Alexandria Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
What to Do If You are Hit by a Car in NoVA
Pedestrian collisions occur when people walking are hit by drivers who are speeding, distracted, drunk, and overall negligent. All too often, pedestrians sustain substantial and life-threatening injuries in these accidents. Specifically, the City of Alexandria recently reported that one in seven crashes involving people walking resulted in death or serious injury to the person.
A human simply does not stand a chance against an aluminum and steel machine, especially if the car is coming at them at a high rate of speed. To this point, the Commonwealth considers pedestrians to be “vulnerable users” of the road. Vulnerable users include people who are using wheelchairs, walking, biking, skating, riding horses or other animals, riding in animal-drawn carriages, or using electric bikes/scooters/boards. The Commonwealth has specific laws that apply to pedestrians and vulnerable users alike.
To compound the substantial pain and suffering endured by pedestrian accident victims, the laws surrounding these claims are complex and nuanced. Insurance companies do not hesitate to argue the pedestrian contributed to their own injuries, and thus, is not entitled to any recovery.
There is no need to go about a pedestrian accident claim alone. For over 25 years, our Alexandria pedestrian accident lawyers have successfully advocated on behalf of injured individuals throughout NoVA.
Most recently, we obtained $2.15 million on behalf of a pedestrian wrongfully killed by a negligent driver in Virginia. Although past results are no guarantee of future success, we have experience working on these massive pedestrian and wrongful death cases, and we have the resources and skill to pursue the maximum compensation you deserve.
Let us advocate for you and your family. Portner & Shure, P.A. accepts no fee unless we obtain compensation on your behalf. Reach out to us today for a free and confidential consultation at (855) 954-4141 or contact us online.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Accidents between someone walking and a car, truck, or another motor vehicle typically occur at traffic intersections, crosswalks, and on busy roads.
The most common causes of pedestrian accidents in Virginia include:
- Turning-moving crashes
- Distracted drivers (failing to maintain a proper lookout)
- Drivers failing to follow traffic signals (failing to abide by red lights, stop signs, and traffic lights)
- Speeding motorists
The City of Alexandria recently installed 17 new “Leading Pedestrian Intervals in high crash intersection or corridors.”
The City identified the following locations in Alexandria as high crash intersections:
- Route 1 and Gibbon
- Route 1 and Wilkes
- King and Washington
- King and Henry
- King and Patrick
- Wilkes and Washington
- Duke and Henry (both crossings)
- Gibbon and Washington
- Slaters and Washington
- Cambridge and Duke (both crossings)
- N. Quaker and Duke
- Cameron Station and Duke
- Whiting and Edsall
- Slaters and Route 1
- Duke and Holland
New Pedestrian Accident Laws in Alexandria
The City of Alexandria is working tirelessly to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injuries. In 2016, the City amended the Transportation Master Plan to include a strategy for evaluating traffic deaths and developing a “Vision Zero” program. New traffic safety laws became effective in Virginia on July 1st, 2020.
The two traffic safety laws relating to pedestrians require:
- Drivers to stop for pedestrians crossing the street: In accordance with Virginia Code § 46.2-924, drivers must yield the right-of-way to any pedestrians crossing at marked AND unmarked crosswalks. Specifically, in Alexandria, drivers that fail to stop for people crossing the street could be subject to a maximum fine of $ 500.
- Increased penalties under the Vulnerable User Law: Drivers that cause serious injury to or the death of a “vulnerable street user” due to carelessness or distracted can now be charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor. The Vulnerable User Law, as outlined in Virginia Code § 46.2-841, further means that drivers cannot use a bicycle lane to pass another driver to or to bypass congestion.
Virginia law requires automobile drivers to operate their vehicles in a reasonably safe manner and pay attention to their surroundings. The Commonwealth of Virginia also has specific laws with regards to pedestrians.
Litigation & Defenses in Pedestrian Accident Cases
In the majority of pedestrian accident cases, insurance companies try to escape responsibility by arguing the pedestrian was somewhat responsible for the accident, and thus cannot obtain any recovery. This is possible because the affirmative defense of contributory negligence, if successful, in Virginia acts as a total bar to recovery and, thus, clearly has a determinative impact on liability.
