What to Do If You’ve Been in a Pedestrian Accident
You were crossing the street, when suddenly, a car hit and injured you. Whether your injuries were minor or serious, you can and should be fairly compensated if it was not your fault.
After all, medical treatments are expensive, not to mention, you had to take time out of your day to go to the doctor and get help. You’ve lost time from work and may have even been out of work for some time because of your injury, or experienced a great deal of physical and emotional pain as well from it.
Fortunately, personal injury lawyers can ensure that you get the treatment you need as well as the compensation you deserve for your pedestrian accident.
First, learn about pedestrian accidents in the U.S., as well as what to do once you’ve been in one to make sure you’re protected.
The Lowdown on Pedestrian Accidents in the U.S.
If you’re ever crossed the street at rush hour, didn’t see somebody walking in the street at night while you were driving or walked through a crosswalk and drivers failed to slow down, you know how scary it is to be a pedestrian.
According to the CDC’s most recent numbers, in 2016, 5,987 pedestrians were killed in U.S. traffic crashes, which equals one crash-related pedestrian fatality every 1.5 hours.
Even if pedestrians aren’t killed while walking in the street, they still face a high chance of being seriously injured. CDC statistics show that in 2015, 129,000 pedestrians were treated in the ER for non-fatal crash-related injuries. The populations most at risk of being hit are older adults, children and people who are impaired in some way at the time of crossing.
Unfortunately, if you live in California, the chances of being hit by a car as a pedestrian are 25% higher than the national average, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety. Additionally, pedestrian deaths in California increased 26% between 2014 and 2018!
Even if you’re paying attention, following all the traffic laws and are completely functional, you still run the risk of getting hit, since drivers are so distracted these days, especially by their mobile devices. According to the CDC, every day in the U.S., nine people are killed and more than 1,000 sustain injuries in crashes that involve distracted drivers. You could be doing everything right, but because a driver was looking at their cellphone while on the road, you suffer a lifelong injury, a dramatic and immediate change in your life over which you had no control.
Pedestrian Laws in California
Even though California has a higher rate than average for pedestrian accidents, there are firm laws that are meant to protect you. Pedestrians here have the “right of way” in a crosswalk and on sidewalks.
Jaywalking is illegal though, so if a car hits you while you’re jaywalking, you may have a more difficult time winning your case. Additionally, if you’re distracted while crossing the street – for example, you’re on your phone and not looking both ways – that will be taken into account with your case and could end up hurting it. Drivers and pedestrians alike are expected to be responsible and obey the laws, no matter what.
What to Do If You’ve Been in a Pedestrian Accident
If you’ve been in a pedestrian accident, you may have already followed through with some of these steps. If not, make sure you do the following:
- When the accident happens, contact law enforcement to get right to the scene. Call an ambulance if you need it as well.
- Remain as calm as you can; and be still until your injuries can be promptly assessed and addressed.
- Some common injures include head injuries, amputated limbs and broken bones. These are very serious and require prompt and dedicated medical care. Focus on your needs.
- Collect the driver’s personal, automobile and insurance information, as well as any witness statements from other pedestrians and/or drivers. Don’t discuss what happened – such as whose fault it was – or get into an argument with the driver.
- Take photos and videos if you are able to do so.
- Look around and see if there are any cameras and try to collect that footage from the company (or town) that owns the footage.
- Contact your insurance company to tell them what happened. If you are in touch with the driver’s insurance company, do not agree to a settlement or sign anything. They are not going to give you a decent settlement.
- Go to the hospital or doctor right away following the incident to be evaluated. Report any pain, weakness, difficulties, and problems you may be experiencing or feeling. If any pain flares up when you get home, report this to the doctor as soon as possible. Sometimes, pedestrians won’t feel their injuries until the next day or so check in with yourself and how you feel.
- Contact Heiting & Irwin, a personal injury lawyer, to help you with your case, right away. It is important that they get involved as soon as possible to put the investigation together, get the case organized and ready, and help guide you with meeting your needs.
Make sure that you do all these steps as quickly as possible. There are time limits to bring a claim that can be very short. Immediate attention to these things is important, even for pedestrian accidents, and you don’t want to accidentally take any action too late.
How Personal Injury Lawyers Work
When you’re in a pedestrian accident, you should get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer right away. Your lawyer will help you collect records and build a case. Personal injury lawyers can help find/secure your treatment, and make sure payment can be delayed until the matter is resolved, or get insurance to take care of it.
If you don’t get a settlement, your personal injury lawyer will not be paid any fees. They will take the case on a “contingency” basis: you will pay a percentage of your recovery to them only if they win for you.
A settlement may cover things like disability compensation, lost wages from time you had to take off from work, permanent disfigurement or scarring, pain and suffering and a reduction in your quality of life. It will cover past and future losses, reduced ability to earn, and all medical bills, past and prospective. If a loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident, they will help secure wrongful death damages.
Finding a Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Pedestrian Accident
Now that you’ve been in a pedestrian accident, you want fair compensation to take care of your injuries, pay you for pain and suffering, and cover costs for the time you aren’t able to work. You should be ready to take the next step and hire a personal injury lawyer. We are available to talk about your case.
Call the personal injury attorneys at Heiting & Irwin at 951-682-6400 or contact our office online to schedule a free consultation right now. We can get you the compensation you deserve in your pedestrian accident case.