It doesn’t take much effort to recognize that pedestrians face unparalleled danger near roadways. While vehicle occupants have the benefit of a more controlled environment during an accident, pedestrians have no protection at all in events like these. We all know that flying debris can prove dangerous or deadly during a motor vehicle crash, but if you’re a pedestrian, you’re nearly guaranteed to sustain injuries during an accident.
Statistics collected by local, state, and national entities don’t lie. If common sense weren’t enough to tell us that pedestrians who are hit by cars often suffer immensely, let the numbers convince you. More than 6,000 pedestrians died as a result of vehicle crashes in one year alone, and another pedestrian is killed in a traffic accident every 90 minutes in the United States.
Pedestrians who are fortunate enough to survive accidents often suffer life-altering consequences. The potential for severe injury during a crash is much higher for pedestrians than for motor vehicle occupants. These traumatic events can have a lasting impact on victims’ physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
Vehicle accidents can be violent and brutal. While some pedestrians manage to evade serious injury in the event of an accident, many are not so lucky. Injuries may range from moderate to severe, depending on the pedestrian and vehicle in question. Potential injuries include:
- Bone fractures of various severities.
- Spinal cord injuries, which have been known to lead to paralysis and death. Any injury where a portion of the backbone is damaged has the potential to result in severe pain, loss of muscle function, and other negative symptoms.
- Lacerations on various regions of the body.
- Traumatic brain injuries that can result in severe and permanent disabilities. Not every TBI results in death or life-altering loss of function, but these injuries are all serious and require immediate medical attention.
Pedestrians are vulnerable. Injuries like these can have a lasting impact on the lives of individuals who are struck by motor vehicles. Those who avoid death in the instance of a crash still face a risk of developing serious complications in the future. Some injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, can even cause delayed death.
Steps to Take if a Pedestrian Was Hit by a Vehicle
If you or somebody else has been injured in a pedestrian accident, it’s critical to call 911 as soon as possible. Not only will first responders come to the scene and assess potential injuries, but local authorities will also arrive to take down accident information. You may file a report with the police and request a copy of it later. This report can make or break a case in court.
After a thorough investigation of the accident scene (and the administration of emergency medical treatment), you may be left wondering what steps to take next. One of the most important amongst them is making an appointment with injured individuals’ primary care providers.
If individuals have been hospitalized for their injuries, this will give them a chance to bring their doctors up to speed and even receive second opinions. If somebody was not hospitalized after a crash, it’s good practice to meet with a physician anyway. Some injuries—even life-threatening ones—prove asymptomatic or may not cause noticeable trouble until it’s too late.
After you’re certain that everybody is safe, it’s time to plunge into finding a talented and knowledgeable attorney. Pedestrian injury attorneys understand the complicated laws that surround personal injury, car accidents, and other complex legal concepts. Many pedestrian accident injury victims find themselves unsure of how to pursue compensation or whether their cases will stand up in court. A lawyer can help.
Try to select an attorney with proven experience in the field of pedestrian injuries. The more your lawyer knows about cases like yours, the better equipped they’ll be to assist you. Legal professionals who work extensively in one area of the law tend to have experts and professionals available when needed. These individuals—who may range from doctors to motor vehicle experts—could play a key role in a case’s success.
Avoiding Pedestrian Injuries
There’s no surefire way to avoid falling victim to a vehicle accident. Pedestrians will always face some level of risk when they’re traveling on or near roads that vehicles frequent. There are, however, steps that concerned pedestrians can take to help protect themselves from danger:
- Ensure that your behaviors are easily-predictable, and always obey signs and signals.
- Maintain awareness of your surroundings; always remain alert.
- Never assume that drivers can see you.
- Take steps to increase your visibility (like wearing bright clothes or utilizing reflective materials).
- Pay careful attention to areas where cars may be reversing (like driveways and parking lots).
- Do not ingest alcohol or drugs if you plan to walk; you should never impair your judgment or abilities as a pedestrian.
- Always opt to walk on sidewalks and crosswalks where possible.
- Remain in well-lit areas.
While tips like these might sound like concepts you’ve heard a hundred times before, you’d be surprised how few pedestrians make an attempt to follow them. Taking the time to adhere to these simple rules could mean the difference between life and death.
You Deserve Compensation: A Lawyer Can Help
If you or a loved one suffered due to a driver’s negligence on the road, you deserve a trustworthy partner by your side as you pursue compensation. Motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians often prove traumatic and life-altering. You do not need to struggle or suffer after falling victim to a vehicle crash. If you’re willing to team up with a seasoned attorney, your own success in fighting for fair compensation may surprise you.
Abels & Annes, P.C.
100 N LaSalle St #1710
Chicago, IL 60602