How Much is My Pedestrian Accident Case Worth?
If you have been struck in a crosswalk or while walking in Seattle, Kirkland, Bellingham, or Olympia, you might be wondering how much money you are allowed to receive under Washington State law for your injuries. This is a natural questions many people wonder and there are some specific ways to analyze your case to come up with an understanding of how much you will likely receive. It is important to understand the categories of damages you are allowed to receive at the time that you settle your case.Categories of Personal Injuries Damages
If you have been struck by a car while in a crosswalk or while walking, you may be eligible to receive a settlement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company. While the settlement check will be one lump sum of money at the time you receive your check, it is helpful to think of this broken down in a few different categories.
- Medical bills
- Future medical bills
- Loss of consortium
- Out of pocket expenses
- Lost wages
- Future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
You should not have to pay for your medical bills after someone else causes you to incur
them by not driving carefully. The only exception would be if some of your bills are not related to the car accident.
Future medical bills are an amount of money that is reserved for future care that you may need, such as a future surgery. This settlement money will be specifically earmarked to pay for this future care.
Loss of consortium is an amount of money that would be available to your spouse or domestic partner who has suffered their own loss because of the accident. For example, if your romantic relationship suffered as a result of the accident, then your spouse or legal partner would be eligible to bring a claim on their own behalf for the loss of enjoyment of your relationship.
Out of pocket expenses is an amount of money that is meant to make you whole for incidental expenses such as the gas you expended going to your appointments, the brace, wheelchair, or crutches you might have purchased.
Lost wages could certainly be a damage you would receive money for if you were unable to work for a period of time. The same goes for future lost wages, especially if your injury is so serious that you are not able to work for some period of time into the future.
In these kinds of cases, it’s always helpful to have an economist who can write a report and if you can supply this expert with things like wage statements, tax returns, and social security earnings so we can clearly establish how much money you once made as a way to project how much money you will likely make one day.Pain and Suffering Explained
Pain suffering, in legal language, is called general damages. These are damages that are intended to compensate you for intangible things, things that do not necessarily come with a price tag or bill like medical bills and lost wages.
Pain and suffering would compensate you for things like being in pain, discomfort, not being able to sleep as well as you did before the accident, not being able to hike or garden or do things recreationally like you once did prior to being hit in the crosswalk or walking along the sidewalk. This amount could be as little as a few thousand dollars or as much as a few hundred thousand dollars.
It should be pointed out that there is a connection between the amount you receive in pain and suffering and the amount of your medical bills. In other words, it would be unreasonable and unrealistic to expect to receive ten million dollars or only ten dollars for an injury that results in ten thousand dollars in medical bills. Ten dollars is obviously too low and ten million is likely too high. There is not a precise math formula that judges or juries follow to decide how much you should receive, but there is a connection at the very least that most juries and judges will observe.Insurance Explained
It is important to understand that when you are struck by someone’s car, or even by a business’s vehicle, you are likely going to deal with their insurance company, which in turn means you are likely going to deal with a person called “an insurance adjuster.”
If you cannot settle your case out of court, meaning if you can’t receive a settlement with negotiating with the insurance company, you will ultimately have to file a lawsuit against the at-fault driver who struck you while you were walking in a crosswalk or walking.
The lawsuit will have the driver’s name on it, or the company’s name if you were struck by a company vehicle, but in effect you will be dealing with an insurance company behind the scenes. You will not name the insurance company as the defendant absent extraordinary circumstances.
In addition, if the at-fault driver who hit you has what is called PIP, which stands for Personal Injury Protection, this policy will pay for your medical bills. PIP is a form of medical insurance that is purchased through a driver’s car insurance policy. If there is no PIP available, then your own health insurance, assuming you have it, will have to pay your medical bills. If you do not have any kind of health insurance, then if you hire The Jackman Law Firm, we can send a letter to the medical provider asking them to hold their bills until the outcome of your case is reached.How The Jackman Law Firm Can Help
After being struck while in a crosswalk or while walking, you are likely dealing with pain, stress, frustration, and a lot of uncertainty, not to mention a lot of phone calls from insurance companies, including your own, wanting you to make statements and fill out forms. The Jackman Law Firm can help you through this process so you don’t have to go through it alone.
The Jackman Law Firm can help you achieve a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. This may not be as easy as it may sound. Some insurance companies will either attempt to blame you or not offer you a fair amount. If they blame you as a reason not to pay you a settlement, we have the resources to successfully prove you are not at fault by interviewing witnesses, including the police, obtaining key documents, and surveillance footage, if applicable. If the amount is too low, we can attempt to negotiate on your behalf. If that fails, we stand ready to aggressively litigate your case in court and obtain a verdict.
We can help you recover money for medical bills, future medical bills, lost wages, future lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other out of pocket expenses. These damages are meant to make you whole after what you have endured.
If you have questions, feel free to call us for a free consultation.