In a pedestrian versus car scenario, the car almost always wins. Pedestrians who suffer accidents involving vehicles often sustain serious injuries: amputations, spinal cord damage, or traumatic brain injury, for example. Even minor accidents can result in a serious case of road rash, which can leave long-term scarring along with substantial pain and suffering.
If you suffered injuries as a pedestrian in an accident, having our Nebraska personal injury lawyers on your side can provide invaluable support and help you to recover as you file your claim. Contact the Robert Pahlke Law Group today to see if filing a personal injury claim can help you.
The Robert Pahlke Law Group: Your Nebraska Pedestrian Accident Attorney
At The Robert Pahlke Law Group, we focus on providing compassionate, comprehensive legal services to all of our clients. By working with an attorney on their pedestrian accident claims, many past clients have recovered substantial compensation for their injuries.
Working with The Robert Pahlke Law Group can also help:
- Provide peace of mind and reduce stress
- Find each person or entity responsible for your pedestrian accident
- Identify the full compensation you deserve for your injuries
Do not make the mistake of trying to pursue a personal injury claim arising out of a pedestrian accident on your own. Attorneys spend years honing their negotiating skills and taking legal action. They have the know-how to make sure clients receive a fair shake from insurance companies and defense lawyers; skills that most non-lawyers lack, which puts them at serious risk of sacrificing important legal rights for just cents on the dollar.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries: The Basics
In a pedestrian accident, victims often find themselves with severe, life-altering injuries. Pedestrian accident injuries may include:
- Traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries occur when victims experience a sudden, severe blow or jolt to the head. Traumatic brain injury can cause confusion, disorientation, ongoing memory issues, and changes in sleep patterns and sensory perceptions. While some victims of minor traumatic brain injury go on to recover most of their capabilities, others may find that they have lifelong impairments due to those injuries, including the inability to remember events immediately around the accident, short-term memory difficulties, and problems with emotional regulation.
- Spinal cord damage. Many pedestrians, as they strike the pavement or get hit by the car, suffer spinal cord damage. Incomplete spinal cord damage may leave the victim with limited mobility or changes in perception and function below the site of the injury. When victims suffer complete spinal cord injuries, they may suffer full paralysis below the site of the injury.
- Amputations. Some pedestrian accidents can cause immediate amputation due to the force of the accident. In other cases, doctors may recommend amputation due to crushing damage to the limb. Sometimes, victims also suffer amputation due to necrotized tissue following a serious pedestrian accident.
- Broken bones. Even minor broken bones can cause substantial pain and suffering. Pedestrians injured in an accident may need surgery to repair broken limbs.
- Road rash. Sliding across the pavement after an impact can cause serious damage to a pedestrian’s skin. Minor road rash may take off only the top layers of skin. More serious accidents may result in road rash that goes through several layers of skin. Road rash may cause substantial pain and leave victims with permanent scarring.
Seeking Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident
After a pedestrian accident, an attorney’s job is to help you seek compensation from anyone legally responsible for your injuries. Attorneys compile tallies of the expenses resulting from your accident so that your claim seeks the appropriate amount of damages. Some of the questions we frequently hear from pedestrian accident victims who seek our help at Pahlke Law Group include:
How much compensation should I expect from my pedestrian accident?
The compensation you receive from your pedestrian accident will vary. Two key factors contribute to the compensation you can receive:
- Who caused your accident
- The severity of your injuries
An attorney works to identify each person or entity that contributed to your accident. In a pedestrian accident, that could include:
- The driver who caused your accident
- The manufacturer of the vehicle or component parts, if a mechanical failure caused the accident
- A mechanic who recently worked on the vehicle and failed to execute repairs properly
By identifying each entity who has legal liability for causing your pedestrian accident, you give yourself the best possible chance of recovering the full compensation you deserve for your injuries. In some cases, the compensation you receive may depend on the legally-liable party’s insurance policy. In Nebraska, drivers must carry minimum liability protection of $25,000 for bodily injury for each individual injured in an accident.
The categories of damages typically recoverable for a pedestrian accident include:
Medical expenses. Your medical expenses may add up quickly following your accident. Talk with your attorney to identify all medical expenses relating to your injury, such as:
- Emergency care
- Tests and scans
- Durable medical equipment, including crutches, wheelchairs, and prosthetic devices
- Therapy, including physical, psychological, and occupational therapy
- Modifications to your home
Lost wages. Following a pedestrian accident, you may not return to work immediately. Claiming those lost wages can help make up for that lost time at work.
Pain and suffering. Victims of pedestrian accidents have a right to seek compensation for their pain and suffering. Working with an attorney can help you quantify your pain and suffering so you can include it the amount of money you seek from the at-fault parties.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is it always the driver’s fault in a pedestrian accident?
