Injuries to pedestrians struck by motor vehicles can be catastrophic. Pedestrian accidents often involve small children not aware of the danger on a street or elderly individuals with reduced faculties. Each year, 100,000 pedestrians are injured and 5,000 are killed in accidents involving motor vehicles.
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Both pedestrians injured in a motor vehicle accident and the driver can be fully or partially at fault for the accident and the resulting injuries. Pedestrians can be at least partially at fault if, for instance, the pedestrian attempted crossing the street during a “no walk” signal or outside of the crosswalks. A driver who strikes a child who rushed onto traffic without looking may have various degrees of responsibility, depending on numerous factors.
A pedestrian who is deemed partially liable in an accident can still be entitled to damages for injuries suffered as a result of the accident. The compensation may be reduced proportionally, however, by the degree to which the pedestrian is deemed at fault. If the pedestrian is killed in a motor vehicle accident, the pedestrian’s loved ones may be entitled to compensation based on a wrongful death claim.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or death as the result of a pedestrian accident, there are certain steps you should follow, including:
- Report the accident to law enforcement
- Obtain contact information from everyone involved, including witnesses
- Obtain statements from witnesses
- Seek medical attention regardless of whether an injury is evident. Some injuries are not readily apparent or may get worse over time
- Do not admit guilt
- Write down what you remember about the accident as soon as possible, before your memory fades
- Keep a journal of how the accident affects your everyday life including any physical and emotional pain or limitations
- Keep all receipts for any expenses related to the accident, including medical bills
- If the injuries affect your job, or cause you to miss work or lose your job, keep a record that includes all lost income
Of course, you should also seek competent representation from an experienced pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible in order to protect your rights. In some cases there may be a statute of limitations or a deadline by which you must file a lawsuit. You should also be aware that a case could become quite complex if the vehicle involved in the pedestrian accident is a government vehicle or is being operated as part of a business.
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