What information to gather following a pedestrian accident
Whether you walk to complete your errands or train for marathons, chances are you will walk near roadways sometime this week. Almost anyone could be at risk of a pedestrian accident, and it pays to know what to do if it happens to you.
According to the Centers for Disease Control:
“In the next 24 hours, on average, 430 people will be treated in an emergency department for traffic-related pedestrian injuries. In the next 2 hours, on average, one pedestrian will die from injuries in a traffic crash.”
In the event that a driver hits you while out walking, follow these steps to document the event:
Seek medical attention
Vehicle/pedestrian accidents come with a high probability of injury. As the pedestrian, you should call police and emergency responders in 100 percent of pedestrian accident cases. Even a seemingly minor impact can cause internal injuries or other complications that show up later. Do not take the chance of missing an injury: Call for help.
If the impact knocks you unconscious or leaves you unable to call for help yourself, the responsibility to call lies with the driver or witnesses. Police called to the scene can help document the facts of the event.
In addition to providing initial medical treatment, emergency medical staff reports will help document your injuries. That documentation could become important later on as you deal with insurance claims or even a court case.
Document the accident
If able, use your smartphone to take photos of the entire scene. Photograph the location, any pertinent details and your injuries.
Also seek out witnesses and ask for their contact information. If possible, have these witnesses give a statement to police at the scene.
Gather the driver’s information, but he or she should also stay at the scene until police arrive. Below, Partner Keith Fuicelli talks more about the importance of documentation:
Help establish fault
If emergency medical responders transport you to the hospital before police arrive, be sure to follow up as soon as you can to file your own account of the accident. According to CityLab, many police reports don’t include the cyclist’s or pedestrian’s story about what happened:
“…close to 40 percent of the police reports WABA has reviewed did not include a statement from the cyclist involved. This is particularly common in cases where the victim is transported immediately to urgent care.”
Your story is vitally important in establishing the cause of the accident. Although the driver often carries the fault for pedestrian (or cyclist) accidents, it’s not always cut and dried. According to FindLaw:
“Usually, pedestrian-vehicle accident cases hinge on the duty of care owed by those involved. Both drivers and pedestrians must follow the rules of the road and exercise reasonable care. In many cases, it may seem obvious who was negligent, but the courts look at numerous factors in applying the facts to the negligence elements. A person who negligently operates a vehicle may be required to pay damages for personal and property damage caused by that negligence.”
A skilled personal injury attorney can help you establish all the facts of the case. In addition, he or she can help ensure a fair settlement from insurance to cover your medical expenses and more.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact us for a free case evaluation. We represent people injured in accidents of all types throughout Denver and Longmont.