Common pedestrian accident injuries include skull fractures, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and internal bleeding. Pedestrians may face a high risk of injuries resulting from blunt-force trauma between a vehicle and the pedestrian’s body.
You should get medical attention for any possible injuries related to a pedestrian accident. By seeing a doctor, you will protect your health and ensure you have a recovery plan. Moreover, you can let your pedestrian accident lawyer in New Jersey deal with the case while you focus on your health.
Pedestrian Accidents Are Associated with Serious Injuries
In a single calendar year, pedestrians accounted for 17 percent of all traffic deaths and three percent of traffic injuries, suggesting that pedestrians face an unusually high rate of serious injuries.
Pedestrians are at extreme risk of serious injury because:
- Motorists often hit pedestrians at high rates of speed, sometimes because the motorist does not see the pedestrian
- Pedestrians do not have the physical barriers that motor vehicle occupants have to keep them safe from impact
- Pedestrians do not generally wear helmets or other safety equipment that can prevent serious injuries
Some pedestrian accident injuries that may prove disabling or fatal include:
Head and Brain Injuries
A pedestrian may suffer a head or brain injury when:
- An oncoming vehicle strikes them in the head
- The pedestrian falls because of the collision and hits their head on a fixed object, such as the ground
- The impact with the oncoming vehicle causes the head and neck to move rapidly, causing a brain injury
Severe brain injuries can kill. Whether the injury results from an object penetrating the skull, the brain jostling inside the skull, or another type of injury, the pedestrian may suffer life-changing health outcomes as a consequence.
When your blood vessels lose blood, but the blood has no way of exiting the body, you suffer internal bleeding. This can be a life-threatening condition but may not immediately present obvious symptoms.
The insidious nature of internal bleeding (and other internal injuries) is one reason why you should seek medical attention as soon as possible after a pedestrian accident.
Injuries to Critical Organs
The impact of a pedestrian accident may cause injury to one or more vital organs, including:
- Your heart
- Your lung(s)
- Your kidneys
- Your liver
Your spleen and other non-vital organs may also be the site of life-threatening injuries, especially if you do not receive immediate medical attention for your injuries.
There is no such thing as a minor injury when it comes to pedestrian accidents. Any injury can be catastrophic in its own right. If left untreated, injuries that might be easily treatable may worsen into a potentially grave condition. Therefore, you must prioritize your health following your accident.
Why Pedestrian Accidents Happen
Pedestrian accidents are often the result of motorists’ careless behaviors, which include:
- Driving under the influence: One person in America dies every 39 minutes because of drunk drivers. Pedestrians are at an outsized risk of drunk drivers because they are harder to see and lack physical protection from a drunk motorist’s vehicle.
- Distracted driving: When a driver looks at their phone, allows their mind to wander away from the act of driving, or allows distraction to affect them in any other way, they put pedestrians at risk. A distracted driver may fail to see a pedestrian crossing the road or veer into a walking lane.
- Speeding: Speeding is a common cause of traffic accidents. When motorists travel at speeds beyond the legal limit, they take longer to stop for pedestrians. A speeding motorist may also be more likely to lose control of their vehicle, causing a pedestrian accident as a result.
- Tailgating: A tailgating motorist may have to perform a risky evasive maneuver to avoid rear-ending the vehicle in front. This can mean swerving in a manner that causes a collision with a pedestrian.
- Ignoring the rules of the road: Motorists who don’t yield the right of way, ignore traffic lights, run stop signs, and ignore other road rules put themselves, other motorists, and pedestrians in danger.
Driving laws exist for good reason, and one of those reasons is to protect pedestrians.
Pedestrian Accidents Result from Negligence
Every pedestrian accident has something in common, and that is negligence. When a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian, someone has usually breached their duty of care to act in a safety-conscious, reasonable manner.
Parties whose negligence can cause a pedestrian accident include:
- Motor vehicle manufacturers (whose defective vehicles may cause a motorist to lose control, striking a pedestrian as a result)
- Municipalities (who can be responsible for potholes, downed signage, defective traffic lights, and other conditions that contribute to pedestrian accidents)
- Any other party whose negligent actions contribute to a collision between a motor vehicle and a pedestrian
Personal injury lawyers know how to diagnose negligence and identify those liable for pedestrian accidents.
Recoverable Damages for Victims of Pedestrian Accidents
When a car, SUV, or truck strikes a person, serious injuries are likely. The human body is not built to sustain such severe force, and an accident victim’s damages can be significant.
Recoverable damages in your case may include:
Pain and Suffering
A traffic accident can cause pain and suffering, including:
- Physical pain from injuries (both acute and chronic pain)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Emotional anguish
- Psychological distress
- Difficulty sleeping
- Lost quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of physical or cognitive abilities
Attorneys use proven methods to calculate the value of pain and suffering. When you hire a lawyer with a proven track record, you can rest knowing that they will accurately calculate the cost of your pain and suffering.
