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5 Essential Steps to Take When Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Virginia

Pedestrian Related Car Accidents in Virginia 

Being involved in a pedestrian accident can be a terrifying and stressful experience. If you have been hit by a car while walking in Virginia, you likely have many questions about what to do next. A pedestrian accident lawyer can advise you on the best way to proceed with your claim and help you get the compensation you deserve.

When you select Altizer Law, you receive customized, personal, and empathetic attention. Our years of experience guiding clients through personal injury and pedestrian involved accidents has led to optimal results and outcomes. Call us today at 540.345.2000 for more information. 

How to File a Pedestrian Car Accident Claim 

Filing an accident claim after being hit by a car as a pedestrian involves several important steps. Here are the 5 essential things you need to do if you want to successfully win your pedestrian accident case in Virginia:

1. Seek Medical Attention Immediately 

The first thing you should do after any pedestrian car accident is get medical help right away. Even if you don’t feel hurt at first, the adrenaline pumping through your body after the collision can mask injuries. Some problems like concussions or internal bleeding may not have obvious symptoms initially.

Seeing a doctor quickly establishes official medical documentation of your injuries. This provides evidence that you were hurt and that the driver is liable. Any delay in treatment can weaken your claim that the accident caused your injuries.

2. Document the Accident Scene Thoroughly 

While waiting for police and medical help to arrive, take photos and videos of the accident scene from different angles. Capture images showing where you were hit in relation to crosswalks, traffic lights, signs, and any other relevant details. Look for skid marks, debris, broken glass, or damage to vehicles.

Get contact details and statements from eyewitnesses while facts are still fresh in their minds. The more proof you have of exactly what happened, the stronger your claim will be.

3. File a Police Report 

Always report pedestrian accidents to the police, even minor collisions. Ask the responding officer for their name and badge number. Get a copy of the police report when it is ready, as this provides official documentation of the incident.

Ensure all important facts are recorded accurately, like the vehicle that hit you, driver details, your injuries, and statements from witnesses. Having the police report can help establish fault later on.

4. Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer 

Speaking with pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible after a pedestrian car accident claim is highly advisable. A skilled attorney understands the legal process, can identify liable parties, and works to maximize your compensation.

An attorney conducts a detailed investigation into what happened, gathers evidence to prove negligence, handles paperwork, and negotiates fair settlement offers. They represent your best interests every step of the way.

5. Keep Detailed Records 

Save all evidence related to your pedestrian car accident, including medical records, doctor’s notes, medical bills and expenses, police reports, photos, videos, and any correspondence with insurance companies.

Maintain a personal journal recording how the injuries affect your daily life, like being unable to work or perform regular activities. Meticulous records ensure you receive the full amount owed for the accident.

Virginia Pedestrian Accident Laws and Time Limits

Pedestrian accidents are governed by Virginia’s personal injury laws which are based on negligence and fault. For the injured party to claim damages, they must show the driver acted negligently and directly caused their injuries.

Virginia is a “contributory negligence” state which means if the pedestrian bears any fault at all for the accident, they cannot collect compensation. The pedestrian must prove the driver was 100% liable.

The statute of limitations in Virginia for filing a personal injury claim is two years from the date of the accident. This deadline applies to pedestrians hit by a car. Preserving evidence quickly is essential.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Car Accidents

While each pedestrian accident is unique, some frequent factors contribute to collisions between walkers and vehicles in Virginia:

  • Driver distraction – cellphone use, eating, conversing with passengers Speeding and aggressive driving

  • Drivers or pedestrians not obeying traffic signals 

  • Poor lighting conditions at night reduced visibility 

  • Drivers failure to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks 

  • Impaired driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol 

  • Unsafe road design without proper pedestrian walking areas

Any of these factors can result in catastrophic injuries to pedestrians. About 6,793 pedestrians died in traffic crashes in the U.S. in 2021 according to the NHTSA. Staying alert as both a pedestrian and driver helps prevent accidents.

Proving Fault in a Pedestrian Accident Case

Liability determines who was at fault and must pay for damages in a pedestrian accident claim. Your pedestrian accident lawyer will gather evidence establishing the driver breached their duty of care and directly caused your injuries as a pedestrian. Ways to prove fault include:

  • Security or traffic cameras showing how the crash happened 

  • Cell phone records indicating distracted driving 

  • Data from the vehicle’s black box 

  • Witness statements corroborating key details 

  • Police reports confirming the driver’s traffic violations
    Skid marks and post-collision vehicle position showing speeding

Thorough investigation and documentation are key to winning your claim. An attorney knows how to build a strong case showing the motorist was wholly responsible through their reckless or negligent actions.

Seeking Rightful Compensation in Virginia

As a pedestrian accident victim in Virginia, you may be entitled to various damages if you file a successful injury claim against the at-fault driver. Forms of compensation can potentially include:

  • Medical expenses – hospital bills, ambulance fees, physical therapy, prescription medications 

  • Lost income from missed work due to injuries
    Cost of household and personal assistance if disabled 

  • Pain and suffering damages 

  • Loss of enjoyment of life due to permanent disability 

  • Punitive damages in cases of gross negligence

An experienced personal injury lawyer thoroughly calculates both economic and non-economic losses so pedestrian accident victims receive full and fair restitution. Do not settle for less than you deserve.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Am I still eligible to file a claim if I was jaywalking when hit by a car?

Yes, you can still make a claim but may share partial fault depending on circumstances. An attorney can help reduce any reduction in compensation.

2. Should I give a recorded statement to the insurance company after a pedestrian accident?

No do not provide recorded statements until consulting a lawyer, as insurers can use your words against you. Let your attorney handle communications.

3. What if I was hit by an uninsured or hit-and-run driver?

Special uninsured motorist coverage can help pay your damages. Your lawyer can identify all liable parties.

4. How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a pedestrian accident?

Virginia has a two year statute of limitations. It is best to take action promptly while evidence is fresh.

5. How much is my pedestrian accident claim worth?

Many unique factors determine worth like injuries, lost wages, and insurance coverage. An attorney will seek maximum compensation you are entitled to.

Selecting the Best Representation for Your Pedestrian-Car Accident Claim in Virginia 

Being injured as a pedestrian in a motor vehicle crash can derail your life. Protect your rights by taking the necessary steps when filing your claim. A pedestrian accident lawyer can help you recover and get back on your feet. With compassionate counsel and determined representation, justice is attainable.

Altizer Law has supported hundreds of clients who have been involved in pedestrian and auto accidents. Call our team of experienced attorneys today at 540.345.2000 for your free consultation.