Accidents happen all the time with cars, buses, or scooters, but what happens when you are involved in an accident as a pedestrian? No one anticipates being in danger while doing something as simple as walking, but you are actually more vulnerable in this setting than you think. Without the buffer of a vehicle surrounding you, your body will take the majority force of the accident's impact. If you have been involved in an accident as a pedestrian, contact a trusted lawyer today to determine the specific steps you need to take to establish fault for the incident.
Practice Pedestrian Safety
Many people assume walking is an easy and safe mode of transportation. If you live near your local grocery store or favorite restaurant, you might choose to walk instead of going through the hassle of driving and hunting down a parking spot. However, walking can become especially dangerous if the pedestrian does not take suggested precautions or the surrounding drivers are not mindful of pedestrians in the area. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported close to 6,000 pedestrian deaths in 2016 in the United States. The year prior, 129,000 people were treated for injuries sustained as pedestrians hit by cars. To avoid such accidents, you should utilize designated crosswalks at every opportunity. Studies have shown most pedestrian accidents happen in sections of a street that have not been marked as appropriate areas to cross. Being mindful of this simple behavior could make a world of difference in your life as a pedestrian.
Simple Reminders for Pedestrians
- Never assume drivers can see you.
- Walk facing traffic if there is no sidewalk.
- Always use designated crosswalks.
- Be predictable in your actions. Do not make hasty decisions that require drastic changes in your movements.
- Wear reflective clothing to be visible. Cross under lighting at night.
- If your judgement is impaired, use a rideshare. Drunk walking can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
- Stay alert. Look straight ahead and not at your phone while walking.
Simple Cautions for Drivers
- Always assume pedestrians are nearby.
- Stay focused in school zones and neighborhoods.
- Never pass a car that has stopped in front of you.
- Never drive while under the influence.
- Avoid distractions in your car like your cell phone or radio.
- Respect the speed limit. The faster you go, the harder it will be to slow down if a pedestrian walks in front of you.
What Do I Do If I'm Involved in an Accident as a Pedestrian?
- Stay completely still if you have been hit in the accident. Medics will be there to assist you, so let them help you move once they are there.
- Let the medics examine you properly and record your injuries to the fullest extent. Do not downplay your injuries.
- Give as many details as you can to the police so they can write a full report. If you can, take photos on your phone and share those images with the police.
- If possible, get the name and insurance information of the driver who hit you.
- Ask for copies of all reports and keep them in an organized file. This information will be very useful to your attorney when building your case.
Your lawyer is going to need as much information as possible to start establishing fault for this accident. All drivers are expected to operate their vehicles in a responsible manner while anticipating pedestrians. Often, when a driver hits a pedestrian, it is because of negligence. The driver is simply distracted by something else, or he or she is driving above the speed limit and unable to avoid impact at the last minute. This is why it is important for you, as the pedestrian, to also avoid personal distractions like cell phones and headphones while you are walking on the road. With these distractions at hand, you may not have as many details to provide your lawyer or the police. Do yourself a favor now and start getting in the habit of truly being aware of your surroundings instead of simply tuning them out.
If an accident like this resulted in your injuries as a pedestrian, you are due compensation. Imagine the expenses you could possibly accrue from this experience: medical bills, attorney fees, physical training bills, time off work, the payments for your new method of transportation, or the babysitter fees you could rack up if you have children that need to be watched while you go to any of these appointments. Practice smart choices as a pedestrian like wearing reflective gear and staying alert. Let the emergency professionals do their jobs if you ever find yourself in the event of an accident. Lastly, keep a trusted lawyer in your back pocket for tough situations like this. You will need legal representation no matter who is at fault, so do not wait until the last minute to find someone that will fight for what you are owed. Give us a call today at Keller, Melchiorre & Walsh and we'll get you on the path to justice.