At our law firm, we understand the implications of pedestrian accidents on victims and their families. If you are looking for a West Virginia pedestrian accident lawyer to help with your case, please reach out to us and let us assist you the best way we can.
No matter how careful you are on the roads, you cannot control the actions of other road users, especially motorists. Unfortunately, when an accident occurs, the impact is usually devastating. With no protection against the impact, pedestrian accidents are potentially severe and may be fatal.
But even with minor injuries in low-impact accidents, the damages can be substantial. If you got injured in a pedestrian accident in West Virginia or lost a loved one and are seeking justice for their wrongful death, contact us with the details of your case.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can result from several causes—from motorists’ negligent behaviors to poor weather, road conditions, and pedestrian errors, the list of accident causes is endless. However, the most common causes include:
- Pedestrian errors such as illegal street crossing, failing to yield, walking in the wrong direction, distraction, etc.
- Left-hand turns
- Distracted driving
- Impaired driving
- Impatient drivers
- Poor weather
- Poor lighting or night vision
- Driving in reverse
Common Types of Injuries From Pedestrian Accidents
Injuries from pedestrian accidents depend on the impact of the collision, which may be determined by the vehicle’s speed, the victim’s height, and other factors. For instance, a high-impact truck accident or car accident can cause more severe injuries than a low-impact motorcycle accident.
Examples of common injuries include:
- Spinal cord damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- Soft tissue injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Psychological trauma, etc.
West Virginia Negligence Law
To receive compensation in a pedestrian accident case, you must satisfy the four elements of negligence—duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. This means you must demonstrate:
- The defendant owed you a duty of care
- They breached their duty of care
- Their negligent actions caused your injuries
- The injuries have cost you substantial damages
Nonetheless, even after proving the driver’s negligence, your ability to recover damages may be limited if you were partly responsible for the accident. West Virginia follows the modified comparative negligence rule, which means you can recover damages less your percentage of contribution, up to 50%. For instance, if you contributed 30% to the accident, you are entitled to receive 70% of the awarded settlement. But if it is established that your contribution is more than 50%, you may not be able to recover any damages.
Statute of Limitations
In West Virginia, most personal injury claims, including pedestrian accidents, settle before trial. But if the insurance fails to compensate you fairly for one reason or another, you have the option of filing a lawsuit to recover your damages.
Should this happen, West Virginia law allows you to bring an action against the at-fault driver within a specified timeframe. The statute of limitations in West Virginia for suing for pedestrian accidents is two years for both personal injuries and wrongful death.
In addition to negligence rules, your ability to recover damages may also be limited to the at-fault party’s policy limits. The state has imposed minimum policy limits at $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident, but some motorists may have more coverage than the minimum.
This means insurance companies can only pay you the maximum coverage held with them. However, if your damages exceed the available motorist coverage, you can sue the at-fault driver and attempt to recover the extra losses from their personal assets.
Strengthen Your Case With a West Virginia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
As much as insurance companies are contractually obligated to compensate you for the damages caused by their policyholder, they do not settle without a fight. In a bid to minimize their losses, they might downplay your injuries and pay you far less than you deserve. Furthermore, they might deny your claim altogether.
For these reasons, you need a skilled pedestrian injury lawyer to help you build a strong case to prove the at-fault party’s negligence and earn a fair settlement.
Here are ways you can strengthen your case:
- Gather accident photos (scene photos, your injuries, etc.)
- Hire an experienced West Virginia pedestrian accident lawyer
- Obtain the police report
- Request retrieval of the accident video footage (if available)
- Compile medical records and bills
- Journal your symptoms and treatment
- Collect eyewitness testimonies
- Source for expert witnesses
How Can a West Virginia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help?
Having an attorney representing you on your case provides the necessary legal expertise you need to negotiate for a fair settlement. You also gain more leverage if the lawyer is experienced in handling pedestrian accidents in West Virginia, as they understand the local insurance settlement landscape for specific claims.
By helping with case investigation, gathering evidence, preparing witness statements, computing damages, filling the claim, and negotiations, an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer near you with a proven track record is vital in the compensation process. Contact our firm today to inquire about a free consultation.