Phoenix Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Home - Practice Areas - Phoenix Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Phoenix Pedestrian Accident Attorney

As a pedestrian, you expect those operating motor vehicles to care to be aware of your presence. Sometimes, though, the unexpected happens. Pedestrians who’ve been hit stand little chance against the size and force of most automobiles. The injuries are usually significant and often carry a tremendous psychological burden as well. If you find yourself in this situation, you should partner with a Phoenix pedestrian accident lawyer in order to seek compensation.

Compensation for these costs is owed to the victims of pedestrian accidents. Civil law makes that clear and provides an avenue for pursuing what’s owed. In many cases, it becomes necessary to make use of the civil process to persuade the insurance companies that usually pay these claims to do what they are supposed to. Making that process work for you can be difficult against the insurance company’s team of lawyers.

However, if you decide to work with a talented Phoenix pedestrian accident lawyer, like those here at the Bleaman Law Firm, you can take the upper hand. Our pedestrian accident clients deserve compensation for what they’ve suffered, and we fight to see that they get it.

Possible Liable Parties in a Pedestrian Accident

In accidents involving a vehicle and a pedestrian in Phoenix, AZ, the presumption is that the driver of the vehicle is the liable party. While that may often be the case, it’s not always so. There are a variety of potentially liable parties any time a vehicle is involved. Sometimes, there are even multiple liable parties at once.

One of the most important things your Phoenix pedestrian accident lawyer will be responsible for is determining the liable parties in your situation. Some of the potentially liable parties include:

  • The Driver of a Vehicle that Collided With a Pedestrian – The most likely liable party is the driver who hit a pedestrian. Whether the reason was that they were driving drunk, driving recklessly, being distracted while driving, or committing some other driver error, more often than not, they are at fault in these kinds of accidents.
  • The Driver of a Vehicle Not Directly Involved in the Collision – In some situations, the driver who hit a pedestrian may have done so because they were trying to avoid colliding with another driver who was driving recklessly and erratically. If that can be proven, then it may be that reckless driver who is found to be at fault.
  • A Driver’s Employer – If the driver was working, perhaps as a delivery driver or in some other commercial capacity, when the accident occurred, then there is the possibility that the driver’s employer may be liable. This is often the case when there is something about the employer’s policies that makes an accident more likely. For instance, unreasonable delivery expectations could make drivers more likely to speed, defy traffic laws, and not drive with the care necessary to guard the safety of those around them.
  • Government – Sometimes, an accident with a pedestrian is the result of an issue with the roads, signage, or even a traffic signal malfunction. If that’s the case, it’s possible that the government responsible for these roads could be a liable party.
  • A Parts Manufacturer – Although rare, there are times when a defective part may break and lead to an accident. In those cases, assuming the parts have been properly maintained, then the manufacturer of the defective part may be held liable.
  • A Maintenance Provider – If a maintenance provider failed to provide the maintenance that they were contracted to or installed a part incorrectly, then it’s possible that their error could lead to an accident for which they may be held liable.

Proving Fault in a Phoenix Pedestrian Accident

Fault in a pedestrian accident is proven just like any other personal injury claim in Phoenix. It must be shown that the negligent actions on the part of the defendant led directly to the injuries on the part of the plaintiff.

This must be shown by the plaintiff’s lawyers using any manner of evidence that could be helpful, including photos, videos, facts, eyewitness accounts, and expert witness testimony. The plaintiff’s lawyers will have to prove each of the elements of negligence on the part of the defendant.

Proving a Duty of Care

The first thing that the plaintiff’s team must prove is known as a “duty of care.” What this means is the defendant had a responsibility to be careful regarding the danger and risk that their actions would place other parties in.

Generally, with anything that involves a car accident in Phoenix, this is the easiest element to prove, as most everyone understands that the danger that vehicles present requires care on the part of vehicle operators.

