Taking a stroll through town or walking to work is a great way to get fresh air and exercise. It’s also an eco-friendly mode of transportation. Regardless of whether you walk for exercise or get from place to place, it offers many benefits.
Unfortunately, you may forget that walking is often just as dangerous as driving in a vehicle. For this reason, you must always be on the lookout for possible hazards coming your way, and you especially need to watch for vehicles being driven by distracted drivers.
Alarming Statistics Related to Pedestrian Accidents and Fatalities
In 2017, there were 5,977 pedestrian fatalities due to traffic accidents in the U.S. This equates to approximately one death every 88 minutes. However, that’s just fatalities. Another 137,000 pedestrians received medical care for nonfatal injuries.
While there are more than a few causes for fatal pedestrian-related accidents, some of the most common fatalities are attributed to:
- Driving or walking while under the influence
- Pedestrians not sticking to the non-motorist areas
- Age (very old or very young)
- Hazardous weather conditions
- Time of day (walking at night rather than during the day)
In some situations, the motorist will be at fault in a pedestrian accident. However, this is not always how things go. An inattentive pedestrian can be at fault, just like an inattentive driver. For this reason, if you are walking, you must take the necessary precautions.
What Steps to Take If You Are a Pedestrian Struck By a Vehicle
Few things can happen in your life that are as traumatic as being a pedestrian and being struck by a motor vehicle. If this happens, you will suffer physical injuries, but psychological and emotional issues may occur as well. In some situations, you may be forced to take time off work, resulting in more financial hardship.
When you are hit by a vehicle, it can also impact your ability to handle normal, self-care tasks, such as caring for your family and home, bathing, dressing, eating, sleeping, and more. Some pedestrians who are involved in vehicle-related accidents will be knocked unconscious when they are struck, and others are just dazed.
If you are conscious after being hit, you will probably be in mental or physical shock. No matter the situation, after an accident occurs and you can think clearly again, there are specific steps to follow, including taking time to visit this site and speaking to an attorney.
Get Medical Attention
If you are struck by a vehicle and unconscious, it is up to witnesses or the motorist to help you. If you are conscious after you are struck, then it is up to you to get this medical attention.
The emotional and physical shock your body will likely be in after the accident may cloud your judgment and the ability to recognize you are in pain or have suffered an injury. It’s best to call 911 right away and have a full evaluation. This is necessary even if you feel fine.
Document All Injuries
After contacting medical services, you should take a personal inventory of yourself. Some things to consider include:
- What parts of your body hurt?
- Are there any visible injuries?
- Are your clothes torn? If so, the damaged garment may let you know what part of your body is injured, even if it is not in pain right now.
- Feel your extremities, head, and face. Is there blood? Sometimes you may be bleeding, but your body can’t “process” the pain because you are in shock.
Be sure to note any injuries and pain that you feel and tell the paramedics when they arrive.
Contact the Authorities
It is a good idea to make notes of everything that happened leading up to the accident if you can. The ability you have to recall information may be low, but it is a good idea to take note of anything you do remember.
Even if your attorney or insurance company has a copy of the police report that documents the accident, you also need to tell the authorities everything you remember. As time passes, your memory of the events that led up to the accident may fade.
Avoid Discussing Fault At the Scene or With the Driver’s Insurance Company
No matter what happened, it is best not to discuss fault with anyone at the accident scene. If you happen to say the wrong thing, the other party or insurance company may take this as an admission of guilt. Instead, wait to speak with your personal injury attorney to ensure that you do not incriminate yourself in any way.
Contact Your Insurance Company
If you have an active car insurance policy, it’s a good idea to contact your insurer immediately. Even if you are a pedestrian, most car insurance policies will cover these accidents. You need to do this to ensure that you protect your right to make a disability or medical claim after the accident.
Seek Legal Help
As a pedestrian, being struck by a vehicle can result in serious and debilitating injuries. The injuries you sustain may result in emotional, physical, and financial issues that can hugely impact your life now and in the future.
In most cases, the motorist’s insurance company will try to place the blame on you and deny any claim that you file. If a settlement is offered, it will likely be significantly undervalued and will not account for the issues you may experience in the future. When you hire a professional personal injury attorney, you can feel confident that your rights are protected.
Taking the Right Steps After a Pedestrian Accident
If you have been struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian, you have rights. Be sure to keep the information here in mind to know what to do if you find yourself in this situation. Being informed is the best way to ensure you can recover the compensation you need to recover from the accident and injuries you sustained fully.