Our Washington DC pedestrian accident lawyers can help you recover a fair compensation if you have been hit by a driver. Pedestrian accidents are quite common in Washington, D.C. This may be due to a large number of tourists and pedestrians who are out exploring the sites across the city on a typical day. Pedestrian accidents can occur due to the negligence of both pedestrians and drivers. When such accidents happen, they usually result in serious injuries to the pedestrian. This is simply because the pedestrian is completely unprotected and almost stationary in comparison to a speeding vehicle.
If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensatory damages. Here’s a look at what laws apply to pedestrian injury lawsuits and other aspects of a compensation claim in Washington, D.C.
Pedestrian Accident Laws in Washington D.C.
District of Columbia has a contributory negligence law that applies to most personal injury cases. However, the law was modified in 2016 in how it applied to pedestrians and bicyclists involved in road accident. Previously, if you were found even a little bit negligent as a pedestrian in a pedestrian accident, you could not recover any damages. However, with the recent changes to the law, you can now recover compensatory damages in a pedestrian accident if your share of fault is less than 50%.
Another notable thing about this modified law is that even if you had a share of fault in a pedestrian accident, you will receive 100% of the proven damages. So if you were 20% at fault, for instance, and you qualify for $10,000 in damages, you will receive the full amount with no deductions as is the case with how the law applies in other personal injury cases.
Statute of Limitations for Pedestrian Accidents
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a pedestrian accident, you have three years from the date of the injury to file a compensation claim. However, if the injuries caused by the accident lead to death, you may want to file a wrongful death lawsuit instead. In such a case, the statute of limitations is set at two years in the District of Columbia. The period is counted from the date of the death of the victim.
In general, it is highly recommended that you file a lawsuit at the earliest following a pedestrian accident. Filing the lawsuit in time will enable you to have a better deal if the claim goes to settlement negotiations. On the other hand, if you file the lawsuit after the statute has expired, you are likely to receive no compensation at all.
The statute of limitations may be paused in the case of some pedestrian accidents, depending on the unique circumstances of the case. However, it is best to consult Washington D.C. pedestrian accident lawyers to determine whether or not your claim qualifies to be such an exception.
When is a Driver At Fault?
In a pedestrian accident, proving fault is an important part of the compensation claim. If you are filing a pedestrian accident lawsuit, you must be able to show that the driver you are suing was at fault in causing the accident. Following are some typical situations in which a driver will be held at fault:
- The driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the incident happened
- The driver fled the scene of accident
- The driver hit the pedestrian while the latter was in a crosswalk or had a walk signal.
- The driver hit the pedestrian when the pedestrian had the right of way.
- The driver was speeding at the time of the incident.
A driver may be considered at-fault in a number of other scenarios as well. It is important to note here that sometimes, a driver may not be at fault in a pedestrian accident. This is why it is best to consult Washington DC pedestrian accident lawyers before you decide to file a claim against the driver involved in the crash.
Washington D.C. Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Pedestrian accidents and related injuries are fairly common in Washington, D.C. In fact, the city has one of the highest percentages of pedestrian fatalities across the country. In 2011, 831 pedestrian injuries occurred in road accidents across the country. This number rose up to 1,000 in 2013. In the broader DC Metro area, 45 pedestrian fatalities were reported in 2013. This number rose up to 53 in 2014 and 60 in 2015. Within Washington, D.C., 12 fatal pedestrian accidents were reported in 2013. Another 74 pedestrian accidents involved disabling injuries. More recently, there was a 20% increase in pedestrian fatalities across the city, numbering at between 90 and 100.
According to country-wide statistics, nearly 20% of all pedestrian accidents involve hit-and-run drivers. 50% of the accidents are typically caused due to the alcohol-related impairment of the driver or the pedestrian. Nearly 25% of all pedestrian accidents occur between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. in the evening when the road traffic is high and visibility becomes low.
How Can Washington DC Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Help You
If you or a dear one has been hurt in a pedestrian accident in Washington, D.C., it is important to get good legal help. A qualified attorney can help you identify the party at fault while also working with you to calculate the fair amount of compensation you should seek. With a lawyer by your side, you can also negotiate for a fairer sum when dealing with insurance companies.
Here at TorkLaw, we have been working with pedestrian accident victims in Washington, D.C. for a long time. Our aim is to help you recover medical costs, lost wages, property damages and other losses you may have suffered in a pedestrian accident. We also genuinely believe that negligent or reckless drivers on Washington, D.C. roads must be held accountable in order to make the city safer for pedestrians. Contact us today to book a FREE consultation with our lawyers.