Six Things to Do When a Car Hits a Pedestrian

Six Things to Do When a Car Hits a Pedestrian

There are many transportation options for Californians. But everyone is a pedestrian at one time or another, and all pedestrians have the right to arrive at their destinations safely.

Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents, injuries, and fatalities remain high. California drivers should maintain safe speeds and practice safe driving behaviors to allow for safe roadway sharing with pedestrians. 

New projections reveal that pedestrian deaths have recently risen. The Governors Highway Safety Association’s (GHSA) annual Spotlight on Highway Safety provided that pedestrian deaths have increased by 18% between the first half of 2019 and 2022.

Further, data from California shows that pedestrian accidents account for over 25% of all state traffic fatalities. 

While many factors contribute to these accidents, most pedestrian accidents involve negligence. Pedestrians who suffer injuries after being hit by a car should speak with an experienced California personal injury attorney to learn what steps they should take to protect their rights and effectuate their remedies. 

What Is a Pedestrian Accident?

What is a pedestrian accident? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines pedestrians involved in a traffic crash as any person on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting, or lying down.

The NHTSA does not consider those on or in motorized scooters, roller skates, skateboards, wheelchairs, baby strollers, or toy wagons as pedestrians.

However, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles considers the following categories of people as “pedestrians” or “vulnerable road users”:

  • A person walking;
  • A person traveling on something other than a vehicle or bicycle (including skateboard and rollerblades); and
  • A person with a disability using a tricycle, quadricycle, or wheelchair for transportation.

While the definitions vary a bit, a pedestrian accident generally refers to accidents involving someone on foot and some other non-motorized device. 

What to Do When a Car Hits a Pedestrian? 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports about one pedestrian death every 75 minutes in the country and approximately 104,000 emergency department visits annually for pedestrians involved in traffic accidents.

Ensuring everyone’s health and safety after a pedestrian accident is paramount. Additionally, there are specific steps that individuals can take at the scene of a pedestrian accident and after the accident. 

What to do at a Pedestrian Accident Scene? 

The top six things to do at the scene of a pedestrian accident include the following, if possible: 

Ensure you’re out of harm’s way

Accident victims should remove themselves from harm’s way to avoid further accidents or injuries. For example, the victim should move to a sidewalk or shoulder if the accident occurred at an intersection as they wait for help to arrive. 

Report the accident

The victim should contact 911 for emergency services and report the accident to law enforcement. Police officers are well-versed in responding to pedestrian accidents and will know the procedure to follow. Securing an official police report is essential for substantiating a claim for damages. 

Exchange contact information

Pedestrians involved in an accident should try and exchange contact information with the at-fault party. If the party is reluctant to provide their information or attempts to leave the scene, the victim should try and jot down any identifying information, such as license plate numbers and physical descriptions. 

Gather witness Information

Pedestrians should obtain identifying information from witnesses and ask them to remain at the scene to give a statement to the police. 

Gather evidence

Accident victims should try and take photos of the scene and jot down anything relevant to the accident or their injuries.

Even if you are not able to gather evidence in the immediate wake of the accident, you should still write down what you remember happening as soon as possible.

Follow-up with medical treatment 

Victims should seek medical attention, even if symptoms seem minor. Many times, injuries manifest sometime after the accident, and it is important that there is a proper and complete record of medical treatment following the collision. 

While it is not always possible to take all of these measures after a pedestrian accident, these steps reduce the likelihood of additional injuries and help build a compelling case for compensation. 

Speak with a pedestrian accident attorney 

After receiving medical treatment, a pedestrian accident victim or their loved one should contact a California personal injury lawyer.

It is essential that victims consult with an attorney before speaking with an insurance company. Insurance companies often pressure victims into making statements or accepting an inadequate settlement. 

A California pedestrian accident attorney can help victims secure maximum compensation for injuries and damages. Some ways an accident lawyer can help injured pedestrians include the following:

  • Reviewing facts, 
  • Investigating the accident,
  • Determining liability,
  • Apportioning fault,
  • Negotiating with insurance companies and at-fault drivers,
  • Litigating lawsuits, and
  • Securing compensation.

Timeliness is critical to these accident cases, so pedestrian car accident victims should consult with an attorney as soon as possible. 

Learn More About What to Do After a Car Hits a Pedestrian by Speaking with an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one was recently injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, the dedicated injury attorneys at Starpoint Law are here to help.

With extensive experience handling all types of personal injury cases involving motor vehicle accidents, our attorneys have the dedication, knowledge, and tenacity needed to connect you with the compensation you deserve.

We believe in taking a unique, client-centered approach to every case we handle, ensuring each of our clients’ cases ends in the best result possible.

To learn more and to schedule a free consultation today, call Starpoint Law at 301-340-2981. You can also reach us through our online contact form.

Author Photo

Aidin Ghavimi

Aidin is a partner at Starpoint LC, Attorneys at Law, and focuses on personal injury and employment law cases in and around Southern California. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the Loyola School of Law and his Bachelor’s from USC. Aidin’s primary goal is to bring justice to his clients and to ensure they are able to move on with their lives after a serious injury.

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