If you get hit in a Pennsylvania pedestrian accident, call emergency responders immediately. You can call the local or state police and remain at the scene if you are not in critical condition. Otherwise, get an ambulance to the accident scene and get immediate medical attention.
In this article, a Pennsylvania pedestrian accident lawyer discusses what to know if this happens to you, common injuries after an accident, negligence liability, and where you can get legal advice if you need it.
Seven Steps to Follow After a Pedestrian Accident
Motorist laws specify how to handle pedestrian accidents. If you or someone you loved got hit by a car on foot, it is critical that you follow the rules contained within this provision. Doing so ensures that the negligent motorist cannot allege that you made the situation worse in some manner.
Below, we have outlined seven steps on what to do when a pedestrian emergency arises:
Step 1. Get to Safety
The first step is to get yourself to safety first and then help others in the roadway if you can. It is essential not to obstruct traffic more than necessary when moving cars, bicycles, or people. However, you will want to remain as close to the accident scene as possible while continuing through the following steps since leaving it is generally a misdemeanor or felony crime in Pennsylvania.
Step 2. Get Medical Attention
Seek immediate medical attention by dialing 9-1-1 for yourself or others injured on the roadway and only if you are able to physically do so. An ambulance will transport you to the nearest emergency room for treatment thereafter. If your injuries do not require immediate intervention, you should head to a doctor’s office after speaking with the police, exchanging information, and collecting evidence.
Step 3. Contact the Police
If you dialed 9-1-1, then the police should be notified and, on their way, to assess the situation and complete an accident report. Otherwise, you should contact them after getting everyone to safety. While waiting for the police to arrive, it is an excellent opportunity to gather as much information as possible about the accident for claim and evidentiary purposes. Do not admit any fault.
Step 4. Exchange Information
You should also exchange information with all drivers and pedestrians involved in the accident. The insurance company will want to refer to this information later on in the claims process.
Exchange information with all involved parties, including:
- Operator name (on license)
- Operator address (on license)
- Insurance information (on insurance card)
- Vehicle registration (on registration card)
You also must exhibit your driver’s license or identification card at the accident scene. It is also good to get the same information from eyewitnesses if you need to contact them for more details. Taking pictures of these documents with your mobile device is often the easiest way to document this information nowadays.
Step 5. Collect Evidence
Evidence plays a vital role in proving negligence. Once the evidence is no longer available, there is no going back. You can no longer review it precisely as it was on the day in question.
Examples of accident scene evidence include:
- Eyewitness statements
- Driver statements
- Accident reports
This information can help you determine if the police got their accident report wrong or if the at-fault driver is taking on their share of the liability.
Step 6. Monitor Your Situation
If you or a household member have automobile insurance, you can rest assured that at least some of your medical bills will be paid for by your automobile insurance company. This is because both Pennsylvania and New Jersey are no-fault states.
Most automobile insurers require notification of your accident in a timely manner. Be sure to review the terms and conditions of your policy to see how and when you must report the accident to your insurance company. Once you contact them, you will be making a claim for medical or Personal-Injury-Protection (PIP) benefits. If you wind up speaking to them before hiring a lawyer, you should avoid making self-incriminating statements during this phone call and stick to the facts.
Monitor the claims process and note any comments the insurance adjuster makes about your case. Remember that the telephone calls you have with them are recorded.
As for the other party’s automobile insurance company – DO NOT TALK TO THEM! They are out to do one thing: to pay nothing or to pay as little as possible. Let your attorney speak to the other party’s insurance company for you so nothing you say can be used against you (see the next step below).
Step 7. Contact an Attorney
You can proactively protect your legal rights from the start of your case by contacting an attorney for pedestrian accidents in Pennsylvania. We can handle the settlement negotiations at the outset of the claims process to prevent legal mistakes entirely. This strategy allows you to focus on recovering as quickly as possible while we handle the legal battle with the insurance company.
Related Article: Is There a Time Limit on Personal Injury Claims in Pennsylvania?
Common Pedestrian Injuries After Being Hit by a Car
Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to the elements since no protective barriers surround them, like a car. Nearly 6,000 people were killed by pedestrian injuries from car accidents in 2017, per National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data. This figure also equates to roughly one preventable death every 88 minutes.
Wrongful death is one of the many common injuries pedestrians hit by cars could face. However, others could result in lifelong medical issues and massive healthcare costs.
According to a 2007 University of California study, common injuries include:
- Chest and abdominal injuries
- Head injuries
- Ligamentous injuries
- Long-term disabilities
- Musculoskeletal injuries
- Neck injuries
- Superficial injuries
- Tibial plateau fractures
- Trauma to the legs
- Trauma to the pelvis
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
When a motorist strikes a pedestrian, the vehicle can hit them in such a way that it causes them to lift off the ground. Once the driver slams on their breaks, the pedestrian will fly through the air and land violently on the ground. These actions can cause severe pedestrian-car accident injuries to the human body.
Not only are you entitled to compensation for your physical injuries if you were a pedestrian hit by a car, but you are also entitled to be compensated for the loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering.
Protect Your Car Accident Pedestrian Injury Claim
If the driver’s negligence causes your injuries or your loved one’s loss of life, you have legal options to recover compensation in Pennsylvania. Ensure that you seek immediate medical attention, avoid making any statements, and get legal advice as soon as possible. This strategy will protect your legal rights and the facts of your case.
Related Article: Is NJ a No-Fault State for Car Accidents?
Who Is Liable for Your Pedestrian Accident Injuries?
Negligence is another concept that influences pedestrian hit by car settlements and liability. It is necessary to prove that the driver’s actions met the elements of negligence when pursuing a fair civil award.
For this outcome to occur, there are four critical facts that you must prove:
- Fact 1. The negligent driver owed you a general duty of care
- Fact 2. The negligent driver failed to meet their general duty with negligent driving
- Fact 3. You wound up as a pedestrian hit by a car because of their negligence
- Fact 4. As a pedestrian hit by a car with injuries you incurred financial and physical losses
All Pennsylvania motorists owe others a general duty of care to others, which is easy to prove. However, a few challenging aspects of a personal injury matter are proving their failure with discoverable evidence and evaluating how much your case is worth. Enlist the help of a pedestrian accident injury lawyer to help you build your case and protect your rights throughout this process.
Get Legal Help from a Pennsylvania Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian accidents can result in a lifetime of severe medical consequences for injury victims. While a civil award does not make up for your emotional losses, Pennsylvania’s civil laws allow you to recover compensation for your injuries, time missed at work, and pain and suffering when another’s negligence played a role.
You can count on a Pennsylvania pedestrian accident injury attorney to represent your side of the story to insurers so that you get a settlement or civil award that is equivalent to the damages suffered
Call Shuttleworth Law Now
After a pedestrian accident injury, you can learn more about your legal rights by contacting Shuttleworth Law for Your Free Case Strategy Session at (215) 774-1371. We also welcome you to message about your case here.