Being involved in an accident with a pedestrian is extremely scary. Both parties may be unaware of what they are supposed to do or even how to handle the situation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are over 60,000 pedestrian accidents in 2006. If a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle going over 30 miles per hour, the injuries can be catastrophic – if not fatal. In fact, a crash at just 10 miles per hour could permanently change a pedestrian’s life.
As the driver of a vehicle, you are required to take action after striking a pedestrian – even if you feel you were not breaking the law or driving negligently. Some things you should do immediately after the accident include:
- Getting yourself and the injured parties to safety. Do not administer medical treatment beyond what is required, such as CPR. If the pedestrian is severely injured, do not move them – you could worsen their injuries.
- Contact emergency personnel and get medical assistance right away. You should call 911 and report the accident and any injuries.
- Exchange contact information with the pedestrian (if you can). You will want to get their name, address and phone number. You do not need to ask any other questions.
- Get medical assistance for yourself too. Even if you do not feel as though you were injured, low speed accidents can cause soft tissue damage that you may be unaware of. So, seek medical attention right away.
Fault in a pedestrian-vehicle accident is not always clear. While the driver is often thought to be at fault, there are instances where a pedestrian can be considered negligent or liable for the accident. For example, the pedestrian could have been crossing the street illegally in a dark area. The driver could not see them, nor did they have any expectations a pedestrian would be crossing – since they weren’t in a designated area. In some cases, if the pedestrian contributed to the accident, the amount of compensation they are awarded could be reduced.
If You Are the Injured Party, Speak to an Attorney
If you were the individual injured (whether in the vehicle or the pedestrian), you not only need to seek medical attention, but legal attention as well. These types of cases are very complex and the laws around them can be difficult to understand. If you have been involved in a pedestrian-car accident, an attorney can advise you of your rights and help determine who was at fault versus who was truly negligent.
Contact Herman, Herman & Katz, LLC Attorneys at Law today regarding your pedestrian-vehicle accident. We will assess your case for free and help determine if you are entitled to compensation. Call us at 844-943-7626 to schedule a consultation or contact us online with your questions.