Unfortuntely, accidents are a fact of life. If you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation, it’s essential to be aware of the proper steps that should be taken next. This is especially true if you become involved in an accident involving pedestrians.

It is shocking to learn that, according to the NHTSA, annually over 4,700 people are killed in pedestrian incidents and more than 66,000 pedestrians endure injuries severe enough for medical aid.

The Growing Issue Of Pedestrian Accidents 

While various factors can contribute to these potentially deadly pedestrian crashes, some of the most frequent causes behind fatalities include:

  • Pedestrians failing to walk in the non-driver areas
  • Time of day (walking during the night rather than during the day)
  • Hazardous weather conditions
  • Age (very young and very old people are at higher risk of a pedestrian accident)
  • Walking or driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

It’s important to note the other alarming statistics associated with pedestrian accidents, as they demonstrate just how prevalent this issue is. These statistics include:

  • Pedestrians account for around 14% of all traffic fatalities around the country
  • Drunk driving and the use of alcohol are considered contributing factors in almost 50% of all pedestrian accidents that result in a fatality
  • About a fifth of pedestrian accidents are also considered a hit and run accidents
  • Around 75% of pedestrian fatalities occur in the dark and at night
  • 20% of all pedestrian fatalities occur at crosswalks or intersections
  • Most pedestrian accidents take place in urban areas or cities (particularly areas that don’t have automated crosswalks or sidewalks)
  • Almost half of all pedestrian deaths involve a car or vehicle that is traveling at 40 miles per hour or less
  • 25% of pedestrians who are involved in a car accident at speeds of 25 miles per hour or less will still suffer serious injuries

It’s an unfortunate truth that the number of pedestrian deaths and injuries across the United States is continually rising. Behind this rise are several factors, such as more people in general on roads, drivers becoming increasingly distracted while they’re behind the wheel, and even pedestrians too preoccupied with something to be aware of what’s happening around them.

Pedestrian Accidents: Who Is Considered Liable

In most pedestrian-related accidents, the driver of the vehicle is usually held responsible. It is a priority for both drivers and pedestrians to be vigilant while on roads, as it ensures everyone’s safety. Drivers should remain aware of their surroundings at all times, particularly when they near an intersection or crosswalk; this extra precaution often spares lives and reduces liability in motorist-pedestrian collisions.Drivers also must take special care when driving around children, who are people who are physically smaller and not expected to fully understand the rules of the road. This duty of care for pedestrians includes making sure they look both ways before crossing the street and using crosswalks properly, at the right time.

If you have been hit by a vehicle while walking, typically the driver’s car insurance or yours will take care of any medical expenses. No matter what type of insurance policy you have or who is determined to be responsible for the accident, always remember that it’s in your best interest to contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney before filing a claim. No-fault insurance policies and traditional fault-based coverage plans can be complicated.

Although, more often than not, the driver is liable for a pedestrian accident; that does not necessarily mean this applies in all cases. Sometimes an oblivious walker might be just as culpable as a distracted motorist. It’ important to stay aware of your environment and surroundings whether you’re walking or driving.

Important Steps To Take After A Pedestrian Accident 

After a pedestrian accident, the choices you make at the scene and in the subsequent days can have lasting implications.

Remain Calm, Check Yourself And Others For Injuries 

After a vehicle collision, maintaining composure is essential. It may be hard to do considering the situation you just experienced, but it’s important that you stay calm in order to assess any possible injuries and take a mental note of what happened at the scene. Keeping your cool will allow for clearer thinking as well as better decision-making moving forward.

Contact The Authorities Immediately

No matter how you feel, it’s imperative to contact the appropriate authorities after an accident. Doing so will help create and file an official report of what happened, as well as alerting emergency services that may be needed on site. It is possible for shock to mask any injuries or pains you have endured in these types of situations which is why getting yourself checked out by a medical professional should always be your first priority. Don’t let adrenaline fool you into believing everything is alright—trust professionals who are trained and experienced to ensure you and everyone else involved are alright.

Get The Necessary Information From The Driver Who Hit You 

If you’ve been involved in an accident, even if all parties seem unharmed, remain at the scene. Make sure to obtain the driver’s details such as their name and contact information; this may come of use later on. All those present should stay put until law enforcement arrives so they can provide a report and any other necessary documents.

It may feel uncomfortable to approach the driver who hit you with their car, however, your conversation does not have to focus on fault. Be polite in your interactions but stay professional at all times- and never make any statements that could unintentionally imply blame or guilt.

Even if you don’t feel responsible for the accident, something as innocuous as “It’s okay” or “perhaps it was my fault too” could be viewed by the court of law as an admission of blame. Therefore, take extra caution to not say anything at all that can be misconstrued and used against you later on.

Gather Evidence Related To The Accident 

When a pedestrian accident happens, it is critical to record as much information and evidence as you can. Taking pictures of the scene, where the car collided with you, nearby speed signs or other important indicators could be used in court if necessary. Additionally, make sure to get contact details from anyone who witnessed what happened so they are able to provide their testimony if needed. This will help ensure that your lawyer (in the event of hiring one) can reach out to them later and obtain a statement or have them appear in court as witness on your behalf.

It is essential to save whatever clothing you had on when the accident happened, as it could be used in court later to demonstrate how and to what extent you were injured. Additionally, hold onto any objects affected by the crash (such as a cell phone or another device) that may serve as evidence for your case.

As soon as you can after the accident, take some time to put into words or even record yourself speaking about all of its details – including what occurred before, during and after. This is crucial due to your memory’s potential for fading over time; ensuring that absolutely no detail goes unnoticed is imperative since seemingly small points could heavily influence court proceedings later on. Be thorough with your recounting of events!

Seek A Full Evaluation By Medical Professionals 

Typically an ambulance will be sent to the location of your incident to provide a rapid assessment of all parties involved. If not, it is strongly recommended to visit the hospital as soon as possible in order to receive medical attention and care.

Make sure your doctor documents any bruises, scrapes, shock or cuts sustained in the accident as these are essential pieces of evidence that can help prove a claim. Having this information on record is important as it can assist with your claim later down the road.

Keep All Documentation Well Organized 

To ensure that your case is presented in the most effective way, it’s important to stay well-organized. Compile a comprehensive file of all accident documents, including:

  • The police report: A police report is invaluable evidence that carries a lot of weight when it comes to an accident claim. The report will include the opinion of the investigating officer regarding who was at fault, a visual diagram of the accident, statements from witnesses, and citations that the driver was issued.
  • Witness statements: It doesn’t matter if witness statements are derived from your own efforts or the police report; they are invaluable when it comes to determining fault.
  • Driver statements: Be sure that you record anything the driver says that may be an admission of fault.
  • Medical records and costs: Your medical records, including admission to the emergency room, are considered important evidence. You can use copies of your medical bills to verify your injuries and related costs.
  • Lost wages: You can request that your employer provides you with a written statement of the amount of time you lost from work.
  • Clothing: As mentioned above, you should hold on to the clothing you wore during the accident. Don’t wash it and keep it as-is to use as evidence in your case.

Hire An Experienced Port Charlotte Attorney To Help With Your Pedestrian Accident 

If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, it is absolutely essential to hire an attorney who has prior experience with similar cases. FGB Law Firm will guide you through the entire process while reviewing the facts to best advise on how to pursue compensation for your losses. Call 941-979-9010 or complete our online consultation form today to schedule your free consultation.