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.
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.
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 the 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.
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.