Every day, tourists and residents alike walk around our city streets to take in the sights. And because Washington, DC is such a walkable city, it's no wonder that pedestrian accidents occur on a regular basis. When a pedestrian gets into an accident, it can result in catastrophic injuries. They will need the help of an experienced Washington, DC pedestrian accident lawyer to get compensation for their injuries.
In most cases, pedestrian accidents result from negligence by the motor vehicle driver. Careless drivers not paying attention to the road may fail to notice pedestrians crossing at crosswalks or walking along the side of the road. When a pedestrian is injured in a car accident, they may not know what their next steps should be or how they will pay for their injuries.
Dealing with the insurance company on your own can be difficult. The insurance adjuster will often offer a settlement that doesn’t cover all your expenses or find some reason to deny your claim. When you are dealing with serious injuries from a pedestrian accident in Washington, DC, you’re going to need a skilled DC pedestrian accident lawyer to fight on your behalf.
At Regan Zambri Long PLLC, we have a long track record of helping clients with their pedestrian accident claims. For example, we successfully represented a client who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being struck by a bus while using a crosswalk in Washington, DC. We also obtained one of the highest settlements in the area against WMATA; the case involved the tragic death of a pedestrian crossing the street when she was struck by a Metro bus. In another case, our office obtained a multi-million-dollar settlement for a woman hit by a private tour bus while crossing the street. We can aggressively pursue your claim from the first client meeting until the case’s resolution.
When you get in a car accident, your first avenue of seeking compensation is going through your own car insurance. But what if you were involved in a pedestrian accident? Who pays the bills then?
According to Washington, DC law, if you were injured as a pedestrian in a motor vehicle accident, you can initially seek medical coverage with your car insurance policy regardless of who is at fault for the accident. If you do not have car insurance or you do not have enough insurance to pay for your medical expenses, you can then pursue legal action against the at-fault driver.
Compensation that you may be eligible for after a pedestrian accident includes the following:
A DC pedestrian accident attorney can explain what damages you may receive following your accident and help you recover any expenses you have lost.
Pedestrians may be severely injured and need immediate medical attention, depending on the circumstances. Even if you initially feel unharmed, get checked out by medical personnel. The shock and adrenaline from the accident can disguise serious injuries.
Once you’ve received medical care and can start your claim, take these steps to protect your case:
Your first step is to get the police report as soon as it’s available after the accident. If you were injured, you might not have had time to speak with anyone involved in the accident. The police report will give you the contact information of any witnesses and the person’s insurance company who had hit you.
If you are at the scene and can collect information, don’t forget to get photos of the accident scene, the driver’s vehicle, and any injuries you have sustained.
Keeping a careful record of your injuries and medical treatment can help ensure you receive fair compensation. Remember to record the date and time of all doctor visits or treatments you received. Also, record your levels of pain and the times you missed work.
A Washington, DC pedestrian accident lawyer can advise you on crucial steps to take to preserve your claim. For example, while you are in the hospital recuperating, your pedestrian accident attorneys can gather evidence on your behalf. A pedestrian injury lawyer can also negotiate with the driver’s insurance company for you, protecting your interests.
The driver’s insurance adjuster will call you as soon as possible after the accident. The adjuster may try to bully you into giving a statement about what had happened. However, you have no obligation to speak to the insurance company. Get an attorney’s advice before you say anything to an insurance adjuster.
If you do find yourself on the phone with the adjuster before speaking with an accident attorney, keep your statements brief and do not allow them to record your statements.
In order to prove who is responsible for your accident, a Washington, DC pedestrian accident lawyer will need to show that the at-fault party had a duty to protect you from injury and by failing to protect you, they caused the accident which resulted in injury and loss.
