What Damages Are Available in a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit?

More than 2,000 pedestrian accidents take place every year in North Carolina. When a pedestrian is struck by a negligent driver, the pedestrian often sustains serious and potentially life-threatening injuries which are accompanied by stacks of medical bills. To make matters worse, you are unable to work while you recover so you have no way of paying them. If you were harmed in a pedestrian accident through no fault of your own, you could be eligible to recover financial compensation for damages such as medical bills and lost wages via a settlement or a personal injury lawsuit. Understanding the different types of damages that are available in your case can help you ensure you receive maximum compensation for your damages. If you were injured in a North Carolina pedestrian accident, the Outer Banks pedestrian accident lawyers at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp can help. Call us to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation. 

How Can I Prove Fault in an Outer Banks Pedestrian Accident?

Before you can recover compensation for damages associated with your pedestrian accident, you have to prove liability. In North Carolina, victims of pedestrian accidents must show that:

  • The driver owed the pedestrian a duty of care  
  • The driver violated that duty by committing negligence 
  • The violation was the cause of the pedestrian accident
  • As a result of the accident, the pedestrian incurred damages

Since North Carolina follows the law of pure contributory negligence, if you, as the injured pedestrian, are found to share in any degree of fault for the accident, you will be barred from collecting any damages no matter how severe your injuries may be. An experienced Outer Banks pedestrian accident lawyer can investigate your accident and collect vital evidence that proves you were not to blame for your injuries.

What Forms of Damages Could I Be Entitled To?

Plaintiffs who successfully demonstrate all four elements of negligence are entitled to compensatory damages, also known as general damages. General damages are the damages most commonly awarded in pedestrian lawsuits. Maintaining a thorough record of your medical bills along with any other expenses related to your injuries will allow your lawyer to determine what constitutes fair compensation in your specific case. General damages include:

Medical Bills

Medical bills include expenditures such as:

  • Emergency transport
  • Surgical expenses
  • Hospitalizations
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Appointments with specialists
  • Future medical treatments
  • Medical devices
  • In-home care

Lost Earnings

Along with medical bills, injured pedestrians are eligible to recover lost earnings, including any bonuses, commissions, and salaries they would have earned had the accident not happened. If your pedestrian accident left you permanently disabled and unable to work, you could also be entitled to damages for your lost earning capacity. In order to do so, you have to show that your injuries make it very challenging or impossible for you to work. 

Damage to Property

Pedestrians may also collect financial compensation for any damage to their property, such as the cost of replacing their cell phone, laptop, or anything else damaged in the incident.  

Pain and Suffering

In addition to their physical injuries, pedestrians often endure serious emotional injuries as well, such as post-traumatic stress disorder. In North Carolina, pedestrian accident victims are entitled to collect damages for their emotional injuries, also known as pain and suffering. However, successfully proving the extent of your pain and suffering can be difficult. Psychiatrists and other mental health experts can testify about the severity of your symptoms, which may include:  

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Grief
  • Insomnia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Mental anguish

If you experience these or any other symptoms related to mental health issues after your accident, schedule an appointment with an appropriate medical professional as soon as possible. Just as you would for your physical injuries, be sure to maintain all relevant records, documents, and bills so you can effectively substantiate your damages.

Punitive Damages in a Pedestrian Accident

In cases where the at-fault driver’s actions were especially malicious or egregious, victims could be eligible to receive punitive damages. To do so, they will need to prove that the defendant willfully disregarded their safety. One common example of this is drunk driving. 

Were You Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?

Pedestrian accident cases are rarely straightforward, especially when the at-fault driver and their insurer are insisting that you are responsible for the incident. For this and many other reasons, working with an experienced Outer Banks pedestrian accident lawyer from Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp is essential to the successful resolution of your case. Our knowledge of local laws and the fact that we prepare cases for trial from day one has enabled us to make significant financial recoveries for our clients, such as the $1.1 million settlement we secured for a high school student who sustained life-threatening injuries when was struck by a tractor-trailer as he stood on the side of the road waiting for it to pass. 

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, call (833) 997-1774 or fill out our easy contact form to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, and Kitty Hawk.