Pedestrian Accidents

About Pedestrian Accidents

D.C. area pedestrians are hit by cars, trucks, taxicabs, buses, motorcycles, and bicycles nearly every day. They frequently sustain head and spinal cord injuries, bone fractures, ligament ruptures, and crush injuries. Many are hospitalized, undergo surgery, need long term medical care, and are unable to work. Drivers that hit pedestrians often are intoxicated, unlicensed, or uninsured. Some drivers flee accident scenes. Pedestrians don’t realize that their own auto insurance policies cover their injuries in these circumstances -- at no cost to them.

Specifically, most auto insurance policies cover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering when pedestrians are injured by hit-and-run or uninsured drivers. Similarly, pedestrians who are seriously injured by drivers with limited insurance coverage can get additional funds from their policies when they have higher coverage limits. Those policies will also pay for medical bills and lost wages if they provide Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. Many pedestrians are reluctant to make claims under their policies because they wrongly believe that doing so will raise their premiums. Insurance companies, however, cannot raise premiums on a policy holder when the policy holder was not negligent.

Experience and Track Record

Washington, D.C. pedestrian accident lawyer Douglas Sparks has recovered millions of dollars for injured pedestrians. He has successfully pursued pedestrian injury claims for a lawyer struck by a hit-and-run driver, a World Bank executive struck by a driver traveling the wrong direction down a one way street, a National Geographic employee struck by a reckless bicycle courier, a Smithsonian official struck by a police cruiser, an elderly woman struck by a motorcycle, a tourist struck by an emergency vehicle, and many others.

Mr. Sparks is unfazed when drivers or their insurance companies deny fault, try to blame pedestrians for their injuries, or make unfairly low settlement offers. These tactics are not new to Mr. Sparks, and his experience and track record demonstrate he knows how to overcome them. You can read news coverage of Mr. Sparks’ Pedestrian Accident cases here.

Representative Cases Handled by Douglas Sparks
  • A woman was crossing the street when she was struck and killed in a darkened crosswalk by an uninsured driver with a suspended license. Mr. Sparks’ investigation revealed that several street lights near the crosswalk had been broken for months and nearby residents had complained repeatedly to District of Columbia officials. Had the street lights been fixed earlier, the driver may have seen the woman and avoided striking her. Although the man fled the scene, he turned himself in after learning from news reports that the woman died. In a videotaped statement, he told police he didn’t see the woman because it was too dark. Mr. Sparks represented the woman’s estate in a lawsuit against D.C. and a contractor responsible for maintaining the city’s street lights. Defendants filed a motion to suppress the videotaped statement, arguing it was inadmissible hearsay evidence. Mr. Sparks argued the statement was admissible evidence, and not hearsay. The judge ruled in favor of Mr. Sparks, and the case settled before trial. Read more about this case here.

  • A woman was walking across a street in Foggy Bottom after a busy day at work. Without warning, a car hit her from behind. The North Carolina man driving the car was in D.C. on business. In his rush to return home, he inadvertently turned the wrong way down a one way street. The woman was rushed to a nearby hospital with serious head, back, arm and leg injuries. There, a police officer arrived and gave her a jay-walking ticket. Unlike most jurisdictions, the District of Columbia adheres to an antiquated legal doctrine, known as contributory negligence, which bars accident victims from recovering anything if they were even slightly negligent. Consequently, most lawyers would not have taken the woman’s case. Washington, D.C. pedestrian accident attorney Sparks, however, accepted the case because he believed that no reasonable juror would find the woman negligent for not anticipating she’d be hit by a vehicle travelling down a one way street in the wrong direction. Pre-suit investigation of the driver revealed that he was a senior official in a Fortune 500 company and that he was covered by the company’s insurance policy until he arrived back home. The case settled pre-suit for a very large, and confidential, sum. Read the client’s review here.

If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, you should call Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyer Douglas Sparks at (202) 797-8200, fill out his online case inquiry form, or email him at dsparks@sparkslaw.net.