Every year, more than 5,000 pedestrians in the United States die when they are hit by a vehicle. That means a pedestrian dies due to a crash every 1.6 hours, and on top of that, approximately 129,000 people suffer injuries. If you have lost a loved one due a pedestrian accident, you are likely to be devastated with your loss while also facing countless unexpected costs and changes.
You may be entitled to compensation. At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we have represented clients in numerous personal injury and wrongful death cases involving vehicles, and we may be able to help you.
Drivers have an obligation to follow the rules of the road and be careful around other motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians. When drivers don’t follow through with these duties, they are acting negligently. When you bring a wrongful death lawsuit against a motorist, your lawyer needs to establish that the motorist acted negligently.
Sometimes, the driver may be negligent because they were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and in those situations, they face criminal penalties on top of the being held civilly liable and having to pay you a settlement. Drivers may also be negligent due to running stop signs, driving on the sidewalk, texting and driving, or taking numerous other actions that lead to a pedestrian accident.
To prove negligence, your wrongful death attorney may talk with witnesses, look at traffic reports, and use other information from the accident. Once the attorney proves negligence, they need to show that you suffered damages as a result of the accident and that the damages were caused by the accident.
In personal injury and wrongful death cases, damages refer to costs and trauma experienced by the victim. Typically, wrongful death damages can be divided into two categories: damages related to the deceased person and damages suffered by their next of kin. These damages may include the following:
In Massachusetts, the executor or administrator of the deceased’s estate can bring forward a wrongful death lawsuit. In New Hampshire, the law states that any person interested in the estate of the deceased can bring forward a wrongful death suit. If you are not sure whether or not you have the authority to initiate a wrongful death suit on behalf of a loved one, contact us at Mazow | McCullough, PC, and we can help.
Pedestrian accident wrongful death cases start with a no-cost consultation. There, we review your case and help you identify potentially liable parties. These cases may be against individual drivers, but if the driver was working when the accident occurred, their employer may be liable. If you are hit by a ride sharing driver, the ride sharing service may be liable.
Additionally, liable parties can include vehicle parts manufacturers who made faulty parts, the designer or builder of a roadway when a dangerous environment contributed to the accident, government bodies that fail to post adequate warning signs, bartenders or businesses that have sold alcohol to impaired drivers, and others.
After identifying the liable party, the attorney issues a demand for damages. Once the other party responds, there is a discovery period where both sides share information related to the accident. At that point, a settlement may be reached in negotiations or mediations, but if both sides can’t agree, the wrongful death suit goes to court where a judge oversees the case and decides if the defendant should pay a settlement.
Once a settlement is issued, you pay the wrongful death attorney a portion of the settlement. Most of these cases are handled on a contingency basis which means you don’t have to worry about expenses through the case. If you don’t receive a settlement, you pay nothing.
Nothing can ever bring back your loved one. However, you don’t need to juggle the financial stress and emotional toll of an accident, in addition to dealing with grief and loss. You need a wrongful death attorney with a proven track record of getting results for their clients, and that’s what we do at Mazow | McCullough, PC. To learn more and to set up a free case evaluation today, contact us today.