When pedestrians are involved in accidents, the injuries they sustain can be life-altering and cause them great physical and emotional pain. Because of the dangers of pedestrian accidents, pedestrians and vehicle operators alike must pay close attention on and near roadways to ensure the safety of others.
What is a Pedestrian Accident?
A pedestrian accident is an accident involving a pedestrian and another entity. Typically, pedestrian accidents happen as the result of a pedestrian’s collision with a motor vehicle. Some of the most common pedestrian accidents involving a motor vehicle are:
These accidents occur while a pedestrian is legally crossing the street at a crosswalk. A vehicle that strikes the pedestrian while they are on a crosswalk may be found liable for any injuries that the victim sustains.
Loss of control accidents
These accidents occur as a result of a driver not being able to fully control their vehicle. Whether the issue stems from an issue with the vehicle or an issue with the sobriety of the driver, if they strike a pedestrian they can be found at fault for the accident. Some of these types of accidents can turn into hit-and-runs, as drivers panic and don’t know what to do after striking the victim.
Parking lot accidents
These accidents can tend to be fairly common and occur when a driver is trying to pull into a parking space or back out of a parking space. Sometimes in parking garages and lots, it can be difficult to see behind a vehicle and take note of anyone in the direct vicinity of the back of your vehicle. Due to this, pedestrians can be hit around moving vehicles in crowded parking areas.
Any pedestrian accident has the capability of becoming serious or life-threatening for all parties involved. In order to avoid pedestrian accidents as much as possible, it is recommended that both pedestrians and vehicle operators pay close attention to their surroundings to ensure their safety on and around roadways.
What is a Pedestrian Injury?
Pedestrian injuries include any damages to the pedestrian that occur because of the accident that they have been involved in. Damage to the pedestrian can be varied and range in severity. Some of the most common injuries experienced by pedestrians include:
Depending on the intensity of the impact and the size of the vehicle that strikes a pedestrian, the pedestrian could easily be killed during a vehicle accident.
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
The most common TBI seen is a concussion. TBIs occur when trauma is inflicted to a person’s head. Some can be minor and involve little medical intervention while others can cause persistent and permanent issues.
Sometimes, given the circumstances of the accident, accidental amputations may occur to the victim’s body. Additionally, trauma to the body may also warrant a medical amputation.
Spinal cord injuries
These injuries can quickly become very serious. As a result of the severe forces involved in the impact, the spine can become dislocated or fractured. This is an extremely sensitive area of the body and damage to this area can have life-altering and permanent results.
This is one of the most common injuries that a pedestrian can receive when they’re been involved in an accident. While fixing a broken bone may seem straightforward, more serious cases may involve surgery and other intensive treatment to fix.
Fractured bones happen as a result of pressure applied to the bone that exceeds the amount it can manage. Most fractures are easily treatable, but some may cause lifelong pain and treatments.
Soft tissue injuries
Soft tissue injuries are fairly common injuries in accidents and consist of bruises, tears, skin lacerations, dislocations, and sprains.
Emotional or mental anguish
Sometimes lasting injuries aren’t seen by victims but are experienced through emotional trauma or PTSD. There is no telling how an accident will affect a particular person and many people have fallen victim to debilitating traumatic mental illnesses after their accidents.
There is no telling the effect that a vehicle accident can and will have on a victim. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, it is important to seek medical attention even if you don’t believe that you have been physically injured.
What to do if You’ve Been Involved in a Pedestrian Accident
Involvement in a pedestrian accident can be stressful and many people may not know what to do next. If you or your loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, take the following steps:
Seek medical attention
If you or another party is injured, it is important to call 911 and get medical attention immediately. Even if it looks like both parties are unscathed, it is still a good idea to get checked out by a medical professional.
Move out of the street
If possible, remove any vehicles from the middle of the road and set them aside so traffic can continue.
If possible, take pictures of the accident, collect eyewitness testimony, and ask for a copy of the police report.
Before contacting the insurance company, contact an attorney first if you are interested in filing a claim. An attorney can advise you on the insurance claim process and help you through the necessary legal steps.
Contact insurance company
With the help of your attorney, let your insurance company know that you were in an accident. They may be dismissive of your claim which is why speaking to an attorney first is beneficial for those wanting to create a case from their claim.
Filing a Claim
If you would like to move forward with your claim, hiring a reputable personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure that your case will be handled in the best way possible. Your attorney will have to prove that you experienced losses and damages due to the negligence of the other party. In order to prove this, ample amounts of evidence including eyewitness testimony, medical documentation, and medical testimony, among other forms of evidence are needed. The right attorney will keep track of everything you need and work hard to acquire the compensation that you need.
How to Stay Safe
Staying safe and keeping fellow pedestrians safe is very important to minimize accidents involving pedestrians. In order to decrease the likelihood that you will be involved in an accident, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following:
- Walking on sidewalks as much as possible and if available
- If you are walking at night, carry a flashlight and wear reflective clothing
- If you need to cross the street, cross at the crosswalk only
- If you are under the influence, do not walk with headphones on as they can impair your judgment
While pedestrians need to make sure they are being safe, vehicles have a similar responsibility to watch their speed and pay close attention to their surroundings so that they do not cause an accident.