Washington DC Pedestrian Accidents on Sidewalks
A pedestrian accident that occurs on a sidewalk is particularly devastating because the victim’s location carries a presumption of safety. Unfortunately, these kinds of accidents are not uncommon, and pedestrians walking near driveways or alleys are at particular risk of being struck by a careless or negligent driver. Our personal injury law firm helps people and their families understand and assert their legal rights following an accident. For decades, Washington, D.C. pedestrian accident attorney Roger Gelb has focused his legal advocacy on assisting vehicle collision victims, personally handling thousands of injury lawsuits. He is recognized as a leading attorney for victims’ rights, and has successfully secured more than one hundred million dollars in compensation for clients throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Roger Gelb is prepared to investigate your case and advocate for you and pursue justice for your losses.
Pursuing Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident on Sidewalk
When a driver negligently operates a vehicle, they place pedestrians and others at serious risk of harm.
In most situations, pedestrians are entitled to the right of way. Drivers are prohibited from operating their car on a sidewalk, and must drive at a reasonable speed when people are present. When exiting alleys or driveways, drivers must slow their vehicles, even if they do not see people directly on the sidewalk.
Pedestrians who are injured by a driver may file a personal injury claim for compensation. To prove that a negligent driver caused a pedestrian accident on the sidewalk, the injured plaintiff must meet four requirements. First, the defendant driver must have a legal duty of care to the plaintiff. In most cases, this is the duty to drive safely and avoid conduct that exposes others to potential harm. Second, the defendant must have breached this duty of care, such as by texting while behind the wheel, driving while intoxicated, speeding, or running a red light. Third, the defendant’s conduct must have directly caused the accident. Lastly, the plaintiff must set forth damages, a calculation of costs associated with the accident.
Pedestrians must exercise caution when walking on sidewalks. Be attentive to cars pulling in and out of driveways, particularly in low-light situations or inclement weather when visibility is poor. Be aware of your surroundings. In some situations, the defendant in an injury case may claim that the pedestrian contributed to their own injuries. A skilled lawyer can assess whether the doctrine of contributory negligence may apply to limit a plaintiff’s recovery.
Damages and Third Party Liability
Medical costs tend to be extreme when a car collides with a pedestrian, as victims usually suffer serious injuries. A successful negligence claim entitles the victim to assert their quantifiable accident-related expenses, including the costs of surgery, physical therapy, and medication. Wages from work missed because of physical injuries may also be recovered. While quantifying emotional suffering can be more challenging, victims may be entitled to recover for this harm as well.
If a defect on the sidewalk or poorly maintained pavement contributed to the plaintiff’s harm, the city or town may be liable. This type of third-party liability arises when the failure to repair an unsafe sidewalk contributed to the plaintiff’s injuries. Specific filings and deadlines may apply with pursuing a claim against a municipality.
Wrongful Death Claims Following an Accident
Fatal pedestrian accidents may entitle surviving family members to pursue a wrongful death claim on behalf of their loved one. The law varies by jurisdiction, however, this type of lawsuit generally entitles survivors to compensation for costs associated with their loss, including funeral expenses and wages from work the deceased would likely have earned until retirement.
Washington, D.C. Lawyer for Pedestrian Accident Victims
Following a pedestrian accident, injured individuals have the right to sue for compensation of costs stemming from their injuries and damages. Our goal is to advocate for victims of careless or negligent drivers. By calling 202-331-7227 or reaching us online, we can make clear your legal options in a free, confidential consultation. Attorney Roger Gelb and his team are here to assert your right to justice. We help people throughout VA, MD, and Washington, D.C.