Taking a long brisk walk is normal for many people, whether it is going from one point to another or part of an exercise routine. Some people like taking a relaxed stroll to collect their thoughts. There are many benefits you stand to get from walking. One thing that a Houston pedestrian injury lawyer can tell you is that walking can be just as dangerous as driving a car. It is important to look out for hazards when walking, especially cars that are being driven by motorists not paying attention.
Alarming Numbers of Pedestrian Fatalities
There was a study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration looking at 2000-2009, where pedestrians were involved in 11% of all fatal accidents. In 2019 alone, 4,092 pedestrians died as a result of traffic accidents.
There are different causes for fatal pedestrian accidents, but the following can be attributed to the most common fatalities:
- Hazardous weather conditions
- Pedestrian using areas that are not meant for walking
- Age (the very old and the very young)
- Time of day (walking at night compared to walking during the day)
- Walking and/or driving under the influence
In most of the cases, the motorist is the one at fault for the accident, but there are some instances where this is not the case. An inattentive pedestrian can be at fault just like an inattentive driver. When walking, make sure you are using safe practices for pedestrians.
If I Was Hit by a Vehicle as a Pedestrian, What Should I Do?
Being involved in a vehicle-related accident can be very traumatic. When a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, he is going to suffer physical injuries, and might also have to deal with emotional and psychological issues. The victim is forced to take some time off from their work to take care of their injuries. This causes them to have financial hardships, especially when the injuries are severe. Getting hit by a vehicle will make your day to day life a little more complicated. You might find yourself having a hard time doing self-care tasks such as bathing, dressing, eating, sleeping, or taking care of your family or home.
Many victims who get injured because of vehicle-related accidents are knocked out and become unconscious, while some will just be dazed. If you remain conscious after getting hit by the vehicle, chances are you will be in a mental and physical shock. Regardless of what happens, as soon as you can start thinking clearly, there are some steps you need to take following the accident to ensure your legal rights.
Below are some of the steps you need to follow after being hit by a vehicle. You should try your best to follow these steps because they are going to protect you, your legal rights, and your future.
Immediately Seeking Medical Attention
If you get hit by a vehicle and become unconscious, this will be the responsibility of the motorist or witnesses (if there are any). If you remain conscious after the accident, then it will be up to you to get yourself medical attention. The emotional and physical shock the body is going to suffer after the accident can cloud judgment and the ability to recognize injury and pain. Even if you think you feel fine, call 911 as soon as possible so you can get medical assistance.
Take personal inventory after contacting the medical services:
- Are you feeling pain? Which parts of your body?
- Can you see any injuries?
- Have your clothes torn? Torn garments can be a sign that the area is injured but you might not be feeling the pain yet.
- Feel your head, face, and extremities. Are you bleeding? People bleed during accidents and don’t even realize it because their body is still in shock.
Make notes of pain and injuries, and when the medical staff arrives let them know.
Calling the Police
It is a good idea to make notes of events leading to the accident. There is a low likelihood of recalling the information. Even you can remember what happened, you might not have a way to write them down.
A police report will document the accident and you will be able to explain to them what happened. The police report is going to be needed by your attorney or insurance company. You might forget specific details because of the injuries or just naturally. This is why it is a good idea to document everything with a police officer as soon as possible.
Contacting Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance company if you have car insurance. Car insurance policies tend to cover such accidents even if you were a pedestrian. Doing this will allow you to know whether you are going to make disability or medical claims after post-accident.
Do not Talk About Fault with the Motorist’s Insurance Company or at the Scene
Regardless of whether the events leading to the accident where you got hit was the fault of the motorist or yourself, you don’t know what the law says about pedestrian accidents. What you say to the insurance company of the motorist or on the scene of the accident can be used against you if legal proceedings were to take place. The only person you can discuss details on the accident is medical personnel, your attorney, and your insurance company. Your Houston pedestrian injury lawyer and insurance company will be looking out for your legal interest.
The motorist’s insurance company will be looking out for their interest and that of their client, which is why you should not speak at length with them. You should not sign any documents because you can accept the settlement offered without talking to your Houston pedestrian injury lawyer. Offer them your contact information, information on your insurance company, and your attorney.
Seeking a Houston Pedestrian Injury Lawyer
When a pedestrian is hit by a car, he/she will most likely suffer more severe injuries compared to those inside the car. The injuries can lead to emotional, physical, and financial difficulties that will have a big impact on the life of the pedestrian. The insurance company of the motorist is going to try their best to place the fault on the victim so that they don’t have to pay the claims. If you get a settlement from them, it is likely going to be undervalued and it is not going to factor in the difficulties you will have to deal with in the future. When you get a personal injury attorney to help with the case, you will protect your livelihood and legal rights.
If you or a loved one has been hit by a vehicle, reach out to our Houston-based personal injury law firm. At McDonald Worley, we can make sure your legal rights have been protected and see if there is a case. We offer a free case evaluation, which means you don’t need to pay anything to talk to us. We also work on a contingency fee basis. This means you are not going to pay us anything unless you have won your case.