In 2017, nearly 6,000 American pedestrians were killed after being struck by vehicles. That number amounts to approximately one person being killed every 88 minutes. For those that weren’t killed, approximately 137,000 were seen in emergency rooms following a crash. These numbers are devastating and are even more so when you’ve experienced this type of accident for yourself. As a pedestrian, you are 1.5 more likely to be killed in an automotive accident than a passenger in a vehicle. After the dust settles, many pedestrian accident victims may wonder if they need a lawyer. Make no mistake, if you have been the victim of a car crash as a pedestrian, you are entitled to compensation.
Ways to Protect Yourself as a Pedestrian
Firstly, recognize that the responsibility of safe vehicle operation when in the presence of pedestrians is not your responsibility when you are the one on foot. If your safety is being threatened by someone behind the wheel, know that you are not liable for any injuries they inflict upon you. Instead, their negligence (or intent) is to blame. Still, there are ways to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
• Use crosswalks: Many people would rather J-walk to save time, especially when walking through busy intersections that take quite long to complete a traffic cycle. However, this is highly unsafe and can result in injury to you. Instead, make sure to use all the crosswalks available on your route.
• Wear reflective clothing: When walking at night, you are much more likely to be struck if you wear either non-reflective or dark clothing. The drivers may have a hard time spotting you until it’s too late. Wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight, or both, to increase your visibility to oncoming vehicles.
• Remain aware of your surroundings: It’s tempting to allow yourself to get caught up in the moment when you’re out for a nice walk. However, you must remain vigilant, especially in busy areas. Avoid staring at your cell phone or listening to loud music that will prevent you from hearing any vehicles coming your way.
Even with these precautions, however, negligent drivers still exist and may collide with you. Below are some legal routes you can take to obtain compensation.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hit
A pedestrian accident that does not result in the death of the victim is known as a “pedestrian knock-down.” Following this instance, you have the right to seek compensation for:
• Medical expenses
• Lost wages due to injuries incurred
• Pain and suffering (includes emotional and psychological suffering)
• Rehabilitation expenses
Within the two years following the incident, you are well within your rights to pursue legal action. To start, you will need to:
i. Call the police.
ii. Collect information and testimonies from witnesses.
iii. Take photos of the scene and record the full details of the incident.
iv. Obtain the driver’s personal information.
v. Contact your insurer.
vi. Seek medical attention.
vii. Hire a car accident lawyer.
With the help of an experienced car accident lawyer, you’ll be able to obtain the compensation you deserve and experience a full, steady recovery. You don’t have to go it alone. Get expert help to get the protection you deserve during this difficult time.