Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Attorney
All drivers are required to follow the rules of the road and pay close attention to their surroundings. Any type of motor vehicle accident can be dangerous or deadly, but the risk is exponentially higher if pedestrians are involved. If a car accident involved a pedestrian, those involved need to contact the police and emergency medical services immediately.
The state of Pennsylvania follows a comparative negligence law, meaning the victim of a personal injury may have their amount of claimable damages reduced by their percentage of fault in an incident. For example, if a pedestrian illegally crossed the road instead of using a designated crosswalk, or did not wait for a safe crossing signal, they may be partially at fault for the incident. In most cases, the driver that strikes a pedestrian will be liable for the injuries the victim sustains, or held accountable for their death.
Why Choose Ciccarelli Law Offices’ Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love was hit by a car while walking, the Philadelphia pedestrian accident lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices are going to be by your side the whole way. We understand what it takes to secure the compensation you need so you and your family can get through this. Pedestrian accident injuries can be severe, and the aftermath can become complicated. Lee Ciccarelli founded this law firm in order to ensure the client’s needs come first.
- At the Ciccarelli Law Offices, our Philadelphia accident attorneys have decades of combined legal experience to put to work on your case. We will vigorously negotiate on your behalf to receive a fair settlement.
- We will never recommend that you settle for less than you are entitled to. Our team will not hesitate to take your case to trial if that is what it takes to secure the compensation you deserve.
- Lee Ciccarelli began this firm after gaining years of litigation experience and at the negotiating table. He understands the tactics used by insurance companies and defendant legal teams and will be ready to counter them.
- We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we will not charge until we win your case.
Cases Won & Client Testimonials | Ciccarelli Law Offices
You should always search for a Philadelphia pedestrian accident lawyer with a track record of success. We are proud of the work we have done on behalf of clients in this area. Our injury attorneys, such as our Philadelphia slip and fall lawyers, have secured millions of dollars in compensation for clients suffering from injuries. Our success rate for personal injury cases is over 95%.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents In Philadelphia
When we examine the information available from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, we can see that pedestrian accidents represented 2.6% of all traffic crashes reported across the Commonwealth during the latest reporting year, but they represented 14.8% of all traffic fatalities that same year.
When we examine the most common causes of pedestrian-related accidents, we will often find these incidents revolve around the negligence of the driver and occasionally pedestrian negligence. First, we can examine the main actions of the pedestrians at the time the incident occurred, which include entering or crossing a specified location, walking, running, or jogging, standing on or around the roadway, or another cause.
When pedestrians are around, vehicle drivers often do not see them until it is too late. Some of the main causes of these incidents include driver distraction, impaired driving, drivers operating too fast for conditions, and drivers failing to stop at stop signs or yield at yield signs.
There are times when a pedestrian could be partially at fault for an incident, particularly if they enter the roadway when there is a clear and imminent danger posed by another vehicle that has the right of way. And, yes, there are times when pedestrians are distracted or impaired or when they fail to follow traffic laws associated with roadway usage.
Sometimes, the at-fault party will make unfounded allegations of shared fault or try and shift all of the blame for the incident onto the pedestrian. We encourage you to work with your pedestrian accident lawyer in Philadelphia to push back against these allegations.
Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident In Philadelphia
There are various steps that pedestrian accident victims can take if they want to recover compensation after sustaining an injury caused by another party. The following steps will help ensure not only the pedestrian accident victim’s well-being but also their ability to recover compensation through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit:
Seek medical treatment: Pedestrians need to seek medical care after they are involved in any type of accident. If the injuries are relatively severe, individuals should take an ambulance to the hospital right away. However, we encourage anyone who has been involved in a collision with a vehicle to seek medical assistance as soon as possible, even if there is no pain or visible injuries right away. Sometimes, the signs and symptoms of pedestrian accident injuries do not occur until hours or even a day or so after the incident. Establishing a link between the incident and any injuries is crucial for a smooth insurance settlement process.
- Call 911: The police need to get involved when a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle. The vast majority of these incidents must be reported according to Pennsylvania law, and police officers can come to the scene to conduct an investigation and fill out the accident report. You will need the accident report to move forward with the insurance claim.
