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Pedestrian Accidents: FAQ

What should I do after a pedestrian accident?

After an accident involving a pedestrian, it's generally advisable to take the following steps:

  • Call the police and an ambulance if necessary
  • Take down the driver's information, including the driver's name, their driver's license information, insurance information, their license plate number and any additional contact information.
  • Take photographs of the scene, injuries and any damage
  • Give an accurate, detailed police report once officers arrive
  • Seek medical attention if an ambulance was not called
  • Call the insurance company to file a claim

How long do injured pedestrians have to file a lawsuit?

Every state has statutes of limitations that place strict time limits on how long injured parties are given to pursue civil remedies. Kentucky and Louisiana victims have only one year to bring legal actions connected with pedestrian accidents while those in North Dakota can wait for as long as six years. In most states, a two- or three-year statute of limitations is the norm. This period generally begins on the date of the accident, but extensions may be granted when plaintiffs were not immediately aware of the full scope of their injuries.

What kind of damages are awarded in pedestrian accident lawsuits?

Pedestrians who have been injured by negligent drivers are generally awarded compensatory rather than punitive damages when they prevail in court. Compensatory damages help accident victims to cope with financial setbacks like health care expenses and lost wages, but they can also be awarded to compensate them for their pain and suffering and emotional distress. Personal injury attorneys may use paychecks and medical bills to determine compensatory damages claims, but putting a value on pain or anguish can be a far more subjective process. Damages can also cover future expenses, and pedestrian accident victims may also seek compensation for their long-term medical care and the lingering effects of their injuries.

Do all civil lawsuits go to court?

Civil jury trials are expensive and unpredictable, and attorneys for both plaintiffs and defendants may seek to avoid these costs and risks by reaching an out-of-court settlement. Injury accident lawyers could discuss these matters with the auto insurance company involved as well as the defendant. In addition to specifying the amount of damages, civil settlement agreements sometimes contain non-disclosure provisions that prevent the parties involved from publicly discussing the amount of compensation that was proffered.

What happens during a deposition?

Depositions are part of the pre-trial discovery process, and they are designed to allow the attorneys on both sides to gather the information they will need to advocate effectively on behalf of their clients. Depositions are generally held at an attorney’s office, and a reporter is usually present to provide a record of what is said. Civil plaintiffs can expect to be asked difficult and even accusatory questions during a deposition, but these questions could also provide their attorneys with a valuable insight into the likely defense strategy. Plaintiffs should also be aware that attorneys may ask questions in depositions that would not be allowed in a courtroom.

What kind of evidence is presented in pedestrian accident lawsuits?

Jury trials are a search for the truth, and all of the evidence presented must be relevant and verifiable. Police reports and witness statements may be introduced to establish the sequence of events, and doctors may be called upon to explain the nature of the injuries suffered. While prior bad acts are generally inadmissible in civil lawsuits as they are in criminal trials, they may be presented if they are relevant to the facts at hand. For example, details of a defendant’s drug or alcohol use would usually be considered prejudicial, but this kind of evidence may be allowed if police discovered that the driver was impaired at the time of a pedestrian-vehicle accident.

Speak with a Personal Injury Attorney

Injuries cost money, including time away from work, medical bills and other complications. You should have an attorney help you with your claim. Not sure if you have a good injury case? Speak to a local personal injury attorney about the merits of your case. This one step can help you protect your rights and take the proper next steps.

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