How to Hire a Pedestrian Accident Attorney: What You Need to Know

 Approximately 1.3 million people worldwide die yearly from traffic crashes; over half of these deaths include pedestrians. Moreover, 20 to 50 million people suffer severe injuries from traffic accidents every year.

If you've been involved in a pedestrian accident, it can change your life. You must be prepared to deal with long-term injuries and financial consequences. If you don't know how to hire a pedestrian accident attorney, it's time to take the next steps.

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Once you learn what to focus on, the hiring process will be easier than you think.

In this guide, you'll learn everything you need to know about how to hire a pedestrian accident attorney!

Do Research and Read Online Reviews

Your first step in this process is to do thorough research. This research should begin with reading online reviews. First, read through Google reviews for each attorney you're considering.

Take in both the positive and negative reviews and pay attention to how responsive the law firm is to these reviews.

Review attorney websites to get a good feel of their law practice and what cases they're most familiar with. 

It's also wise to check with the American Bar Association to ensure the attorney you hire is in good standing and has a license to practice law.

Visiting the law firm at is a great place to start.

Check for Experience

Pedestrian accident injury lawyers fall into the personal injury category. But this doesn't mean all personal injury attorneys have the necessary experience to represent a pedestrian.

Therefore, it's essential to get an understanding of the specific experience your attorney has. You might find that many attorneys have experience in different injury specialty areas.

You'll need to ask how many pedestrian accident cases the attorney has handled in the past. The attorney you choose should be familiar with the specific laws and regulations around pedestrian accident cases. They should also have experience going to court and talking with insurance companies.

Finally, an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer should easily be able to tell you about the most common pedestrian accidents they see.

Inquire About Success Rates

Once you get a better idea of their experience, it's time to ask about success rates. Be sure to determine how many pedestrian cases the attorney has won or settled successfully.

What were the settlement amounts of the cases they've won in court? This will give you important insights into these types of cases. You'll have a better idea of what to expect during your case.

While past settlement amounts can't predict what you might receive, the attorney should be able to give you an average range. They should also be able to foresee various barriers preventing you from getting more compensation.

Find Out Who Will Handle Your Case

Larger law offices accept as many clients as possible to maximize their earnings. This means that multiple lawyers and legal assistants may handle different cases.

You should ask if the attorney you consult with will be the only one handling your case. If another lawyer is helping, it's also best to ask to meet with them. This is because you need to understand the lawyer who will handle your pedestrian accident case and feel comfortable with them.

If you're uncomfortable with multiple legal staff handling your case, you should consider finding a smaller law firm. This is an essential part of hiring an attorney many people overlook.

Remember, this is your case, and the last thing you want is to feel lost in the shuffle among numerous staff and other cases.

Compare Costs and Ask About Retainer Fees

You'll need to find at least three attorneys in your area to better understand the average cost when comparing attorney fees. These costs include:

Retainer Fee

One of the first things to ask about is the retainer fee. This fee is an upfront fee that secures the services of various professionals like lawyers. This ensures the lawyer's commitment to the case and is considered a down payment.

You can typically get parts of this fee refunded if the services cost less than the original quote. 

Retainer fees usually equal your lawyer's hourly rate and cover the first 4 to 5 hours. Remember, not all attorneys charge these fees, especially when working with injury cases.

Contingency Fee Basis

Next, you'll need to get an estimate of the average total cost of the case and how you'll be expected to pay. In most cases, pedestrian accident lawyers will work on a contingency fee basis.

With contingency fees, you don't have to pay until the lawyer wins your case and gets a settlement. This payment method is best if you've been seriously injured and have missed work since you won't need to go into debt to pay a lawyer.

The percentage of the settlement lawyers will take as their payment varies, so you'll need to ask for an estimate.

Find Out What Information the Lawyer Will Need

The more proof you have, the better your chances of getting compensation. Therefore, you must be prepared to provide specific information during your initial attorney consultation.

Driver Contact Information and Insurance

It's critical that you have the name and contact information of the driver that hit you. You should also have their insurance and driver's license information. It's also vital to get the names and numbers of any witnesses. 

Police Report

Obtaining a copy of the police report is also a good idea. This report should have the driver's information and a description of the accident.

Additional Evidence

Once you provide this basic information, your lawyer will need to do additional work to get more evidence. This typically includes legal measures to get traffic signal data and security camera videos.

They'll also look for other witnesses and any other data that will help support your case.

Medical Documents

Finally, your attorney must collect documentation showing evidence of your injuries. This can include doctor's reports, therapies, and medications.

You'll need a thorough medical evaluation summarizing how this injury has impacted your overall health and well-being.

You'll also need documents showing how long you'll need medical care and what therapies you can expect. 

