In a bustling city filled with historic locations, it shouldn’t be much surprise that foot traffic tends to be heavy. Whether taking a walking tour, strolling the sidewalks for weekend shopping, or just getting some exercise, traveling Philadelphia by foot can, unfortunately, be more dangerous than you may realize. Pedestrian accidents are fairly common and often leave a victim struggling to pay bills while recovering.
Potential Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Injuries
When drivers don't follow traffic rules or keep their eyes on the road, pedestrians often end up paying the price. On average, just over 4,000 pedestrian accidents involving a motor vehicle are reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation each year. Most of those accidents take place while crossing mid-street, at an intersection with a crosswalk, or in a driveway.
Regardless of where they take place, any pedestrian accident has a high potential for extremely serious injuries or even death, especially when dealing with larger vehicles like SEPTA busses, trains, and trolleys. Common injuries suffered by pedestrians include:
- Bone fractures
- Bruising and lacerations
- Long term pain, stiffness, and mobility issues
- Internal organ injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Spinal cord injury, which may involve nerve damage or permanent paralysis
- Traumatic brain injury
Recovering Damages After a Serious Pennsylvania Pedestrian Accident
These types of injuries may cause a drastic change to your daily life and leave you in a position where you can’t go back to work or engage in normal recreational activities. The good news is that you have a legal right to pursue compensation from the at-fault party.
That compensation may involve an insurance payout, a settlement outside of court with the negligent party, or through a court judgment. With the help of a skilled pedestrian accident attorney, you can recover damages for:
- Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity
- Non-economic damages covering pain, suffering, and other less-tangible effects like emotional distress, anxiety, and loss of quality of life
- Medical bills, both past and future
- Property damage in cases where the vehicle also struck your house, bicycle, etc.
- Wrongful death and funeral costs if a loved one died in a pedestrian accident
Steps to Take After Suffering an Injury in a Pennsylvania Pedestrian Accident
Your ability to successfully recover damages hinges on taking the right steps following an accident. Always report the incident to law enforcement, as well as filling out an incident report with the driver when dealing with a SEPTA vehicle. If possible, be sure to photograph the scene and gather information from eyewitnesses who may need to testify about the accident. From there, immediately seek medical attention to assess the extent of your injuries.
After seeing a doctor, the most important step is to contact a local attorney who will stand up for you. A lawyer can provide extremely important advice on protecting your rights and avoiding ways insurance carriers or the at-fault party might try to trip you up and deny you compensation.
To recover damages, your attorney will need to investigate the crash and show that negligent behavior directly caused your injury. While pedestrians also have to follow rules of the road, in many cases a pedestrian has the right of way and drivers are required to yield to them on streets. Your attorney’s investigation will seek to uncover how the driver failed to uphold their basic duty of care by engaging in negligent behavior like:
- Backing up without paying proper attention
- Distracted driving
- Driving under the influence
- Failing to signal a turn
- Failure to yield, particularly at crosswalks, when making left turns, or running a red light or stop sign
- Reckless driving during unsafe conditions such as adverse weather
It’s important to note that there are additional complications when trying to recover compensation for pedestrian injuries in SEPTA-related accidents. For instance, a victim would normally have two years from the date of an injury or wrongful death to file a lawsuit. You only have six months from the date of the accident to provide notice of intent to file a lawsuit against SEPTA, however.
Consult an Experienced Philadelphia Pedestrian Accident Attorney
At Heslin Law Firm, we are committed to seeking justice for pedestrians who have been injured by negligent drivers. Call or message us today to schedule a free consultation. We want to learn about your case and help you decide how to move forward in your financial recovery.