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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

How to File a Lawsuit for Pedestrian Accident in Iowa - Everything to Know

A collision involving a motor vehicle and a pedestrian could be catastrophic. In fact, thousands of people get injured each year without driving a car. There are many reasons for this, such as sidewalk debris, flaws in the parking lot, and poorly designed walkways.

Crosswalks require drivers to defer to those walking and be cautious wherever there is foot activity. However, pedestrians often pay the price when a distracted or aggressive person doesn't pay attention or care. After being hurt, it's important to contact a personal injury lawyer to help with the claim.

Tom Fowler Law can assist victims in filing a wrongful death or personal injury claim. However, it's important to know the steps involved in such a case. They're also able to assist with how to file a lawsuit for bicycle accident in Iowa.

Negotiating Settlements for Pedestrian Accidents

Negotiating Settlements for Pedestrian Accidents

Many personal injury cases, including pedestrian accidents, are settled out of court. Typically, the lawyer recommends that the victim negotiate a settlement with the other party's insurance company first because it's less expensive and avoids added stress.

The settlement negotiation usually looks like this:

  • The pedestrian accident lawyer gathers evidence from the incident to prepare the case.

  • They calculate the economic and non-economic damages for the victim.

  • They contact the at-fault party's insurance company with a demand for relief.

  • The insurance company sends a counteroffer.

  • The lawyer will negotiate with the other party's insurer to try and reach an award for fair compensation.

Ultimately, the victim can choose a settlement or go to court.

Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

A lawsuit is usually the last resort for a victim, though it might be the only option when neither party can agree on settlement terms. Typically, pedestrian injury attorneys will handle these things:

1. The Complaint

The complaint is a letter that contains information about the lawsuit, such as the case details and types of compensation the victim is pursuing. This can include medical expenses, lost income, and much more.

In most cases, a lawyer should handle the complaint process because of the many complexities involved. They know how to craft legal documents and which courts to file them in. They can also explain how to file a lawsuit for construction accident in Iowa.

2. Serving the Defendant

When the complaint has been filed, the court will issue a summons, which is an official notification that tells the defendant they are being sued. It often includes information about the court system, the date for the first hearing, and more.

3. Continue Settlement Negotiations

Many times, receiving a summons and complaint scares the defendant. They will contact their insurance company. An agent will usually try to determine fault and may offer a better counteroffer than before.

4. Prepare and Go to Trial

If the insurance company doesn't offer a decent counteroffer, or the pedestrian accident attorney believes they can get more for their client in court, they will prepare and go to trial. Though this doesn't happen often, it is a possibility.

Before the trial, the attorney has to do many things, such as:

  • Find evidence

  • Talk to witnesses

  • Determine case weaknesses

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Assist

Motorists should be aware of pedestrians because they're likely to be seriously hurt in a road accident. However, being involved in such an incident doesn't always necessarily mean the victim will receive compensation.

Insurance adjusters might reject the victim's claim, depending on the situation. Likewise, Iowa uses the modified comparative fault system, so if the injured person was more than 51 percent to blame, they can't recover compensation at all.

It's up to the personal injury lawyer to help the victim receive fair compensation. They do this in many ways, such as:

  • Performing the discovery process to find all relevant evidence

  • Preparing for trial when settlement discussions produce no results

  • Negotiating with all parties to obtain fair compensation for the victim

  • Handling the insurance company and making all contact

  • Identifying the at-fault party and the victim's degree of blame

Ultimately, personal injury lawyers will handle all the legal matters involved in the case, which may include things not mentioned in this overview. This will allow the victim to focus on recovery. During this stressful time, it's wise to have help from a legal team of professionals.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Iowa law states that drivers should yield to pedestrians; it's the most important thing to remember when one receives their driver's license. However, people often fail to do this, which results in severe accidents. Here are just some of the factors that might be involved:

  • Driving recklessly

  • Impaired driving (intoxication)

  • Exhausted driving

  • Driving while distracted

  • Not yielding or stopping at crossroads

  • Not adhering to traffic lights and speed limits

If an automobile strikes a pedestrian, both sides will blame each other. However, if the person walking followed the rules and was hit by a car, the driver is usually the one held liable.

