When to Contact a Lawyer After a Fatal Pedestrian Accident in Philadelphia
Pedestrians can be walkers, joggers, bicyclists or even skateboarders. They don’t have a steel body and frame with crumple zones surrounding them. They have no air bags or seat belts either. A pedestrian is terribly vulnerable to serious injuries leading to death if he or she is hit by a motor vehicle. One study in Los Angeles examined 5,800 pedestrian accidents in and around the city. It linked vehicle speed with severity of pedestrian injuries and the chances of a pedestrian’s survival:
- A 20 mph, there was only a five percent chance of a pedestrian death.
- At 30 mph, the chances increased to 45 percent.
- At 45 mph, the chances of a pedestrian fatality increased to a frightening 85 percent
Most of the pedestrian fatalities involved head injuries. Chest and abdominal injuries also rate high. As per the National Safety Council, more than 85 percent of all pedestrian accidents happen in urban areas like Philadelphia. Between 2010 and 2015, pedestrian deaths in our city drastically increased by 25 percent. More than 30 people per year are now killed in Philadelphia pedestrian accidents. To date, that number is either holding steady or slowly increasing. Here are some of the most common causes of pedestrian accident deaths.
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions.
- Drivers failing to check for pedestrians at crosswalks.
- Failing to yield when making turns.
- Distracted driving while on a phone or texting.
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
We Can Deliver Compensation and Closure
A pedestrian wrongful death case can arise from the careless and negligent act or failure to act of any motorist. Those might be drivers of passenger vehicles, trucks, buses or even motorcyclists in or around Philadelphia. Once your family member is gone forever, no amount of compensation is sufficient to bring him or her back. A successful wrongful death case can bring compensation for lost income, lost companionship and guidance, medical, funeral and burial expenses. It can also provide a feeling of closure.
Start Your Investigation Right Away Too
It’s critically important that you speak with our offices as soon as possible after your family’s tragedy. Yes, you’ll be grieving, but the insurer of the individual or company that caused your loss doesn’t care about that. The opposing insurer is going to start its investigation of the facts surrounding the accident right away, and it’s going to try to get to you while your guard is down. It knows that there’s big financial exposure for it, so it wants to dispose of any wrongful death claim as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Don’t let that happen. Witnesses can disappear, evidence can be disposed of or altered and recollections of events can get foggy. You deserve an immediate and in depth investigation into the facts of your family member’s death by a quality, compassionate and effective Philadelphia wrongful death law firm.
More Than One Person Might Be Liable
You and your attorneys will need to prove how the accident happened. Evidence must be obtained from investigating police officers, paramedics and hospital personnel. Witnesses will need to be interviewed, photos must be taken and traffic and security video footage that might show how the accident occurred must be obtained. It’s entirely possible that along with the driver, somebody else might be responsible for the accident too. That might include a bar, a repair garage or even a government entity. Our investigations leave no stone unturned.
Wrongful Death and Survival Actions
Pennsylvania law allows two claims to be brought after an individual died in an accident that was caused by somebody else. The first is a wrongful death action for spouses, children and other family members. The second claim involves what’s known as a survival action that is brought by the decedent’s estate if he or she survived and then died from injuries that were caused by the accident.
The Window is Closing
Pennsylvania only gives you a two year window for filing a wrongful death or survival action. The general rule is that if you fail to file your lawsuit within that period of time, you will be forever barred from proceeding against anybody who caused your family member’s death. Very few exceptions to this rule exist. If your action is against a government entity, a six month notice provision applies. Failure to timely serve that notice will also be reason to have your case permanently barred.
Contact a Philadelphia Wrongful Death Lawyer
Don’t give a statement of any kind to an opposing insurer about your family member’s death. You’ll be giving up valuable rights, and your own words might be used against you in the future. Contact us sooner rather than later on any pedestrian fatality claim in or around Philadelphia. We can arrange for a consultation and case evaluation at no cost to you. We’ll carefully listen to you and answer your questions. If we enter into a retainer agreement with you, no legal fees at all would be due unless we obtain a settlement or verdict. Let us focus on your case while you and your family are healing. You’ll receive superb representation and service from us.