Walking seems like a safe activity, but when you stroll along the roadside or cross the street, you can literally be taking your life in your hands. Pedestrian are frequently hit by cars in Augusta, often with tragic consequences. Even a minor accident at a slow speed can put you in the hospital, and a more serious accident can alter your life forever. But you don’t have to pay for an accident that wasn’t your fault. You need to talk to an Augusta pedestrian accident lawyer.
At John Foy and Associates, our lawyers know how to get results. For more than two decades, we have been helping accident victims get the money they need to pay their medical bills, support their families, and begin to rebuild their lives. Let us give you a free consultation to answer your questions and explain how we can help you too. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What are some of the reasons pedestrian accidents happen?
Often, pedestrian accidents are caused by careless drivers who aren’t paying attention to their surroundings. Some of the main reasons pedestrian accidents occur include:
- Distracted driving. Cell phones have become a major source of distraction for drivers who are preoccupied with texting, checking email, looking at a GPS or talking on the phone. A car’s passengers, control knobs for the car’s stereo or heating and cooling system, or things along the side of the road can also compete for a driver’s attention. Distracted drivers are less likely to be aware of pedestrians.
- When drivers exceed the posted speed, they increase both the rate and the severity of pedestrian accidents. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the longer it will take to stop in an emergency, and the greater the likelihood that it will cause severe or fatal injuries.
- Not yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks. Drivers are supposed to stop and yield right of way to pedestrians who are crossing on a “walk” signal, or who are crossing in a crosswalk within one lane of the lane the driver is traveling in. Crosswalk accidents are especially common when cars are turning right on red.
- Not checking behind the vehicle when backing up. Small children are often the victims of accidents that occur when someone is backing out of the driveway.
- Drunk drivers. Drunk drivers may fail to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks, or they may weave onto the shoulder of the road, striking people who are walking along the roadside.
No matter how the accident happened, the person whose carelessness caused it is liable for your injuries. That means the person must pay ALL of your costs, no matter how minor or how serious your injuries are.
What can I recover money for after a pedestrian accident?
If you have an injury that was caused by a pedestrian accident in Augusta-Richmond County, you can recover money for it. Our clients who have been injured while walking have been able to recover several types of damages:
- Special damages are awarded for “economic” losses, or things that have a monetary cost that can be calculated. This includes medical expenses, physical therapy, lost wages, and funeral expenses in the event of a fatality.
- General damages are awarded for “non-economic” losses, or the effects of the accident that are harder to describe and put a dollar value on. This includes things like chronic pain, adjusting to life with a disability, inability to do the things you used to do, loss of a relationship with family members, and mental health issues stemming from the accident. The amount you receive in general damages after a serious accident can be quite significant.
- If your accident was caused by a drunk driver, you may be eligible for a third category of damages known as “punitive damages.” The amount of these damages isn’t related to the kind of losses you have suffered. Instead, punitive damages are awarded to you by the local courts to punish behavior that the state wants to discourage – in this case drinking and driving.
- If you lost someone close to you in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to recover “wrongful death” damages for the life that was lost. Of course, money can never replace a precious human life, but wrongful death damages can help the family find a way forward after an unthinkable loss.
How should I deal with the insurance company after a pedestrian accident?
We’ve been around insurance companies long enough to know that they don’t have your best interests at heart. They care far more about their own profits than about getting you the money you need to really take care of yourself. For this reason, we urge you to be very cautious when talking to the insurance company adjusters – no matter how nice they seem.
Here are some guidelines:
- DO give the insurance company the basic facts about your accident, such as when and where it happened. Don’t offer additional information or speculate about how the accident occurred or whose fault it was. Don’t go into details about your injuries – just say you are getting evaluated by doctors. And whatever you do, don’t apologize, take the blame, or suggest that you might have done anything wrong.
- DO NOT give the insurance company a recorded statement. A recorded statement is not necessary to your claim, and there is no advantage to giving one – even if you think you have nothing to hide. Insurance adjusters are trained to ask confusing questions and push you for answers that will hurt your claim. Once you say something on tape, it is very hard to change your statement.
- DO NOT take money from an insurance company or sign anything without talking to a lawyer first. Insurance companies almost always make a very low offer at first. If you take their check, you’ll also have to sign a release saying you won’t ever ask for any more money for this accident. If you find out the check is too little to pay for everything – and it almost always is – you will be out of luck.
Dealing with the insurance company can be exhausting, but you can let your lawyer take care of it for you. Just tell the insurance company you’re working with John Foy & Associates, and we’ll handle the rest.
Talk to an Augusta Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
At John Foy & Associates, our entire law practice is built on helping victims of accidents and their families. We can help you too, starting with our free, no-obligation consultation. If you decide to work with us, we won’t charge you a fee – ever – if we don’t get money for you. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.