When a vehicle strikes a pedestrian, the laws of physics are such that the pedestrian will likely suffer serious, catastrophic or even fatal injuries. The higher the speed of the vehicle at the time of the collision, the greater the injury to the pedestrian. In Pennsylvania, pedestrian accidents are, unfortunately, extremely common. We see them occur at street intersections, crosswalks and even sidewalks when out-of-control vehicles climb curbs and strike them.
Damages in a Pennsylvania Pedestrian Accident
When you are hurt in a pedestrian accident, the consequences are not only physical because of the injuries you have sustained, but also financial because of mounting medical expenses and wages you may lose as a result of not being able to return to work due to your injuries. Here are some of the types of damages injured pedestrians can expect to receive:
Medical expenses: When a negligent driver strikes and injures a pedestrian, the driver should pay for any medical expenses that may arise from the incident. This includes emergency transportation, hospital costs, expenses relating to surgeries, medications and medical equipment, cost of medications, etc.
Lost wages: The at-fault driver must compensate the injured victims for workdays he or she may have missed as a result of the injuries sustained. Again, these damages may be higher or lower depending on the type of job the victim had at the time of the accident and how much he or she was earning.
Lost future income/loss of livelihood: Often, the injuries in a pedestrian accident are permanent, leading to life-changing disabilities. This could cause the victim to lose his or her livelihood or capacity to earn a living. In such cases, he or she may seek compensation for the loss of income that might have been earned, had the accident not occurred.
Pain and suffering: There is usually no clear amount for “pain and suffering” as you might have for medical expenses or lost income. Courts often attempt to define these damages by awarding them as part of the personal injury lawsuit. This is monetary compensation awarded for the physical pain and mental suffering the victim underwent as a result of the injury.
Loss of enjoyment: This is compensation awarded for the victim’s inability to pursue activities that he or she indulged in prior to the accident. For example, if the injured pedestrian was a triathlete and can’t participate in those activities due to a permanent injury such as a limb amputation, then he or she may receive compensation for this change in lifestyle or loss of enjoyment of certain activities.
Protecting Your Rights
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, there are a number of steps you would be well advised to take in order to protect your legal rights. First, file a police report presenting your account of what occurred. Get prompt medical attention and care for your injuries. Collect as much evidence as possible from the scene of the accident including photographs of the vehicle, your injuries, as well as contact information for other parties involved and eyewitnesses. If you are unable to obtain this information because you are injured, have a family member or friend do that for you. Retain all receipts and invoices relating to the accident including hospital bills. Contact an experienced Pennsylvania pedestrian accident lawyer who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses.