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Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in College Station & Bryan, TX

Accidents between vehicles and pedestrians are a serious problem in Texas. Statistics from the Governors Highway Safety Association show that Texas has the third-highest number of accidents involving pedestrians in the United States.

How Can You Find the Best Car Accident Injury Lawyer?

When a road accident involves a pedestrian, the resulting injuries can be severe. If you have been struck by a vehicle while walking on a sidewalk, crossing a street, or navigating a parking lot, you may be facing months in recovery, significant hospital bills, lost income from missed work, a great deal of emotional distress, and all manner of other losses.

You are entitled to seek financial compensation for the harm you’ve suffered, provided that the driver who injured you was guilty of negligence: they were distracted, speeding, reckless, intoxicated, or otherwise breaking a driving code when they caused the accident. Pursuing compensation usually involves filing a claim with the driver’s insurance provider or filing a lawsuit and taking the case to court.

When you file a claim, the insurance provider will often seek to refute either the validity of your claim, the value of your damages, or both. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in Bryan and College Station, TX can work to build the strongest case possible for you, overcome any obstacles the insurer throws in your path, and negotiate hard to achieve a favorable financial outcome.

By dealing directly with the insurer on your behalf, your attorney also takes the burden and stress of pursuing a pedestrian accident claim away from your shoulders. Let’s take a detailed look at the many considerable benefits you gain when you hire a pedestrian accident attorney in Bryan and College Station to handle your case.

Recover a Higher Settlement or Court Award

When you first contact the other driver’s insurance company, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case and start investigating the accident. If the adjuster finds the driver to have been responsible for the accident, they are likely to offer you a quick settlement.

For many pedestrian accident victims, this initial settlement offer is tempting, especially as it promises to alleviate the immediate financial burden of medical bills and lost wages. But it is important to take a step back at this point and consider your options.

Insurance providers often offer an initial lowball figure, hoping you won’t find out how much compensation you’re actually legally entitled to. This is why you should never accept any offer from the insurer before consulting with a College Station pedestrian accident lawyer.

When a lawyer evaluates your case, calculates your full damages, and engages the insurer in effective negotiation, you’re likely to recover a far higher settlement. In fact, it has been found that injured victims who hire a personal injury attorney recover three and a half times more money on average than those who don’t.

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The Typical Fee Structure of a College Station Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Sometimes, injured pedestrians hesitate to hire an attorney because they worry about the cost of legal fees. But this concern is usually unwarranted because most Bryan pedestrian accident lawyers offer their services on a contingency fee basis.

This means their legal fees come out of your final settlement or court award only when compensation is successfully recovered. If your attorney fails to win you compensation, you don’t need to pay them a dime.

You can ask pedestrian accident lawyers in Bryan, TX about their fee structure during your free initial consultation with them. Most pedestrian accident attorneys charge about a third of the final settlement payout.

Even with the lawyer’s fee deducted, the remaining money is likely to be far larger than the total amount you would recover without any legal representation or guidance. With the help of an attorney, you can maximize your rightful portion and receive a much more substantial outcome.

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Understand What to Do Following Your Accident

The actions you take immediately following a pedestrian accident will impact the success of any subsequent claim or lawsuit. If you speak to an attorney right away, they can explain what you should and shouldn’t do.

At the accident scene, it’s important to gather as much evidence as you can, including photos of the vehicle, driver, road signs, traffic signals, and the surrounding area. These pictures can later be used by an accident reconstruction expert to demonstrate to a jury exactly what occurred. You should also try to get the contact details of any eyewitnesses. And always call the police; the officer’s accident report will usually provide crucial evidence for your case later on.

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Avoid Making These Common Mistakes

It is unfortunately common for a pedestrian accident victim to make mistakes early on that hinder their ability to recover fair compensation. Speaking to an attorney at an early stage will greatly reduce your chances of doing something, or failing to do something, that could weaken or destroy your case.

For example, failing to seek immediate medical care gives the opposing party the opportunity to claim that your injuries weren’t serious or that they weren’t caused on that day. Even if you believe you haven’t had a particularly serious pedestrian accident, you should always see a doctor for a checkup right away.

The hospital or physician’s records will later prove the causal link between the accident and any injuries you’ve suffered. Sometimes, the symptoms of serious pedestrian accident injuries only appear much later, long after the adrenaline has worn off.