Some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a traumatic accident. PTSD can cause anxiety and depression and seriously impact your ability to work and function normally. You'll need documentation of the mental and emotional effects of the accident.

Ask About Accident Liability

As attorneys gather evidence, they'll get a good idea of who was at fault. Many people assume it's the driver's fault in pedestrian accidents, but this isn't always true.


There are different factors that your attorney needs to look at. First, any collisions involving a pedestrian depend on the circumstances at the time of the accident. For example, the driver might have:

  • Ran a red light
  • Been under the influence of alcohol
  • Been driving distracted
  • Fell asleep driving
  • Been speeding

At the same time, what were you doing as a pedestrian at the time of the accident? Maybe you were jaywalking, playing on your phone, or not paying attention to traffic signals and signs.

These behaviors are examples of negligent behavior that can cause an accident. Negligence is a failure to use the standard amount of care that a person should use to prevent harm in a situation.

Negligence is also known as a "duty of care," and you'll hear attorneys refer to this as a failure of duty of care.

Common Types of Pedestrian Accidents

This type of pedestrian accident also plays a part in who may be at fault. First, many accidents are due to a general loss of control by the driver.

This occurs if the driver hits you in any way because they weren't in control of their vehicle. Typically, the driver will be at fault in these cases.

Crosswalk collisions are when you're legally in a crosswalk, and the person driving failed to give you the right-of-way. Unless you were ignoring crosswalk signals, typically, the driver will be at fault for this type of accident.

Backup accidents occur when a driver reverses, usually in a parking lot, and hits you.

In all these situations, the driver is responsible for practicing a certain duty of care. However, different factors can occur, making you both at fault for the accident.

Shared fault accidents require a skilled lawyer to defend you. They'll be able to prove negligence on the driver's side and work toward a positive outcome for you.

Either way, this is a crucial question to ask a potential pedestrian attorney. Some attorneys won't represent you if you're entirely at fault for the accident. Ultimately, this may narrow down your options for attorneys.

Understand if Your Case Will Go to Trial

Unfortunately, not all pedestrian accident cases can be resolved quickly. Often, pedestrian accident cases go to trial, and this can be a lengthy process.

Often, an attorney can tell immediately if they can easily negotiate your case and come to a resolution quickly. Other times, it's difficult to predict, and your cause could go either way.

However, if, after a few discussions, there is no resolution in the cards, you may be looking at a trial. Trials cost a lot of money and can drag on for months to a year.

It's essential to honestly discuss this possibility with your attorney and form a plan. You'll need to get an idea of how long it should take to get your case resolved. You'll also need to schedule time for court hearings, negotiations, and other formalities.

Additionally, if you don't win your case in court, you'll need a plan for what to do next. This typically includes negotiating lawyer fees if you lose and considering whether it's worth pursuing the case further. 

Learn More About the Expected Compensation Amount

If the other party agrees to compensate you, you'll need to understand more about your expected compensation amount. Be sure not to settle for promises of a big payout without any details.

You want a lawyer that will be straightforward with you about these details. They also need to be realistic about how much they can negotiate to get more money.

The first part of the settlement is the medical component. This includes the moment you first got medical attention after the accident to long-term injuries. You can expect fair compensation if you have injuries that prevent you from working.

This is especially true if you have sufficient medical evidence to support your case. 

You should keep track of other medical expenses you pay out of pocket and lost wages. All of these expenses should be a part of your settlement. 

The settlement amount also depends on other factors like:

  • Pain and suffering
  • The severity of your injuries
  • Lost income
  • Future wages
  • Medical bills
  • Punitive damages

If you can build a strong case and prove the driver was negligent, you'll typically get a higher settlement amount.

Common Types of Settlements

A monetary settlement relates to the driver's insurance. It's the most common settlement and involves the insurance company paying you a specific amount to cover the damages.

If the driver doesn't have insurance or the insurance won't pay you enough, you may get a settlement from the driver's assets. You may have to file a separate lawsuit against the driver to get this. Your attorney will direct you on how to handle this type of situation.

You can also get a settlement from the city or municipality the accident occurred in. This type of settlement results from poorly maintained roads, sidewalks, or other issues contributing to the accident.

Dealing with the city can become complicated. Your attorney will help you determine the settlement amount you should get in this case.

Hire a Pedestrian Accident Attorney for Your Case Today

Following these tips will help you hire a pedestrian accident attorney that's best for your case.

Don't be afraid to talk to multiple attorneys and ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable. Remember, pedestrian accident cases can take time, but with good legal representation, you'll get the compensation you deserve.

To learn more legal, business, and other helpful tips, be sure to check out the rest of our blog today!