Mental Health Treatment
Pain and suffering from a pedestrian accident does not always resolve itself.
You may need to pursue treatment such as:
- Talk therapy
- Exposure therapy
- Any other treatment a mental health professional recommends
If someone caused your accident, they also caused your mental health difficulties. They should cover all the treatment you require.
You may need a host of medical services after your pedestrian accident, including:
- Ambulance transport
- Medical imaging
- Emergency care
- Doctors visits
Your lawyer will include all accident-related medical bills in your lawsuit or insurance claim. If your medical bills continue to mount, your attorney will work with doctors to project your future healthcare costs.
If your pedestrian accident causes one or more disabling injuries, your lawyer will consider how the disability will affect you.
A disability can require:
- Part-time or full-time medical care (which may include in-home care)
- Equipment to assist with mobility, which may include a motorized wheelchair, walker, and other devices
- Replacement of lost income for the remainder of the accident victim’s life
- Lifelong rehabilitation services
- A wheelchair-friendly vehicle
- Alterations to a home to accommodate disabilities, such as ramps, lifts, and handrails
Spinal cord injuries are among the potentially disabling injuries that can happen when a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian.
A pedestrian injured during a traffic accident may:
- Lose income
- Return to work with lesser earning power (perhaps because the accident victim must change roles or reduce hours to accommodate injury symptoms)
- Lose the opportunity to earn bonuses and promotions
- Miss the fulfillment they get from being employed
- Lose benefits from their job, especially if they become permanently disabled
Your attorney will calculate the cost of these and any other professional damages from our accident.
If your cell phone, clothing, glasses, or other property became damaged during a pedestrian accident, your attorney will calculate the cost of replacing the damaged items. If any personal property also sustained damage, your lawyer will calculate the cost of repair or replacement.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident Resulting in Injuries
While everyone’s circumstances and post-accident journey are unique, there are several best practices to follow after a pedestrian collision.
These steps include:
- Receiving a thorough medical examination: See a doctor for diagnoses and treatment plans for your accident-related injuries. The doctor may also order imaging that serves as proof of your injuries. Seeing a doctor is critical for both your health and your case.
- Documenting the accident: Write down your recollection of how the accident happened. Memory can be unreliable, so writing down your account of events as soon as possible is important.
- Documenting your physical and psychological symptoms: You may also keep a written record of your physical and psychological symptoms. As your attorney seeks compensation for your damages, this written record can document your accident-related harm.
- Hiring a lawyer: If you retain a pedestrian accident lawyer, you can focus on your recovery while your attorney seeks your financial recovery. Never speak with insurance companies. Let your lawyer do that for you.
When It Comes to Insurers, Proceed with Caution
Another word of advice is to proceed cautiously when speaking with insurance companies. While insurers may have the power to provide you with compensation, insurers generally prioritize their best interests—which may mean paying you as little as possible.
If you hire a lawyer, they will immediately take over interactions with insurance representatives.
This will ensure that you don’t have to deal with attempts to:
- Twist your words, potentially to assign blame for the accident to you
- Confuse you about an insurance policy, the accident, or other matters related to your claim
- Pressure you into accepting a lowball settlement offer
- Delay the claims process (perhaps to pressure you further into accepting a lowball settlement)
Pedestrian accident lawyers deal frequently with insurers. Your attorney will not stand for any bad-faith tactics by insurance companies. Once your lawyer knows the monetary cost of your accident, they will demand that liable insurers compensate you fairly.
What a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Will Do for You
Before deciding whether to hire a lawyer, you must know what a lawyer will do for you.
An attorney will:
- Secure all accident-related evidence: Securing evidence is a time-sensitive priority for pedestrian accident lawyers. Useful evidence may include video footage of the accident, witness accounts of the collision, your own account of the accident, and an expert’s reconstruction of the accident.
- Establish liability for your damages: After gathering and reviewing evidence and facts, your attorney will determine who you can hold liable for your accident-related damages.
- Document your damages: Your lawyer will obtain medical records, expert opinions, proof of lost income, and other documentation of your damages. Such documentation may help prove the monetary cost of your damages.
- Calculate the value of a fair settlement: Your lawyer will calculate a precise value for your damages. This includes economic and non-economic damages and any damages you will suffer in the future.
- Lead negotiations: Your lawyer will also be your negotiator. They will discuss settlement offers with insurers and demand all of the money you deserve.
- Complete any necessary trial: Lawyers can take pedestrian accident cases to court when settlement negotiations do not produce a fair offer.
Your attorney should provide frequent case updates. They will review all settlement offers with you and provide advice based on your best interests.
Do Not Wait to Hire a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Your lawyer likely faces a deadline for filing your case, so do not wait to contact law firms in your area. As soon as you hire a lawyer, you can focus on your health and let your lawyer lead your case.
Your injuries are difficult enough to deal with, so you do not need additional stress from an injury claim.