Another mistake is admitting to even a modicum of fault while providing a statement to the insurance provider. It is also unwise to post any details of your accident, injuries, or pedestrian accident claim on social media.

There are many other potential potholes and pitfalls for an injured pedestrian to stumble into in the aftermath of their accident. The sooner you consult with a pedestrian accident lawyer, the better you will understand your legal rights, the proper legal process for pursuing compensation, and the errors to avoid.

Determine Who Was Responsible for the Accident

Determining liability in pedestrian accident cases is not always straightforward and clear-cut. When pedestrian accidents occur, it is easy to assume that the driver was at fault, but the pedestrian may have partially or wholly contributed to the crash by carelessly stepping behind a reversing vehicle, jaywalking, or navigating a crosswalk against the light. Some traffic accidents involving pedestrians result in the driver suing the pedestrian.

For example, If a negligent pedestrian was jaywalking and caused a car to swerve and hit a wall, the pedestrian could be held liable for the driver’s damages. After being injured by a car, you may feel uncertain about what happened and who was at fault: the driver, you, or both. A College Station pedestrian accident attorney can investigate the crash, piece together the exact sequence of events, and use their in-depth knowledge of the law to clarify who was and was not at fault for the crash.

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Common Examples of Driver Negligence

Most drivers have bodily injury liability coverage in their car insurance policies, which you may attempt to claim as the injured pedestrian. But your claim will only succeed if you can prove that the driver broke the highway code and acted negligently, without due care and attention to pedestrian safety.

Distracted driving is a major cause of pedestrian accidents. Negligent drivers may be distracted by their phones, food, or passengers when they fail to notice and yield the right of way to pedestrians at a crosswalk.

Aggressive or inattentive driving of any kind may be considered negligent. Speeding makes it harder to react in time to pedestrians crossing the street. Additionally, drunk drivers are a danger to anyone they encounter on the road.

Examples of Pedestrian Liability for Accidents

Pedestrians must also follow the laws of pedestrian traffic and not put themselves or drivers at risk. There are many ways pedestrians can contribute toward a traffic accident and hold liability for their own injuries. Jaywalking, failing to follow traffic signs, or improper use of a marked crosswalk or unmarked crosswalk may all cause pedestrian crashes.

Pedestrians sometimes fail to look properly before crossing a street or fail to notice cars because of distractions (e.g., cell phones). Carelessness, recklessness, and drunkenness while near roads and traffic are many factors that can lead to accidents.

Darting out into a street without regard for drivers can easily cause a motor vehicle accident, as can walking along roadways without sidewalks or walking carelessly behind vehicles in parking lots. Wearing dark clothing at night may also contribute to an accident.

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Causes of Pedestrian Accidents May Include:

  • A driver backing up without looking
  • A driver turning corners too quickly
  • Failure of the vehicle’s driver to yield the right of way
  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Drowsy driving
  • Speeding
  • Other reckless or negligent acts

Gather Evidence to Prove the Driver's Liability

Many pedestrian accident cases see the liability of the driver disputed by the insurance provider. The success of such cases requires proving the driver’s liability, which almost always takes a dedicated pedestrian accident attorney in Bryan or College Station, TX who can collect enough evidence to persuade the insurer and also a jury, if necessary.

Evidence from the scene of the accident is often crucial. If you are unable to gather this evidence yourself because of your injuries, try to have someone you know visit the accident scene and collect it for you.

If contacted promptly, an attorney may be able to help with this. They can hire a special investigator to visit the scene of the crash.

Eyewitness testimony is often pivotal in pedestrian accident claims. If there were no third-party eyewitnesses, your attorney may be able to access video camera footage from dash cams or surveillance cameras.

Your attorney can also arrange expert witnesses to help prove the driver’s liability. For instance, accident reconstruction experts can use timelines and 3D models to accurately recreate the events that led up to the accident.

Calculate the Full Damages You're Entitled to Claim

One of the primary reasons College Station pedestrian accident lawyers can dramatically increase the value of their clients’ settlements is that they understand damages. Damages are the sums of money you seek to recover for each type of loss you have suffered.

Without sufficient knowledge of personal injury law, injured victims often aren’t aware of how many different damages they are entitled to claim. While medical expenses are often a priority, a full and fair financial recovery will usually involve many more types of damages.

