Pedestrian Accident Attorney Columbia
Being injured in an accident with a car as a pedestrian is a scary prospect, and, unfortunately, it’s not uncommon. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,735 pedestrians died in accidents in 2013 and an additional 60,000 were injured.
Pedestrians who suffer injuries as the result of a collision with a car often suffer massive injuries. In accidents involving speeds in excess of 30 miles per hour, those injuries tend to be fatal to the victim. But a car doesn’t need to be going fast to cause serious harm to someone. Speeds of even 10 miles per hour can have dangerous consequences.
Who’s at Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?
When a driver and a pedestrian are involved in an accident, determining fault can be challenging. The law determines fault through negligence. As citizens, the law requires us to exercise reasonable care around one another, and when we don’t, we’ve committed negligence. Drivers, for example, may commit negligence if they fail to yield the right of way to pedestrians. Pedestrians, on the other hand, may commit their own form of negligence if they don’t use a crosswalk.
In Maryland and some other states, the courts use a principle known as pure contributory negligence to assign fault. One party needs to be wholly responsible for an accident for the other to recover damages from personal injury. If, for example, a pedestrian is only 10% at fault for an accident, he or she won’t be eligible to get additional compensation from the other responsible party. Victims can, however, still get a payout from their own insurance companies. It is important to consult a pedestrian accident attorney to know just which principles and laws apply to you in the area where the accident occurred.
Who Pays for My Medical Expenses?
In Maryland, drivers must carry personal injury protection coverage, or PIP. Your own auto insurance policy should cover your medical expenses, regardless of who’s at fault for the accident. In pedestrian accidents, however, the procedure is a bit different. The driver’s insurance should cover your medical expenses, up to the PIP limit. If you’re still struggling to make ends meet, you can work with a pedestrian accident lawyer to file a personal injury claim against the responsible party, providing that he or she was wholly at fault for the accident.
To determine fault, both the police and the insurance company will conduct a thorough investigation. They may take eyewitness accounts, photographs, and look at traffic cameras to analyze the scene. A police report will make a note of who the officer thought was at fault, but it’s not uncommon for an insurance company to dispute this finding.
I’m Missing Work and Losing Money. Now What?
Injuries from pedestrian accidents can be severe, and the effects may follow you around for years, even a lifetime. Depending on your industry, you may miss months of work. Disability insurance may not be enough to cover your expenses. When faced with mounting bills, even lost earning capacity, what can you do?
Contacting a pedestrian accident attorney in Columbia, MD is the first step in regaining your economic freedom. A settlement cannot erase the memory of a traumatic accident, but it can give you and your loved ones the resources to move forward. A fair settlement will cover any additional medical and rehabilitation expenses, make up for lost wages, and serve as punishment for the guilty party in the case of gross negligence.
Serving Columbia Area Families
At Discepolo LLP, we’re committed to serving Columbia area accident victims and their loved ones. Your first step in recovering damages from a pedestrian accident is to call our law firm to set up a free initial consultation. We’ll review the details of your accident, and if we have legal grounds for a suit, we’ll take your case on a contingency-fee basis. This means that you only pay if we win.