In our 25 years of experience, there are a few cases wherein the defense of contributory negligence appears the most often:
- Sidewalk crossing cases: Pedestrians are mandated to use sidewalks whenever available. If a sidewalk is not available, they are to walk on the left side of the road. When someone fails to walk within the existing crosswalk, insurance companies tend to argue they were contributorily negligent or assumed the risk of their own injuries.
- Distracted pedestrians: Even while in a crosswalk, however, pedestrians are required to observe their surroundings. When a pedestrian walks across the road while engaging in some type of “distracted” behavior, like talking on the phone or walking a dog, they can be deemed contributorily negligent.
- Traffic violations: Automobile drivers and their insurance carriers frequently claim that a pedestrian walked into traffic with a “do not walk” signal displaying, and thus their negligence (and violation of a traffic safety rule) should make them contributorily negligent.
These arguments are oftentimes deemed meritorious because of the confusing and complex pedestrian laws in place in Virginia. However, an experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Alexandria can work with you to present your case in the most beneficial light and advocate on your behalf. In fact, we have recently done so in multiple pedestrian accident cases handled for other clients.
Although previous results are no guarantee of future success, we are well aware that to bring a successful pedestrian accident case, a thorough review of the incident is mandatory. We have experience in conducting such reviews and successfully combating arguments of contributory negligence to obtain a settlement.
Pedestrian Accident Crash Summary in Alexandria
In 2019, there were 63 pedestrian accidents in the City of Alexandria alone. Several of these pedestrian collisions resulted in “serious injury” and even death.
Common injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident include:
- Loss of limb
- Spinal injuries
- Bone fractures
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken arms
- Back injuries
Pedestrian collisions oftentimes require emergency medical services and surgery. Depending on the type of injury suffered, the victim may endure lifelong pain and even death. Under Virginia law, pedestrian accident victims are entitled to seek compensation for both their economic and non-economic damages. These include items like medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, in addition to others.
Portner & Shure, P.A.'s Recent Verdicts & Settlements in Pedestrian Cases
Pedestrian accidents make up a significant amount of Portner & Shure’s practice. Included below are our most recent pedestrian accident settlements and verdicts in Maryland and Virginia. The numbers are meant to provide an understanding of the value of pedestrian accident cases, however, each case is different and past results cannot guarantee future success.
- $2,150,000 Settlement: A woman walking her three dogs in a crosswalk was struck by a negligent driver. The woman was killed. Portner & Shure, P.A. handled this wrongful death claim on behalf of the decedent and her surviving family members.
- $295,000 Settlement: Our client was lawfully crossing the street at an intersection with a signal when the defendant failed to yield and struck him. After negotiations, including extensive argument to the insurer about how our client still has difficulties walking and bending, they tendered $295,000, which was nearly the policy limit of $300,000.
- $260,000 Settlement: Our client was walking across the entryway into a parking lot when the defendant driver failed to look to her right before pulling into the street and struck her. The policy limits in this case were $250,000. However, after extensive negotiations, Portner & Shure was able to secure an additional $10,000 from the negligent driver personally.
These are merely a few sample settlements to provide a better understanding of the cases we undertake and our experience in handling pedestrian accidents in Virginia. Of course, every case is based on a variety of factors, many of which may not be outlined here. For more information on our recent results, check out our case results section.
Alexandria Lawyers at Portner & Shure, P.A.
After more than 25 years of representing pedestrian accident victims, we recognize the difficulties faced by you and your family and understand how to best advocate on your behalf. Our award-winning attorneys are experienced negotiators and skilled litigators. Insurance companies know that we do not back down in cases, and our results are indicative of our strong advocacy and client-centered approach.
Portner & Shure, P.A. does not accept attorney fees unless we successfully secure a settlement or trial outcome on your behalf. There is no harm in talking to a member of our team about your potential case during a free and confidential consultation.
Contact Portner & Shure, P.A. today at (855) 954-4141.
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