Vehicle accidents involving pedestrians frequently take a high toll on the victims.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), 4,735 pedestrians were killed in accidents with vehicles in 2013, representing 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. Another 66,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic accidents.
What are your risks? And what should you do if you are a pedestrian victim of a car crash?
The High Risk of Pedestrian-Vehicle Accidents
Statistically speaking, male pedestrians are more likely to be injured or killed in vehicle accidents.
In fact, the NHTSA reports that more than 69 percent of pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in 2013 were male.
Collisions involving pedestrians most often occur in urban areas at non-intersection locations. Time of day is also a factor, with most of these accidents occurring after dark. Alcohol use, by the driver and/or pedestrian, also plays a part in many pedestrian-vehicle collisions.
Personal injury claims for those traffic accidents causing harm to pedestrians typically consider the duty of care of both the driver and the pedestrian. Drivers are obligated to exercise reasonable care behind the wheel, while pedestrians have a duty to care for their own safety.
Failure to do either may be considered negligence.
What to Do if You Suffer a Personal Injury
For victims of pedestrian-vehicle accidents, the first step is to take care of your health and safety.
Move away from oncoming traffic, if possible, and seek immediate medical attention. If you or someone with you is able, document everything. Take photos of the accident scene as well as your injuries.
Be sure to keep track of medical bills. It is also important to maintain accurate records regarding lost work and non-economic losses, such as pain, suffering and loss of companionship.
Do not sign any papers with the insurance company until you have spoken with an experienced personal injury attorney.
If you accept a settlement or inadvertently sign any document that limits your rights to file a claim, you will not be able to pursue further compensation should you need additional medical care in the future. Also, never consent to a recorded interview with the insurance adjuster.
If the adjuster is insistent, be sure to have your attorney present to protect your legal rights.
Filing Legal Claims for Pedestrian-Vehicle Accidents
The insurance company may fight your personal injury case, blaming pedestrian negligence for the collision.
Working with an attorney experienced in pedestrian-vehicle accidents can help ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries. An injury lawyer is qualified to investigate the scene of the collision and gather evidence to support your claim, which can boost the chances of your case resolving with the best possible outcome.
And since your personal injury attorney will receive payment only when your claim settles, you know he or she will work hard to make sure that you obtain the compensation you deserve.
The experienced personal injury attorneys of the Montgomery Dowdle, serving clients in and around Boise, Idaho, are experienced in working with victims of all types of accidents. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your vehicle accident or personal injury claim.