Pedestrians have just as much right to the roads and streets as cars and cyclists. However, pedestrians are the most vulnerable road users.
When a pedestrian is involved in a motor vehicle accident (MVA), the results are usually a severe or catastrophic injury or even death. Pedestrians are also vulnerable to being inadequately compensated for their suffering by their insurance providers. Therefore, it’s essential for pedestrian injury victims to work with a personal injury lawyer to ensure they’re paid what they’re owed.
COMMON INJURIES IN PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS
Pedestrians don’t wear helmets or have a car with seatbelts and airbags to protect them. Therefore, when injured in an MVA, their injuries tend to be severe. The most common injuries include:
Soft tissue damage like cuts, strains and sprains
Broken and fractured bones
Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
Facial injuries and scarring
Most importantly, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in an MVA than vehicle occupants.
COMMON CAUSES OF PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS
Crossing the street, walking through a parking lot and even using sidewalks comes with risks. The most at-risk pedestrians are over 65 years old and under 15. Here are some of the common causes of pedestrian injuries from MVAs:
Crosswalk collisions, where drivers fail to notice designated crosswalks or pedestrians venturing onto the street without checking
Parking lot collisions, where drivers pull into or back out of parking spaces without noticing a person walking behind or in front of them
Hit and runs involving a drunk or distracted driver or a driver who failed to see a pedestrian due to darkness
Drivers ignoring street signs and traffic signals
Drivers who are speeding
Cars that crash into other vehicles and push them onto sidewalks, crosswalks, or bicycle lanes
Pedestrians who illegally or carelessly cross the street outside of marked crosswalks or street corners
It doesn’t matter who’s at fault; people injured in an MVA have the legal right to compensation from their insurance providers.
THE CLAIMS PROCESS
The physical and emotional trauma of being injured in a car accident can be a lot to bear. The last thing you need is the hassle of fighting with your insurance provider about your claim. A personal injury lawyer has the experience and knowledge of the legal system to get you the compensation you legally deserve successfully. Here’s how the process works.
1. Free consultation. A personal injury lawyer will ask you questions about how you were injured, the extent of your injuries, the pain you’re experiencing and your financial losses due to the injury. Consultations are free of charge, and the lawyer will assess the situation and let you know if you have a viable case. 2. File your claim. In Ontario, you have one week from the date of your accident to notify your or the at-fault insurance company of your intent to file a claim. Your personal injury lawyer and their legal team will help you navigate the claims process.
Your lawyer may negotiate a settlement with your insurance provider and avoid court proceedings. If your case goes to court, your legal team will prove the physical, emotional and financial impacts of your injuries and establish the liability of the at-fault driver. 3. Resolution. Insurance providers are notorious for denying legitimate injury claims or delaying the payout as much as possible. They may also try to downplay the extent of your injuries to lower the benefit amount. Your legal team will do everything possible to get you fair compensation promptly. You won’t pay any legal fees if your case isn’t successful.
No amount of money can fully measure the extent of a pedestrian injury or death. However, suffering shouldn’t be compounded by an insurance company refusing to pay what you’re rightfully owed.
PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS IN SAULT STE. MARIE AND DISTRICT OF ALGOMA
At Feifel Gualazzi, we specialize in getting fair compensation for people injured in pedestrian accidents, car crashes and collisions. Regardless of whether you’re legally at fault, you’re entitled to compensation from your insurance provider, and an experienced lawyer can help you get it. Contact us today for a free consultation. We serve clients in Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding communities in Northern Ontario.