If a person is struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, they may have a claim for personal injuries. The first step in filing a pedestrian accident case in Oak Lawn is to set the claim up with the insurance company for the at-fault driver. It is advisable to speak to a pedestrian accident lawyer before contacting the insurance company directly. Frequently, the driver of the vehicle will not even notify their insurance company after a pedestrian accident. If the insurance company refuses to settle the pedestrian claim, the next step is to file a lawsuit in court.

Important Considerations When Deciding Whether to File

It is always worthwhile to investigate the possibility of settling a pedestrian accident case prior to filing a court case. However, sometimes filing a case is the only option. Some of the considerations in determining whether to file a court case are as follows. First, they must establish liability. This means that the other party must be more than 50 percent at fault. If there is no liability, then they will lose at court.

Another consideration for whether to file a case in court is the damages. Unfortunately, court cases can be expensive to pursue. Unless the damages are enough to warrant a lawsuit, it may be worthwhile to settle out of court.

What Is the Statute of Limitations?

Generally, the statute of limitations to file a pedestrian accident case is two years, unless the injured claimant is struck by a municipal vehicle, which may shorten the deadline. Statute of limitations means that the case must be settled and resolved or the person must file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations’ deadline. Failure to file a lawsuit or settle their case prior to the statute of limitations of a pedestrian accident case will result in no recovery. There may be exceptions to the statute of limitations, so it is best to speak to an experienced attorney when deciding to file a pedestrian accident case in Oak Lawn.

Determining Where a Case Will Be Filed

A pedestrian lawsuit is very similar to any other personal injury lawsuit. It is commenced by filing a complaint in the court with the proper jurisdiction.

A pedestrian case may be filed in various courts. Each court has its own jurisdictional requirements. For example, a municipal court case involves injuries which are less than $50,000. A law division pedestrian case involves damages which exceed $50,000. Both municipal and law cases are state court cases. The federal court also can hear a pedestrian case.

However, in order to be in federal court, the damages must exceed $75,000 and, most importantly, must involve citizens of different states. For example, if an out-of-state driver were to strike a pedestrian and the injuries were over $75,000, the federal court would have jurisdiction over such a case.

What Happens After Filing?

When a pedestrian accident case is filed in court, the case follows the same process as other lawsuits. The sheriff will serve the lawsuit on the at-fault driver. The insurance company for the person who struck the pedestrian will hire a lawyer to defend them. Most litigation cases involve written discovery as well as depositions. They may also include depositions of witnesses or treating doctors. Finally, a pedestrian lawsuit may also include expert witnesses. If a case is not settled, ultimately it will be decided by a jury.

Let a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Help

As with any case, it is important to conduct a thorough investigation in a pedestrian accident. This will include obtaining the police report as well as communicating with the insurance company. A careful investigation will also include photographs of the scene and may include additional investigation. All these steps are important in order to present the best possible case in court following a pedestrian accident. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney could help you will all elements of your case including filing a claim, collecting evidence, and negotiating a settlement. Call today to learn about filing a pedestrian accident case in Oak Lawn.