Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in West Virginia
Each year, thousands of pedestrians involved in accidents are left struggling with injuries, medical bills, and lost wages. Many pedestrian accident victims are entitled to compensation from the driver or their insurance company. However, filing a claim and getting payment approved can be complicated. Hiring a pedestrian accident lawyer from Warner Law Offices PLLC can help you get the compensation you deserve after an accident.
- Why Do I Need a Lawyer For a Pedestrian Accident?
- West Virginia Pedestrian Laws
- Who Is At Fault In A Pedestrian Accident?
- What are the common causes of pedestrian accidents?
- What are some common pedestrian injuries?
- What Type of Compensation Can I Receive for a Pedestrian Accident?
- Why Hire Warner Law Offices PLLC After a Pedestrian Accident?
Thousands of pedestrians are injured by drivers every year, and the number of incidents has been rising. In 2020, more than 100,000 people had to visit the emergency room after being struck by a car as a pedestrian, according to the CDC. The effects of accidents where drivers of trucks, cars, or motorcycles strike pedestrians are often devastating since those on foot have no protection against vehicles.
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are becoming more frequent and deadly. Drivers struck and killed an estimated 7,485 pedestrians in 2021—a 12 percent increase from the previous year, according to a Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) study. Meanwhile, the fatality rate has reached all-time highs. Nationwide, there were 2.32 pedestrian deaths per billion vehicle miles traveled in 2021, the GHSA found. While that number is similar to 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed travel, it significantly exceeded the pre-pandemic average of 1.9.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may struggle with mental health symptoms and serious physical injuries. Hiring a lawyer to help you manage the legal aspects of your pedestrian auto accident will allow you and your family to focus on your recovery.
The West Virginia pedestrian accident attorneys at Warner Law Offices PLLC have decades of experience helping people after pedestrian accidents. The attorneys in our Charleston, WV, office can ensure you receive compensation for your medical care, physical therapy, rehabilitation, lost wages, and other economic and non-economic losses.
We offer free consultations, and there are no upfront costs.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer For a Pedestrian Accident?
If you are a pedestrian injured by a vehicle in West Virginia, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Laws and procedures exist to compensate pedestrians injured by drivers, but the process is complex. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney knows the system and knows what steps you need to take to get compensation after the accident.
Your West Virginia pedestrian accident lawyer will handle essential tasks such as investigating the accident, collecting evidence, speaking to witnesses, and getting reports from the police or insurance companies. A lawyer can file all the proper paperwork with the courts and prepare you for court appearances.
Your personal injury lawyer will lead you through the settlement process with the driver or their insurance company. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to pay out as little as possible. Our experienced lawyers know all of the insurance companies’ tricks and tactics. We will be your advocate, negotiating for the compensation you deserve and not settling for the amount the insurance company wants to pay.
While your lawyer manages the technical aspects of your case, you and your family can focus on your healing after your accident.
West Virginia Pedestrian Laws
West Virginia has traffic laws to address safety for drivers and pedestrians. Laws require pedestrians to comply with all traffic signals, such as crosswalks and traffic lights. Pedestrians have the right of way over drivers where there is no traffic signal.
In addition to following posted lights and signs, drivers are legally required to exercise reasonable care. Therefore, drivers must also exercise additional caution to protect the safety of pedestrians. In practice, drivers must take steps to protect pedestrians even if the pedestrian doesn’t entirely comply with required safety practices. The law explicitly says drivers should exercise additional caution when the pedestrians are children or people with reduced capacity.
Who Is At Fault In A Pedestrian Accident?
Because laws govern both drivers and pedestrians, determining fault for a pedestrian accident requires assessing the behavior of both the driver and the pedestrian at the time. The law acknowledges that both parties can contribute to the accident.
For example, pedestrians crossing against traffic signals are at least partially at fault for the accident. However, the driver still has a duty to prevent the accident. So, if they saw the pedestrians in time to stop their vehicle but didn’t, they were also at least partially at fault.
If a pedestrian contributes to the crash, such as by walking on the road or jaywalking, state law still may allow the pedestrian to recover compensation. West Virginia has a comparative negligence statute. Under that law, injured pedestrians who are at least 51 percent for the accident cannot recover compensation for their injuries. On the other hand, they are eligible for compensation if they are 50 percent at fault or less. However, injured pedestrians’ compensation for damages will be reduced based on the degree of fault.
An experienced West Virginia pedestrian accident attorney can help determine the apportionment of fault for an accident. After you file an insurance claim, the driver’s insurance company may try to assign you as much fault as possible to avoid making significant payments. In that case, your lawyer will work to negotiate in your interest and maximize your compensation after the accident.
What are the common causes of pedestrian accidents?
To pursue a successful insurance claim for a pedestrian accident, you have to be able to show that the driver was at fault and show the cause of their negligent driving. Common types of negligence in pedestrian accidents include the following:
- Driving over the speed limit
- Distracted driving (e.g., using a phone while driving)
- Driving under the influence
- Driving while fatigued
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Illegal passing
- Passing a school bus
- Reckless driving
The pedestrian accident lawyers at Warner Law Offices PLLC will work with you to identify any driver negligence that caused the accident. They can gather evidence of the driver’s fault. They can also consult forensic experts to assess accident reports and the physical evidence to reconstruct the accident. Using those findings, our lawyers will negotiate your claim with the insurance company. They can advise you on any further actions you might need to take.
What are some common pedestrian injuries?
Serious injuries can result from accidents where a car hits a pedestrian. Frequently, injuries require a visit to the emergency room. You may need a hospital stay or surgery to treat your injuries. Many injuries, such as broken bones, require follow-up care with doctors, and you might need physical therapy as part of your recovery.
Some common pedestrian accident injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Lower extremity injuries, such as fractures or damaged joints
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries
- Pelvic injuries
- Chest and rib injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Lacerations or abrasions, such as “road rash”
- Traumatic brain injuries
More severe injuries can lead to permanent disability. Victims of pedestrian accidents may face paralysis, chronic pain, mental changes from brain injuries, and mental health symptoms such as PTSD.
Caring for a pedestrian accident’s physical and mental effects can be incredibly expensive. You may lose wages during recovery, and some injuries prevent you from working after the accident. A pedestrian accident attorney can be a part of your recovery by taking over the compensation and insurance negotiations so you can focus on healing from your injuries.
What Type of Compensation Can I Receive for a Pedestrian Accident?
Victims of pedestrian accidents may be entitled to compensation from the responsible driver or their insurance company. Your compensation award depends on your injuries, the care you require, whether you missed work, and other details specific to your accident. You may be entitled to compensation for your losses, including the following:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings due to inability to work
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological trauma and mental health care
- Punitive damages to the driver
A West Virginia pedestrian accident lawyer can review your case details with you to determine what you may be entitled to receive. They can help you review any settlement offers from an insurance company. They can tell you whether the offer is fair, and if it isn’t, they can draft a response letter demanding appropriate compensation.
Why Hire Warner Law Offices PLLC After a Pedestrian Accident?
Since 2000, Warner Law Offices PLLC has helped our clients win the financial compensation they deserve after pedestrian accidents. Our team of attorneys has helped clients get payments to cover their medical treatment, loss of income, and emotional distress. There is no upfront cost to you when you work with our lawyers. We offer free consultations to review your case and determine how to proceed. Our lawyers only get paid after you win your case and receive compensation.
Call us today to work with an award-winning legal team with decades of experience in helping accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Speak to us by phone at contacting us at 304-909-7513 or use our online chat.
We represent clients across West Virginia and surrounding areas, providing compassionate client service and relentless advocacy in and out of the courtroom.