Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Winchester, VA
Pedestrians are at risk of serious and possibly fatal injuries when motorists fail to look out for yield to people on the street. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 100 people were killed in pedestrian accidents in Virginia in 2018. Pedestrian accidents can have devastating financial, physical, and emotional impacts on the families of those affected. Fortunately, you’re not alone, and qualified legal assistance is available to you.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Winchester or anywhere in central Virginia, a Winchester pedestrian accident attorney at Kendall Law Firm is ready to assist you. You may have a right to seek fair compensation for the losses you’ve incurred.
Winchester injury attorney David Kendall has the passion for justice and years of experience to represent you effectively in a pedestrian accident claim. Call the knowledgeable attorney of the Kendall Law Firm today at 866-590-6409 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation.
Common Causes Of Pedestrian Accidents
According to a 2018 report from the NHTSA, most fatal accidents involving pedestrians occurred after dark (76 percent), at locations other than intersections (74 percent), and when the pedestrians had alcohol in their systems (38 percent). Each year, nearly 70,000 pedestrians are hurt and 4,000 are killed in pedestrian-auto accidents. Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
Speeding –If a driver exceeds the posted speed limit, the driver has less time to react to avoid hitting a pedestrian who suddenly appears in the street. A speeding car also requires more distance to stop. A speeding driver may fail to stop at an intersection and hit a pedestrian entering a crosswalk. Speed is a common factor in pedestrian accidents.
Distracted Driving – A driver who is not paying attention can cause serious or fatal injuries to a pedestrian. The distracted driver may not even slow down before the collision. Even a momentary distraction of a few seconds may result in a devastating accident.
Use of Electronic Devices – In Virginia, it is illegal to send or review text messages on a handheld cell phone while driving. Texting while driving is dangerous. When motorists are looking at their phones instead of what is happening around them, accidents can and do happen. Pedestrians walking on the street should remain alert for approaching traffic and avoid the distraction of a cell phone.
Intoxicated Driving or Walking – Alcohol is a factor in a significant portion of pedestrian accidents. Drunk drivers are less likely to notice pedestrians walking along the street or crossing an intersection. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs impairs your judgment, and ability to react quickly to changing conditions on the road. Intoxicated pedestrians may also fail to take proper safety precautions.
Left-Hand Turns – Drivers who are attempting to make a left-hand turn at an intersection must watch for pedestrians who are legally crossing at the same time. Drivers must yield to pedestrians who have the right of way. If a driver fails to yield and turns into a crosswalk, the driver may hit a pedestrian.
Backing Up Collisions – A large number of pedestrian accidents occur when drivers are backing up, often when they are pulling out of a driveway or a parking space. Pedestrians who are walking behind vehicles might be difficult for the driver to see. This is especially true in the case of small children who might be playing in the driveway or walking on the sidewalk. Drivers should make sure to check their rearview and side mirrors, use rear-cameras if available in their vehicle, and back up slowly to avoid hitting a pedestrian.
Poorly Marked Crosswalks – Pedestrian accidents often happen in intersections or parking lots where safe crossing lanes are not clear.
Quiet Cars – Though electric cars are better for the environment, they are harder for pedestrians to hear, and thus are more likely to strike pedestrians than other vehicles.
Inclement Weather – Fog, rain, snow, or ice can make it difficult to see pedestrians or could cause issues with stopping time and distance. Drivers should always adjust their driving to the conditions outside.
Common Injuries In Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can be particularly devastating for victims and their loved ones. Unlike passengers in cars and trucks, pedestrians have nothing to protect them if they are hit by a vehicle. Injuries in pedestrian accidents can vary in severity depending on the speed of the vehicle and angle of impact. The most common injuries include:
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Scrapes and laceration
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal organ injuries
It is crucial for any pedestrian who has been struck by a motor vehicle to seek medical attention right away. Some symptoms of injury might not be evident immediately. The adrenaline rush from an accident could mask the signs of a serious injury. You should allow an ambulance to take you to a hospital, or visit your doctor on your own, to make sure that you get a prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Virginia Pedestrian Laws
According to Virginia law, both motorists and pedestrians have responsibilities when it comes to maintaining safe roads for all in Winchester. Drivers are required by Virginia Law Code 46.2-924 to yield to pedestrians in designated crosswalks. It is the responsibility of all drivers to look out for pedestrians who are crossing the street at a designated crosswalk and yield to them. Drivers are legally required to change course, slow down, or even stop when necessary to allow the safe crossing of pedestrians.
Pedestrians, on the other hand, are required by Virginia Law Code 46.2-924 to pay attention to the flow of traffic. Pedestrians should obey “Walk” and “Don’t Walk” signs at crosswalks, and only cross in designated areas when “Walk” signs are illuminated. The law states that pedestrians should not step into moving traffic where their presence would hinder the vision of the drivers of oncoming cars. According to Virginia Law Code 46.2-928, pedestrians are also required to walk on the sidewalk whenever one is present.
Who Is At Fault In A Pedestrian Accident?
The answer is, “It depends.” If a driver hits a pedestrian while the pedestrian is legally crossing at a designated crosswalk, the driver will most likely be held to be at fault for the accident. If a pedestrian disregards traffic signals and crosses against a light, however, the pedestrian may be held responsible for the resulting accident. In Virginia, a pedestrian will likely be at least partially at fault if the pedestrian is hit by a vehicle while violating the rules listed above, such as by failing to use the sidewalk when one is present.
What Types Of Compensation Could I Receive In A Pedestrian Accident Claim?
The types of damages available to victims of auto-pedestrian accidents will depend on the severity of the injuries and the circumstances surrounding the accident. The common types of pedestrian accident compensation include:
- Medical expenses – Compensation for medical expenses can cover all present and future costs for treatment that you incur as a result of your injuries, including hospital bills, doctor visits, physical therapy and rehab, and accessibility equipment purchases.
- Lost wages – You may be unable to work for an extended period of time and lose income as a result of a pedestrian accident. You may be entitled to seek reimbursement of your lost income as a result of the accident.
- Lost earning potential – This form of compensation recognizes future lost income because of accident-related limitations on earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering – compensation for pain and suffering is a measure of damages for the physical and emotional hardships the accident has caused.
Compensation depends on multiple factors such as the severity of your injuries, how much time you spend away from your job while recuperating, and the presence or absence of obvious fault in the accident.
If A Loved One Was Killed In A Pedestrian Accident In Winchester, Can I File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
You may have a right to file a wrongful death lawsuit if you lost a close relative in a pedestrian accident. The deadline to file a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of the person’s death. Surviving family members may be entitled to compensation including payment for final medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, loss of financial and emotional support, and other damages.
Contact Our Winchester Personal Injury Law Firm For A Free Consultation
At the Kendall Law Firm, we want to help if you have been injured in a pedestrian accident in Winchester caused by a careless driver. Dealing with the aftermath of a serious injury accident is difficult enough without having to worry about how you’ll pay for your medical expenses, recoup lost wages, and rebuild your life.
If a negligent driver hurt you in Winchester, contact the pedestrian accident attorney at the Kendall Law Firm for help right away. We are available to take your call at (434) 326-4350 or respond to your inquiry when you use our online contact form.