How To Choose The Best Pedestrian Accident Attorney: Some of the worst accident cases you can imagine involve pedestrians. Pedestrians are completely exposed and can sustain many injuries when hit by a car. If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident you want to find the best pedestrian accident attorney near you to help. Every state has many injury lawyers to choose from. Finding the right one for you may take a little effort but is worth it in the long run.
Finding the Best Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Not all personal injury attorneys are the same. When looking for a lawyer to take your case you need to make sure that they have the experience to handle your case while being able to guide you through the medical and legal process. Here’s what to look for.
Seek an Experienced Lawyer
You want more than just a lawyer who has experience in personal injury; you want a lawyer who has experience specifically with pedestrian accidents. Personal injury attorneys can cover a wide range of accidents but someone with experience in pedestrian incidents will know the laws specific to those injuries. Ask the attorney how many pedestrians they’ve represented so that you are comfortable with their abilities.
Ask About Their Success Rate
Along with experience is the lawyer’s success rate. Find out how many cases they have won (or successfully settled) and lost regarding pedestrians. Of those cases that they won what was the award amount? This will give you critical insights and set the expectations of what you can expect during your case. An attorney with a strong track record will be able to offer you insights about your case and set the tone of how much you can expect in an award.
Ask for Referrals
Whether these are past clients or other attorneys you want to get a sense of the attorney’s reputation. When an attorney has satisfied clients that’s a good sign for you. If other attorneys are recommending them this is a feather in the cap of the attorney you are meeting with. An attorney unable or unwilling to provide references is likely someone you want to stay away from.
Works on Contingency
Don’t pay a personal injury attorney an hourly fee. Reputable accident attorneys will work on a contingency basis. This means that they won’t take any money from you directly; they get paid from the award proceeds. This lowers the risk for you to retain an attorney and get someone working on your behalf.
Average contingency rates start at around 33% but may be higher if the case is complex or progresses to a lawsuit or trial. You’ll typically also pay out-of-pocket costs such as court filing fees and this may be paid upfront or deducted from your recovery at the end of the case. Your lawyer should explain the fee structure to you and give you a written fee agreement.
Choose Someone You Get Along With
While you might feel that getting a bulldog to fight on your behalf is all you need don’t overlook the fact that you should have chemistry with this person. They will be part of your life for months if not years and are privy to very personal information. Take the time to find someone who you gel with and feel that you can talk to. There will be instances when you are frustrated about the process and it’s important to feel heard in those trying times.
Interview Multiple Lawyers
Since reputable attorneys work on contingency and offer free consultations there is no reason to not meet with three or four before you make a final decision. Use the consultation to ask pertinent questions about experience and expectations. In those conversations get a sense of who you have the most chemistry with and which lawyer you feel will do the best job for you.
Why You Need a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
While it is possible to negotiate a settlement on your own an attorney has more experience in navigating the legal avenues to get you a settlement. They will also focus on extras like lost wages and pain and suffering. Ultimately the lawyer takes the stress of negotiation off of you so that you can focus on recuperating.
Can I claim compensation for a pedestrian accident?
If you are injured while walking, you can usually seek compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. A knowledgeable attorney can explain how these types of compensation may apply to your case and whether you may be eligible for additional types of damages.
Does car insurance cover you if you hit a pedestrian?
Car insurance will pay for injuries up to the amount of bodily injury liability coverage on the policy. Claims in excess of this amount are the responsibility of the driver.
How are pain and suffering calculated?
A pedestrian accident award can include compensation for pain and suffering. Insurance companies frequently use a multiplier to calculate pain and suffering amounts, which are typically one and a half to five times the total amount of all other damages. However, the amount you may receive for your pain and suffering will depend on the facts of your case.
Should I get a lawyer for an accident that was my fault?
When you are not at fault in an accident, it is best to hire a lawyer and seek a settlement or judgment from the other party’s insurance carrier. If you believe your own insurance company is not handling your case properly, you may hire an attorney to represent you.