You are out enjoying the weather during a nice daytime walk. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a car veers off its course and hits you. Or perhaps you are crossing a crosswalk and the driver of a vehicle isn’t paying attention and accelerates into you trying to navigate the intersection. Regardless the scenario, being hit by a car when walking is never a pleasant experience and it oftentimes leads to severe injuries that then lead to unexpected medical bills and treatments. The medical expenses that you are suddenly faced with can quickly cause your finances to spiral out of control.
Common Injuries Faced by Pedestrians Who Are Hit By Cars
It is not uncommon for a pedestrian who has been hit by a car to face multiple injuries, some of them often severe. The injuries most commonly associated with being hit by a car involve primary injuries, which are the injuries that are incurred at the site of impact. For example, a leg broken by where the car hit you would be considered a primary injury. There are also secondary injuries, however, that can occur with such accidents that are not a result from the car impacting your body directly, but are a result of the accident nonetheless. Secondary injuries can be just as serious as primary injuries. For example, if the car hit you and broke your leg, the broken leg would be the primary injury. If the resulting impact threw you five feet and broke your arm upon landing, the broken arm would be a secondary injury. Injuries common to those who have been hit by a car when walking include:
- Scalp lacerations
- Abrasions of the skin
- Broken and fractured bones
- Brain swelling
- Sprained ligaments
- Torn ligaments
- Spinal cord injuries
It is crucial to determine fault when you are hit by a car when walking, as the outcome of the situation will be very different when a pedestrian is at fault versus when the driver of the vehicle is at fault. For example, if a pedestrian is at fault he or she will be responsible for their own medical expenses and the driver of the car may even litigate against the pedestrian for any damages he or she incurred. Occasions where the pedestrian was at fault may include jaywalking or walking outside of a sidewalk, crossing against a traffic signal (such as crossing against a Do Not Walk command), or walking in areas where pedestrians are prohibited. On the other hand, if the driver is at fault, the pedestrian may be able to collect damages from the driver including damages for medical bills as well as damages for pain and suffering.
Filing a Claim against a Driver
If you have been hit by a car when walking and the driver was at fault, it is important that you properly file a claim against the driver so you can collect on the damages you are entitled to. The first thing you need to do is get the driver’s name and contact information at the time of the accident, along with his or her insurance information. If your injuries are so severe that you are not able to obtain this information on your own, ask a friend or a police officer to obtain it for you.
Once you are able to, contact the driver’s insurance company to report the accident and file a claim. You should also contact your insurance company to report the accident at this time. You will then want to go about proving that the accident was the result of the driver’s negligence, as were your injuries. If you do not have proof of fault, your claim will not be successful. Witnesses can often be key in determining fault in an accident, as can police reports taken immediately after the accident occurred.
Oftentimes it is best to get an attorney involved in the claim to ensure that you receive all of the damages you are entitled to and that your claim has the best possible chance of success, as an attorney will know exactly what is needed to prove fault and to determine what damages should be sought out.