There are many parties who could be responsible for your accident, including:
According to the District Department of Transportation, approximately 650 pedestrian-related accidents occur each year in DC. When drivers are aggressive or inattentive, crashes occur. The leading causes of pedestrian accidents:
Fiddling with the radio, texting or talking on the phone, eating, or talking to passengers in the car are all classic examples of distracted driving. But distracted drivers are not the only ones not paying attention to the road; often, pedestrians are more focused on their phones than the traffic around them or are blocking out the sound with headphones while crossing the street.
We all know that drinking and driving are not only illegal but deadly. But there are times that pedestrians can be under the influence of drugs and alcohol. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 42% of pedestrians killed in nighttime crashes had a blood alcohol concentration at or above 0.08% in 2019.
Drivers who fail to follow the posted speed limits on the streets of DC can be reckless. For example, when coming to a stoplight or a crosswalk at a high rate of speed, they may not be able to slow down and safely stop in time to let the pedestrian cross.
When a driver makes a left-hand turn at a busy intersection, they may be looking straight ahead to make sure they are ok to turn, rather than looking left. Since the driver is not looking their way, pedestrians are always at risk when crossing at the crosswalk.
Washington, DC law states that all vehicles must yield to bicyclists and pedestrians in the crosswalk. Pedestrians also have the right of way over any car turning right on red. Yet an impatient driver may ignore this law and fail to yield, causing an accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 6,500 pedestrians were killed and 55,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes across the United States in 2020. This equates to 85 pedestrians being killed every 81 minutes in traffic crashes in 2020.
Death may not be the only consequence a pedestrian could be facing after a car accident. Some common pedestrian injuries include:
Many accident victims require specialized care, including long-term physical and psychological treatment. The pain and anguish suffered by pedestrians are often extreme, and medical costs can be staggering.
According to the NHTSA, approximately 80 percent of all pedestrian accidents occur in urban settings. Most accidents involving pedestrians occur at nighttime in non-intersection areas.
Unfortunately, sometimes a driver panics after hitting a pedestrian and flees the scene. When this occurs, the injured victim will not have a chance to find out who the identity of the at-fault party is. If this happens to you, there are alternative methods to compensate for your injuries. You may have to rely on your own uninsured/uninsured motorist coverage to pay for some of the damages.
Contact our DC pedestrian accident lawyer right away to learn your options.
There is no average cost of a personal injury claim. That’s because each situation is different. Your DC pedestrian accident lawyers will need to investigate the claim thoroughly in order to provide you with an estimate of how much your claim is worth.
There are ways to get a general idea of how much your pedestrian accident is worth. You will need to gather all your current bills and get estimates of how much your future costs will be. You can then multiply for general damages, such as pain and suffering, to get a rough number. However, it’s always best to speak with a DC pedestrian accident attorney after any type of car accident to see what legal options are available to you.
If a pedestrian is responsible in any way for an accident, under DC’s contributory negligence rule, they will not be able to collect any damages from the accident. So, for example, if a pedestrian runs across the road between two cars suddenly, and the driver cannot stop in time, the pedestrian could be found partially at fault for the accident, preventing them from getting compensation.
If your loved one died as a pedestrian in Washington, DC, you and your family might be able to file a wrongful death claim. A successful wrongful death lawsuit will not only pay the expenses, including burial and funeral costs but can cover the loss of the family member’s financial contributions to the family.
To discuss your claim, contact our wrongful death attorneys to learn more.
The statute of limitations in Washington, DC is three years. Although that may seem like a long time, it can go by fairly quickly. The evidence will start disappearing within days and memories can fade away. The sooner you contact a pedestrian accident attorney in Washington, DC, the greater the chance of getting the compensation you need.
If were injured by a negligent driver, then our DC pedestrian accident lawyers are here to help. Regan Zambri Long has achieved excellent results for pedestrian accident claims in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Our attorneys offer free initial consultations and contingency fee arrangements, which means you do not owe a fee until your case is settled. If a favorable resolution cannot be reached, then you do not have to pay a fee.
Call (202) 960-4596 or contact us online to speak to a pedestrian accident lawyer today.