Did you know pedestrian accidents occur every 8 minutes in the United States? The National Center of Statistics and Analysis reports that every 109 minutes, a pedestrian is killed in an auto accident. Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Association and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report that pedestrian accidents comprise 11 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities in the United States. In fact, between 1975 and 2005,180,000 pedestrians have been killed in auto accidents. This means that the per capita pedestrian death rate for 2005 was 1.6 per 100,000 people.
More often than not, pedestrian accidents occur because motor vehicle drivers are careless and fail to lookout for pedestrians, despite the caution that pedestrians exercise. Sadly, in accidents between vehicle drivers and pedestrians, the pedestrian is often at the losing end. This is unfortunate, given that these kinds of accidents most commonly occur on California roads and interstates. What’s more, walkers and runners are often the victim of inherent biases which exist among law enforcement officers.
Every year, grave and serious injuries arise from pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles. These result in enormous financial losses to the injured individuals. The damages they may incur include medical expenses, loss of income due to lost wages, funeral expenses, as well as compensation for any pain and suffering caused by their injuries. If the injured party has a spouse or family, the spouse of the injured person has the right to recover for the loss of the services of his or her spouse. While a monetary recovery can never tantamount to the damage that a pedestrian accident victim experiences, it can help alleviate any financial burdens that an injured victim will experience.
After a pedestrian accident occurs, the insurance company for the automobile driver who may be held liable for the accident will immediately start an investigation on the matter. The insurance company of the liable party will try to limit the recovery of the person who has been injured, keeping it to the lowest amount possible. Since they have specific procedures which govern pedestrian claims, the insurance company will follow a series of elaborate steps in order to lessen the amount of recovery they owe the injured party. They will gather statements from witnesses, examine and test the premises being called into question, take photos, and do what they can within the first 24 to 48 hours to establish the extent of the accident victim’s injuries.
If you are the victim of a pedestrian accident, know that insurance companies will attempt to trick you into making a quick settlement, just so they can avoid further responsibilities, such as paying for medical procedures, lost wages and other related damages. An injury resulting from a pedestrian accident usually takes months to evaluate, and can only be established after a specialist physician has made a detailed diagnosis. If you let an insurance company finalize a settlement in a matter of days, you would have lost much in terms of the recovery you need, such as rehabilitation, physical therapy for your injuries and further surgeries. You need to also consider that your health insurance company will seek to be reimbursed for your medical bills. Before agreeing to any sort of arrangement, you need to know the health insurance company’s limitations to receiving reimbursements.
You can only truly appropriate the value of a pedestrian accident or personal injury claim if you have fully evaluated the extent of the injury, it’s nature, any recoverable losses, and all related liability issues. You need to know how insurance companies work so that you don’t become a victim of injustice on top of being an accident victim. It’s best to secure the services of a San Francisco and Silicon Valley personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling these complicated pedestrian cases, an attorney who will be ready to litigate your claim or your behalf, especially when the insurance company attempts to pressure you into an unfair settlement.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident and want to know your rights, contact Fuller Law and claim your free, no-obligation consultation with a San Francisco and Silicon Valley personal injury attorney.