Going for a walk shouldn’t have to be dangerous, but the fact is that pedestrians are at risk every time they travel on foot. Sadly, in many cases of pedestrian accidents, it is the vehicle driver who is the culprit. There are many reasons why such terrible incidents arise, and often lead to the pedestrian sustaining severe injuries. Even a car that was moving at a very slow speed limit, may be enough to land the pedestrian in the hospital. If that happens, the pedestrian may want to sue the driver for expenses and losses. Depending on how the scene occurred, the pedestrian may be eligible for significant financial compensation.
Q: Is it necessary to call the police after being hit by a car?
A: Yes, as a pedestrian who was just clipped by a vehicle, it is important that you call the police immediately. If you don’t, you may lose your ability to not only track down the driver, but the option to file a civil lawsuit for compensation. A pedestrian may be so shocked from the collision, that they try to shrug it off and walk away (especially if it was minor). But, injuries may not be felt until hours later, so deciding whether or not you need medical attention in the moment can be flawed. The following injuries are very common for pedestrian accidents:
- Facial wounds
- Excessive bleeding
- Broken bones of the extremities
- Muscle sprain
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal bleeding from impact
- Broken pelvis
- Roash rash
- Fractured knee cap(s)
- Damage to organs
- Lacerations from glass
Q: If I file a lawsuit, how can I predict the outcome?
A: When accidents happen, the outcome can heavily depend on how much evidence is brought forward. If you have no driver name, vehicle information, photographs, police report or anything else, it may be virtually impossible to take action. It is highly encouraged that the pedestrian gathers the driver’s information, seeks medical attention, and consults with an attorney shortly after the incident. After talking with you further, your attorney can help you decide whether it is worth both your time and money to file a lawsuit.
Q: What can I do to protect myself from such an accident?
A: Perhaps the best strategy you can use, is being defensive to keep yourself safe. Never assume a driver sees you before crossing the street, and even try to make eye contact before you proceed. The driver may be looking down, at the radio, talking on the phone, or otherwise distracted. If you are unable to make eye contact, the driver may not see you as he or she drives through.
Additionally, while many pedestrians enjoy listening to music in earbuds as they walk, this can be risky. By playing music, it can hinder your ability to hear honks, cars approaching, or other alerts around you. If you must walk while listening to music, take out your headphones briefly as you cross streets so you use all of your senses to check if it is safe to do so.