I Was Hit by a Car as a Pedestrian: What Should I Do?

I Was Hit by a Car as a Pedestrian: What Should I Do?

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I Was Hit by a Car as a Pedestrian: What Should I Do?

No one expects to be seriously injured in an accident, but you certainly don't expect that you'll be critically injured because you were a pedestrian walking around a car. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are all too common. Being hurt in a pedestrian accident has the potential to change the course of your life. This is because you have no protection like that of people inside a vehicle so you can be critically injured when you have been struck by a car. You may fly into other traffic or strike other stationary objects leading to serious injuries. When you're unsure of how to proceed, retain the services of the experienced attorneys at Morgan & Morgan. 

We will help you when you are hit by a car as a pedestrian and need help figuring out what to do. Knowing that you're not alone and then you have a dedicated legal team at your side to help support each aspect of your claim can make this difficult situation somewhat easier. 

If you or a loved one were injured as a pedestrian, contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to learn more about your options. We’re here to help.

Facts and Statistics About Pedestrian-Vehicle Accidents

More than 7,000 pedestrians were killed in accidents all over America involving motor vehicles in 2020. This means that every 75 minutes a pedestrian is struck and suffers fatal injuries, and one in six people who died in vehicle accidents overall, were pedestrians in 2020. 

The vast majority of these pedestrian accidents are caused by driver errors or negligence. In fact, alcohol is involved in nearly half of crashes that resulted in pedestrian deaths. Higher vehicle speeds are also a factor that is more likely for a pedestrian to be seriously injured. 

The vast majority of pedestrian-vehicle deaths occur in urban areas on roadways away from intersections and at night. One in five children under the age of 15 who were killed in crashes in 2020 were pedestrians, and adults aged above age 65 represent nearly 17% of the U.S. population but account for 20% of all pedestrian deaths in 2020. 

Recognizing what to do when you have been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident or when you are coping with the devastating loss of a loved one in a pedestrian accident is important. What follows are some recommendations about how you can handle this situation and put yourself in the best position to recover compensation. 

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  • What to Do at the Scene of the Accident?

    How to handle a pedestrian accident begins at the scene of the crash itself. You may be critically injured and unable to figure out what happened or to gather important details you may reflect on later as evidence. If it is possible for you to gather these materials, take pictures of the scene and get contact information for other parties involved in the accident. This will help you to file a lawsuit later on, and it will likely be needed by the insurance company responsible for managing your claim as well. If you cannot get these details, your lawyer will be able to help you collect this evidence and to prepare to send it to court. 

    One of the most important things you need to do at the scene after you've been hit in a pedestrian accident is to get medical attention. Most pedestrians have visible and painful injuries from the moment that they are struck in a crash. But even if you appear to be relatively fine in the accident, it is far better to get looked at by a doctor. This is because many common injuries, including concussions, and severe back problems may not be readily noticeable at the scene. The shock of living through the accident can shield some of these injuries and you may end up doing more harm than good, avoiding getting medical attention. 

    Make sure that you report any changes in your overall condition to your doctor after you have been hurt, as it is possible for your condition to get worse or for new symptoms to illustrate that you have suffered even more severe injuries. Continue to attend all follow-up appointments and diagnostic appointments with your doctor as well. One of the most common challenges in pedestrian accidents involves the fact that some people do not get medical attention for their injuries, and this is used by the other side or by insurance companies to argue that you did not sustain any injuries at all, or that your injuries were minor.

  • Should I Contact My Insurance Company?

    It is a good idea to notify your insurance company if you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident. At the scene of the incident, you should also have collected information from the driver who caused the wreck regarding their name, contact information, and details about their insurance carrier. You will likely have to deal with your own health insurance carrier as well, and in some situations, your health insurance company may not pay claims that are involved in an active car accident investigation. 

    Because of the complex factors involved in figuring out what to do after being hit by a car in a pedestrian accident, you may need to retain a legal team that has the right experience to file on your behalf. There are many challenges in pedestrian accidents, including the fact that the person who hit you may argue that you jumped out in front of their car or did not have the right of way at the time of the accident. This can add insult to injury when you've already been seriously hurt because of another party's negligent actions. Your lawyer should also have investigative skills to research what may have contributed to the accident, including the driver's level of distraction or use of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash. In some cases, expert witnesses or accident reconstruction experts may be required in order to retell the story of how the accident occurred, and this can have important implications for your ability to recover damages.

  • What to Keep Track of After an Accident?

    After you've been seriously hurt in an accident, you need to keep track of as many details related to your claim and your injuries as possible. Presenting this in chronological order to your personal injury law firm will make it easier for them to open a legal case. At that point, they will handle all communication with the insurance company and any other involved parties, so that your primary focus can be on recovery.

    Ultimately, all of this information needs to be turned over to your personal injury attorney. You need to be very careful and communicate with your insurance company after you've been involved in an accident. You might assume that your insurance company is there to help you and make sure you get a maximum payout, however, insurance adjusters are primarily motivated to protect the bottom line of the insurance company. This means that they will not always be looking out for your best interest and are not always easy to work with either. Handing over communication with the insurance company is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress in your personal injury claim, and the knowledgeable lawyers at Morgan & Morgan can help. 

    Your attorney will continue to communicate with the insurance company for the duration of your legal claim. This is true even if you were able to resolve the claim outside of court in what is known as settlement negotiations. In many cases, insurance carriers have a vested interest in resolving these claims and settlement conversations rather than going to trial. 

    The insurance company typically presents a very low settlement offer to the other party involved early on in the case, hoping that the lump sum amount will be enough to encourage them to take it. By accepting a settlement offer, you waive any further rights to pursue a claim against the insurance company. This means you need to carefully weigh the settlement offer presented to you in comparison to your current medical bills and likely future medical bills. Your lawyer will also make sure that you get a settlement offer that is fair, given the compensation required to pay for your injuries. If you were hit by a car as a pedestrian, you have legal rights and should be protected by hiring the right legal team. 

  • What if My Loved One Was Killed?

    If you had a loved one who was injured and killed in an accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit on their behalf or on behalf of their estate. Each state law is different and has strict timelines about how to file a lawsuit. 

    While no amount of money or action can bring your loved one back, moving forward with your claim could give you closure, compensate you for lost income, funeral expenses, and medical bills, and could also send a message to negligent drivers everywhere.

    Contact Morgan & Morgan for a free, no-obligation case evaluation to take your first steps toward recovery.

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