Everything You Need to Know About Pedestrians Hit by a Car
Last updated Thursday, November 16th, 2023
As our cities and towns become more densely populated, pedestrian safety has emerged as an increasingly pressing concern. In today’s fast-paced world, it is more important than ever to be aware of the risks and precautions associated with pedestrian accidents, such as a pedestrian hit by car. This article will arm you with knowledge on the rising issue of pedestrian accidents, safety measures, steps to take after being hit by a car, navigating insurance claims, legal liability, and dealing with hit-and-run incidents. Stay informed and stay safe as you navigate the streets.
The Rising Issue of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents have seen a troubling increase in recent years, with over 7,000 fatalities reported in 2020 alone. Distracted driving and walking are among the primary factors contributing to this alarming trend. Most pedestrian accidents occur when navigating urban areas outside designated crosswalks, leading to a pedestrian car accident. In these situations, car insurance becomes a vital tool for covering accident-induced damages, especially when a pedestrian hit occurs.
While driver negligence is a significant factor, pedestrians must also take responsibility for their actions. By being knowledgeable about pedestrian safety, we can help prevent accidents and the need for medical or disability claims. The Vision Zero Action Plan, aimed at reducing both pedestrian and car accidents, has already led to a decrease in total fatalities in four out of five boroughs in 2018.
Grasping the risks of pedestrian accidents and implementing safety precautions can mitigate the occurrence of serious injuries or fatalities. Maintaining vigilance and staying informed enables us to contribute to everyone’s street safety.
Essential Safety Measures for Pedestrians
Following safety guidelines, like those provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, can significantly decrease the likelihood of accidents and injuries. Seeking medical assistance immediately after an accident can help prevent long-term consequences.
Pedestrians should exercise caution by looking both ways before crossing and utilizing designated crosswalks at the appropriate time. Drivers, on the other hand, are obligated to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in crosswalks and on sidewalks, and must not overtake other vehicles that have stopped for pedestrians. When it comes to the safety of children, drivers are expected to uphold a heightened level of care, as children are more vulnerable due to their size and lack of knowledge of the rules of the road.
Awareness of one’s surroundings coupled with adherence to safety rules plays a significant part in creating a safer environment. This jointly reduces risks of pedestrian accidents and subsequent hardships for both drivers and pedestrians.
Immediate Steps to Take After Being Hit by a Car
When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, certain actions must be taken immediately to protect their rights and interests. First and foremost, contact the police and seek medical attention. Even if injuries are not apparent, obtaining medical attention as soon as possible is vital for both health and legal reasons.
Next, gather information from the driver and witnesses, such as their names, contact details, and insurance information, including the driver’s insurance company. Documenting the accident scene is also crucial; take photos and record any details that can serve as evidence to demonstrate the driver’s responsibility for the accident.
When you seek professional legal assistance from a qualified personal injury attorney, you can navigate the legal process effectively and protect your rights.
Avoid speculating or hypothesizing about the accident when speaking with the police, as it could potentially jeopardize your case. If you observe errors in the police report, consult a lawyer to assist in correcting the inaccuracies.
Navigating Insurance Claims After a Pedestrian Accident
Handling insurance claims after a pedestrian accident can be a complex task. To ensure fair compensation for the injuries sustained, it is important to:
- Understand state insurance laws.
- Seek legal advice from a pedestrian accident lawyer.
- Consult a lawyer to gain knowledge of your state’s insurance laws.
- Navigate the intricacies of filing claims for compensation after a pedestrian accident.
Insurance companies frequently attempt to evade liability in pedestrian accidents by using any available evidence to attribute fault to the pedestrian. If the insurance company fails to offer a reasonable settlement, pedestrians should consider taking the following steps:
- Consult with a lawyer to understand your rights and options.
- Gather evidence to support your claim, such as witness statements, photographs, and medical records.
- File a lawsuit within the deadline set by your state. Failure to do so can result in the termination of your legal claim.
By following these steps, you can protect your rights and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries and medical bills.
Accepting a settlement from an insurance company may not always be in your best interest, as insurance agents can manipulate the issues surrounding a pedestrian accident to the point where a victim settles for a significantly lower amount than they deserve. Consult a qualified personal injury attorney to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
Understanding Legal Liability in Pedestrian Accidents
Frequently, the driver is held legally liable in pedestrian accidents. However, pedestrians can also be held accountable if they fail to adhere to the regulations of the roadway, such as not crossing at a crosswalk or not being mindful of the road. Government entities responsible for planning or maintaining the road where the accident occurred can also be held liable in certain cases.
Pedestrians may submit an insurance claim against the driver who caused the collision, as well as against the city or state government, depending on the specific circumstances of the accident. In Florida, for example, a pedestrian can still seek compensation even if they are partially at fault for the accident, but their degree of fault will be taken into consideration when determining the final settlement.
In some cases, vehicle manufacturers can also be held responsible if a defective car caused the accident. Understanding the various parties that can be held liable in a pedestrian accident can help you make informed decisions about your legal options, and a knowledgeable lawyer can assist you in navigating this complex process.
