This year we represented a family whose father was catastrophically injured by a vehicle while walking. The father has needed 24/7 care ever since the accident. This completely changed the lives of his wife and children, as they were faced with spending much of their free time taking care of him.
While being struck as a pedestrian may seem like an open and shut case, there are many obstacles to recovery. If there is the slightest doubt whether the pedestrian was inside the crosswalk, or entered the roadway abruptly, or could have helped avoid the collision, the insurance company will work to limit the driver’s responsibility.
Knowing that an entire family has been devastated by their father’s serious injuries brings out our fighting instincts. Fortunately, our immediate investigation proved the driver had improperly cut the corner and was totally responsible.
Insurance Policies: Leaving no stone unturned
A big concern in this case was whether or not there was adequate insurance to help pay for such catastrophic losses. Here, the driver had an auto liability policy, but it was nowhere near large enough. Fortunately, our thorough investigation turned up a second, multi-million-dollar umbrella policy. Additionally, we found the victim’s son-in-law had an applicable underinsured motorist policy. This was a big part of our effort.
Proving the Case Value
We established nearly $6 million in total coverage. With so much at stake, insurance companies will deny, delay and fight to shortchange the victim’s recovery. To win, we must make insurance companies fearful we will force them into court and obtain a huge verdict.
We immediately gathered all the available medical records and bills. We hired a medical consultant to determine the father’s lifetime care costs. We got construction estimates for needed modifications to the family home. Additionally, we used a videographer to help demonstrate with devastating effect, how the father’s life had been reduced to virtually no activity. It also showed how all his family members were emotionally traumatized and completely exhausted by the daily duties of caring for a person who has suddenly become functionally quadriplegic.
Our hard work resulted in success for our client when the insurance companies quickly offered up every penny of all three insurance policies, less than nine months after the accident.
Managing the Medical Bills
With medical bills mounting, we still had work to do to prevent the settlement from being consumed by medical bills that were over $1 million and still growing. Along the way we advised the family how to access insurance and government programs. We also negotiated to greatly reduce medical liens. After the settlement we also helped the family sign up for new medical coverage.
We are honored to have worked for this family in need, and are grateful we were able to obtain such quick and excellent results for them. Every case requires an aggressive law firm to ensure the injured person and their family is fully compensated. If you’ve been injured by a car while walking, you should hire a personal injury attorney experienced in pedestrian accidents immediately.
No one can guarantee you won’t be the victim of a texting or cell phone-using driver, other distracted driving, or a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as these are some of the most common causes of pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents. However, there are some things you can do to help prevent being a victim.
Safety Tips For Pedestrians
- Wear bright or reflective clothing at night. About three quarters of pedestrian deaths in Washington happen after dark, with the highest number of fatal accidents in December and January. Carrying a flashlight or other light is also a great idea.
- Be extra careful in the city. Sixty percent of collision-related accidents in Washington occur on city streets, carrying a high likelihood of pedestrian fatalities. Even when you have the right of way while walking, don’t assume a driver sees you. Always check in all directions before stepping off a curb, paying particular attention for right turners.
- Walk on sidewalks and watch oncoming traffic. If sidewalks are not available, walk on the edge of the road or on the left shoulder of the road, facing the traffic flow, so you can take evasive action if necessary.
- Cross at marked crosswalks or intersections. Pedestrians are often hit by cars when they cross the road at places other than intersections. If you jaywalk, the driver may not be responsible for your injuries.
What To Do After a Pedestrian Accident
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident medical attention is priority one. Make sure someone summons medical aid and the police immediately. If you are able to, making sure all participants and witnesses stay at the scene until police arrive can really help establish the true facts later. Getting the names of all the witnesses and their contact information is also desirable, if possible. After the injured person has received emergency medical care, it is time to contact Lehmbecker Law so we can begin building the case.