Pedestrian accidents can result in life-altering injuries and significant physical, emotional, and financial challenges for victims. When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, the consequences can be severe due to the stark size and speed differences between a person on foot and a moving vehicle. The following is a brief overview of the common injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents and the legal options available to victims seeking compensation for their losses. Contact a Virginia Beach pedestrian accident lawyer for more detailed information about your situation.
Common Injuries in Virginia Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians involved in accidents with motor vehicles are vulnerable to a range of injuries due to the impact and force involved. Some of the most common injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): When a pedestrian’s head makes contact with the vehicle or the pavement, it can result in TBIs. These injuries can range from mild concussions to severe brain damage and may have long-lasting effects on cognitive function, motor skills, and behavior.
- Skull Fractures: High-impact collisions can lead to fractures of the skull, which may require surgery to repair.
Spinal Cord Injuries
- Paralysis: Damage to the spinal cord can result in partial or complete paralysis, affecting mobility and quality of life.
- Herniated Discs: The force of impact can cause herniated discs in the spine, leading to pain, numbness, and weakness.
- Broken Bones: Pedestrians often suffer fractures in their arms, legs, ribs, and pelvis upon impact with a vehicle.
Soft Tissue Injuries
- Contusions and Abrasions: Pedestrians can sustain severe bruises and abrasions, also known as road rash, due to contact with the ground or the vehicle.
- Organ Damage: The force of impact can cause internal injuries, including damage to the liver, kidneys, and spleen.
Cuts and Lacerations
- Deep Cuts: Glass shards, metal, or other debris can cause deep cuts and lacerations, requiring surgical intervention.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): The emotional impact of a pedestrian accident can result in PTSD, leading to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
Legal Options for Victims of Pedestrian Accidents in Virginia
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Virginia, it’s essential to understand the legal options available to seek compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses. Here are the primary legal avenues for victims:
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Victims of pedestrian accidents can file personal injury lawsuits against the at-fault parties, typically the drivers of the motor vehicles involved. To succeed in a personal injury claim, the injured pedestrian or their legal representative must prove that the driver’s negligence or wrongful actions were responsible for the accident and resulting injuries. Speak to an injury lawyer in Virginia Beach today.
Elements to establish in a personal injury claim include:
- Duty of care owed by the driver to the pedestrian.
- Breach of that duty through negligence or wrongful actions.
- Causation, demonstrating that the driver’s breach of duty directly led to the pedestrian’s injuries.
- Damages, quantifying the losses and suffering endured by the victim.
Wrongful Death Lawsuits
In tragic cases where a pedestrian accident results in a fatality, surviving family members may pursue wrongful death lawsuits against the responsible party. These lawsuits seek compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of companionship, and other damages resulting from the loss of a loved one.
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage
In cases where the at-fault driver is uninsured or lacks sufficient insurance to cover the pedestrian’s injuries and damages, the injured pedestrian may turn to their own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for compensation.
Consultation with an Attorney
Pedestrian accident cases can be complex, involving multiple legal considerations, insurance policies, and liability issues. Consulting with an experienced Virginia Beach personal injury attorney specializing in pedestrian accidents is highly advisable. An attorney can:
- Assess the strength of your case.
- Identify liable parties and potential sources of compensation.
- Gather evidence and build a strong legal strategy.
- Navigate the legal process, including negotiations with insurance companies or litigation if necessary.
- Advocate for your rights and seek fair compensation for your injuries and losses.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, consulting with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system and pursue the compensation you deserve. Contact Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp to schedule a free case evaluation and find out what legal options you may have.