No. Pedestrians are also required to abide by traffic laws. If a pedestrian is hit and he or she is not abiding by the laws, the pedestrian could share in or be fully responsible for his or her injuries.
What do I do after a vehicle hits me or killed a loved one who was a pedestrian?
If you suffered injuries because a vehicle hit you, your first concern is to get medical treatment. Even if you think your injuries are minor, you should have medical professionals check you from head to toe. Often, injuries take hours or even a couple days to manifest.
If you are able, get the driver’s contact, insurance, and registration information, along with contact information for any witnesses. If no one has done it, call 911. Even if you think you are not hurt, you should have an accident report if you do have to make an insurance claim or sue the driver.
Contact a pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. You have a limited amount of time to file a claim with the insurance company and to file a lawsuit if negotiations do not work out.
What injuries could I suffer from as a pedestrian?
Because you don’t have much protection as a pedestrian, especially during the summer when you are out with shorts and short sleeves, or even bathing suits, the injuries are often more severe than if you were in a car accident.
Injuries may include:
- Bumps, bruises, scrapes, and cuts;
- Sprains, strains, pulled muscles, torn muscles, and other soft tissue injuries;
- Simple and compound fractures;
- Head, shoulder, and neck injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Back injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries;
- Internal injuries; and
If you have an underlying condition such as diabetes or have a compromised immune system, whether from a disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or from treatments such as chemotherapy, you should always let your attorney know. Even a minor cut could take much longer to heal, which means you are more susceptible to infection. If you heal slower or develop complications because of underlying diseases and treatments, you might recover additional damages for medical expenses.
How soon do I have to start negotiations or file a lawsuit?
Each insurance company is different. You could have a few days to file a claim, 30 days or even longer. Since the insurance companies all have their own rules, it’s better to notify the insurance company that you will be filing a claim and that your attorney will be contacting it with the pertinent information within a few days. As for filing a lawsuit, Nebraska’s statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit is four years from the date of the injury.
What damages can I recover?
Nebraska statutes allow for two types of damages: Economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages, or special damages, are those with a price tag attached. They include:
- Past medical expenses for injuries directly related to the accident.
- Future medical expenses for injuries directly related to the accident, including additional surgeries and follow-up appointments.
- Therapy expenses for physical, cognitive, and psychological therapy. You might need physical or cognitive therapy as part of your recovery regimen. If the accident was severe or if you suffer from long-term disabilities because of the accident, you could suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome or depression, because of what you saw and went through, or because of the length of time it takes you to recover—or because doctors tell you that your injuries are permanent. You might need to see a mental health professional because of this, and that is often paid for via damages you recover from the insurance company and/or the at-fault driver.
- The cost of ambulatory aids, casts, and other equipment to aid you in recovery or to aid you with a long-term or permanent disability.
- Replacement or repair of personal property.
- Funeral and burial expenses if you lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident.
Non-economic damages, or general damages, are those that do not have a firm price tag attached and include:
- Pain and suffering.
- Loss of companionship of a spouse, child, or parent, whether you lose that person, or that person’s injuries prevent him or her from participating in family activities.
- Loss of consortium if your spouse can no longer have a physical relationship with you.
- Loss of use of a body part, such as a hand; or a bodily function, such as your eyesight.
- Disfigurement from burns, scarring, and other injuries.
- Inconvenience if you have to hire someone to do the things you would normally do yourself, such as grocery shopping, cleaning, mowing the yard, home maintenance, and other activities.
- Compensation for disfigurement.
Most non-economic damages are available if you suffer from long-term or permanent injuries or disabilities. While each insurance company has its own definition of long-term disability, the Social Security Administration defines a long-term disability as one that is expected to last at least 12 months.
What do I need to bring to a consultation with my lawyer?
When you initially set up a consultation, you do not need to bring any accident documentation. However, we can get started faster if you do bring certain documents with you should you decide to work with us.
Documents that could help us get started sooner include:
- Any medical invoices you might have;
- Medical records related to the accident;
- Medical records related to illnesses, disease, and treatments that could hinder your recovery or make you more susceptible to infection;
- The police report from the accident;
- Insurance information for you and the driver; and
- Pictures of the accident and/or accident scene.
How long does it take to get compensation for a pedestrian accident?
Like the compensation you can receive for the accident, the time it takes to receive compensation for your injuries may vary based on the compensation you need to ask for, your willingness to negotiate, and who and how many parties have legal liability for paying for your injuries.
Contact a Nebraska Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
If you suffered serious injuries in a pedestrian accident, an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can reduce your stress and help you get compensation for your injuries. All you need to do is call. Contact the Robert Pahlke Law Group today at (308) 633-4444.