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Pedestrian Accidents

Alexandria Virginia Pedestrian Accident Attorneys

Catastrophic pedestrian accidents are on the rise in Alexandria Virginia

As the prominent personal injury law firm in Old Town, Alexandria, we unfortunately, see several motor vehicle collisions involving pedestrians. In many cases, these pedestrian collisions are catastrophic. Collisions involving pedestrians often result in catastrophic injuries because the pedestrian has no protection from the thousands of pounds the vehicle weighs, and the driver of the vehicle normally does not see the pedestrian and does not break or attempt to avoid the pedestrian before impact. Below we discuss the types and causes of injuries we see and what you need to know about pedestrian accidents in Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Types of Pedestrian Accidents

Crosswalk Accidents

There are several types of crosswalk accidents, below are the most common:

  • Motor vehicle runs a red light and hits the pedestrian in the crosswalk
  • The motor vehicle turns right on a red light, and the driver is looking to its left for oncoming traffic and hit a pedestrian in the crosswalk
  • A motor vehicle passes another motor vehicle that is stopped for a pedestrian crossing the crosswalk and crashes into that pedestrian as they pass
  • Motor vehicles turning left on a solid green light and looking to their right as they crash into a pedestrian in the crosswalk
  • Driver looking at other motor vehicles at 4-way stop and does not see a pedestrian crossing the crosswalk
  • The driver of a motor vehicle is distracted and does not see a pedestrian in the crosswalk
  • Motor vehicle crashes into a pedestrian that enters the crosswalk on the “walk” symbol but does not finish crossing before the “don’t walk” symbol
  • In addition to crosswalk accidents, several other types of collisions, unfortunately, lead to catastrophic injuries to pedestrians. Below are a few examples:
    • A drunk driver jumps the curb and crashes into a pedestrian on the sidewalk
    • A pedestrian in a parking lot is crashed into by a motor vehicle pulling out of a parking spot
    • Pedestrian fixing a flat tire or attempting to fix their vehicle on the roadway is crashed into by a passing motor vehicle

Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

Distracted Driving is the most prevalent cause of pedestrian accidents. Common examples of distractions are:

  • Texting while driving
  • Looking at a phone while driving
  • Using Bluetooth while driving
  • Looking for something in the vehicle as driving
  • Using GPS while driving
  • Eating while driving

Intoxication – drunk driving, unfortunately, leads to many pedestrian collisions.

Speed – many pedestrian collisions involve motor vehicles that are speeding.

Failure to yield the right-of-way – Many pedestrian collisions are caused by motor vehicle drivers that attempt to enter a crosswalk or intersection before the pedestrian.

Lighting – A lot of pedestrian collisions occur at nighttime when it is harder for motor vehicle drivers to see the pedestrian.

Injuries from Pedestrian Accidents

As mentioned earlier, pedestrian accidents, unfortunately, often lead to the most catastrophic injuries and are sometimes fatal. At Curcio Law, we are committed to helping our clients rebuild their lives with dignity. Pedestrians injured due to no fault of their own are the premier example of those needing our services. Below are some common examples of injuries that pedestrians suffer in pedestrian accidents:

Traumatic Brain Injuries

  • The forces applied to a pedestrian by a moving vehicle are tremendous, often knocking the person into the air or slamming them onto the pavement, causing traumatic brain injuries ranging from skull fractures to brain bleeds to concussions. Such injuries can lead to long-term symptoms, with symptoms often developing over time. Insurance companies often dispute traumatic brain injuries due to a lack of objective findings on diagnostic tests.

Catastrophic Spinal Injuries

  • The brain and the spinal cord form every human’s central nervous system.
  • The brain uses the spinal cord to send messages to every part of the human body.
  • Injuries to the spinal cord can be catastrophic because they break the connection between the brain and the rest of the body.
  • Catastrophic injuries to the spinal cord can lead to paralysis.
  • Catastrophic injuries to the spinal cord can be permanent and have life-altering effects.

Fractures and Broken Bone Injuries

  • A compound or open fracture is when the bone break pierces the skin and is visible from the outside.
  • Pedestrians are at a high risk of compound fractures because they do not have any protection from the motor vehicle.
  • Compound and open fractures carry a higher risk of infection and severe soft tissue damage.
  • Compound and open fractures almost always require surgery, and the healing process can be difficult and prolonged.
  • Closed fractures, or fractures where the skin is not broken, can also require surgery.

Ligament Injuries

  • Ligaments connect a muscle to a bone and are essential tissue.
  • Severe ligament tear injuries can be caused by complete twisting of the ligaments.
  • Common knee ligament injuries include ACL, MCL, or LCL tears.
  • Common foot ligament injuries include ruptures of the Achilles tendon.
  • Severe Rotator Cuff injuries can be common in pedestrian accidents.


  • An infection is an invasion of germs into a human’s body
  • The human skin naturally protects the human body from infections
  • Infections can develop whenever there is an open wound
  • As a result of the force of impact with the motor vehicle or the pavement, most pedestrians suffer injuries that pierce the skin
  • Injured pedestrians have a high risk of infection
  • As detailed above, many pedestrians suffer injuries that need surgery
  • Every surgery has a risk of infection

Death of a Pedestrian

  • Unfortunately, many pedestrians succumb to the blunt force of the motor vehicle
  • In these cases, we represent the families of the pedestrian
  • Pedestrian death cases sometimes involve the driver of the motor vehicle fleeing the scene
  • In these cases, we work with law enforcement to locate the driver
  • In all death cases, we work with law enforcement to ensure that the driver faces criminal penalties for causing the death of the pedestrian

Due to the complexity and severity of common injuries pedestrians suffer in pedestrian accidents, pedestrians should reach out to a lawyer about representing them in their personal injury claim. At Curcio Law, we have represented pedestrians that have suffered catastrophic injuries for close to 40 years. Our goal is to help each client rebuild their lives with dignity. We do that by representing the client’s legal interests to the best of our abilities so they can focus on recovering from their catastrophic injuries.

How to Make a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Virginia

The injured party, or the plaintiff, has the burden of proving everything they claim. A plaintiff must prove liability to have a valid personal injury claim. Liability is the legal term for who is at fault for causing the injury.

In pedestrian accident cases, plaintiffs must prove liability by putting forth evidence that the driver of the motor vehicle acted negligently. Negligence is the failure to use ordinary care. This means that a person or party that does not act reasonably is negligent.

In pedestrian accident cases, there are many ways of proving that the motor vehicle driver did not act reasonably. Some common acts of negligent behavior are:

  • Failure to yield the right-of-way
  • Failure to follow traffic signals
  • Driving over the speed limit
  • Failure to keep proper control of the vehicle
  • Driving while intoxicated

Unfortunately, Virginia is one of only four states that still has contributory negligence as a defense to negligence action. The contributory negligence law states that if the injured party is even 1% at fault for causing the collision, the injured party is completely barred from recovering any compensation for their injuries. Therefore, even if the motor vehicle driver is 99% at fault for causing the collision, pedestrians could be barred from winning their caseif their negligence contributed at all to the collision. In pedestrian accident cases, insurance companies commonly try to argue that the injured party is barred from making a claim based on contributory negligence. Common arguments that insurance companies make regarding pedestrians being contributorily negligent are:

  • Pedestrian on the phone while using a crosswalk
  • The pedestrian did not follow the traffic signal when crossing the crosswalk
  • Pedestrian jaywalking, or crossing outside of the crosswalk
  • Pedestrian did not make themselves visible to the driver of the motor vehicle

As mentioned above, Virginia is one of only four states with contributory negligence. Washington, D.C., also has contributory negligence; however, the D.C. law has an exception for vulnerable users. In D.C., pedestrians are not barred from obtaining compensation for their injuries unless the pedestrian’s negligence is greater than the negligence of the driver of the motor vehicle (Code of the District of Columbia § 50-2204.52). This allows pedestrians to seek compensation for their injuries as long as they are not over 50% at fault for the collision.

Contributory negligence is a very common issue in pedestrian accident claims in Alexandria, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Injured pedestrians should reach out to an attorney if any insurance company attempts to argue that they were contributorily negligent. At Curcio Law, we have almost 40 years of experience representing pedestrians and fighting insurance companies on the contributory negligence issue.

What Compensation Can Pedestrians Recover in Pedestrian Accident Claims in Virginia?

Since the justice system cannot make the injured party whole by magically healing their injuries, the civil justice system provides for monetary compensation to make the injured party whole again. The compensation that a pedestrian, or any injured party, is entitled to recover is called damages. In Virginia, a pedestrian that suffers catastrophic injuries in a pedestrian accident is entitled to recover damages that compensate them for the following elements:

  • All bodily injuries that the pedestrian has sustained
  • All past and future physical pain 
  • Any disfigurement or deformity and any associated embarrassment
  • All past and future inconvenience
  • All past and future mental anguish
  • All past and future medical expenses
  • All lost wages
  • Any loss of earning capacity

At Curcio Law, we ensure that our clients receive compensation that fully and fairly compensates them for all of the above elements. Pedestrians that suffer catastrophic injuries will have to prove each element they claim, and we collect evidence on each element as our client recovers from their catastrophic injuries.

The help we provide to our clients does not end when a settlement or verdict is achieved and paid. To enable our clients to focus on their recoveries and rebuild a dignified life, we make sure that all the client’s bills and expenses (i.e., outstanding medical bills, health insurance liens) are paid by the settlement funds so that the client is not worried or hounded about such matters.

Contact our experienced injury attorneys today

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious or catastrophic injury or lost a loved one in a pedestrian collision, you will be well served by contacting Curcio Law at 703-836-3366. We have the experience to handle these cases with compassion and commitment and has been recognized for doing so.

  • "$2,000,000.00 Auto Pedestrian Hit by Car / Brain Injury"

  • "$2,000,000.00 Pedestrian Hit By Bus / Broken Foot, Surgery Complications & Partial Choroidal Detachment"

  • "$2,000,000.00 Wrongful Death Settlement"

  • "$1,900,000.00 Pedestrian Hit By Truck / Fractured Pelvis & Multiple Surgeries"

  • "$1,500,000.00 Auto Accident / Wrongful Death"

  • "$1,200,000.00 Auto Accident / Broken Neck, Punctured Lung"

  • "$847,500.00 Dangerous Dog Bite / Facial Injury, Scarring"

  • "$600,000.00 Tractor Trailer Crash / Neck Injury, requiring surgery"

  • "$595,000.00 (Jury Verdict) Auto Accident / Broken Foot"

  • "$546,905.00 Auto Accident / Neck injury, Herniated Disc"

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