Proving a Breach of Duty

The second element of negligence is a “breach of duty.” The plaintiff’s side must show how the defendant failed to meet the duty of care that was initially presented. To prove this component, your lawyer will need to prove two things. First, they will need to present to the court evidence that proves what the defendant did or didn’t do in the circumstances pertaining to the accident.

Once your lawyer has established what the defendant did, they must show how they failed to live up to the duty that they had in that situation. What that looks like, though, will differ depending on the defendant and the circumstances. For a driver, it could be any number of errors and lack of care while driving.

For something like the government or a parts manufacturer, it could be a lack of providing a functional product, whether it’s a dangerous road or a faulty vehicle part. The key here is that what was done by the defendant was less than what could have been reasonably expected in that situation.

Proving the Connection Between the Breach and Your Accidents

Lastly, the plaintiff’s team must show a causal connection between the breach and the injuries that were suffered by the plaintiff. This also may be a two-part process. The plaintiff’s lawyer must first show that the breach was the cause of the accident, which, although it may seem obvious, could potentially not be the case.

Sometimes, a breach can occur but not be the thing that triggered the accident. For instance, a lack of functioning brake lights is a breach but not the cause of an accident if someone is sideswiped into a pedestrian.

Once the connection between the breach and the accident is established, the plaintiff’s team can continue the causal chain by demonstrating that the accident was the source of the plaintiff’s injuries. This will also include describing the nature of those injuries.

There are times when people have exaggerated their injuries or passed off unrelated conditions as being caused by the accident. Therefore, to complete the process of proving negligence, your lawyers must prove that the injuries were a direct result of the accident.

Compensation in a Pedestrian Accident in Phoenix

The compensation in a pedestrian accident claim will only cover those costs that are a direct result of the injuries that were suffered in the accident. This is another connection that must be proven by your lawyer.

Medical bills, doctor’s notes, and other supporting evidence can be critical to proving these connections. Insurance companies want to avoid fraudulent payments, so they will challenge any costs that don’t have any supporting evidence. The costs are paid out through damages, which come in three different forms.

Economic Damages

Any of the valid costs that have a clear financial element will be paid out through what is known as economic damages. In a pedestrian accident, the largest component of economic damages is likely to be medical costs. Things like doctor’s bills, surgeries, medications, and physical therapy costs can add up quickly, and all the more so when the injuries sustained are severe. The costs of these things, both present and future, are compensated through economic damages.

A pedestrian accident with serious injuries will likely mean time missing work as well. The lost wages from that situation are also paid out through economic damages, addressing future financial concerns. If your injuries are going to prevent you from working in the future or prevent you from working at the same level, then lost earning capacity will also be compensated through economic damages. In such cases, consulting a Phoenix catastrophic injury lawyer is essential.

Non-Economic Damages

The costs of an accident, though, aren’t limited to those which have a bill associated. Psychological costs are commonly paired with injuries, especially in the case of something as traumatic as being hit as a pedestrian. Everything from pain and suffering to mental anguish to loss of use of a body part is compensated under non-economic damages.

Although non-economic damages are paid out in a monetary award, it’s understood that they are not the kinds of problems that money will be able to solve. However, the money may be able to make other aspects of life less stressful and free up the capacity to better manage these kinds of issues.

Punitive Damages

There is a third kind of damages that could be paid out in a pedestrian accident, though that is very rare. Punitive damages serve as a kind of punishment for reprehensible behavior. There needs to be something egregious or malicious about the actions of the defendant. However, unless a pedestrian was purposely hit, it is unlikely that this will be awarded in a pedestrian accident case.

What Is Arizona’s Comparative Negligence System?

One factor that could potentially limit the damages awarded in a pedestrian accident case is Arizona’s comparative negligence rules. Under this system, the defendant will have the opportunity to argue that the plaintiff’s negligence was at least partially responsible for their injuries. To make this case, though, they will have the burden of proof and need to demonstrate the elements of negligence on the part of the plaintiff.

If the defendant’s team is successful in persuading the court of the negligence of the plaintiff, then the court will give each party a percentage that aligns with what they believe to be each respective party’s share of fault for the accident.