- Obtain evidence: It may be possible to gather some evidence at the scene of a pedestrian accident, but only if the injuries are not severe and only if doing so would not place individuals in further danger. Using a phone or some other type of camera, individuals can take photographs of everything at the scene, including injuries, vehicle damage, debris, causes of the incident, traffic or weather conditions, and more. There are often eyewitnesses who stop at the scene, and their names and contact information should be written down so they can be contacted later on to give more thorough statements.
- Contact insurance carriers: Pedestrian accident claims may involve auto insurance carriers, particularly the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. We encourage individuals to report the incident to the insurance carrier as soon as possible but not to go into much detail with the initial report. Insurance carriers have strict reporting deadlines, but they do not need extensive information other than knowing that the incident occurred and that you are seeking medical treatment.
- Call an attorney: You need to reach out to a Philadelphia pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can get involved quickly and investigate every aspect of the claim. Your lawyer will also take over all communication with other parties, including insurance carriers, so you can focus on recovering from your injuries.
- Avoid social media: It can be tempting to post on social media about your pedestrian accident, but we ask you to refrain from doing so. Any posts you make on social media related to the incident, or even just information about your everyday life after the incident, could jeopardize the claim. Pedestrian accident victims should avoid posting on social media at all until after their claim is settled.
- Continue medical treatment: It can be tempting to stop following a doctor’s orders after you start to feel better, but we caution anyone from doing so. Individuals need to continue all medical treatments recommended by their doctor if they want to have the best chance of recovering total compensation for their losses
Time Limit for Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim
It is imperative for individuals to understand they have a limited amount of time to file a pedestrian accident claim in Philadelphia. According to the Pennsylvania personal injury statute of limitations, individuals have two years to file a lawsuit against an alleged negligent party. If a pedestrian accident victim in Philadelphia fails to file a lawsuit within this two-year timeframe, the case will be dismissed, and they will not be able to recover any compensation for their losses.
We do want to caution pedestrian accident victims that they need to be aware of insurance carrier deadlines as well. When a pedestrian accident occurs, it is not uncommon for automobile insurance carriers to be involved in the claim. Each of these insurance carriers will have its own reporting deadline, and failing to meet this deadline could result in a claim delay or even a denial.
Necessary Information in a Pedestrian Accident Case
As with any motor vehicle collision, one of the most important documents for legal proceedings will be the initial police report. Since Philadelphia falls under Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence law, the circumstances of the incident will be vital to assessing fault in the incident.
Injured pedestrians will likely be covered by their health insurance for their injuries, but if the driver that struck them was under the influence of illicit drugs or alcohol, they may be able to claim punitive damages for the defendant’s illegal actions. The police report will be crucial for establishing the driver’s state at the time of the incident.
Even low-speed collisions can inflict serious injuries, and the victim will likely be taken to a hospital for medical treatment. The doctors will assess the extent of the victim’s injuries, and that will help determine if they will have any long-term health complications. Vehicle collisions can result in fractured bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, internal bleeding, or organ damage and can lead to serious long-term disabilities. Victims may become partially or fully paralyzed, require extensive physical therapy, or lose some motor functions.
Insurance companies typically try to pay as little as possible on insurance claims, and victims of a pedestrian accident may be unable to return to work due to their injuries. In such cases, having an experienced legal professional will make an enormous difference for the victims pursuing legal action against the person that hit them.
Contact our Experienced Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Lawyers | (215) 228-0100
Every case is different and it can get difficult to deal with all of it on your own, if you would like legal representation or simply just want to know if you have an injury case, contact our Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Attorneys at Ciccarelli Law Offices in PA. Our law firm specializes in these type of cases and will help you figure out if you have a case and will protect your legal rights and fight to receive maximum compensation for your injuries and economic loss.
Proving Negligence in Philadelphia
As with any personal injury case, your attorney will need to prove that the defendant was negligent to claim damages successfully. This involves establishing three things:
- The defendant owed the victim and the public a duty to act with reasonable care. In pedestrian accident situations, this means drivers must follow traffic laws, drive at safe speeds under the posted speed limit, and exercise caution in hazardous driving conditions. They must also never use a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The defendant breached this duty of care through some action. This may be a failure to stop at a stop sign or red light, driving at excessive speeds, or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- The victim’s injuries were a direct result of the defendant’s actions.
