If you or a family member were injured in a car and pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
Unfortunately, people who are struck by a motor-vehicle often sustain serious and devastating injuries. If that happens, it is important to know what you have to prove, whether you are entitled to compensation, and what you should do following the accident.
What You Have To Prove In Pedestrian Accident Case
In order to receive compensation in a car accident case, you must prove that the driver of the car was negligent, that as a result of the driver’s negligence you were injured, and that you met one of the statutory requirements including a fracture or incurring medical bills exceeding $2,000.00.
Proof of the driver’s negligence may include evidence that the driver violated traffic laws such as speeding, failure to look before starting, stopping or backing up, failure to stop at a stop sign or signal, failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, or that the driver failed to keep a proper lookout for pedestrians.
Compensation For Your Pedestrian Accident Case
If you are able to prove you are entitled to compensation for injuries you suffered in a pedestrian accident case, you may receive compensation for physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, scarring, loss of bodily function and impairment, impairment to enjoy life, lost wages, and medical bills. Among the different types of claims you may pursue, if you meet certain statutory requirements, are: bodily injury claim, an Uninsured claim and an Underinsured claim.
You may also pursue a separate personal injury protection (PIP) claim for lost wages and medical expenses.
What You Should Do After A Pedestrian Accident
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you should:
• Obtain the driver’s information (name, address, registration number, and name of insurer),
• Call 911,
• Obtain the names and contact information of witnesses,
• If you are able, take a photo of the scene and the car that struck you,
• Seek medical attention, and
• Get legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney. It usually is never a good idea to speak to the driver’s insurance company.
Seven Keys to Help Pedestrians Avoid Car Accidents
1. Before crossing a street, stop, look left, then right, then left again and if no cars are coming, cross the street.
2. If it is dark, wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.
3. Obey traffic signals and use crosswalks when available.
4. Before crossing in front of a vehicle, make eye contact with the driver.
5. Look inside parked cars to see if there is a driver before walking in front of or behind the car.
6. Be sure to remove all toys from your driveway to keep your driveway from becoming a playground.
7. Make sure your children are supervised at all times whenever vehicles may be present. Teach your children to NEVER play around vehicles.
Remember to walk defensively and you must be seen to reduce the risk of pedestrian accidents. For information about safe rides to school, go to Saferoutesinfo.org.
Pedestrians, Car Accidents and Parking Lots
Accidents seem to be inevitable in parking lots where vehicles travel in all directions and every motorist who parks then becomes a pedestrian. The relatively low speed limits and traffic markings in parking lots mean that accidents will likely occur at slow speeds. While such a fender bender might not result in personal injury to occupants of a vehicle, if a vehicle hits a pedestrian even gently, the impact can cause the pedestrian to fall down, causing a serious head injury, or exposure to further trauma.
Indeed, approximately 22% of pedestrian-vehicle accidents occur in parking lots. Of these, about one-fifth result in incapacitating injuries. Therefore, constant alertness is imperative wherever people are walking and vehicles are parked.
One way to keep safe and avoid accidents in a parking lot is to remember your dual role as a driver and a pedestrian. The following are some tips to keep in mind to increase your safety and that of others in a parking lot:
As a Pedestrian:
• Walk, don’t run. Be cautious and aware of your surroundings when walking in a parking lot, and especially when walking out between parked vehicles. Use available crosswalks.
• Don’t assume drivers see you when you see them. In many cases, a pedestrian sees and hears a vehicle before a driver can see the pedestrian due to blind spots.
• Don’t walk behind a vehicle that is backing out. If you see a vehicle’s back up lights on – wait. The driver’s view may be obstructed by blind spots or other vehicles parked on either side.
• Be aware that moving vehicles can come from every direction and circumstances can change quickly. Don’t assume vehicles will yield to you. Don’t text or talk on the phone while walking in a parking lot.
• Stay with children. A driver may not be able to see a small child in a parking lot.
As a Motorist:
• Never speed in a parking lot. Most parking lots have a speed limit of 10 mph. Observe all traffic markings.
• Always stay alert for pedestrians and other vehicles, both parked and moving. Don’t assume pedestrians see you. Don’t drive behind a car that is backing out or has its back up lights on.
• Whenever possible avoid being in reverse. More incidents happen in reverse. Pull all the way through the parking space to avoid being in reverse when leaving, or back into the space when you arrive and have a better opportunity to check your surroundings.
• Be cautious backing out of a space, especially when parked next to taller vehicles that block your view.
• Looking for a parking space, or backing out of one, while watching for pedestrians and other vehicles is difficult enough. Turn off distractions, such as your radio, and don’t text or talk on the phone.
Contact Attorney Bob Allison if you were injured in a pedestrian accident. You may call him at 978-740-9433 or fill out an online contact form. We will set up a free consultation with you to discuss your case.