This doesn’t, though, prevent the plaintiff from collecting damages. This is true even if their share is over 50%. Instead, the plaintiff will have their damages award reduced proportionately to their share of fault for the accident. If they are found to be 25% at fault on an award of $200,000, then they will receive $150,000 in the final payout.

What Happens if a Pedestrian Dies in an Accident?

It’s tragic when a pedestrian is killed by a vehicle. These cases are unique in that they are not the same kind of personal injury claim but are rather wrongful death claims. They function very similarly but also cover expenses like funeral and burial costs. Our skilled Phoenix wrongful death lawyer can provide essential assistance in claiming funeral and burial costs.

Should You Settle a Claim or Take it to Court?

Before your case goes to trial, there will most likely be a period of time where there may be a negotiation for a possible settlement to avoid court. The choice to settle has its share of advantages that you may want to consider.

However, those advantages will have to be weighed against accepting a payout that is less than what you may have received if the court process went perfectly in your favor. After all, in a compromise, both parties will have to make concessions.

Settling can offer some real advantages. One of these is the certainty that comes with a settlement. While you may agree to less compensation than you would receive by winning your case in court, it is at least guaranteed. There’s always the possibility that the court would see things differently than you would hope, and you could end up with significantly less. With a settlement, though, you will get the amount you agreed to.

The savings of time is another advantage when settling. Going to court could easily take months or even years. Settling can avoid that lengthy process and get you what you deserve much sooner.

Ultimately, the right decision for you will be highly dependent on the details of your case, your tolerance to go through a court case, and the offer available to you.

The Job of a Phoenix Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

A Phoenix pedestrian accident lawyer can be a critical help in seeking to get the compensation that you deserve. It’s a lawyer’s job to use their experience and knowledge of the law to represent their clients and pursue the compensation they deserve.

The foundation of a pedestrian accident lawyer’s job is a thorough investigation of the accident. They look to understand the nature of the accident and who may be liable. They also gather facts and other evidence that could be helpful for proving liability in court. Additionally, they try to find anything that could be useful in defending against an accusation of negligence on your part.

Before the case goes to trial, we at the Bleaman Law Firm can represent you in negotiations with the insurance company that is likely responsible for paying out the compensation in the case. Allowing us to negotiate on your behalf can be helpful, as the insurance company is likely to make a more serious offer when we are involved.

They understand that a lawyer knows what a reasonable offer is and that they can’t take advantage of someone familiar with the process. They also understand that a lawyer’s involvement is an implicit threat that going to court is possible. This can lead them to make a more respectable offer to avoid court.

If the case does go to court, we can continue to represent you in that venue as well. We’ll argue negligence on the part of the defendant, as well as why you deserve the compensation package that you’re requesting. It’s our job to fight for the compensation you deserve.

We Represent the Victims of Pedestrian Accidents and Pursue Everything They’re Owed

A pedestrian accident is a terrifying experience. There’s almost nothing a person can do to protect themselves if they have a vehicle bearing down on them. An automobile of any sort can do tremendous damage to a person, often leaving them with painful physical injuries and psychological wounds to go along with them.

These are harsh costs for the victims of these accidents to bear. Compensation for those costs is owed by those who created the damage in the first place. The payment, though, is often not sufficient or does not come very quickly from the insurance companies typically responsible for it.

For pedestrians who’ve been injured by a motor vehicle, it may become necessary to leverage the courts and civil law against the insurance companies not paying what’s owed. While this may not necessarily mean going all the way to court, it does mean at least having the credible option of doing so if necessary.

The strongest way to get the compensation owed to you is by working with a Phoenix pedestrian accident lawyer like those at the Bleaman Law Firm. We fight for our clients whether in negotiation with the insurance companies or in civil court if an agreement can’t be found.

Contact us if you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident and are ready to pursue what you’re owed.


Contact Our Firm

Fields Marked With An “*” Are Required

"*" indicates required fields

I Have Read The Disclaimer*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.