In recent years, there has been a rising number of deaths associated with pedestrian accidents. In 2019, the Governors Highway Safety Administration reported that over 6,500 pedestrians were killed in the United States, the highest ever in the last 30 years. The last decade has seen an over 50 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities. More people suffer from injuries every year.
It is a serious problem and everyone, regardless of age or background, is in danger. What do you do when you or your loved one has become a victim of a pedestrian accident? This checklist should help you.
Call a Lawyer
If you have been injured or you have a family member who has died and you want to be compensated, the first thing that you need to do is call an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer. Any lawyer can advise and represent you, but finding one that has experience in pedestrian and vehicular accidents will give you an advantage.
Your lawyer will be able to tell you whether you have a case at hand and what you need to do next in order to recover damages you have suffered from the incident.
Determine If It’s the Driver’s Fault
Not all cases have merit. Both the driver and the pedestrian must follow the laws of the road. If you are the plaintiff, you must prove to the court that the negligence of the other party has caused the accident. Driver negligence includes distracted driving, speeding, DUI, failing to yield to pedestrians, and failing to follow traffic signs.
There is, however, an exception. If the person who was injured or has died from the accident was a child, there is a higher duty of care expected from the driver. When a child is present in the vicinity, all drivers must exercise caution. Children are very smaller and, therefore, less visible. Moreover, their actions are very unpredictable. When driving around schools and parks where children typically roam, drivers are asked to slow down and be extra mindful of their surroundings.
Check If the Pedestrian is at Fault, Too
Pedestrians also have their own responsibilities whenever they are out in the street. There are also rules to follow to keep everyone safe. The factors that contribute to pedestrian negligence are ignoring the traffic signals in place, failing to use crosswalks, running in front of a vehicle, entering highways where pedestrians are prohibited, and entering a street while intoxicated.
If the pedestrian has been proven to be guilty of negligence, then they will not be able to seek compensation. In fact, the driver will have grounds to sue the pedestrian for any damages that their vehicle has sustained from the accident.
If you want to ask for compensation from the party at fault, you need to gather evidence that will prove that the driver’s or the pedestrian’s negligence. Ideally, you have phoned the police to report the incident. This will be needed when you file a case.
If you are injured, take note of every treatment you had to undergo and medications that you had to take to recover. Request a copy of reports and bills from your doctors, physical therapists, and other medical professionals who provided you care after the accident.
In addition, you also need to provide proof of pain and suffering directly caused by the accident. If, for example, you had to miss work due to your injury, that can be counted to calculate the damage the accident has inflicted on your daily life.
It’s important to talk to an attorney when you or your loved one get involved in an accident while walking on the streets or even when riding a bicycle. Initial consultations are usually free. If you take advantage of it, you can get legal advice and see if you have a case in your hands before you move forward.