Pedestrian Accident Attorney Washington DC
According to walkscore.com, Washington DC has a score of 76, meaning that most errands can be accomplished on foot; in fact, the website ranks DC as the 7th most walkable large city in the United States, and many DC residents can attest to this superlative. Many DC residents choose to commute to and from work using a combination of foot travel, bike shares, and the Metro, contributing to a healthy lifestyle and reduced emissions from vehicle travel. These are just a few of the many benefits of pedestrian travel. But some risks must be acknowledged when discussing these perks: especially the risk of being involved in an accident with a motor vehicle while walking.
As with most major US cities, Washington DC is designed with a priority given to motor vehicles, leaving pedestrians and cyclists to navigate this urban design on sidewalks and bike lanes that make use of what little space is left behind by the motor vehicles. While Washington DC is an exemplary city in terms of pedestrian safety, there is always a risk of an accident due to confusion about rights of way, distracted or aggressive drivers, and countless other potential causes of a collision. A pedestrian often suffers far worse injuries than the at-fault driver of a motor vehicle, as the vehicle provides significant protection for the passengers and a pedestrian is struck by a moving object often weighing 1,000 lbs or more.
Fortunately, victims of pedestrian accidents are entitled to seek compensation for the many impacts of this terrible situation through a personal injury claim or lawsuit, typically filed through the at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy. However, getting the money that a pedestrian deserves is more complicated than simply initiating a claim and waiting for a check.
Contact Balkin & Mausner To Request a Free Consultation About Your Pedestrian Accident Today
Our Washington DC personal injury law firm offers a free legal consultation to victims of pedestrian accidents. We can discuss the type of accident, nature of injuries, and variety of impacts that the victim has suffered. Once we have a better understanding of the specifics of the accident, we will be able to provide legal advice and explain how we can provide support throughout the claims or lawsuit process.
Knowing that someone is willing and able to help you through this process can provide enormous relief in the confusing and stressful early days after an accident. We encourage you to reach out to us as soon as possible to learn about the legal services we provide, discuss past cases we have successfully represented that are similar to your own, and more.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Washington DC
There are countless ways that a pedestrian accident can happen, but the following are a few of the most common examples. Whether or not you see the cause of your Washington DC pedestrian accident below, contact our firm as soon as possible to discuss the specific details directly with a personal injury attorney.
When a driver reads or responds to a text message, eats behind the wheel, puts makeup on, plays with their GPS, or anything else that takes their eyes, attention, or hands away from their task of driving, they increase the risks of missing changes to road conditions or hazards and the likelihood of a collision. A pedestrian crossing the road or walking along a shoulder might be struck by a distracted driver who didn’t realize they were approaching a crosswalk or that they had drifted onto the shoulder.
Adults over the age of 21 who are operating a passenger vehicle have a legal blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.08, while CDL drivers have limits of 0.04, and drivers under the age of 21 have a limit of 0.02. In addition to these limitations regarding alcohol, consuming any mind-altering drug is illegal and considered intoxicated driving. Drug intoxication does not register on a breathalyzer, but police have a variety of methods that can help them determine whether or not someone is under the influence after an accident.
Speed is a factor in many accidents. In addition to reducing the time a driver has to respond to a hazard or unexpected obstacle, the distance required to reach a complete stop increases, and the force of an impact also increases. Speed limits are set accounting for several factors, including school zones, blind driveways or merges, curves in the road, and much more, and ignoring these limits puts everyone at risk of an accident. If you have been in a pedestrian accident with a speeding driver, you deserve to be compensated for their decision to ignore speed limits.
Failure to Yield
Unfortunately, many pedestrian accidents are caused when a pedestrian uses the appropriate tools such as a crosswalk or crossing light, and a driver either fails to notice or chooses not to obey their obligation to yield to the pedestrian. Whether a driver intentionally or accidentally fails to yield is secondary, though, as negligence is not necessarily tied to intention or lack of, and a personal injury attorney will be able to help you fight for a settlement or award you deserve after suffering from this type of accident.
The Importance of Working With a Personal Injury Attorney in Washington DC
In most states, there is a law known as pure comparative fault that allows a victim to accept partial fault for an accident and still seek compensation; unfortunately, this is not the case in Washington DC, as the District uses an archaic rule known as contributory negligence. Under contributory negligence, a victim is barred from any compensation if they are determined to be at all at fault for the accident. This is the first hurdle that you will need to clear to fight for fair compensation.
Once your attorney has established that you are a victim and entitled to personal injury damages, they will still need to calculate these damages and then negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement. All of these steps can be extremely overwhelming and complex for someone who is not familiar with the process of personal injury claims, especially while trying to recover from serious injuries.
Contact Balkin & Mausner today to speak with an experienced attorney about your situation and get the support you need through this challenging process.