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Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Philadelphia, with its rich history and vibrant neighborhoods, is considered one of the most walkable cities in the United States. In fact, it was named the 2023 Most Walkable City in the United States. This means that the streets are often bustling with pedestrians at any given time of day. Whether they’re locals commuting to work, students heading to class, or tourists soaking in the sights, the high volume of foot traffic is a testament to the city’s accessibility and charm.

However, the increased pedestrian activity also brings with it a higher risk of accidents. Busy streets, crowded intersections, and vehicles not adhering to traffic laws can create hazardous conditions for those on foot. Despite Philadelphia’s walkability and efforts to ensure pedestrian safety, accidents still occur, leading to injuries that can range from minor to life-altering. This is a stark reminder that both pedestrians and drivers must remain vigilant and adhere to safety practices to prevent such incidents. If you are an injured pedestrian, one of our Philadelphia pedestrian accident lawyers at PhillyLaw is available for a free consultation for you to learn about your options to recover from your injuries from a pedestrian accident.

How a Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help You

When faced with injuries from a pedestrian accident in Philadelphia, securing the services of an experienced pedestrian accident attorney is pivotal in navigating the complexities of legal claims and compensation. A knowledgeable Philadelphia accident attorney can offer comprehensive support by meticulously investigating the circumstances surrounding your accident, gathering crucial evidence, and identifying all possible sources of compensation.

They can adeptly manage negotiations with insurance companies, ensuring that your rights are protected and advocating for a settlement that accurately reflects the full extent of your injuries and losses. In cases where a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, a skilled attorney is prepared to represent you in court, leveraging their expertise to present a compelling case on your behalf. By partnering with a dedicated Philadelphia pedestrian accident lawyer at PhillyLaw, you gain an advocate who is committed to securing the best possible outcome, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

One way sign with green pedestrian traffic light

Pennsylvania Law Protects Pedestrians

In Pennsylvania, pedestrian accident laws are designed with the safety of all parties in mind, emphasizing shared responsibilities between drivers and pedestrians. Under Pennsylvania’s vehicle code, drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians at all marked crosswalks and intersections without signals. This law underscores the obligation of drivers to be vigilant and to prioritize pedestrian safety, especially in areas where pedestrians are most likely to cross.

Elements of Negligence in a Pennsylvania Pedestrian Injury Case

For a pedestrian injury case to be successful in Pennsylvania, the injured party must prove negligence on the part of the driver. This involves demonstrating four key elements:

  1. Duty of Care: The plaintiff must establish that the defendant owed them a duty of care. In the context of pedestrian accidents, drivers are required to operate their vehicles responsibly and obey traffic laws to prevent harm to pedestrians.
  2. Breach of Duty: It must be shown that the defendant breached their duty of care. A breach could occur in a variety of ways, such as speeding, failing to yield at a crosswalk, or engaging in distracted driving.
  3. Causation: The plaintiff needs to prove that the defendant’s breach of duty directly caused their injuries. This means demonstrating a clear link between the driver’s actions (or lack thereof) and the accident that resulted in injuries.
  4. Damages: Finally, the plaintiff must provide evidence of damages, which refer to the physical, emotional, and financial impact of the injuries sustained. These can include medical bills from the pedestrian accident injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses relating to the injury.

Understanding these elements is crucial in building a strong pedestrian injury case in Pennsylvania. The experienced Philadelphia pedestrian accident attorneys at PhillyLaw will help gather the necessary evidence and construct a compelling argument, filing a civil personal injury lawsuit if necessary, to prove negligence and secure rightful compensation for the pedestrian accident victim.

Pedestrian Duties Under Pennsylvania Law

Furthermore, while pedestrians have the right of way in many situations, they also have duties under the law. For instance, when crossing a road at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or intersection, the pedestrian must yield to vehicles on the roadway. Additionally, pedestrians are prohibited from suddenly walking or running into the path of a vehicle in a way that creates an immediate hazard.

