Walking near roads is becoming increasingly dangerous. In 2017 alone, about 137,000 pedestrians were estimated to have gone to an emergency room for non-fatal injuries after a car accident. Pedestrian accidents also made up 17% of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S. in 2018. This percentage has steadily risen since 2009.
If you're a pedestrian who has been hit by a car, you may be wondering what your next steps should be after the accident. Accident.com wants to ensure that you have the tools to successfully recover and get the most compensation for your injury.
Keep reading to receive guidance on what to do after your pedestrian accident. If you need help finding an attorney, Accident.com offers a free consultation with an injury lawyer who can set your injury claim in the right direction.
Get Quick Medical Help
While we hope your injuries aren't serious, it's important to seek medical help right after being hit by a car to make sure you don't have any hidden problems that could surface in the future. Prompt medical care can put you on the road to a successful recovery faster.
The medical records can also act as an important document for your injury claim.
Right-of-Way and Other Factors That Can Affect Your Injury Claim
When you're ready to get compensation for your pedestrian accident, there are some details of the accident itself that can improve your case and settlement. Here are a few key points to keep in mind when you or your injury lawyer evaluate your claim.
Pedestrians Have the Right-of-Way in Crosswalks When Traffic Signals Say It's Safe to Proceed.
Most serious pedestrian accidents don't occur at intersections or on sidewalks. This means you should plan your route to use them as much as possible.
Still, using sidewalks or crosswalks on their own doesn't guarantee your safety. You should always follow traffic signals to make sure there are no questions about who is responsible for your injury. Following traffic signs may increase your chances of a jury voting in your favor.
Some Circumstances Can Make a Pedestrian At Fault for an Accident.
Behavior that makes a pedestrian accident unavoidable, such as jaywalking or wearing dark clothing at night, can make the pedestrian liable for an accident. Be sure to tell your lawyer about any situations like this. That way, your lawyer knows the whole situation and can present your case in the best way possible.
Pedestrians Who Are Jaywalking May Still Be Entitled to Damages.
Jaywalking could affect the amount of compensation you receive, but it doesn't mean you won't get any money.
When right-of-way issues come up, every detail you can remember about the accident can make a difference in your claim: the weather, traffic flow or even why you were crossing the street could be an important fact, which may change a jury's decision. Be sure to take note and receive the contact details of any witnesses that can verify your account in these cases too. Ideally, these witnesses' accounts of the events will get included in your police report as well.
How to Pursue a Pedestrian Injury Claim
Every state sets a time limit on filing injury claims, so it's important to pursue your claim right away. You have some options on how to move forward once you decide to seek compensation.
Third-Party Insurance Claims
You can file an injury claim with the driver's insurance company. But even if you think your injury claim is clear, don't discuss your injury details with any third party who may have conflicting interests. As you can see above, there are many details of a pedestrian accident that can affect your case. The details you provide could reduce the amount of compensation you're offered.
Filing a Lawsuit Against the Driver
In some cases, an insurance claim may not be possible. Your option, in this case, may be to go with your injury claim in court. There, a jury will hear the details of the accident and decide in favor of you or the driver. Going with a lawsuit can be a confusing and time-consuming process, but an injury lawyer can handle the details while you continue recovering from your injuries.
With either of these options, Accident.com offers free consultations with an injury lawyer who can help you determine the right direction for your injury claim and help you maximize your compensation.