Filing pedestrian accident lawsuits isn't easy, so it's wise to work with a reputable and experienced attorney.

How to Establish Negligence in Pedestrian Accidents

Usually, drivers are responsible for operating a motor vehicle safely at all times. They must take reasonable care to prevent an accident, and most pedestrian incidents happen because of negligence.

Negligence can include:

  • Not following the posted speed limit

  • Not considering weather conditions

  • Texting while driving

  • Failing to respect traffic lights

  • Failing to signal properly

  • Surrendering right of way

  • Being inebriated while driving

However, an injured pedestrian must establish that the driver was negligent. To do that, they must show that the defendant:

  • Owed a duty of care to the pedestrian in that moment

  • Breached the duty of care in some way, which directly caused the victim's injury

Many times, multiple parties are found responsible for the injured pedestrian after a traffic collision. These can include the driver of the car that hit the person, other drivers, and anyone responsible for maintaining and building the road or sidewalk.

Pedestrian Laws

In Iowa, pedestrians have the right-of-way whenever they leave a parking lot, driveway, or alley, as well as when they cross a street in the crosswalk. Vehicles must yield at crosswalks, though pedestrians must also be careful.

If there is no pedestrian bridge or crosswalk, pedestrians are required to yield to any oncoming cars. Likewise, they must walk using the left-hand side of the road to be spotted easily.

Statute of Limitations for an Iowa Pedestrian Accident

Statute of Limitations for an Iowa Pedestrian Accident

The statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years in Iowa. This clock usually starts on the date of the accident, so victims have little time to take action and should contact a pedestrian lawyer as soon as possible.

Things to Do After Being Involved in a Pedestrian Accident

Pedestrian accident injury victims could be disoriented or in pain. However, they should follow these steps whenever possible after being hit by a car:

1. Ensure Everyone's Safety

Many times, a pedestrian accident leads to a back or neck injury, so it's usually wise not to move the victim. However, they might still be on the road, so staying there is not safe.

People will often crowd around, which prevents traffic from coming through. Still, it's always best to move to the sidewalk if possible. The goal is to avoid more injuries.

2. Receive Medical Attention

No one should brush off being hit by a car. Even if the victim believes they aren't seriously injured, they should visit the doctor after the accident. Many times, their adrenaline skyrockets, and they're unaware of the pain or problem until much later.

Typically, it's best to call 911 for an ambulance. Any medical bills incurred will be proof of the injuries later.

3. Take Pictures of the Pedestrian Accident

Pictures of the crash site and injuries will help to explain what happened. Photographs make it easier to convince a jury or the insurance company to provide fair compensation.

If the victim is too injured to take photos, local law enforcement will. The attorney can request that evidence later. However, when possible, here are a few pictures to take:

  • Visible injuries, such as scrapes, cuts, and bruises

  • Debris from the accident

  • The direction of both the victim and the driver

  • Damage to the vehicle

4. Heal from the Injuries

Injured pedestrians should go to the doctor immediately after the incident and continue treating their injuries based on the physician's instructions. Once healed, the victim can start the negotiation process for a fair settlement.

5. Contact an Iowa Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Negotiating a fair settlement isn't easy, so it's often wise to work with a pedestrian accident lawyer who understands personal injury law. To contact Tom Fowler Law, visit the website and leave a message with a valid phone number. Select the case type, and submit the information.

Is phone verification required? No, the victim will not receive an email or SMS message with a code to input before submitting.

Why Hire Tom Fowler Law

After being injured because of another driver's negligence, victims worry about their medical bills, lost time from work, and more. They have the right to pursue financial compensation, and it's best to contact an Iowa personal injury attorney for assistance.

Call Tom Fowler Law to request a free consultation today!

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