Comparative Negligence for Pedestrians in Pennsylvania

In Pennsylvania, the concept of comparative negligence applies when determining liability in pedestrian accidents. This legal principle acknowledges that more than one party can be at fault in an accident, including the pedestrian himself or herself. According to this law, if a pedestrian is found to be partially responsible for the incident that led to their injuries, the compensation they receive can be reduced by their percentage of fault.

For example, if it is determined that a pedestrian was 20% responsible for the accident because they were distracted by their phone and not paying attention to traffic signals, any awarded damages would be reduced by 20%. Pedestrians must understand that even if they are partially at fault, they may still have the right to compensation. However, if their degree of fault exceeds 50%, they are barred from recovering any compensation under Pennsylvania’s modified comparative negligence rule. This emphasizes the importance of documenting every aspect of the incident and enlisting the expertise of a skilled Philadelphia pedestrian accident lawyer to accurately assess liability and advocate for fair compensation.

Understanding these laws is crucial for both pedestrians and drivers to ensure the safety of all road users. In the unfortunate event of an accident, a Philadelphia pedestrian accident lawyer at PhillyLaw can help explain how these laws play a critical role in determining liability and can significantly impact the outcome of any legal proceedings related to pedestrian accidents.

lawyer talking to her injured client

How Your Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Attorney Will Prove Liability

Proving liability in a pedestrian accident case is a complex process that requires a thorough investigation and the collection of compelling evidence to prove the driver’s negligence caused the pedestrian’s injuries.

Your Philadelphia personal injury lawyer will employ several strategies to establish who is at fault for the accident and to prove your personal injury claim. Firstly, they will gather evidence from the scene of the accident, which may include photos or videos, police reports, and witness statements. This evidence can provide clear insights into the circumstances of the accident, such as the positions of the pedestrian and vehicle, traffic signals, and road conditions at the time of the incident.

Your lawyer will also review medical records detailing your injuries to establish a direct link between the accident and your damages. Expert testimony from accident reconstruction specialists may be utilized to interpret the collected evidence and provide an unbiased opinion on how the accident occurred and who is liable.

Another key aspect involves analyzing the behaviors of both parties at the time of the accident. Your lawyer will scrutinize the driver’s actions, such as speeding, ignoring traffic signs, or driving under the influence, which directly contribute to proving negligence. Likewise, they will defend against any claims of comparative negligence that suggest you, as the pedestrian, were at fault, by demonstrating adherence to traffic laws and safety practices on your part.

By compiling and presenting this evidence effectively, your dedicated accident lawyer at PhillyLaw will strive to establish the other party’s liability clearly and pursue the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses in a personal injury case. This meticulous approach underscores the value of having a skilled personal injury lawyer to advocate on your behalf in a pedestrian accident case.

Damages Available for Philadelphia Pedestrian Accidents

Victims of pedestrian accidents in Pennsylvania may be entitled to various types of damages, reflecting the physical, emotional, and financial losses suffered due to the incident. These damages can be broadly classified into economic, non-economic, and, in some cases, punitive damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages compensate for the tangible losses the victim has experienced, such as medical bills for immediate and ongoing treatment for their pedestrian accident injuries, lost wages from the inability to work during recovery, and any future loss of earning capacity related to the injuries. This category aims to cover the direct financial impact of the accident on the victim’s life.

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, address the intangible consequences of the accident. These may include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium. These types of damages recognize the significant emotional and psychological toll an accident can have on a victim and their family.

Punitive Damages

In rare cases where the behavior of the defendant is found to be particularly egregious or reckless, punitive damages may also be awarded. These are not intended to compensate the victim but rather to punish the defendant for their conduct and serve as a deterrent to similar actions in the future.

Each pedestrian accident case is unique, and the types and amounts of damages available can vary significantly depending on the specifics of the case. A skilled Philadelphia pedestrian accident lawyer at PhillyLaw will provide invaluable assistance in identifying and quantifying the damages applicable to a particular case, ensuring that pedestrian accident victims receive the full compensation they are entitled to under Pennsylvania law.

Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents often result in serious injuries due to the unprotected nature of the pedestrian compared to the size and speed of motor vehicles. Common injuries sustained in such accidents include fractures, particularly to the legs, arms, and ribs, which can result in long-term mobility issues or permanent disability. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are also prevalent, ranging from mild concussions to severe brain damage, and can have lasting cognitive, physical, and emotional effects. Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and tears, are frequent and can lead to significant pain and recovery time. Lacerations and abrasions can also occur, which may lead to scarring or infection. More severe accidents can result in spinal cord injuries, leading to paralysis or other permanent disabilities. Understanding the range of potential injuries is crucial for victims seeking compensation, as it directly impacts the legal strategy and the damages pursued in a pedestrian accident claim.

In the gravest cases, pedestrian accidents may tragically result in death. When a pedestrian is fatally injured, the surviving family members may have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim against the party at fault. This legal action seeks compensation for the ultimate loss—the untimely death of a loved one. Damages in a wrongful death claim can include funeral and burial expenses, loss of the deceased’s expected earnings, loss of benefits like medical insurance, and non-economic damages such as loss of companionship and emotional distress. Pedestrian deaths not only signify a profound personal loss for the families involved but also highlight the critical need for more stringent traffic safety measures and awareness to prevent such devastating incidents. In navigating the complexities of a wrongful death claim, the guidance of an experienced Philadelphia pedestrian accident attorney becomes indispensable, ensuring that families receive the justice and compensation they deserve.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents in Philadelphia, as in many urban environments, are often the result of a combination of factors.

Driver Negligence

One primary cause is driver negligence, which includes behaviors such as speeding, failing to yield at crosswalks, and distracted driving due to mobile phone use or other distractions inside the vehicle.

Poor Visibility

Another significant factor in a pedestrian accident is poor visibility, especially during night-time or adverse weather conditions, which can make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians.

Pedestrian Negligence

Additionally, pedestrians themselves may contribute to accidents by jaywalking, crossing streets without paying attention to oncoming traffic, or being distracted by their own devices.

Infrastructure Challenges

Infrastructure challenges, such as inadequate crosswalks, poorly designed intersections, and lack of pedestrian signals, further exacerbate the risk of a pedestrian accident. Understanding these common causes is crucial for both preventing accidents and for those impacted to seek justice and compensation with the help of a professional legal advocate.

Steps to Take If You Are Hit by a Car as a Pedestrian in Pennsylvania

Being involved in a pedestrian accident can be a traumatic and confusing experience. If you are hit by a car as a pedestrian in Pennsylvania, it’s crucial to take specific steps to protect your health and legal rights:

  1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention: Your health is the top priority. Even if you believe your injuries are minor, it’s essential to get checked by a medical professional. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent.
  2. Report the Accident: Call the police immediately to report the accident. A police report provides an official record of the incident, which is invaluable for insurance and legal purposes.
  3. Gather Evidence: If possible, take photos or videos of the scene, including vehicle positions, traffic signs, and your injuries. Collect contact information from any witnesses. Their statements could be crucial in proving the driver’s negligence.
  4. Do Not Negotiate with the Driver: It’s advisable not to engage in discussions about fault or accept any form of compensation at the scene. These actions can complicate your legal case later.
  5. Seek Legal Advice: Before filing any insurance claims or accepting settlements, consult with a pedestrian accident attorney in Pennsylvania. A lawyer specializing in pedestrian accidents can offer you comprehensive legal guidance, help you understand your rights, and work to secure the compensation you deserve.
  6. Document Your Recovery: Keep detailed records of medical appointments, treatments, and how your injuries impact your daily life. This documentation can support your claim for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.

Following these steps can significantly contribute to the strength of your case, offering you the best chance to recover physically, emotionally, and financially from the accident.

The Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at PhillyLaw are Committed to Helping Pedestrian Accident Victims Recover

The team of experienced lawyers at PhillyLaw is devoted to advocating for pedestrians who have suffered injuries or death due to accidents. Understanding the significant impact these events can have on an individual’s life, our approach is both compassionate and thorough, aimed at ensuring victims receive the compensation they deserve. From navigating the complexities of insurance claims to litigating against responsible parties, we are committed to helping our clients recover physically, emotionally, and financially. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer at PhillyLaw for a free consultation to learn about your rights.