Walking around Washington DC can be a very enjoyable and pleasant experience for residents and visitors alike. Inside the DC Beltway, there are many different walking routes that can be taken for pleasure or for commuting, and fortunately, there are many ways to get around the city on foot safely. However, there is no guarantee that you will be able to walk around Washington DC without avoiding being involved in some sort of pedestrian accident, especially when caused by someone else due to negligent or reckless behaviors.
If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, then one of the most important steps that you can take is to partner with a personal injury attorney. The first steps you will need to take will be those intended to provide you with medical support, treatment, and recovery, but once you have taken care of these most urgent steps you should start looking towards the future and the legal options you have to be compensated for your suffering.
Contact Balkin & Mausner Today To Talk To a Washington DC Pedestrian Lawyer
Trying to find an attorney who is available to take your case can be a very frustrating process, especially in the early days after an accident as you try to make sense of your situation. All too often, people get frustrated by this process and decide to file an insurance claim on their own. At Balkin & Mausner we’re ready to provide you with advice and we work on a contingency basis.
Read more below to get a better idea of how a pedestrian attorney can help you get the money that you rightfully deserve as the victim of someone else’s behavior, and contact us as soon as possible to get started on the process of hiring an attorney to take your case.
Determining Fault After a Washington DC Pedestrian Accident
It goes without saying that most accidents involving a pedestrian and a car will result in significant injuries to the pedestrian, meaning that the medical costs and the impact of the accident will likely be disproportionately placed on the pedestrian. However, the severity of the injuries does not have anything to do with determining who is at fault, which is one of the first steps that you will need to take in order to establish who is liable for paying the damages.
In order to determine fault in an accident, there are a variety of steps that may be taken. If the driver admits responsibility, then this should resolve a lot of these issues right from the start, but if they are either uncertain of fault or are unwilling to admit fault, you and your attorney will need to explore alternate methods of proving that the driver was at fault. They include things like eyewitness accounts (including anyone that you were walking with), surveillance tapes or traffic cameras, and more. If the driver was cited for any sort of driving violation by the police who arrive at the scene of the accident, this will be very helpful for your case.
Calculating Damages After a Pedestrian Accident in Washington DC
Once you have established fault and liability for damages, the next step is to actually calculate the damages that you have endured and to negotiate with the insurance company to reach a settlement agreement. The insurance company has a vested interest in paying you the least amount possible in order to protect their own bottom line, but your attorney will be able to work aggressively to close this gap while hoping to avoid the need to file a lawsuit and go through a trial.
Understanding Compensatory Damages
Your damages include both economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include the financially-measurable damages like your medical bills and all costs associated with your injury and treatment, as well as lost wages, impacts to your earning ability, and any other measurable losses to earnings or increased expenses. Non-economic damages are more difficult to calculate and include things like the actual pain and suffering of your injuries, and the trauma that you experienced during the accident.
Filing a Lawsuit After a Pedestrian Accident
If your settlement negotiations fail, then the next step may very likely be to prepare for a lawsuit, but even this does not mean that you will need to go to trial. According to some statistics, fewer than 50% of lawsuits ever go to trial because they are settled before a court ruling. Settlements often work in the favor of both sides of the case, since there can be an undisclosed agreement made between the plaintiff and defendant. If the courts make a decision, then the ruling will be made public after a time-consuming and costly trial.
If your attorney files a lawsuit, there is still a long road to trial including a discovery phase complete with depositions, sworn testimonies, and more. During the discovery phase, it is likely that additional information emerges that may indicate which way the courts will rule on the case, which can be additional motivation for settlement. The specifics of this situation should be left to a discussion between you and your attorney, though, since this is such a unique situation for every case. Call Balkin & Mausner today.