The town of Indiana, PA goes to great lengths to make walking safe for all its citizens. This includes creating designated sidewalks, painting crosswalks on roads, and requiring drivers to yield to pedestrians who cross the street in the correct locations.
All of these safety precautions are unhelpful, however, if drivers do not take them seriously. When a driver chooses to ignore pedestrian protection devices or otherwise drives in a distracted, negligent, or reckless manner, he or she may cause a collision that leaves a pedestrian with serious injuries.
If you have suffered an injury in a pedestrian accident, you may have the right to collect compensation. A Western PA pedestrian accident lawyer could help you understand your rights as a pedestrian and can help you pursue your case for appropriate compensation. Contact a seasoned Western PA personal injury lawyer today.
Traffic Rules that Protect Pedestrians
State law recognizes that pedestrians are in an extremely vulnerable position when interacting with motor vehicles. As a result, there are a variety of laws that govern how a driver must move through intersections and other traffic features in order to keep those pedestrians safe.
Chief among these laws is 75 Pa. C.S. §3542, which states that drivers have an obligation to yield to pedestrians who are using a crosswalk to cross a street. Additionally, pedestrians are required to take appropriate care to not suddenly step off the curb and into the road. As a result, the rules concerning crosswalks are a balancing act between protections for pedestrians and those same pedestrians not putting drivers in untenable situations.
While crosswalk laws are specific laws enacted to protect pedestrians, other general traffic laws are in place to protect all people on the road. It follows that a driver who fails to stop at a stop sign, who speeds, or who texts while driving may be at fault in a pedestrian accident. An Indiana, PA pedestrian accident lawyer could help to provide more information about traffic laws and how they may establish a driver’s negligence.
How Can Someone Collect Damages Following an Accident?
Collecting appropriate compensation following a pedestrian accident is never automatic. Injured plaintiffs must pursue claims through a driver’s insurance company, or in a civil courtroom. To start a case, an injured pedestrian must open a claim with an insurance company that provides general information about the at-fault driver and the incident that led to the victim’s injuries.
After the claim is open, a plaintiff must build a legal case against the at-fault driver. Building an effective case may involve obtaining a police report, providing pictures of the scene of the accident, and providing medical evidence of the injuries. In short, a plaintiff must provide information to the insurance company as evidence that the defendant driver was at fault.
A claim may result in a fair settlement for damages outside of any court proceedings. However, an Indiana, PA pedestrian accident lawyer could help to file a lawsuit and proceed to trial, when necessary, to bring an injured pedestrian the payments that they deserve.
What Damages May an Injured Party Seek in their Claim?
The purpose of a personal injury lawsuit is to collect the compensation needed to place the injured party in the same position they would have been in had the incident never occurred. This typically involves claims for economic and non-economic damages.
A common economic damage is the cost of medical care. This includes both past medical treatment and future doctor visits, rehabilitation, or medications related to the accident.
Another economic damage is lost wages and future earning capacity. Injured claimants may miss time at work to seek medical care. In serious cases, someone hit by a car may be permanently unable to work. A Western PA pedestrian accident attorney could help to seek appropriate compensation for lost future earning capacity.
Non-economic damages account for a victim’s intangible harm associated with the incident. This includes a person’s mental health, pain or suffering associated with a physical injury, disfigurement, embarrassment, nightmares, PTSD, or the need to seek out mental health counseling following the incident.
Statute of Limitations for Civil Claims
Every personal injury claim in the Commonwealth must be filed before the legal deadline expires. Known as the statute of limitations, this law determines when a court will hear a case that alleges personal injury as the result of an accident.
According to 42 Pa. C.S. §5524, all cases that demand damages following an pedestrian accident must be filed in court no more than two years from the date of the incident. A Western PA pedestrian accident attorney could ensure that a case is filed in time.
Pedestrians are the most vulnerable people on the road. They do not have the protections afforded by being inside their own vehicles or even safety equipment worn by bike riders or motorcyclists. As a result, a pedestrian accident at even low speeds can result in broken bones, separated joints, or traumatic brain injuries.
If you have suffered an injury following any type of pedestrian accident, a Western PA pedestrian accident lawyer may be able to help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.