When to Seek Legal Representation
Engaging a personal injury attorney experienced in pedestrian accidents can provide several benefits, including:
- Safeguarding your rights
- Ensuring maximum compensation
- Facilitating the legal process
- Inducing the at-fault driver’s insurance company to present a reasonable settlement offer
- Representing your rights
- Striving to secure fair compensation for your injuries
Attorneys, such as a car accident lawyer, can carefully assess the facts of the case to determine the most suitable course for obtaining compensation for your losses. In cases of hit-and-run incidents, for example, a lawyer can assist in gathering evidence such as witness statements, surveillance footage, or vehicle debris to help identify the responsible party.
It is prudent for a pedestrian to seek legal advice after being hit by a car in order to safeguard their rights and ensure they obtain equitable compensation. By seeking professional legal assistance, you can focus on your recovery while your attorney handles the legal aspects of your case.
Common Injuries Sustained in Pedestrian Accidents
Injuries from pedestrian accidents vary widely, ranging from minor cuts and bruises to severe traumas and even fatalities. Common injuries can include traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) leading to cognitive impairments, memory loss, mood disorders, and permanent disability. Pedestrian accident victims may also experience significant psychological side effects and require extensive medical treatment.
Seeking immediate medical attention is crucial for both health and legal reasons. Even if there are no apparent injuries, it is essential to seek medical assistance immediately and be examined by a doctor within 48 hours to check for potential hidden injuries. The type of medical care required will vary based on the specific injuries sustained, but it may incorporate treatment in a hospital emergency room, surgical care for severe fractures, and ongoing medical treatment for any long-term effects of the accident.
Injuries from pedestrian accidents differ from those sustained in car-to-car accidents in several ways. Pedestrians are more likely to suffer severe head injuries compared to injuries to the thorax, while motorists and motorized two-wheeler users tend to have a more even distribution of severe head and thorax injuries. Furthermore, when a vehicle collides with a pedestrian, the pedestrian typically sustains more severe injuries than the driver of the vehicle.
The Role of Government and Infrastructure in Pedestrian Safety
Government bodies bear the responsibility of maintaining safe roadways and infrastructure, a pivotal aspect in pedestrian safety. This involves:
- Creating and executing pedestrian safety programs
- Promoting safe and accountable behavior by pedestrians
- Implementing safety laws and regulations
- Furnishing secure and pleasant routes for pedestrians
- Collaborating with transit agencies to enhance pedestrian safety
- Aiding efforts to avert pedestrian crashes through enforcement and education programs.
Infrastructure design can significantly contribute to pedestrian safety through the implementation of curb extensions, pedestrian infrastructure, principles of safety and comfort, and design changes such as traffic calming measures. Government negligence, such as insufficient signage, neglecting to maintain safe road conditions, inadequate street lighting, deficiency of pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, or neglecting to implement traffic laws, can lead to pedestrian accidents.
By holding government entities accountable for their responsibilities in maintaining safe roadways and infrastructure, we can ensure a safer environment for pedestrians, reducing the likelihood of accidents and the resulting hardships.
Dealing with Hit-and-Run Incidents
During hit-and-run incidents, it is advisable for pedestrians to:
- Recall as many vehicle details as possible, including its color, make, model, and distinguishable features.
- Report the accident to the police.
- Gather witness information.
- Consult a personal injury lawyer for guidance on potential claims.
Bystanders and witnesses play a vital role in hit-and-run incidents by:
- Remaining at the scene
- Contacting the necessary authorities
- Attempting to secure the area
- Supplying invaluable information to the authorities, such as a description of the vehicle and any pertinent details regarding the driver
Their testimony can be instrumental in identifying the responsible party and guaranteeing justice for the victim.
While dealing with hit-and-run incidents can be challenging, taking the proper steps and seeking legal assistance can help protect your rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and medical expenses.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the consequences of hitting a pedestrian?
Hitting a pedestrian can lead to both civil and criminal consequences, such as imprisonment, restitution, license suspension, fines, probation, or jail time. The severity of the penalties depends on the specific details of the accident.
What do you call it when a car hits a pedestrian?
A car hitting a pedestrian is commonly referred to as a ‘pedestrian accident’, involving an interaction between a person on foot and any other form of transportation.
What is the ICD 10 code for pedestrian struck by car?
The ICD-10-CM code for pedestrian struck by car is V03. 10XA, indicating a pedestrian on foot injured in collision with car, pick-up truck or van in a traffic accident.
Where are most pedestrians hit?
Most pedestrian accident fatalities occur in urban areas with higher vehicle speeds, making it more likely for pedestrians to encounter a motor vehicle. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 60% of pedestrian deaths in 2020 happened on roads with posted speed limits of 45-55 miles per hour.
What do you do after getting hit by a car?
If you have been hit by a car, move to a safe location and call 911 for medical and police assistance. Document your injuries and do not discuss fault on the scene. Contact both your insurance company and a legal professional.