Pedestrian Accident And Bicycle Injury Attorneys
Experienced pedestrian accident and bicycle injury lawyers serving Fairfax, VA and surrounding areas
When you think of the number of victims of traffic accidents every year, you might overlook how these incidents affect some of the most vulnerable road users. However, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles does include pedestrians and bicycle accidents in its publication on Traffic Crash Facts. On average, there are almost 2,269 incidents involving individuals on foot or bike annually. This figure may not sound extraordinary until you realize the disproportionate statistics: Around 95 percent of pedestrian and bicycle crashes cause a fatality or injuries to at least one victim.
If you were hurt or lost a loved one in such an incident, you may have legal options for recovering compensation. Our Fairfax VA Pedestrian Accident Attorney at Leary Law, P.C. can assist with the claims process, so please contact us to set up a no-cost consultation with a Virginia pedestrian and bicycle accidents attorney. Some basic information about your rights may also be helpful.
How Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents Happen: The underlying cause behind these incidents is driver negligence, which has a specific legal definition beyond its everyday usage. To recover compensation, you must show that the responsible motorist breached the legal duty to drive safely, and this was the direct cause of the collision. To better understand how negligence works, some examples may be useful. You could have a claim against a motorist who directly caused a pedestrian or bicycle accident by:
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions;
- Failing to yield right of way to people walking or on bike;
- Veering or swerving into designated bike lanes;
- Running through red lights or stop signs;
- Not complying with other traffic signage; and,
- Many other careless acts.
However, note that all bicycle riders and pedestrians are road users who are also required to comply with traffic laws. You may be negligent by engaging in careless if you:
- Cross an intersection against the light;
- Split lanes on a bicycle, i.e., ride between lanes of traffic when cars are stopped or slowed;
- Avoid an intersection when crossing a street, commonly known as jaywalking;
- Erratically ride in and out of a designated bike lane; or,
- Fail to comply with other traffic laws.
The Legal Process for Recovering Compensation: Even though you may not have been in a motorized vehicle as the victim of a pedestrian or bicycle accident, your rights still stem from the laws covering other types of traffic crashes. The first step is filing a claim with the responsible driver’s insurance company, and our lawyers at Leary Law, P.C. will handle the process. We start by investigating to gather sufficient evidence regarding fault and the nature of your injuries. We will then submit a demand for fair compensation, though it is unlikely that the insurer will pay out accordingly. These for-profit companies will be looking to protect their own financial interests, not yours.
Therefore, it may be necessary to file a civil lawsuit to recover sufficient monetary damages to cover your losses. Our team will represent you in connection with litigation, including initiating the case, attending court appearances, discovery, depositions, and all trial-related tasks. Our objective is to obtain the fair compensation you deserve for your losses, which come in two types:
- Economic Damages: Any losses that you can assign a dollar value or which you pay out-of-pocket generally fall in the category of economic damages. Examples are medical costs for treatment and lost wages, if your pedestrian or bicycle accident injuries prevent you from working.
- Non-Economic Damages: Some losses are not quantifiable in terms of amount, but you certainly suffer hardship. They include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and losses that affect your personal relationships with a spouse and loved ones.
Virginia Laws That Affect Your Rights as a Victim: Though our attorneys at Leary Law, P.C. will handle the legal details, you should be aware of certain legal concepts that could impose limitations on your rights.
- There is a statute of limitations in Virginia that applies to pedestrian and bicycle accident cases. You must file a lawsuit within two years after the incident to recover compensation, or a court will dismiss your case.
- Virginia follows the rule of contributory negligence, which can have harsh implications if you engage in any of the forms of bike rider or pedestrian negligence described above. Your claim for compensation could be completely barred if your actions were a factor in causing the accident. There are exceptions and strategies to avoid the consequences of this rule, so having a skilled attorney on your side is critical.
Trust a Virginia Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
To learn more about how our Fairfax, VA Pedestrian Accident Attorney at Leary Law, P.C. can assist with your legal remedies, please contact our offices in Manassas or Fairfax, VA. We can schedule a free case assessment on how the laws apply to your situation.