Find Your Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
According to the NHTSA, in 2017, 5,977 pedestrians died in traffic accidents. While this actually represents a decrease from the prior year, it nonetheless is a disturbing number of deaths. In fact, 16% of traffic accident deaths were pedestrians. Even more disturbing is the fact that one in every five pedestrian deaths was the result of hit-and-runs.
It is no wonder, then, that so many pedestrians feel lucky when they survive these accidents. Even so, survival does not always mean “scot-free.” You deserve to be compensated for your medical bills and your pain and suffering. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can help make this possible.
What Is a Pedestrian Accident?
A pedestrian accident is any traffic accident that involves a pedestrian and a motorized vehicle. This can range from a motorcycle to a semi-truck. Sometimes cyclists also collide with people and injuries can occur. However, these are rarer than motorized vehicles and cause much less damage.
Pedestrians may be at risk on not just streets but on the sidewalks of businesses, in their own driveways or even on hiking trails that allow motorized vehicles.
What Are Some Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
Every case is different, but both pedestrians and motorists play a role in traffic accidents. It is important to note this if you live in a state where the amount of compensation you receive depends on the percentage of the blame the court assigns to you. For instance, if the court determines you are 35% to blame and awards $100,000, you would get only $65,000, depending on the state law. Here are some causes to keep in mind.
One of the main reasons for crashes of any kind is using the roadways while distracted. Drivers are often talking to someone else in the vehicle, fiddling with controls in the car, paying attention to their phones or even zoning out during the drive. Pedestrians, on the other hand, may become engrossed in their phones and step out into the street without looking.
Drugs and Alcohol
A drunk driver or one experimenting with recreational drugs might first come to mind. However, seniors and others who take a cocktail of medications to treat medical conditions may also become impaired drivers. In fact, even taking antihistamines with drowsy side-effects can make someone unsafe on the roads. Pedestrians may also behave erratically while drunk and step out into oncoming traffic.
Electric and hybrid vehicles are often so quiet that pedestrians do not hear or otherwise notice them. A stationary vehicle that then begins to move does not grab their attention. Because of this, many car manufacturers now add fake motor sounds to the quiet engines of their EV and hybrid models.
Drivers who forget to turn their headlights on while driving down the street can become a risk to pedestrians and cause an accident because people do not see them. This is one of the many reasons so many vehicles now have daytime running lights. Similarly, drivers can struggle to see pedestrians who wear dark clothing at night. Weather conditions also affect visibility.
Disobeying Road Rules
Speeding, using lanes improperly and making left-hand turns without properly signaling or checking the roadways all increase the risk of colliding with a pedestrian. Coupled with the other risk factors identified so far, disobeying traffic laws can become even more deadly.
What Types of Injuries Do Pedestrians Suffer in Accidents?
Pedestrians have the least amount of protection of anyone on the road, so injuries tend to be more severe. Your injuries could keep you away from work or school or make it virtually impossible for you to ever resume your regular life.
Here are some of the injuries pedestrians are most likely to suffer in a traffic accident, when they survive:
- Broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Internal injuries
What Should You Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
How to handle a situation after a pedestrian accident depends on how injured you are, whether the driver flees the scene and what the laws are in your state. Because of this, it is impossible to give advice that applies to all situations. Here are some general tips.
Check for Injuries
In some cases, you might get lucky and not have life-threatening or other severe injuries. However, even if you feel fine at the scene, seek medical attention later on.
If you are well enough to get information from the driver, do so. If you have access to your phone and live in a state where cars have plates on the back and front, you may be in the best position to get a picture of the plate. However, even a vehicle description is helpful.
Whether the driver remains at the scene or flees, call the police. It is almost always best to file an official report, even if you have no information about who the driver of the vehicle is and never saw what hit you. Nearby traffic cameras and business CCTVs might have footage.
Seek Medical Attention
If you choose not to go to the hospital directly, book an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Only a doctor can confirm that you are not injured, and even then, some injuries take a while to become detectable. Follow your doctor’s orders carefully.
File a Claim
If you have the driver’s contact or insurance information or the police discovered this information, you may wish to file a claim. An attorney can help you seek a settlement from the insurance company or the driver.
Why Do You Need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
Because pedestrian accidents are so severe and can result in death, drivers rarely want to take full responsibility for what happened. This is why so many drivers flee the scene after striking pedestrians, leaving them to die when medical attention might have saved their lives.
Hiring an experienced attorney increases your chances of successfully holding the driver and his or her insurance company responsible for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area!