Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Virginia Beach
Pedestrian and bicyclist accidents can have serious results. Injuries can be severe, and it can take everything you have just to heal and get back on your feet. It can be extremely difficult to recover physically and try to fight with an insurance company at the same time.
Our lawyers can help you in your time of need. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C. know how to fight for you. We’ll build your claim, deal with insurers, take care of negotiations, and handle the paperwork. You need to focus on healing. We’ll handle the rest.
Our lawyers fight for you and your recovery, not for the insurance company’s bottom line. The insurance company will push hard to pay as little as possible. They’re not in the business of looking out for you, but we are.
We’ll gather the documents and consult with experts to determine who was responsible and how you were injured. We will do everything the claim needs to move forward. We’ll analyze evidence from the scene of the accident. We’ll coordinate with the hospital to get medical records. If it’s a hit and run, we’ll work police and insurers to get justice for you.
A personal injury claim can be a tremendous amount of work. Medical records, bills, photographs of the accident scene, police reports, and many other documents can help build your case. Our lawyers can handle them all. We’ll also handle negotiations. Our experienced lawyers will move your claim forward and work for a just settlement. If your case ends up in court, we’re prepared to fight for you at trial. We will coordinate expert witnesses and craft the legal arguments that your case needs.
At Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C., we have decades of experience handling personal injury cases in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Chesapeake, and throughout the Tidewater area. We know how to take even the most serious injury claims from start to finish. If you’ve been injured while walking or cycling, contact us today for a free claim analysis and advice about your legal options.
Compensation After a Pedestrian or Cycling Accident in Virginia Beach
If you or a loved one is injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, there may be several forms of compensation available to you:
- Medical Expenses – When an automobile collides with a pedestrian or a bicyclist, serious injuries often occur. Pedestrians have no protection at all, and cyclists may or may not have a helmet. There is just no way to protect pedestrians and cyclists from the trauma of a vehicle impact. Medical treatment may be completed immediately, or it may take years of therapy and rehabilitation to get the victim back on their feet. In pedestrian and bicyclist accidents, brain damage is common and can lead to a lifetime of recovery. Medical bills add up quickly, If you file a personal injury claim, you may be able to recover for the enormous costs inflicted upon you.
- Wrongful Death – Being injured in an accident is hard enough. It’s even worse when it’s a loved one who has died in an accident. If your loved one has been killed in a bicycle or pedestrian accident, we can help. We’ll listen to you, work with you, and do everything we can to help you find justice and closure.
- Property Damage – A car, even one traveling at a low speed, can damage or destroy your property in a collision. The clothes you were wearing, the items you were carrying, the bike you were riding – all of these could be damaged or destroyed.
- Lost Income – When you’re injured in an accident, you can lose your short- and long-term Perhaps you’re out of work for a week or a month, or maybe you’re permanently injured and won’t be able to return to work ever again. Injuries may impact your ability to earn long into the future. We’ll fight for the compensation that you need to get your life back on track.
- Pain and Suffering – Physical injuries and property damage frequently happen when pedestrians and bicyclists are involved in an accident, but there are other less visible losses. Stress and emotional damage can disrupt your sleep, cause anxiety, and cause emotional and psychological problems for years to come. It’s important to recover for these damages and get the help you need.
- Punitive Damages – In some rare cases, a court may award punitive damages. If the automobile driver acted with malice, or wantonly disregarded the rights and well-being of others, a court may order punitive damages to punish the driver. Drunk drivers, by their nature, disregard the rights and well-being of others and may be subject to punitive damages.
Common Causes of Accidents Involving Pedestrians and Bicyclists
Pedestrians and bicyclists are often at the mercy of other forces on the road. Automobiles are very large and heavy. Even a low-speed collision involving an automobile and a pedestrian or cyclist can result in serious injuries. Broken bones, neck and back injuries, brain damage, and fatal injuries are just a few of the possible outcomes.
Perhaps your accident was caused by one of these factors:
- Failure to See Pedestrians and Bicyclists – Many accidents happen at night or when visibility is low. Motorists often fail to make enough effort to notice people on foot or on a bike. When automobiles are turning at corners and intersections, it can be difficult to see a pedestrian, cyclist, or electric scooter rider. Poorly marked crosswalks, malfunctioning crossing signals, and many other problems can interfere with the driver’s visibility.
