CALL (800) 863-5312 TO SPEAK WITH A SANTA FE PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT ATTORNEY FOR FREE
Regardless of the numbers, the fact of the matter is that accidents happen. They happen every day and usually without a lot of warning. This can leave victims scrambling to figure out how to recover from their injuries and how to deal with seeking financial recovery from any responsible parties. It isn’t necessary, but having a pedestrian accident attorney in your corner to fight for you and your best interests is highly recommended in helping you seek the compensation that you may be entitled to.
What is a Pedestrian Accident?
In its simplest definition, a pedestrian accident is an accident involving a pedestrian and some other type of force. This force could be a car, a bicycle, a skateboard, or any other type of vehicle. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian fatalities are up 5% from last year. In 2019 it was projected that 17% of all traffic deaths could be attributed to pedestrian accidents.
Pedestrian accidents can range in severity, and unfortunately, the statistics show that sometimes these accidents can even prove to be fatal. Pedestrian accidents usually involve a very large disparity in force. A human being is simply not as strong, as fast, or as heavy as a moving car or someone zipping down the road on a bicycle. One of these objects has more strength or even a protective shield of metal around it, while you alone do not have that same protection. That is why it is so important to be aware of your surroundings and make sure that you are taking proper safety precautions when moving around busy city streets on foot.
Pedestrian Accidents in Santa Fe
The Traffic Research Unit at The University of New Mexico found that in the years spanning from 2001 to 2015, Santa Fe averaged 2.2 pedestrian fatalities per year. This only speaks to fatalities and does not include general injuries. Of the pedestrian-involved traffic accidents that occurred in Santa Fe, pedestrian error was cited as the most common factor leading to the accident. However, the involvement of alcohol was second. The New Mexico Department of Transportation also noted that in 2018, a vehicle hit a pedestrian every 13 hours in the state of New Mexico.
Common Types of Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Both pedestrians and other roadway users can be injured when a car hits someone. The type and severity of a person’s injury depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident, but these are some of the most common injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents:
Common Causes of a Pedestrian Accident
Here are a few of the situations where a pedestrian may be hit by a car or other vehicle:
- Hit by a car in a crosswalk
- Hit by a car while riding a scooter, bike, or skateboard
- Hit by a car on a sidewalk
- Children hit by a car while playing outside
Above are the situations in which a car may hit a pedestrian, but what causes these situations to happen? Common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Driving while under the influence
- Failure to stop at a stop sign or follow other right-of-way rules
What to do if you have Been Involved in a Pedestrian Accident
Here are a few steps you can take after being hit by a car to not only make sure you are safe, but to make sure you put yourself in a position to recover the legal compensation you deserve:
Call the Police
Contact law enforcement as soon as you can. The police play an important role in not only getting emergency dispatch to the scene to tend to injured parties, but they also play a pivotal role in documenting the accident. The police file an official report on the accident. This report can be very helpful later when filing a personal injury claim.
Seek Medical Attention
After suffering an accident, the most important thing to do is to seek medical attention. Injuries can range from mild to severe, but even mild injuries need to be evaluated by a medical professional. A medical professional can also play an important role in documenting your injuries, which can be used as evidence in your claim.
Document the Scene
Preserving necessary evidence is key to prevailing in your claim. Beyond speaking with the police and getting a medical professional to evaluate your injuries, do everything you can to document the scene of the crash. This can include simple tasks such as taking pictures or making quick notes of important memorable details. These small details can sometimes make a big impact in piecing the story of your accident together for insurance companies. The more airtight and well-documented you claim is, the more likely you may be to be offered a fair settlement.
Call an Attorney
Those filing personal injury claims can get easily taken advantage of by opposing parties and insurance companies. Insurance companies handle pedestrian accident claims every day and know the right questions to ask to make sure they pay you as little as possible. If a car has hit you, the best way to make sure you are being treated fairly and receiving the compensation you deserve is to hire an experienced attorney. Our New Mexico pedestrian accident lawyers at Zinda Law Group may be able to help.
How to File a Claim
The following are the three general steps you will go through to file a claim for a pedestrian accident:
Speak with an Attorney
It is always in your best interest to speak with an attorney. Our attorneys at Zinda Law Group have dealt with many pedestrian accident cases and work with their clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that unless we secure you an appropriate amount of compensation for your claim, you don’t owe us anything.
Once you speak with an attorney and hire them to help you with your claim, they will launch an investigation into the incident. This investigation will include speaking with insurance, going through your medical records, reviewing photographs, and speaking to any relevant witnesses.
After a thorough investigation, either your attorney or the responsible party will make a settlement offer. This is an amount of money offered to resolve the case without going to trial. Your attorney may be able to advise you on the risks and rewards of settling your case. If you cannot reach a settlement, your lawyer may take your case to trial.
Learn More: How to Negotiate with an Insurance Company
Statute of Limitations
One important consideration in filing a pedestrian accident claim is time. Time can be your best friend or your worst enemy when it comes to filing personal injury claims. Under New Mexico law, a victim has three years from the date of their accident to file a claim against the responsible party. Failure to adhere to the statute of limitations could result in your inability to file a claim at all.
How Much Money Will I Get?
In general, it is impossible to be able to tell you what your claim is worth. Every case varies, and many factors could affect the value of your claim. However, in general, several damages that may be available to you if you were involved in a pedestrian accident. If a car has hit you, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages for your claim.
Economic damages compensate you for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other financial injuries. Non-economic damages are more commonly referred to as damages for pain and suffering. Calculating pain and suffering is not an exact science, but often attorneys multiply your economic damages by a number that represents the severity of your suffering.
How MAY Zinda Law Group Help?
Regardless of whether your claim is simple, complicated, or somewhere in between, it is in your best interest to consult with an attorney. The world of lawsuits can be complex and burdensome. Don’t make it harder on yourself by trying to go through this process alone. The Santa Fe attorneys at Zinda Law Group have the experience to guide you through the legal process, make recommendations, negotiate with the involved parties, and help advise you on important legal decisions.
At Zinda Law Group, we believe that quality representation should be available to everyone. That is why we work on a contingency fee basis. That means that unless we win your case, you don’t owe us anything. Give us a call today at (800) 863-5312 to discuss your case for free with a Santa Fe pedestrian accident lawyer. We are also offering virtual consultations during the COVID-19 crisis.
Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.