Every year, thousands of people suffer injuries in pedestrian accidents. They then face long battles with insurance companies who either deny claims or try to low-ball them. Even if this process goes relatively smoothly for you, an experienced personal injury attorney can ensure you get fair compensation. How do you know if you need a pedestrian accident attorney in Phoenix, AZ and how do you choose the right one?
What Is a Pedestrian Accident?
A pedestrian accident refers to any incident involving a pedestrian and a vehicle on wheels. In 2019, 76,000 pedestrians suffered injuries. Even worse, 6,205 pedestrians died as a result of their injuries. This means that a pedestrian died every 85 minutes in 2019.
Cars, SUVs and trucks most commonly come to mind when it comes to risks to pedestrians. However, the rise of skateboards, bikes, scooters, e-bikes and electric unicycles introduces new potential problems. While most people do not insure micro-transportation devices, an experienced Phoenix pedestrian accident attorney may still find solutions.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
Sadly, most pedestrian accidents involve entirely avoidable situations. More often than not, the vehicle’s operator failed to practice due diligence. Severe cases often involve gross negligence. These are some of the common causes attorneys and law enforcement officers encounter:
- Speeding and reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving, including cell phone use
- Failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Intentionally negligent behavior, such as coal rolling
How Do You Know When to Hire a Pedestrian Accident Attorney?
Did you know that only 25% of accident victims hire personal injury attorneys? This happens even though many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis. In other words, you pay nothing until or unless they win your case. Because of the low risk, injured persons should consult an attorney for all cases to get a second opinion.
There are, however, times when you might need a Phoenix pedestrian accident attorney more than most. Consider these examples.
While some pedestrian accidents result in nothing more than cuts and bruises, others can send victims to the ER. These are some of the most common injuries attorneys see:
- Cuts and lacerations
- Bruises and contusions
- Fractured or broken bones
- Sprains and strains
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury
Whenever pedestrian accidents involve injuries, there is always the risk of disabilities. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Phoenix will advocate for compensation to cover current and future medical expenses.
If a pedestrian accident occurs at a construction site or involves commercial entities, it can introduce new complications:
- A retail worker colliding with a customer while operating a forklift vehicle
- A motor vehicle accident involving a trucker or delivery van
- A rideshare driver colliding with a pedestrian
Complications arise from the difference in laws and insurance. Instead of relying on auto insurance, you need to deal with commercial insurance agents. This can quickly become a complex scenario.
Public Industry Involvement
Perhaps even more complex than commercial involvement is government involvement. For example, a police car could strike a pedestrian, or a worker on a government contract might collide with a pedestrian while completing road work. Scenarios like these require an attorney’s experience and knowledge to bring to a successful close.
Inaccurate Police Report
If you believe the police report has errors or that officers falsified the report, you need strong evidence to support this. Going up against law enforcement is not for the faint of heart. An error or falsified report could have repercussions for the officers involved, so they will likely take action to protect their reputations and their careers. Consequently, you need the help of a pedestrian accident attorney.
Lack of Adequate Insurance
When responsible parties have no insurance or they are underinsured, it might seem like a dead end. It does complicate the case, but experienced attorneys often find other ways to hold them accountable. For example, the court could rule to seize and liquidate personal assets. When it comes to minors, the attorney might file a claim against the parent and his or her insurance policy.
Lack of Cooperation
Sometimes, responsible parties and the insurance company refuse to cooperate. They might engage in stalling tactics or propose an offensively low figure as a settlement. This is where an attorney can step in to investigate and determine the value of your pedestrian accident claim. Lawyers know how to take decisive legal action.
Sadly, sometimes pedestrians play a role in the accident. Arizona law refers to this as comparative fault. When pedestrians are partially at fault, they may still receive compensation if they are less than 50% responsible. For example, if a drunk pedestrian stumbled and fell in the street and a distracted driver failed to see them, the court might award 40% fault to the pedestrian and 60% fault to the driver.
How Can an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney Help?
Experienced personal injury attorneys in Phoenix know how to tackle even the most complex injury cases. Here are some ways an attorney can help:
- Investigate the accident and gather evidence, including eyewitness testimony, video footage, and accident reconstruction.
- File a pedestrian accident claim with the appropriate insurance company.
- Handle all correspondence and communication with the insurance company.
- Negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.
- File a pedestrian accident lawsuit, if necessary.
- Represent you in court, if required.
Finding a Trustworthy Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Arizona
The success of your case depends heavily on whether you find an experienced Arizona pedestrian accident attorney to handle it. You might wonder how to find a qualified professional who will treat your case as a priority. Try these tips:
- Look for an attorney who has experience handling pedestrian accident cases.
- Ask the attorney about his or her success rate in pedestrian accident cases.
- Ensure the attorney will give your pedestrian accident case the attention it deserves.
- Check out the pedestrian accident attorney’s reviews and ratings online.
Are you ready to get a free consultation from an experienced pedestrian accident attorney? MDK Law Group attorneys have won millions of dollars for injured persons across Arizona. While we can never guarantee outcomes, we remain dedicated to delivering the best possible results. Request your free consultation today.