Medical Expenses in Pedestrian Accidents

The most common damages in pedestrian-involved accidents are the medical expenses for treating and recovering from your injuries. These damages can be very high when car accidents involve pedestrians because unprotected pedestrians are vulnerable to very serious injuries—far more so than victims in traffic accidents involving only motor vehicles.

In any traffic accident, cuts, scrapes, abrasions, and other soft tissue damage are some of the milder injuries a pedestrian might suffer. More significant injuries are also common, such as broken bones, especially in the lower half of the body.

A pedestrian hit by a fast-moving car may easily suffer catastrophic injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries. A traumatic brain injury or any other severe injury can have long-lasting or even permanent consequences.

The extensive medical expenses needed to treat such serious injuries could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the injured victim. It usually takes skillful and experienced personal injury attorneys to calculate and prove the damages for future medical costs in serious pedestrian accidents.

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Lost Income Damages in Pedestrian Accidents

Recovering from broken bones takes injury victims away from work for a period of time. Typically, the more serious the injuries sustained, the more time you will need to take off work while recovering. During that time, you are losing income.

Therefore, damages for lost wages are commonly included in pedestrian accident claims. Even if you have used your paid leave (e.g., sick days, vacation days), you have a right to recover the monetary equivalent to those paid days off from the driver who injured you.

A traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, complex fracture, amputation, loss of sight or hearing, or another serious injury may have left you with a reduced capacity to work. If your ability to perform work-related tasks has been temporarily or permanently lessened, you may also seek damages for long-term lost wages into the future.

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Non-Economic Damages in Pedestrian Accidents

A pedestrian’s injuries can result in a great deal of pain and suffering, which should also be included in your damages. Any emotional or psychological harm you have experienced because of the accident may be compensated for in your damages.

Non-economic damages may include a variety of other non-economic damages, including disfigurement, impairment, disability, and loss of enjoyment in life. Your attorney can evaluate which of these losses you’re entitled to include in your claim.

Pain and suffering are more subjective in nature than medical bills and lost income. However, these non-economic damages still often make up a significant portion of the compensatory damages won in many pedestrian accident cases.

Without the legal know-how and experience an injury attorney provides, it can be difficult to understand how to claim and value these non-economic damages. Your attorney can calculate them for you, sometimes with the assistance of expert witnesses.

Punitive Damages in Pedestrian Accidents

If you were injured by a drunk driver or any driver who was recklessly endangering pedestrian traffic, you may be entitled to punitive damages on top of your compensatory damages. The jury may award punitive damages in a car accident involving reckless negligence or willful wrongdoing in order to punish the defendant and deter any repetition of such behavior.

Punitive damages are usually only awarded in court, so you will need an experienced trial lawyer to effectively pursue them.

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Collect Sufficient Evidence to Prove Your Damages

Even when the liability of the driver is accepted, insurers often disagree with the value of the damages sought. Therefore, all compensatory and punitive damages also need to be strongly supported with substantial evidence. Skillful pedestrian accident attorneys in College Station know how to find and present the evidence required to support damages and recover as much compensation as possible. This usually includes medical records, hospital reports, prescription receipts, pay stubs, and letters from your employer and personal physician.

Proving future medical bills and lost income might require expert witness testimony from specialist medical practitioners and economic experts. Non-economic damages can also be proven with expert witnesses such as clinical psychologists. Medical reports from doctors can serve as valuable evidence to support claims for damages related to pain and suffering. If you keep a detailed journal following the car accident, it may also help prove your emotional and psychological losses. People close to you, such as friends, family members, and coworkers, may provide testimony about your loss of enjoyment in life.

Your pedestrian accident lawyer will provide you with detailed guidance on how to collect and store evidence to support your damages. They will also help gather evidence for you.

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Pursue a Wrongful Death Claim in the Case of a Fatality

Pedestrian fatalities are unfortunately common in road accidents. According to the CDC pedestrian accident statistics, a pedestrian loses their life in a car accident every 75 minutes in the US. When pedestrian fatalities occur in an automobile accident, the surviving loved ones of the deceased may file a wrongful death claim against the negligent driver.

Bryan pedestrian accident lawyers frequently handle wrongful death claims. In wrongful death cases, the claimants may seek to recover damages for the funeral costs and any medical bills that accrued before their injured loved one passed away. The surviving family members are often left in a worsened financial situation.

Therefore, wrongful death damages might also include compensation for any financial contributions the decedent previously provided.

