to receive compensation for my injuries after a pedestrian accident in Philadelphia?
How much time it takes to receive compensation for Philadelphia pedestrian accident injuries can depend on a wide variety of factors, including:
- How much money is at stake? Oftentimes, the more money a claim involves, the longer the time frame required to achieve fair and reasonable compensation for a pedestrian accident victim.
- How many parties have a legal liability? Extra parties tend to translate into extra time. On the bright side, however, extra parties also tend to translate into better chances for maximum financial recovery.
- Will the parties negotiate? More-often-than-not, Philadelphia pedestrian accident injury claims settle out of court. In a settlement, the party with the legal liability pays money to the injured victim, in exchange for the victim releasing those parties from future liability. Lawyers and insurance companies representing the parties typically negotiate these settlements over the course of a case, often in-tandem with litigating the case in a Pennsylvania court. The timeline for reaching a settlement or, alternatively, for a case ending up in a trial, depends in large part on the willingness of those parties to buckle down and negotiate in good faith.
11. I need money as soon as possible, and the driver’s insurance company offered me an immediate settlement. Should I take it?
No, at least not without first discussing the offer with our experienced Philadelphia pedestrian accident injury lawyers. Accepting a quick settlement might seem tempting, but chances are that offer does not give you enough money to cover your injuries and losses in the long run. Do not take that risk. Let our skilled attorneys negotiate a settlement on your behalf.
12. How long does it take to receive a settlement in a pedestrian accident claim?
How long it takes to settle your claim will depend on:
- How much are you asking for? If you suffer severe injuries, and therefore substantial medical bills, it may take longer to settle your claim than if you need relatively minor compensation for your injuries.
- What are the maximums of the policy? If the cost of your injuries significantly exceeds the coverage offered by the liable driver’s policy, then you may get a settlement in the maximum amount of the policy faster.
- How much will you negotiate? Sometimes, your attorney will need to go through several rounds of negotiation with the other side to reach a settlement agreement. If you need a fast settlement, accepting a lower offer can speed the process along, but it may limit the amount of compensation you receive. Having patience and the ability to hold out can up your odds of getting more money.
If you suffered injuries in a Philadelphia pedestrian accident, contact the experienced attorneys at the Levin Firm right away for a free case evaluation.
When you need a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, or New Jersey personal injury attorney to represent you, a family member, or a friend who has suffered a pedestrian accident injury, call The Levin Firm at (215) 825-5183 or contact us online.