Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
A pedestrian accident can turn your life upside down. You may be confused and not sure what your next steps should be. All you know is that you are now faced with a huge financial debt and no way to pay for the expenses. If you were involved in a pedestrian accident anywhere in Mississippi, you’ll need a skilled pedestrian accident lawyer to help you claim compensation from the parties responsible for your injuries.
How Can I Recover Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident in Mississippi?
You’re walking across the street when you are hit by a car making a left turn. You suffer severe injuries and have to take unpaid leave from work to recover. You’re now facing large medical bills and with no income coming in, you’re feeling overwhelmed. What should you do next? And how can a pedestrian accident lawyer help with your case?
Unfortunately, this scenario plays out all too often in Mississippi. According to the latest data from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, 14 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents in the state involved a pedestrian.
When a pedestrian is injured, their first concern is how they are going to pay for the medical expenses associated with the accident. If they suffered severe injuries, they could be facing months of extensive medical treatments, which can result in time off from work, pain and suffering, and stress on both the injury victim and their family.
A personal injury lawsuit may be necessary to receive the damages needed to pay the expenses from a pedestrian accident. You can receive the following from a successful pedestrian accident claim:
Economic Damages: Any financial losses you experienced because of the pedestrian accident will be recovered through economic damages. This includes your medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and any long-term medical care you will be facing.
Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages are more subjective and are based on any losses you experienced that were non-monetary. The most popular type of non-economic damage is pain and suffering, which refers to any physical, mental, or emotional pain you experienced because of the pedestrian accident. Other types of non-economic damages include mental anguish, loss of consortium, and emotional anguish.
Punitive Damages: Although rare, punitive damages may be awarded if the jury wants to punish the behavior of the person responsible for the pedestrian accident.
What Are the Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
Pedestrian accidents can be the result of the negligent actions of the driver. Every driver on the road has a responsibility to keep everyone safe — this is called duty care. But when the driver fails to protect those on the road, they breach the duty of care, which can result in injuries and damages.
Some common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Aggressive driving
- Failure to yield to a pedestrian
- Turning without looking both ways
- Design flaws in the crosswalk or intersection
What Should I Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
The time after any type of motor vehicle accident can be confusing. At that time, you’re more concerned about your injuries than getting the information needed to prove who is responsible for the accident. But after the shock of the accident wears off, and you are able to proceed with your pedestrian accident claim, there are a few things pedestrian accident victims can do that will help your experienced pedestrian accident attorney with the personal injury claim.
Collect As Much Evidence As You Can
It’s understandable that you may not have gotten all the information at the accident scene. Fortunately, you can recover some evidence with the help of the police report. You will need to contact the police department that responded to the call and purchase the police report. The report will have all the information you will need to learn about the accident, such as:
- Contact information of all the parties involved in the accident, such as the driver, passengers in the vehicle, and any witnesses.
- The driver’s insurance
- A narrative of what occurred
- Any observations the police made about the accident scene, such as the road and weather condition
Keep a Record of Your Medical Treatment
If you suffered severe injuries after the pedestrian accident, all your medical treatment may be one big blur. You may forget dates, what doctors you visited, and what treatments were performed. That’s why it’s important to keep a journal of your medical treatment. This includes the bills you receive, any time you lost from work, and a list of doctor’s appointments. This record will help your pedestrian accident lawyer determine how much your pedestrian accident claim may be worth.
Avoid Speaking With the Driver’s Insurance Company
Shortly after the accident, you may start receiving phone calls from the insurance adjuster, wanting to know more about the incident and your injuries. Remember, you are not required to speak with the other driver’s insurance company.
However, if you do end up having a conversation with the insurance adjuster, keep these tips in mind:
- Do not have your conversation recorded. A recorded statement could be used against you.
- Keep your remarks brief. Stick with the facts about the accident and don’t offer an opinion about what happened.
- Don’t describe or go into detail about your injuries or what treatment you’ll need. Your medical condition could change between the accident and when you file a claim, so it’s best not to discuss your injuries.
Contact an MS Pedestrian Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible
Evidence from a pedestrian accident can disappear quickly so the sooner you speak with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer from Giddens Law Firm, the greater your changes are to receive the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.
Why Choose Our Mississippi Pedestrian Accident Attorneys?
The MS pedestrian accident lawyer at Giddens Law Firm, P.A., has been helping injured pedestrians throughout Mississippi for almost three decades. We understand what you and your family are going through and will do whatever we can to get you the compensation needed to recover from your injuries. Using the latest technology and keeping abreast of any changes in Mississippi law, we have the knowledge and resources necessary to prove your claim.
As the founding member of Giddens Law Firm, Attorney John Giddens has been an advocate for pedestrian accident victims throughout Mississippi. He understands how difficult these cases can be and how the insurance company will use whatever tactics it can to prevent giving full compensation for your injuries. Contact Giddens Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation. There is no fee until we win your pedestrian accident case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pedestrian Accidents
Q: I Was Involved in a Hit and Run. Who Will Pay My Bills?
Mississippi is a “fault” state. This means that whoever is at fault for your pedestrian accident is the one who should pay your damages. But if the driver cannot be found, injured pedestrians have the option to file an uninsured motorist claim with their own car insurance company.