Non-economic damages can also be significant in a wrongful death claim. You may seek compensation for the grief you’ve suffered and also the companionship, love, affection, and emotional support you’ve lost.

These losses connected to the ended relationship are called loss of consortium damages. Injury attorneys can quantify and gather evidence to support any loss of consortium damages you have a right to claim.

Handle Uncooperative Insurance Companies

While making any personal injury claim, it is important to keep in mind that the insurance company is not on your side. Insurance companies often take advantage of pedestrian accidents by capitalizing on the injured pedestrian’s lack of legal representation and knowledge regarding their full rights in such cases.

Insurance adjusters prioritize minimizing claims at all costs, and they often employ clever and sometimes underhanded strategies to achieve this goal, often to the detriment of the claimant.

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Strategies Insurers Use Against Pedestrian Accident Victims

The insurance company may trick you into admitting some measure of fault for your own injuries. They can do this by requesting a recorded statement, which you can and should decline. While recording the statement, they may ask you leading questions until you accidentally agree that you may have been somehow negligent in your actions, contributing to the accident. After that, proving the liability of the driver will be far more difficult, if not impossible. Other common insurer strategies include withholding information uncovered during their own accident investigation that may help your claim. This is why it is crucial to hire an attorney who can conduct their own independent investigation.

The insurer may also misrepresent the terms of the policy coverage, try to overwhelm you with unnecessary paperwork and drag out the entire claims process to demoralize and frustrate you. All of this often works to get injured victims to agree to less-than-optimal settlements. It is crucial to remain cautious when insurers try to dissuade you from seeking legal representation, as their motives may not align with your best interests. Dedicated pedestrian accident attorneys know how to deal with any such insurance company strategies and keep the case moving steadily forward. It is almost always a bad decision for accident victims to attempt to take on an insurance provider alone.

File a Lawsuit and Try Your Case in Court

The typical pedestrian accident case is resolved directly with the insurance provider with an out-of-court settlement. But if the insurer isn’t prepared to agree to a fair settlement, your attorney may think it best to file a pedestrian accident lawsuit against the defendant. Even after a lawsuit has been filed and litigation begins, the defendant and insurance company have several opportunities to agree to a settlement. Only about 5% of cases make it to a jury trial in court.

Despite this low probability, it is important to be prepared for court. Your attorney should also be ready to handle a jury trial.

While meeting prospective injury attorneys for a free consultation and free case evaluation, ask if they try pedestrian accidents in court. Many attorneys have very little experience with pedestrian accident lawsuits in court because they can earn a living resolving cases quickly with pre-court settlements.

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Hire an Attorney With Plenty of Trial Experience

It is almost always best to hire a pedestrian accident lawyer with a great deal of experience trying and winning court cases.

When injury attorneys are prepared to go all the way to a jury trial, they’re more likely to negotiate hard and push for the best possible financial outcome.

Insurers understand this and are more likely to agree to a fair settlement if they know that a well-reputed trial attorney is prepared to take them through an expensive jury trial on your behalf. Not only should you ask attorneys about their jury trial experience, but you should also ask how many pedestrian accidents, in particular, they have handled in court.

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Qualities of a Great Pedestrian Accident Attorney

When choosing your attorney, look for experience first and foremost. Ask how many pedestrian accidents they’ve handled in the past. You might also ask for testimonials and references from prior clients. You’ll often find testimonials on their websites. Schedule a free consultation with any attorney you are considering, and make sure that you get along well with them. Your attorney should be easy to talk to and able to explain legal proceedings in a way that’s easy to understand. The right attorney will also be one who shows genuine interest in your case. You should ideally gain a sense that they’re eager to help you succeed. Ask how much they think your case is worth and what course of action they think you should follow. Also, ask what weaknesses your claim may have.

An honest and forthright attorney should be happy to discuss any obstacles they foresee in your case and provide confident, logical solutions to those obstacles. Also, ask how the entire claims procedure works with them and how readily they will be available to provide you with updates. Finally, ask how the payment structure works with their legal fees to confirm that they operate on a contingency fee basis. If you are looking for an experienced, skillful trial attorney to handle your pedestrian accident case, contact Brian C. Gutierrez today for a free consultation. With over 15 years of experience helping out injured victims in Texas, Brian can fight hard to recover every cent you deserve for all the pedestrian accident injuries and other losses you’ve suffered.

“No words describe how amazing it is to work with Brian.” J.T.

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