Fairfax, VA Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Home /  Fairfax, VA Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

 

Fairfax, VA Pedestrian Accident Attorney

When pedestrians are involved in car collisions, the pedestrian is more likely to suffer catastrophic, disabling, and fatal injuries. These accidents are unfortunately common, and negligent parties can be held legally and financially responsible for their actions in causing the accident. A Fairfax, VA, pedestrian accident lawyer can help injured pedestrians or their surviving family members file a personal injury or wrongful death claim for their losses.

It is not easy to file an insurance or civil claim when you are severely injured. By working with a Fairfax, VA, personal injury lawyer, pedestrians can prove whether a driver was responsible for the collision and, if so, hold them liable for losses like property damage, hospital transportation, surgeries, bills, and lost income. At Whitlock Law, LLC, our team can support you and your family after a pedestrian and motor vehicle accident.

Whitlock Law, LLC, has worked for many years in personal injury and motor accident claims, including those involving injured pedestrians. Our attorneys have decades of collective experience in personal injury claims. We know how to investigate, negotiate, and litigate these claims to secure the most positive outcome possible for injured parties.

Fairfax VA Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

There are many ways that either a driver, a pedestrian, or another party could act negligently, causing an accident to occur. Some of the most common causes of these accidents in Fairfax include:

  • Distracted Driving: When a driver is distracted, their eyes or focus is off the road for seconds or minutes. This inattentiveness can prevent a driver from reacting quickly enough to a pedestrian on the road, causing an accident. This also increases the chances of pedestrian death. Drivers can be distracted by texting, calling, talking with others in the car, adjusting music or a navigation system, eating, drinking, or other actions.
  • Speeding: When drivers go over the speed limit, they limit the time they have to react to road changes, increasing the chances of an accident occurring. Speeding also increases the damage from an accident, making death more likely. In Virginia, deaths were seven times more likely on 45 mph roads than on 25 mph roads.
  • Driving Under the Influence: When drivers are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, their reaction speeds and judgment are limited. This increases the chances of an accident and can result in harm to pedestrians. Drunk drivers can face both criminal charges and a civil claim by injured pedestrians.
  • Fatigued Driving: Driving while tired can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. Drivers react more slowly and have less awareness of their surroundings. Fatigued drivers are also more common at night, and between 70% and 80% of pedestrian fatalities occur at night in Virginia.
  • Reckless and Aggressive Driving: When drivers drive aggressively or recklessly, making unsafe decisions on the road, they are more likely to cause accidents and potentially injure pedestrians.
  • Violating Road Laws: Drivers who run red lights, stop signs, or break other traffic laws are likely to cause accidents. Not stopping also may result in hitting a pedestrian who is crossing at an intersection. 55% of pedestrian fatalities in Virginia happened at intersections. Drivers, cyclists, and others on the road must look out for crossing pedestrians at intersections. Pedestrians crossing with the “walk” light have the right of way.
  • Low Visibility: Inclement weather or improper street lighting can lower visibility for drivers, making it hard for them to see pedestrians. Although these factors do not always put a party at fault, the driver may have been going too fast for the current conditions, even if they were going the speed limit.
  • Bad Road Conditions: Conditions like construction on the road, a lack of streetlights, missing or hard-to-read signs, or improperly maintained roads can also lead to a pedestrian accident. The governmental agency responsible for road upkeep or one of its construction contractors may be the negligent party in these cases.
  • Poorly Designed Crosswalks: Crosswalks must be carefully made, considering both motor vehicle traffic and pedestrian traffic. Improperly designed or poorly placed crosswalks can increase the chances of a pedestrian being harmed while crossing.
  • Impaired Pedestrians: Pedestrians who are under the influence can be at fault for a pedestrian accident. Impaired pedestrians also have impaired judgment and slower reaction times, which can lead to poor decisions. In 2016, one in three pedestrian fatalities was caused by the impairment of a pedestrian in Virginia.

The cause of a pedestrian accident is crucial to determining what party is at fault. Only when a party can be proven at fault for the accident can they be held liable for the damages of the injured parties.

Contributory Negligence in Fairfax Pedestrian Accidents

Virginia is a contributory negligence state, which makes it difficult for injured individuals to recover fair compensation. If you were injured by the negligence of a driver as a pedestrian, and are found to be even 1% at fault for the accident, you are barred from recovering any compensation for your damages. You are only able to recover compensation if it is found that you did not contribute to causing the accident and injury at all.

This can be very frustrating and often results in the at-fault party or their insurance provider investigating for any way to hold you partially at fault. An attorney can protect your rights and perform a full investigation of the cause of the accident.

What Damages Can You Recover as an Injured Pedestrian?

If the other party is proven to be 100% at fault for the accident and the resulting damages, then you are able to recover the entirety of your damages in a claim. This includes both economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are losses with a clear monetary value. These include some of the following:

  • Past medical bills for surgeries, transportation, medications, and other costs
  • Expected medical bills for recovery care, expected complications, and long-term needs
  • Property damage losses, such as the cost to repair or replace items you had on your person
  • Lost wages during the time you recovered from your injuries
  • Lost earning potential if you are not able to return to work full-time or are permanently unable to work

Noneconomic damages are losses that do not have a financial value but are still seen as recoverable losses. These are emotional and psychological losses, including:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental and emotional trauma
  • Difficulties arising from the loss of limbs
  • Disability
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

It can be difficult to accurately determine a fair amount of compensation for your damages. Many injured individuals undervalue their claims. However, an attorney can help you secure the most compensation possible in your situation.

In some rare cases, a claim may also result in punitive damages. Punitive damages do not make up for a loss that you suffered, like noneconomic and economic damages. Instead, they punish the at-fault party for egregious actions or malice.

FAQs for Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

Q: Where Do Most Pedestrian Fatalities Occur?

A: Most pedestrian fatalities in Virginia occur in large urban areas, at night, and not at intersections. When pedestrians cross the road where they are not supposed to, or walk on the road, fatalities are more likely to occur. Northern Virginia sees more pedestrian deaths in urban locations as well as Hampton Roads and Richmond.

Q: What Is the Charge of a Hit-and-Run in Virginia?

A: The charge of a hit-and-run in Virginia is the failure of a driver to stop after an accident that results in death, injury, or property damage. Under state law, drivers must stop and provide information to the police officer on the scene and to the other party or parties involved in the accident. Failure to do this is a hit-and-run. If the accident only resulted in property damage of $1,000 or less, the crime is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If the accident resulted in greater property damage or the injury or death of any person, it is a Class 5 felony.

Q: What Is a Major Factor in Crashes With Pedestrians?

A: A major factor in crashes with pedestrians is the land use near roads. 89% of pedestrian injuries and 79% of pedestrian deaths occurred when the road or street is adjacent to pedestrian-generating land uses, such as businesses or parks. Distracted drivers and higher-speed roads are also a significant cause of pedestrian accidents, especially pedestrian fatalities. It’s important for drivers to operate their vehicles cautiously, and it’s critical that pedestrians exercise caution when crossing roads, especially roads that do not have crosswalks.

Q: What Is a 46.2-853 Charge in Virginia?

A: Virginia Statute 46.2-853 is the charge of driving a vehicle that does not have proper control or improper or insufficient brakes on any highway. This is charged as reckless driving. The basic penalty for reckless driving is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which results in up to 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. The charges are more severe if the driver who is charged with reckless driving does not have a valid driver’s license and/or causes the death of another person.

Work With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you have been injured as a pedestrian in an accident with a motor vehicle, you need skilled legal support. Contact Whitlock Law, LLC, today.

Testimonials

Request a case evaluation

Fields marked with an * are required

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.