You looked both ways before crossing the street. You followed the law about where to walk and waited for the light at the crosswalk to give you the go-ahead. Then, before you realized what happened, you found yourself in a pedestrian accident involving a car.
If this happened to you, you might need to recoup the costs of your injury. This can include medical bills stemming from after-the-accident treatment and compensation for your pain, suffering, and lost wages.
Understanding who is liable for what cost and how to recoup those costs will keep you financially stable throughout your recovery. Read on to understand what to do and what to expect after a pedestrian gets hit by a car.
Traffic accidents often include both cars and pedestrians. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a pedestrian was harmed every seven minutes and died in a car accident every 85 minutes in 2019.
Unfortunately, there are more distracted drivers on the road today. Whether they are texting, listening to music, or for some other reason not paying attention to the road. Looking away for even a fraction of a second is all it takes to strike a pedestrian.
When a car strikes a pedestrian, severe injuries may result. Imagine a large piece of steel striking a smaller individual. It is amazing that anyone can survive such an accident.
It's not like the victim is wearing armor, so severe injuries are common. The pedestrian is oftentimes propelled forward by the car's forward motion, which sends him or her flying several feet or yards. When a pedestrian collides with the ground, they risk suffering head injuries, fractured bones, and lacerations.
It's difficult to keep the right state of mind and clear thinking after a pedestrian accident. But, if you can, it can help you in the long run. Here are a few steps to take following a car accident involving a pedestrian:
The first thing you should do is maintain your composure, which we understand may be challenging given that you were just struck by a moving vehicle. However, maintaining composure and remaining calm is crucial for determining injuries and evaluating the situation.
Next, check to see if you have any injuries that are preventing you from moving. You should be able to determine your mobility quite fast.
If you ended up thrown into the street, try, if you can, to move out of it. If you can't, have someone else dial 911 while you wait for assistance.
There's a good chance that either the driver or witnesses have already dialed 911. If they haven't, ask someone to call them. Whether you received injuries or not, you still need the police to come to the scene so that you may report the collision.
Emergency services will often respond to the scene and make sure no one has injuries. Due to adrenaline or shock concealing any underlying pain, you could have sustained injuries and not be aware of it.
Try to stop the motorist from leaving even if you don't believe you have injuries. Get the driver's name, phone number, and license plate number at the very least. The best case scenario is that all accident participants can remain put long enough for police to write up their reports.
While doing so will require you to speak with the driver, do your best to avoid discussing fault. Never apologize, not even out of politeness, as your actions and words may come back to haunt you.
Take pictures as soon as you can, following the accident. Take pictures of the scene, the area where the driver's car struck you, any speed limits, and everything else that might be relevant to a court case. Obtaining the names and contact details of any witnesses is also a good idea so that, if necessary, they can be a contact to provide testimony about what they saw occur.
Maintain the clothes you were wearing in the same condition as when you first got into the accident. Doing this may help prove how the accident happened.
Keep any additional items that might have been used as evidence. Examples of this are your cell phone or other electronic equipment damaged in the accident.
Also, it's a good idea to sit down, take some time, and write down every detail you can recall before, during, and following the accident. It's important to do this as soon as you can since as time passes, our memories tend to become hazy and lose important details.
When explaining the events, be as specific as you can. This can be helpful because something that might seem unimportant to you now could have a significant impact on a court's decision later.
Make sure you visit the hospital and get medical assistance if emergency professionals haven't already arrived on the spot. Any later claim you decide to submit may be bolstered if a doctor records any scratches, bruises, wounds, shock, or other ailments that you sustained as a result of the accident.
A pedestrian hit by a car who sustains injuries may find coverage in their health and disability insurance plans or worker's compensation insurance if the incident happened at work. Also, you may make a claim with the driver's insurance provider.
An injured pedestrian (the plaintiff) will attempt to show that the driver (the defendant) was negligent in a personal injury case. The testimony of witnesses obtained in the police report will often be relied upon by the plaintiff.
The police officer's conclusions regarding any traffic violations the driver may have committed may be included in that report. When it comes to determining who was at fault for the collision, police observations like those carry a lot of weight.
An accident involving a pedestrian is serious, and both the criminal and civil penalties that drivers may incur are significant. Speak to a pedestrian accident lawyer if you find yourself involved in a pedestrian accident. Learn more about the services a personal injury attorney may provide for you and get much-needed advice.
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