Pedestrian accidents can range from minor to severe, even in the quiet community of Boise.
Some may result in little to no injury, whereas others cause physical trauma and other serious damages, such as loss of wages and even death. Medical bills from emergency treatment and physical therapy can quickly diminish savings, and the stress of being struck by a car or being involved in an automobile accident can cause significant mental strain. If you or a loved one have recently been involved in an accident where you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.
Consider booking a free consultation with a personal injury attorney at The Advocates law firm. There is no cost to you as you explore your legal options.
Both pedestrians and drivers must follow traffic rules when on the road. However, the majority of pedestrian accidents in Boise are caused by a driver’s carelessness. Below is a list of some of the most common reasons behind pedestrian accidents in Boise.
Certain situations grant pedestrians legal precedence over vehicles, such as when crossing a marked crosswalk or walking in a controlled intersection. A driver’s failure to adhere to a pedestrian’s right of way often results in pedestrian accidents. For example, when a car turns right at a red light but fails to stop for a pedestrian in the crosswalk, the driver is at fault for the collision.
Speeding is a common cause of many vehicular accidents; those involving pedestrians are no exception. Driving at excessive speeds severely hinders a driver’s ability to control a vehicle and increases the chance they will not be able to stop or respond to a situation safely.
These types of accidents can cause severe injuries and even death.
Another common cause of pedestrian-related accidents in Boise is when a driver is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When someone gets behind the wheel of a car or truck and is drunk or high, their judgment is compromised, and their reaction time is diminished. Because of this, they cannot stop, change lanes, stay in a lane, or turn appropriately. If a pedestrian is nearby, they are at risk.
Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents. The use of GPS units, phone conversations, texting, eating, and drinking are all examples of distracted driving. Such distractions often result in one hand off the steering wheel or a slow response time, especially when applying brakes or avoiding someone in a crosswalk.
If a pedestrian is struck by a car or is involved in a truck accident and the driver is distracted in any way, the driver is likely at fault for the accident.
Limited visibility is usually due to poor weather conditions, direct sun in a driver’s eyes, broken or malfunctioning headlights, or accidents involving pedestrians wearing dark-colored clothes in low-light conditions. In situations where visibility is poor, it is difficult to see pedestrians.
No matter how minor or severe, any injury caused by another person’s negligence is eligible for a personal injury claim. Although the type and extent of injuries in a pedestrian accident vary on a case-by-case basis, some of the more common ones include:
In addition to the cost of medical treatment, there are many other things a pedestrian can seek compensation for, including:
An important thing to understand is that not all victims of pedestrian accidents qualify for compensation from the driver (or owner) of a vehicle.
Being residents of Idaho, a comparative negligence state, pedestrians in Boise can seek damage claims if they are 49% or less at fault for an accident. The compensation amount will get reduced according to their share of responsibility (calculated in percentage) in the accident.
Although there are no limitations for financial damages (like loss of livelihood or wages), non-economic damages (like pain and suffering) have compensation caps. This cap is currently $250,000 and is evaluated every year on July 1st according to the annual average wage adjustment by the Idaho Industrial Commission.
One of the most frequently asked questions among pedestrian accident victims is, “can I fight the case on my own to seek compensation?” Although it’s not an impossible prospect, hiring legal help is always advisable for the following reasons:
Every victim feels they are entitled to an extensive damage settlement. But not everyone is eligible for compensation. An accurate assessment of fault is crucial for filing a legitimate claim, and doing this by yourself can be challenging and takes a lot of time. Hiring an attorney with experience in dealing with pedestrian accidents will help ensure your claim is filed accurately and give you more time to focus on your recovery.
An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer will determine if you’re eligible for financial compensation.
You can have all the facts and evidence necessary to prove a driver’s negligence led to your injuries and still not win a claim. Proving fault requires presenting case details in a particular and convincing way. Insurance companies are notoriously difficult to work with, and presenting in a court of law requires extensive legal knowledge. The Advocates’ attorneys can help you with all the technical and legal details of filing a personal injury claim.
Hiring an accident lawyer doesn’t guarantee you will win your claim, but data show it can increase a settlement by two to three times as compared to dealing with the claim on your own. Once a lawyer from The Advocates files a suit and establishes a driver’s negligence caused your injuries, they will pursue an out-of-court settlement. This happens through negotiations with the insurance company.
In the event an insurer refuses to settle, your attorney will take your claim to trial. Hiring an attorney is critical as they can litigate your case. This means they can represent you in court. A lawyer who is not an attorney can negotiate with insurance companies, but they can’t take your personal injury case to court.
Collecting the required evidence and documents that prove the driver’s fault can be time-consuming. And negotiating a compensation claim can take months with all the complex paperwork and filing that must be completed within strict deadlines.
A pedestrian accident lawyer from The Advocates can help you reach a faster claim settlement by eliminating the chance of errors or delays.
Once you hire a pedestrian accident lawyer or attorney at The Advocates, they will:
The first step in the process includes conducting a thorough investigation of an accident to determine the cause and understand who is at fault. All the necessary facts and evidence will be collected to establish the driver’s negligence.
Once this step is complete, your lawyer will prepare the case file and submit a demand letter to the insurance company seeking compensation for your injuries.
Most insurance companies don’t accept compensation demand letters right away. They will either try to reduce the amount significantly by shifting blame, minimizing injuries, or rejecting the claim.
The qualified pedestrian accident lawyers at The Advocates understand how to deal with the insurer so that you don’t have to make any compromises. They work directly with the insurance adjusters so you can focus on recovery.
Should your case go to trial, your attorney will take care of everything from case preparation to litigation. Remember, litigation requires an attorney.
Before seeking legal help to get appropriate compensation, there are a few other things you can do to help strengthen your case.
The first and most important thing to do after you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident is to seek medical treatment immediately. Not only will this give you a better chance at recovery from your injuries, but it will also ensure your injuries are recorded by a licensed medical professional. Your medical records can then be used as evidence to fortify your personal injury claim.
Aside from keeping accurate medical records of your injuries, make it a point to take photos and videos of all your visible injuries. Your lawyer can utilize photographs and video footage to examine and eventually prove the extent of the damage.
Filing a police report of the accident is crucial for the victim. It serves as a legal record to back your compensation claim.
Most insurers require accident victims to notify them of an incident within a specific timeframe, so make sure you don’t miss it. Otherwise, you may lose your right to claim compensation. It is recommended that The Advocates attorneys take care of this step.
Never discuss an accident with the driver, insurers, or insurance adjusters in the absence of your attorney. These conversations can be turned against you and may affect the final settlement amount.
We recommend contacting a pedestrian accident lawyer at The Advocates in Boise immediately after an accident.
Victims can file a personal injury lawsuit for damages caused by a pedestrian accident up to 3 years from the date of the incident. But the sooner you file, the better. Filing a claim years later makes it difficult to gather evidence, find witnesses, and successfully determine fault.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, give The Advocates a call. We can help.