Pedestrian accidents are a common cause of injuries and unfortunately, fatalities. Hit-and-run accidents involving pedestrians are some of the most catastrophic due to the lack of “protection” that would’ve been provided in the event of a motor vehicle accident. The victim is not surrounded by airbags or the protective steel of a car. Pedestrian accidents usually occur while a victim is crossing the street or is already in the middle of the street, and a vehicle fails to abide by the rules of the road, heed speed limits, or stop completely when necessary.
An injured victim with the right of way hit while crossing a street is entitled to pursue compensation for their injuries, and in the event of a death, the victim’s family has the right to pursue compensation to provide for their lost loved one’s children and spouse and to ensure they’re protected from the financial distress lost future earnings can cause.
This article will provide the four (4) most important things victims and their loved ones must know after becoming involved in a pedestrian accident.
#1: Contact Law Enforcement
Whether the accident was a hit-and-run or the person who caused it remains on the scene, the most important thing to do is call law enforcement. When officers arrive on the scene they’re able to facilitate the exchange of information safely between the parties, who both may be heated or injured and should not attempt to converse with one another in a state of distress.
Witness statements are an extremely important part of any investigation. After an accident, they will be taken on the scene regardless of whether or not the accident was a hit-and-run. That’s because any information provided by witnesses can help prove the recklessness of a driver who fled the scene after causing an accident with bodily injuries. While an accident victim may be shaken up and injured, requiring transport to the hospital immediately, witnesses will be able to clearly recount the color, make, model, and other specifics about the vehicle and its driver in an effort to provide law enforcement with what they need to provide justice on the victim’s behalf.
#2: Exchange Information (if possible)
With law enforcement on the scene of the accident, information can be safely exchanged between the parties. This can include phone numbers, addresses, insurance policy information, and health insurance information. However, this exchange of information is not always possible. For instance, if the victim is not conscious or too severely injured to provide accurate answers and were not accompanied by anyone else at the time of the accident.
This also applies if the accident was a hit-and-run. In this instance. law enforcement will get as much information as possible from witnesses and from anyone who happened to be with the victim (if they weren’t alone) about what occurred right before, during, and right after the accident.
#3: Seek Medical Care Immediately
After a pedestrian accident the most important thing a victim must do is be transported to the hospital for medical attention. Cuts, bruises, and scrapes are superficial, can be treated on the scene, and must be photographed. However, the most serious injuries can’t be seen and require immediate attention to prevent life-threatening complications. These injuries range from whiplash, broken or fractured bones, to the most catastrophic: brain and spinal cord damage caused by the force of the vehicle striking the victim at a high rate of speed, with nothing to protect them.
Upon arrival to a hospital doctors will perform a complete range of tests and diagnostic imaging such as MRI, X-ray, or CT Scan to quickly rule out the most catastrophic injuries. In the event a catastrophic injury has occurred, treatment such as surgery or life sustaining measures will be performed as quickly as possible.
#4: Hire a Board Certified Lawyer
After the initial medical treatment to stabilize the victim has been performed, it’s important for the victim or their family if it comes to it, to contact a board certified civil trial lawyer. A board certified civil trial lawyer will have experience in pedestrian accidents, as well as the complex nature of hit-and-run accidents.
In the event of a hit-and-run accident, only a board certified lawyer will know how to proceed with litigation, as the process is not the same as having a defendant present in the court room.
The End Result
The end result of a pedestrian accident should not be a lifetime of pain and suffering for the victim, though quite often it is. This is why the maximum amount of compensation should be obtained on behalf of the victim. In the event of a pedestrian accident in which a victim sustains serious, lifelong injuries such as herniated disks, TBI, or CRPS, the medical bills and lost wages will add up.
It’s never acceptable to settle for a lawyer who only wants to get the client out the door with a check. That check should be the maximum amount of compensation allowed by law to be granted to the victim for their permanent injuries. This is why board certified attorneys are the best at what they do. Their success rates are higher, their successes are in the multi-millions, and they don’t simply settle for “winning” a case. A board certified civil trial lawyer is passionate, has high moral standing, and their ethics exceed that of their peers.
After a pedestrian accident, only a board certified attorney should represent a victim who may be left with lifelong injuries.