- Failure to Yield – Pedestrians and have the legal right of way when using a crosswalk appropriately. The people driving automobiles sometimes have other ideas. Drivers may try to get around a corner or through an intersection before the pedestrian makes it there. This can create dangerous conditions for the pedestrian and can lead to terrible accidents. Driver behavior can also be a problem for bicyclists. Bicyclists have the rights and responsibilities as other drivers. At times they may ride on a sidewalk, and at other times they may ride on the road in accordance with traffic laws. Automobile drivers frequently assume that the road is theirs alone, and they may act aggressively or carelessly toward bicyclists. Not only is this against the law, it dramatically raises the chance of a serious accident.
- Road Conditions – Road conditions are a significant cause of accidents for pedestrians and bicyclists. Visibility can be low, construction can disrupt driving surfaces, and temporary signage can lead to distracted or confused drivers. Even a brief moment of distraction can send a car onto a road’s shoulder or through a crosswalk. Children can often cause distractions to drivers by asking repeated questions, playing in the car, and sibling squabbling. Using apps and games can help minimize the distraction caused by children in the car.
- Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol – Everyone knows that drugs and alcohol don’t mix with driving. It can be a lethal result for everyone involved. Automobiles weighing thousands of pounds and driving down the road at high speeds can easily injure or kill pedestrians and cyclists. It’s tragic when this happens. Lives are broken, and families can be shattered.
- Distracted Driving – Distracted driving is becoming more and more of a problem these days. Smartphones, in-car entertainment systems, and easy access to a thousand other distractions have taken too much attention away from where it belongs: the road. NHTSA estimates that each day approximately 660,000 people use their smartphones while they are driving. Distracted driving can turn an otherwise skilled driver into someone who could cause injury. Bicyclists and pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to distracted drivers.
What to Do If You Are Injured in a Bicycle or Pedestrian Accident
You never want to think about the horrible possibility that you will be involved in an accident as a bicyclist or pedestrian, but it is important to keep the following things in mind if the worst happens:
- Call emergency services. Anytime someone is injured in an accident, call emergency services right away. Medical treatment can save lives, but only if it is administered as quickly as possible. This is especially true in pedestrian and bicyclist accidents where victims have no protection against the force of a car. The police will also arrive when emergency services are called. If you can, give all them the relevant facts they need. Don’t accept blame or let your emotions take over. Remember that what you say may be brought up later on.
- Collect information. Collect the names and contact information for drivers involved and nany witnesses. Take pictures of the scene, your injuries, and your damaged property. This information could help your claim. When you’re trying to get compensation for your injuries, more documentation is better.
- Get a thorough medical evaluation. Be sure to obtain a full medical evaluation after the accident. Even if there are no visible injuries or pain, problems can arise later on. Often, the adrenaline and fear of being in an accident will delay any pain you feel. Other injuries to the nervous system or soft tissues may take time to make themselves known. A doctor will evaluate you and document any injuries you may have received.
- Contact a lawyer. Whenever you’re injured in an accident, make sure you contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer will work quickly to obtain the documents you need to support your claim. The lawyer will also work as an intermediary between you and the insurance company to make sure you get the compensation you need. When you’ve been in an accident, you need to focus on your recovery—not on dealing with an insurance company.
How Long Do You Have to File a Claim?
Virginia’s Statute of Limitations puts a two-year limit on personal injury lawsuits. That means that any lawsuit related to the incident must be filed with the court system before two years have passed since the date of the accident. There are some very narrow exceptions that may extend this deadline. However, as a general rule, if you fail to file a case before the period expires, you will be barred from ever bringing a claim. It is to your benefit to act on your accident as quickly as possible. Our Car FAQ guide can help you navigate the claim process.
Virginia’s Statute of Limitations puts a five-year limit on actions for injury to property. This could apply in cases where your possessions are damaged or destroyed in an accident. The sooner you take action on your claim, the better off you will be.
Hit By a Car While Walking? Call the Virginia Beach Pedestrian Attorneys Today!
Pedestrians and bicyclists have no protection against automobiles when collisions happen. In an instant, your life or the life of a loved one may be in jeopardy. If you’ve been injured in a bicycle or pedestrian accident, it is important to have someone on your side who can fight for you and your family.
Ruloff, Swain, Haddad, Morecock, Talbert & Woodward, P.C. has represented injured pedestrians and bicyclists in the Virginia Beach area for over 30 years. We’ll handle your claim and fight with integrity. Our firm works on a contingency fee basis, meaning we do not get paid if you do not. If you are a pedestrian or bicyclist who has been injured in an accident, contact us today. The consultation is free and comes with no strings attached.