A Guide to Pedestrian Accident Claims in Western PA

Pedestrian walking across the crosswalk with an oncoming car. Pedestrian accident claims. pedestrian accident claims - SMT Legal

If you have been the victim of a pedestrian accident, a Western Pennsylvania lawyer at SMT Legal can file pedestrian accident claims on your behalf. Read more below about what you should expect from your pedestrian accident claim.

Knowing Whether to File a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Western PA

To be eligible to file a pedestrian accident claim in Western Pennsylvania, you need to meet certain criteria. For example, your pedestrian accident must have been partly the result of another individual or organization’s negligence. Pennsylvania recognizes comparative negligence. If you were less than 51% responsible for your pedestrian accident, you are entitled to recover damages resulting from the collision.

You must also have suffered injuries from the pedestrian accident to file a claim in Western Pennsylvania. Injuries caused by pedestrian accidents can range in severity from mild to fatal. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were more than 60,000 injuries and 7,380 fatalities caused in pedestrian accidents in the most recent reporting year.

Another indicator of whether you can file a pedestrian accident claim in Western Pennsylvania is whether you suffered damages. To file a pedestrian accident claim, you must be able to show that you suffered damages as a result of the accident. Those damages can include, but are not limited to, physical injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional trauma.

The Legal Basis for Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Western PA

Lawyer holding a law book and speaking with a client about pedestrian accident claims.  Lawyer holding a law book and speaking with a client about pedestrian accident claims. - SMT LegalYou must have a legal basis to file a pedestrian accident claim in Western Pennsylvania. Most often, that legal basis will be negligence. Again, your accident must have been primarily the fault of someone else’s negligence or carelessness.

To have a successful pedestrian accident claim based on negligence, you must demonstrate specific elements. These elements include a that the responsible party owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, the breach caused you harm, and you suffered damages as a result. Each of these elements is explained in more detail below.

Duty of Care

Drivers owe you a duty of care as a pedestrian, meaning they are obligated to use reasonable care to avoid injuring you.

Breach of The Duty of Care

You must also demonstrate that the driver responsible for causing the injuries in your pedestrian accident breached their duty of care. A breach of duty happens when the driver fails to demonstrate the reasonable care that is expected of them. In other words, when a driver acts in a way that a reasonably competent driver would not have, a breach of the duty of care has occurred.

Causation

For a successful result in your pedestrian accident claim, you must show that there is a connection between the driver’s negligent conduct and your injuries and other losses. Your damages must have been directly caused by their breach of duty of care. This causation is what establishes liability in your pedestrian accident claim.

Damages

In a pedestrian accident claim, you must demonstrate that you suffered actual damages as a result of the liable driver’s breached duty of care. Your damages must be compensable and can include economic and non-economic losses. Keep in mind that you must file your claim for damages within two years of the date of your pedestrian accident.

To prevail in your pedestrian accident claim in Western Pennsylvania, you must prove all of these elements by a preponderance of the evidence. This means your evidence must convince a factfinder that there is more than a 50% chance that your assertions are true.

The experienced car accident attorneys at SMT Legal will investigate the circumstances of your pedestrian accident and determine whether you are eligible to file a legal claim.

What You Need to File a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Western PA

When filing a pedestrian accident claim in Western Pennsylvania, you need certain evidence to support your assertions. To collect the supporting evidence, there are certain steps you should take after your accident. These steps include:

  • Calling the police and having them make an official report of your accident
  • Documenting the accident scene by taking photos and / or videos of the area where you were injured
  • Getting contact and insurance information for the driver or other person responsible for your accident and anyone who may have witnessed it
  • Seeking medical attention as soon as possible, even if you do not have visible injuries
  • Documenting your injuries by keeping a record of your symptoms to corroborate your damages claim
  • Recording what you recall about your accident, including small details
  • Tracking your medical expenses and other costs related to your accident
  • Avoiding any conversations with insurance companies
  • Avoiding posting anything about your accident on social media
  • Contacting the experienced personal injury attorneys at SMT Legal

All of this evidence will support your Western Pennsylvania accident claim. The more evidence you have that verifies your assertions of damages will help your chances of recovering compensation in your personal injury claim. If you have any questions regarding the importance of a potential piece of evidence, you should contact a lawyer at SMT Legal for guidance.

Potential Outcomes of Your Accident Claim

Pedestrian on a bike hit by a car at a crosswalk. Pedestrian accident claims.  Pedestrian on a bike hit by a car at a crosswalk. Pedestrian accident claims. - SMT LegalOnce you file your pedestrian accident claim in Western Pennsylvania, there are several ways your case can be resolved. One of those resolutions is through settlement. Another possible resolution to your claim is to go to trial and receive a verdict.

Whether through settlement or a verdict, there are certain losses you will assert in your pedestrian accident claim. Those losses include your monetary and non-monetary damages. As mentioned above, both of these types of damages will be considered in your claim.

Your monetary damages, or economic damages, include tangible losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and future treatment. Your non-monetary damages, or non-economic damages, are a bit more difficult to calculate. They include non-tangible losses such as pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and loss of enjoyment of life.

Expectations for Your Claim

Having realistic expectations for your pedestrian accident claim is important. This is why it is important to seek help from a skilled attorney at SMT Legal. Experienced in pedestrian accident claims, they can answer your questions and help you know what to expect.

It is important to keep in mind that your right to make a legal claim does have a time limit. As previously mentioned, the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania for personal injury lawsuits is two years from the date of your accident. If you miss this deadline, you can lose the right to file a claim.

It is also important to remember that all pedestrian accident claims are different. Therefore, yours may be resolved sooner or later than others. There is no way to determine exactly how long your pedestrian accident claim will take.

Get Help With Your Pedestrian Accident Claim Today

While this is a brief guide to pedestrian accident claims in Western Pennsylvania, your situation is unique. This is why it is important for you to consult with the experienced pedestrian accident attorneys at SMT Legal. We can give you a better understanding of what to expect from your specific pedestrian accident in a free initial consultation.