Your best option, however, is to find out who was the driver that hit you. Try to get as much information as you can such as the car make and model and the license plate. Get contact information from eyewitnesses and make note of any video cameras surrounding the area. Give as much information as you can to the police and keep in touch with them to see if they find out who the person was.
Q: The Driver’s Insurance Company is Blaming the Accident on Me. What Can I Do?
There are rare cases where the pedestrian may be held responsible for the car accident. For example, if a pedestrian does not pay attention and walks in front of a car making a turn, they could be found at fault for the accident.
According to Mississippi’s pure comparative negligence laws, a percentage of how much fault you are for the accident will be reflected in how much compensation you receive. If the driver was found 70 percent at fault for the accident, and the damages equal $50,000, the injured pedestrian will receive $35,000. The purpose of the comparative negligence law is that it gives the injury victim a chance to recover compensation even if they are found partially at fault for the accident.
It’s important to note that if the insurance company says that you are at fault for the accident, you should reach out to our Jackson pedestrian accident lawyers right away to have them review your case and what can be done to protect your rights.
Q: Can I Sue If a Family Member Dies in a Pedestrian Accident?
It’s heartbreaking when we lose a family member in a preventable accident. At a time that should be spent mourning and leading from loss, you instead have to worry about the expenses left behind. If you lost a loved one in a fatal pedestrian accident, you do have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit on their behalf.
A fatal pedestrian accident claim can not only pay for any medical expenses and lost income, but the family can also receive compensation for funeral and burial expenses. Contact our Mississippi wrongful death attorney to learn more about what compensation is available to you and your family after such a tragic loss.
Q: Do I Need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
Whenever you are injured in an accident involving a negligent driver, it’s always in your best interest to speak with a personal injury lawyer. Personal injury law can be complicated and receiving compensation that covers all your expenses can be quite tricky to handle on your own. You’ll need to prove that the other party is responsible for the accident and that requires evidence that goes far beyond a police report.
After getting into a pedestrian accident, your primary focus should be on your health, not on your finances. But unfortunately, that never is the case. With the insurance company constantly calling, you need someone to handle the claims process as you start on the road to recovery.
An experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Jackson, MS, can gather evidence that you do not have access to. Since we have almost three decades of experience dealing with insurance companies and their tactics, we know what is needed when negotiating a settlement. In many cases, the claim cannot be resolved at the negotiation table and you will need to go to court to resolve the legal matter. When you are dealing with a legal proceeding, it’s imperative that you have an attorney by your side to fight and protect your legal rights.
Q: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
At Giddens Law Firm, P.A., we work on a contingency fee basis. When you sit down with us to discuss your pedestrian accident case, we will go over the facts of the case and give you an idea of what to expect if we move forward with your claim. If you hire our law firm, you will not be expected to pay an attorney’s fee until the case is resolved.
If we are successful in getting you a fair settlement offer, we will take a percentage of the final settlement as our fee. If we are unable to get you compensation for your claim, then you do not owe us a fee. It’s that simple.
Q: What Can I Do to Protect Myself as a Pedestrian?
The following is a list of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents. This knowledge can help you to stay safe while walking:
- Poor lighting—More pedestrian accidents occur at night than at any other time, and often happen along unlit roadways which render the pedestrian invisible to drivers until it is too late. Avoid walking at night along poorly illuminated roadways and wear bright clothing whenever you know you may end up walking past dusk.
- Distracted driving—distracted driving is the cause of nearly 20 percent of all pedestrian accidents. Drivers who are texting, talking on their phones, checking emails, and the like are most at risk for not seeing pedestrians walking nearby. The phenomenon of distracted driving, spurred largely by evolving technology, is costing pedestrians their lives. This makes it extremely important that you act diligently in listening for oncoming cars and staying a good distance away from traffic.
- Distracted walking—walking distractedly can be just as dangerous as driving in this condition. Distracted walkers, most often those who text while walking, are in part contributing to the nationwide rise in pedestrian fatalities. Over 1,500 pedestrians are treated in emergency rooms annually for cell phone related injuries. These injuries include everything from walking into traffic while texting to falling off a bridge while on the cell phone.
- The use of headphones—with the advent of the I-Pod and music capable smartphones, more and more walkers listen to music on their daily treks. While this can be relaxing after a long day at work or an invigorating work out motivator, it can turn deadly when your headphones prevent you from hearing an approaching vehicle.
- Walking drunk—while it is safer to walk home than drive after having a few cocktails, there are still risks involved in drunk walking. In fact, at least one study found that 15% of all injured pedestrians consumed alcohol before their accidents. Alcohol consumption diminishes one’s awareness and leads to decreased reaction time, which can be dangerous when walking near vehicles.
Q: What is the Time Limit on Pedestrian Accidents in Mississippi?
In Mississippi, the statute of limitations on all personal injury claims is three years from the date of the accident. This means that you have three years to gather evidence, speak with the insurance company, and file a lawsuit, if necessary. Although that seems like enough time in the world, three years can go by quickly. It takes a lot of time to build a pedestrian accident case, especially if there are multiple parties involved.
If you were in a pedestrian accident and you need a personal injury attorney to help you with your claim and get you the compensation you deserve, Giddens Law Firm, P.A. is ready to fight on your behalf. We will review your claim, recover the evidence needed to prove who is at fault, and negotiate with the insurance company to help you get the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. Contact our experienced pedestrian accident lawyer today for a free consultation.
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