If negligence is established, it is likely you will win your case. Since Pennsylvania follows a comparative negligence law, your degree of fault in the incident will be assessed. If you crossed the street illegally outside of a crosswalk or did not wait for a crosswalk signal, you may be held partially accountable for the incident and have your claimable damages reduced by an amount proportionate to your level of fault.
Types of Compensation After a Pedestrian Injury
If you are injured in a Philadelphia pedestrian accident, you could be entitled to various types of compensation. This includes both economic and non-economic compensation. This compensation can come from various avenues. Commonly, a pedestrian who is harmed in an accident will file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier. If the insurance carrier does not offer a fair amount, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party (and their insurance carrier).
Below are some of the most common types of damages recovered by pedestrian accident victims. When discussing compensation for a motor vehicle accident, there are two basic types – economic damages and non-economic damages.
- Medical treatment. The cost of your medical treatment is calculable economic damage. The compensation you recover for this is used to cover your past, current, and future expected medical treatment needed due to the pedestrian accident. Arriving at a number for these damages can be done by gathering medical bills and obtaining expert medical witness testimony about how much medical care will be necessary for the victim in the future.
- Lost income. Those injured in pedestrian crashes are often not able to work while they recover from their injuries. In some cases, they are permanently disabled and unable to work at all. Lost income is considered economic damage, and this can be calculated by gathering a pedestrian accident victim’s proof of employment and income (W2s, paystubs, tax returns). Expert economic witnesses can testify to a person’s lost future earnings for severe injuries.
- Pain and suffering. This is considered non-economic damage, and we will look at a person’s physical and mental pain and suffering. There is no set formula to determine the value of pain and suffering damage, but these calculations are generally based on factors such as the severity of the injury and the expected recovery time. These damages can include:
- long-term physical pain
- emotional distress
- loss of enjoyment of life
- loss of consortium
- Punitive damages. In cases where the at-fault party was grossly negligent in causing your injuries, punitive damages may be awarded. These damages are designed to punish the person responsible for the pedestrian accident and deter them from behaving similarly in the future.
In general, there is no cap on how a pedestrian accident victim can recover in a personal injury lawsuit. You should be aware that there is a cap on how much you can recover in damages in personal injury lawsuits against the Commonwealth. This is a cap of $250,000 per incident and $1,000,000 in total aggregate damages. There is a $500,000 cap on damages against local government agencies in a personal injury lawsuit.
How to File a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit in PA?
As mentioned above, you can recover compensation in various ways following a Philadelphia pedestrian accident. This will depend on who the at-fault party is in the case. Often, this is a careless or negligent driver. Other times, it may be a local municipality.
- You need to consider seeking an attorney, even if you are not sure you will file a lawsuit. By securing legal assistance at the beginning of this process, you are ensuring that all of the evidence necessary to establish liability in the cases is gathered. Your attorney will understand this process, whether you go through an insurance claim or need to file a civil personal injury lawsuit.
- Filing an insurance claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company will be an early step. This will operate much like any other traffic accident claim, and you can be sure the insurance carrier will do everything possible to lower the amount they payout in a settlement. Your attorney will vigorously negotiate with the insurance carrier on your behalf to obtain a fair settlement.
- If the insurance carrier rejects a claim or refuses to offer a fair amount, it may be necessary to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver and their insurance carrier. If they do not have insurance, your lawsuit will be directly against the at-fault driver. This process will usher in a new round of negotiations, and many cases are settled before they go to trial.
- If your claim is against a municipality for their negligence (broken traffic light, poorly placed crosswalk, etc.), you may need to file a lawsuit against the government agency.
- If a case goes to trial, your attorney will prepare every aspect of the case and be ready to argue the facts in front of a jury.
Call a Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
In any traffic accident involving a pedestrian, reliable legal counsel will make the process easier and smoother for everyone involved. At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our Philadelphia injury lawyers have extensive experience with all types of personal injury cases, and we will explore every option for securing compensation for our clients. Visit our website or reach out to our team if you have any questions about pedestrian accident laws in Philadelphia, or if you would like to start reviewing your case today.