In 2021, there was a 13% increase in fatalities of pedestrians involved in vehicle accidents in the United States. These fatalities do not even account for the pedestrians that were injured in vehicle crashes. As pedestrian crashes become more prevalent, unfortunately, it’s important to know what to do if you are ever in that situation. Continue reading to learn what happens if you are hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian.
What To Do Right After You’ve Been Hit
First off, if there are any injuries, call 911 for medical attention.
If you are physically able to do so, you can start gathering information and evidence. This information includes:
- Contact and insurance information of the driver that hit you.
- Contact the police to have a police report filed and get a copy as soon as you can.
- Do not discuss the cause of the accident or apologize for your actions. This can be seen as admitting fault and could hurt the credibility of your claim.
- Contact information of any witnesses.
- Pictures of the scene, including crosswalks and traffic signals, any injuries you sustained, the car that struck you, and any other relevant information.
Once you’re safe and calm, call your car insurance company. You may be entitled to benefits through your own car insurance policy.
Who Pays For Medical Bills?
After being struck by a vehicle, you could be left with severe injuries. After all, you had nothing protecting you from the force and weight of the vehicle. Pedestrians hit by cars typically experience trauma to the head, brain, pelvis, knees, and legs. These injuries can result in costly medical bills, so who needs to foot the bill?
Whoever is at fault for the accident, is the one who will be held financially responsible. However, it normally takes a while to receive the compensation for medical bills and damage, so initially, you will have to take responsibility for paying and handling your medical bills. You can also utilize your health or car insurance for any financial assistance. If you have personal injury protection or Med Pay car insurance, turn to these options first. If the driver at fault is uninsured or underinsured and you have uninsured motorist coverage, you could also use that policy to pay your medical bills.
Your insurance company can then seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver or input a medical provider claim on any settlement or financial award you receive.
What Are My Legal Options?
If you are injured as a pedestrian due to a driver’s negligence, you normally have the right to financial compensation for your injuries and any damage. The financial compensation will come from an insurance settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company or through a civil lawsuit.
As the injured pedestrian, you can file an insurance claim or a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. In addition to this, claims could be filed with the city or state responsible for the roadway, the employer of the at-fault driver if they were engaging in business activities at the time of the accident, or any other negligent party.
In the state of Georgia, the law is clear about pedestrians hit by vehicles:
Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon a roadway, shall give warning by sounding his horn when necessary, and shall exercise proper precautions.
This law shows the fault typically falls on the vehicle, not the pedestrian.
If you or a loved one was recently hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian, J. Stein Law Firm is here to help. Our attorneys recently resolved a pedestrian-vehicle accident that ended with a $1,650,000 settlement for the pedestrian that was wrongly hit and injured. We aim to get you or your loved one the justice and compensation that is deserved. To discuss a potential case, schedule your free consultation with us today.