It’s a simple truth that none of us know what tomorrow might bring. While we live in a wonderful world, it is also a world that can be chaotic and full of the unexpected. As much as we might not want to think about it, it’s simply true that catastrophe could – and often does – strike at any moment. Imagine, for example, that you are walking across the crosswalk after checking carefully for traffic and waiting appropriately for the “walk” sign when out of nowhere, a driver who is not paying attention runs into you entirely unexpectedly. Unfortunately, you may not have to imagine this, because it may have actually happened to you.
Pedestrian accidents are, obviously, much more dangerous for the pedestrian than the car involved. Typically, when a pedestrian is hit by a car, he or she is either thrown to the ground, onto the hood of a vehicle, through the windshield, or over the top of the vehicle. Such an impact can cause lasting and serious injuries. Injuries commonly associated with pedestrian accidents include:
- Severe leg injuries
- Pelvis injuries
- Head injuries
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries
- Nerve damage
- Traumatic brain injury
- And more
The locations of these accidents can be numerous. And while these accidents often occur in crosswalks, they can also occur in parking lots, in neighborhoods, and even on sidewalks. Common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Inattentive drivers
- Tired drivers
- Distracted drivers
- Failure to obey traffic signals
- And more
If such a terrifying event has happened to you, it is entirely understandable to feel shocked, overwhelmed, and unsure what to do next. You may find yourself severely injured and facing mounting medical bills or even worse – you may have lost a loved one as a result of a pedestrian accident. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to realize that you are not alone, even if you may feel that way. If you have been the victim of an accident of this nature, you likely have legal remedies that you can, and should, pursue.
What Should I Do If I’m Hit by a Vehicle as a Pedestrian?
If you are a pedestrian who has been hit by a vehicle, it is important to take a few necessary steps to protect yourself and your rights:
- Seek Immediate Medical Attention: If you have been the victim of a pedestrian accident, the first thing you should do is seek immediate medical attention. It is not unusual to assume that you have not seriously been injured after an accident of this nature due to shock. Do not make this mistake. Sometimes you may feel that you are fine, when in reality, you have sustained significant internal injuries that will only worsen with time. Therefore, regardless of how you feel, it is important to be evaluated and treated, if necessary, by a qualified medical professional as soon as possible.
- File a Police Report: After seeking and receiving necessary medical attention, you should file a police report. A police report will be necessary and helpful in order to file a claim later. It is best to have the police dispatched to the scene of the accident in order to correctly record the conditions at the time the accident occurred. If you were not able to have police there at the scene of the accident, you should still file a police report within 24 hours of the accident’s occurrence.
- Contact an Attorney: After receiving medical treatment and filing a police report, your next step should be to contact an attorney who has knowledge and experience in the area of personal injury law. It is best to contact a lawyer prior to making a statement to any insurers or others about the accident. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney will be able to listen to your story, advise you of your rights under the law, and help you determine the best strategy to move forward towards pursuing the compensation you deserve.
Taking these initial steps is important and should not be overlooked as you consider pursuing your legal rights. Doing so can ensure that you move more quickly toward recovery after your accident.
What Compensation Might I Be Entitled To?
If you are a pedestrian who has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, your most likely source of compensation is through the driver’s auto insurance provider. If it is established that you were not at fault in the accident, then the driver’s insurance company should pay for the damages in your case. When pursuing compensation, a pedestrian who has been the victim of an automobile accident must not only prove the fault of the driver, but also must prove the damages associated with the accident and injuries involved. Pedestrians can present:
- Medical bills;
- Evidence of lost wages; and
- Other testimony, evidence, or documentation to establish damages.
It should also be noted that the state of Iowa does recognize the doctrine of comparative fault. This means that, if you are found to have been partially at fault for an accident, an award of compensation may be reduced by the percentage that you were at fault – which will ultimately be determined by the judge or jury assigned to your case. If you were found to be more than 50% responsible for the accident, you may not be able to recover at all. As a result, it is important to contact a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to represent you and help you pursue the best strategies for recovery in these matters.
Contact 303 Legal, P.C. Today
At 303 Legal, P.C., our knowledgeable and experienced team has years of experience successfully representing clients in a wide variety of personal injury cases, including pedestrian accidents. We are honored to have the opportunity to represent our clients with compassion while aggressively pursuing their right to compensation. We would welcome the opportunity to learn your story and how we might be able to help you, too. Contact us today.