If you are in an automobile accident with another vehicle, you may be generally familiar with how the claims process works. However, do you know how it works if you are a pedestrian? What do you do if you get hit by a car while walking in Virginia?
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are a common problem all around Virginia and the rest of the country. If you sustained injuries as a pedestrian, you need a skilled Virginia pedestrian accident attorney who can help.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident in Virginia
If you are a pedestrian in Virginia and struck by a vehicle, it’s crucial to remain calm. If you don’t, you could further injure yourself or make a mistake that could jeopardize your claim. After a pedestrian accident, you want to get yourself to safety. You need to protect yourself and get out of the way in case more vehicles are coming.
Call the Police
You should call the police right away, even if you think your injuries are only minor. After an accident, your adrenaline is running high. That adrenaline could mask your injuries, so you may not realize how seriously you are hurt. A police officer needs to come to the scene and take a report. This report will also be critical in your injury claim.
Make sure to exchange information with the driver of the vehicle. You need to get their name, address, phone number, driver license number, vehicle make and model, etc. If there are any witnesses present, be sure to get their contact information as well.
Try to take photos of the scene of the accident if you are not too severely injured. You can never have too many pictures of the crash scene, the vehicle, your injuries, etc. These photos could wind up being very useful in your future Virginia personal injury claim.
Get Medical Attention
If you are not transported from the scene via emergency response personnel, you should still get medical treatment right away. You may have injuries that are more serious than you realize. Internal injuries may not be visible, which is why you need to see a medical provider as soon as possible. Plus, you will need supporting medical documentation to present as evidence in your accident claim.
Contact an Attorney
Next, you should contact a Virginia pedestrian accident attorney. If you suffered severe injuries, you need someone who can review your case and let you know whether you have a valid personal injury case.
What Is the Average Settlement Amount of a Pedestrian Accident in Virginia?
Unfortunately, there is no set amount or average for a pedestrian accident settlement. Your claim value will depend on a variety of factors. The reason is that no two cases are the same. Each accident has different circumstances and different injuries. Factors that influence the amount of your potential claim value include:
- Type of injuries,
- Severity of injuries,
- How long it took for your injuries to resolve,
- Your prognosis,
- Disability or disfigurement,
- Loss of earnings,
- Whether you could return to work again in the same capacity, and
- Pain and suffering;
If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident in Virginia, you need an attorney who can help you fight for the maximum compensation you are owed. Pursuing a claim for damages can be complicated, especially if your injuries are severe. Don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you. Instead, let the experienced legal team at River Run Law help.
Common Types of Injuries in Virginia Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians have no protection from vehicles and potentially very little time to escape if they see an accident is about to happen. Many pedestrian accidents involve severe to catastrophic injuries. Even low-speed collisions can result in devastating injuries. Some of the more common types of injuries we see in Virginia pedestrian accidents include:
- Severe lacerations,
- Significant bruising,
- Torn ligaments,
- Broken bones,
- Internal bleeding,
- Organ damage,
- Dental injuries,
- Facial injuries,
- Psychological trauma,
- Spinal cord damage,
- Traumatic brain injuries, and
- Wrongful death.
The extent of a victim’s injuries will depend on many factors. These factors include impact points on the body and vehicle, the force of the impact, how fast the vehicle was traveling, and where the victim landed after the accident.
How Do Virginia Pedestrian Accidents Occur?
There are countless ways a pedestrian could be injured in an accident. Some of the most common causes of Virginia pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving,
- Driving under the influence,
- Texting and driving,
- Poor visibility in the area,
- Violating a traffic law, or
- Exceeding the posted speed limit.
In limited scenarios, a vehicle defect can contribute to the accident. For example, a driver’s tire may blow out, causing them to lose control, or their brakes may fail when they try to stop at a traffic light.
Types of Damages Available in a Virginia Pedestrian Accident
Understandably, potential clients want to know what type of compensation they might get in a personal injury case. Depending on the circumstances of your case, possible damages may include:
- Medical costs to date,
- Future expected medical expenses,
- Lost wages to date,
- Pain and suffering, and
- Future loss of earning capacity.
In minimal cases, you could be eligible to receive punitive damages. These are damages that are intended to punish the defendant, not compensate you as the plaintiff. They are allowed in Virginia personal injury cases in select scenarios. You can receive punitive damages only if you can show the defendant acted with willful and wanton disregard for your rights or acted with malice. If a defendant’s conduct doesn’t qualify for punitive damages, you can still collect for the other damages provided you are not at fault.
If the victim passes away, individual family members may have the right to bring a wrongful death claim. Damages in a wrongful death claim can compensate surviving family members for their losses, such as loss of companionship and financial support.
Proving Fault in a Virginia Pedestrian Accident
Virginia is one of only a few states that follow the legal theory of contributory negligence. This law says that you can only collect damages if the other party is 100% at fault. You cannot have contributed to the accident even 1%; otherwise, your entire claim will be barred. Virginia is very different from other states that use comparative negligence. If a jury finds you 20% at fault in a comparative negligence state, you could still collect 80% of your damages. If a jury in Virginia finds you 20% at fault, you will collect nothing.
Insurance companies will be looking for any way to pin even one percent of fault on you so they can avoid paying out any money on your claim. That’s why having a legal advocate on your side is so important.
Contact a Virginia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love was injured while walking as a pedestrian in Virginia, you need an experienced Virginia pedestrian accident attorney assisting you with the claims process. At River Run Law, we have years of experience helping clients just like you. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation, and let us show you how we can help you recover the compensation you are owed.