When you’re walking down the sidewalk or crosswalk, you expect the motorists around you to pay attention and follow traffic laws to keep you safe. Unfortunately, negligent driving practices cause pedestrian accidents by the thousands every year in the DC area.
If you or a loved one has been hit as a pedestrian, a dedicated pedestrian accident attorney can protect your rights and fight to ensure that you are treated fairly. Experienced DC accident attorney Johnnie Bond and his legal team are ready to pursue full financial compensation for your physical and emotional injuries.
What to Know About Pedestrian Accident Claims
If you are considered to be at fault for causing the accident, contributory negligence rules in the DMV could prevent or limit your ability to receive damages. That makes the collection of evidence especially critical in a pedestrian accident case. You need to be able to show that you were following pedestrian laws and that the driver failed to yield to you.
If a motorist hit you while you were jaywalking, for example, you might not be eligible for compensation. However, if you can show that a motorist struck you while you were in the crosswalk and following the rules, then you may be entitled to damages. The way you present your case can make all the difference.
It is important to give your pedestrian accident attorney a detailed description of what happened and start working with legal counsel early so they have the best opportunities to build a strong case. They will also need ample time to anticipate and counter the strategies of the defense team.
IMPORTANT SAFETY WARNING FOR PEDESTRIANS IN THE DMV
Even when you are observing all the traffic laws, that does not mean everyone else on the street is. Cars often run red lights or travel in the wrong lanes. To protect yourself and your loved ones from serious injuries, you should:
- Only cross the street at the crosswalk
- Wait to cross until the light is green
- If there is no traffic signal, make sure no traffic is visible before crossing. Don’t assume cars will stop for you even if they are supposed to yield
- Keep alert while crossing. Don’t text while you’re walking or listen to music on headphones
- Look around you 360°continuously as your cross until you reach the sidewalk on the other side. Drivers could be coming from any direction, even on a one-way or restricted access street. Cars and trucks also frequently run across curbs.
- Train your children in safe crossing habits
Negligent and reckless drivers make the streets very dangerous for pedestrians. You need to watch out for these drivers and anticipate their actions to keep yourself safe. Knowing that a driver was supposed to yield the right of way to you can be a small consolation when you’re suffering the pain of debilitating injuries. You can hold that driver liable and receive compensation, but it is better to avoid the accident and injuries altogether.
Frequent Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in the DC Metro Area
Negligent motorists cause a large number of the pedestrian accidents in the DC area, but pedestrians or third parties may also be at fault. Here are some common causes of pedestrian accidents:
- Reckless, careless, or distracted driving
- Driving while intoxicated
- Failure to stop at stop signs, yield signs, and traffic lights
- Drifting onto the shoulder or sidewalk
- Not turning on headlights at night
- Aggressive driving
As a defense, an attorney may argue that a pedestrian who was injured in an accident was doing something to cause unnecessary risk, such as walking into the street, texting while walking, or crossing against the signal at a crosswalk. Your attorney will work to show that your actions were not the cause of the accident.
If you’re not sure who’s at fault in your case, contact a pedestrian accidents attorney. Here at Johnnie Bond Law, we’ll review your case and help you determine if you have a strong compensation claim.
Common Injuries Resulting from Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can result in catastrophic injuries or even fatalities. Some common injuries that result from pedestrian accidents include:
- Bruises and lacerations
- Concussions and head trauma
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Head, neck, and back trauma
- Internal injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
Victims may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, future needs, pain and suffering, and other effects of the accident. If you or a loved one sustained a pedestrian injury caused by a negligent driver, seek legal advice and representation from a trusted accident lawyer as soon as possible after the accident so they can assist with collecting evidence while it is fresh.
Pedestrian Accident FAQs
What happens if a car hits a pedestrian?
When the driver of any type of vehicle hits a pedestrian, they are supposed to stop and provide contact information to the person they hit. If there are injuries, they should remain on site until police arrive and take a report. Unfortunately, drivers often flee the scene. This can leave them open to criminal hit and run penalties in addition to any civil liability for the injuries. If the driver leaves without providing contact information, try to make note of any details about the vehicle and locate witnesses who may remember information about the vehicle or driver.
The pedestrian should get a full medical exam, even if they do not notice obvious injuries. A doctor may be able to detect hidden injuries such as internal bleeding or head trauma. If the accident causes injuries, it is a good idea for the pedestrian to consult an attorney for assistance as soon as possible.
Who is liable when a car hits a pedestrian?
In many cases, the driver of the vehicle can be held liable for the accident. Other times, if the actions of a third party forced the driver to act in a way that caused the collision, that person would be partially or fully liable. For example, if a driver backed out of a driveway without looking and a car swerved out of the path of that driver and hit a pedestrian, the driver backing up would be at fault.
If a pedestrian is partially to blame for the cause of the accident, the contributory negligence rule would prevent them from recovering compensation in Maryland and Virginia, but DC rules would allow recovery so long as the pedestrian’s actions accounted for less than 50% of the blame.
Do pedestrians always have the right of way in DMV?
Many people believe that pedestrians always have the right of way, but that is not true in DC, Maryland or Virginia. Pedestrians do have the right-of-way in crosswalks, even if they are not marked. So, when a pedestrian is crossing at an intersection, drivers are expected to yield to them.
However, if a pedestrian crosses the street someplace other than a crosswalk, they are expected to yield to approaching vehicles. Similarly, pedestrians have the right of way on sidewalks, but if they choose to walk in the road instead, they do not have the right of way.
Where are some common places where pedestrian accidents occur?
Not surprisingly, areas with more pedestrian and vehicle traffic are also the sites of more pedestrian accidents. Because many pedestrians cross the streets at intersections where they are supposed to be protected by law, those are also a common accident site.
If I don’t have health insurance, can I get medical help after a pedestrian accident?
You deserve medical attention after a pedestrian accident. You are entitled to care and a prompt exam will provide evidence of your injuries. If you do not have health insurance, your personal injury lawyer could help you recover compensation to cover bills.
Can a pedestrian be liable in a car accident?
If a pedestrian’s actions are the cause of a car accident, they may be held liable for the accident. It is essential to gather evidence regarding the cause of any accident to establish responsibility. If the pedestrian’s actions were only part of the cause of an accident in D.C., they could still recover compensation for the percentage of fault belonging to others.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Serving the DMV
If you need a pedestrian accident attorney in the DC area who will stand up for your rights, you can trust the team at Johnnie Bond Law. We provide victims of pedestrian crashes and their families with knowledgeable and empathetic representation to cover all personal injury needs. We’ll stay with you through the entire process, from handling insurance companies to taking your case to trial.
The time after an accident is difficult, but you don’t have to face it alone. We can help you fight for financial compensation to cover your losses, including time spent in physical or emotional pain. Call Johnnie Bond Law today for a free consultation at 202-683-6803, or use our online contact form.
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