To talk about your pedestrian accident in greater detail and plan your next steps, reach out to Reeves & Mestayer at 228-374-5151.
Why You Need a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
You may wonder if hiring an attorney is truly necessary after an accident. You may have heard the oft-repeated idea that a driver is always at fault when they hit a pedestrian—and if that’s true, why would you need an attorney?
To start, that simply isn’t true. There are many situations in which a pedestrian can cause an accident, and when that happens, it’s important to figure that out early so you can plan for any legal issues that may arise.
Second, even if the insurance company knows their driver is at fault, that doesn’t mean they’ll be jumping at the chance to give you a full and fair settlement. In fact, you can expect them to drive down your settlement amount at every turn.
They might try to find out if you played any role in the accident. Did you cross at a legal crosswalk? Did you have the green walk signal? Did you check both ways before crossing? The questions they ask you might make you feel like you are the one who was negligent, not their driver.
You might also notice that the insurance adjuster downplays the severity of your injuries. This is one reason they call so quickly after an accident occurs. If they can get to you before you’ve sought medical care and discovered the extent of your injuries, they can often get away with paying you less. The more they can convince you that your injuries are “not that bad,” the easier it is for them to pay you an insultingly low settlement.
Your attorney knows exactly what insurance companies do to protect their bottom line, and they can protect you from these unethical actions. The insurance company has a large legal team fighting for them. You also need an advocate whose only priority is your best interests.
Causes of Gulfport, MS Pedestrian Accidents
Figuring out the cause of a pedestrian accident is a key part in determining liability. Pedestrian accidents in Gulfport, MS are often caused by:
- Distracted drivers or pedestrians. Distracted driving is an epidemic, causing increased fatalities across the United States. Drivers who glance down to check their phone for a second put themselves in a position to cause a serious pedestrian accident. This can also be said for pedestrians. If a pedestrian steps into traffic because they are distracted by their phone, they may cause a collision.
- Inattentive driving. Even if a driver isn’t actively distracted, they may still not be paying enough attention to the road. This is particularly true when pedestrians are involved, as drivers might check for other cars without stopping to check for pedestrians. When turning, a driver might look for other cars in the lane without thinking to look for walkers.
- Speeding. Attentive drivers can often cause crashes if they are speeding. No matter how attentive a driver is, they can only stop so fast when they see an obstacle.
- Driving under the influence. Impaired drivers pose a serious threat to themselves and the people around them. Not only do impaired drivers hit pedestrians sometimes in crosswalks, they might even hit them on sidewalks.
- Drowsy driving. Driving while fatigued can be nearly as dangerous as driving while under the influence. A tired driver might be inattentive to obstacles or unable to stop in time when they see a pedestrian.
- Ignoring traffic signals. This is an issue for both pedestrians and drivers. If pedestrians cross when they are not legally permitted or drivers ignore a pedestrian’s right of way, tragedy can occur.
- Darting into traffic. A pedestrian bolting into traffic can easily cause a fatal accident.
- Jaywalking. Jaywalking, in addition to being illegal in most jurisdictions, is also likely to cause a collision.
Common Injuries Caused by Pedestrian Collisions
Injuries vary, depending on the severity of the crash and the speed of the car. Commonly reported injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Road rash and subsequent infection
- Spinal injuries
- Nerve damage
- Cuts and lacerations
- Soft tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
Estimating and Fighting for Compensation
Pedestrian accidents can be extremely expensive. Pedestrians have no defenses when they are involved in an accident, and as a result, they are likely to suffer severe or fatal injuries. This is why it’s so important to reach out to an attorney after an accident—if you accept an insurance company’s first offer, it’s likely that you won’t even have enough to cover your medical bills.
Some types of compensation awarded in pedestrian accident claims include:
- Medical bills, including ambulance transportation, surgical expenses, medications, followup visits, and diagnostic tests
- Future medical expenses if your injuries will require long-term or lifelong care
- Lost wages to cover your days, weeks, or months spent away from work
- Lost future income if your ability to work is permanently damaged
- Pain and suffering
- Disability and disfigurement
- Mental anguish
Getting full and fair compensation is key to helping you recover from the trauma of a pedestrian accident. To get the compensation you’re due, you’ll need to prove that the accident was the other person’s fault, and that the accident caused your injuries. On top of that, you’ll need to prove the severity of your injuries. Your attorney will help you gather the necessary evidence and handle negotiations with the insurance company.
Find Out How Reeves & Mestayer Can Help You
We know a pedestrian accident can leave you traumatized, without income, and struggling to plan for the future. Our team is here to help you move forward and fight for the compensation you’re owed. Schedule a consultation now by calling us at 228-374-5151 or reaching out to us online.