Hit By Car as a Pedestrian: Your Legal Plan of Action
Posted on Tue Apr 13, 2021
In 2018, 107 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in Alabama, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That's a 60% increase since 2008. And this number doesn’t even account for all of the pedestrians who were seriously injured but not killed.
Sadly, after getting hit by a car, injuries are almost guaranteed. Often, a pedestrian hit by a car is too injured or shocked to think about taking legal action. But this may be the only way to recover compensation for what happened.
As a pedestrian hit by a car, it can be difficult to understand how to proceed. We get that. That's why the Alabama pedestrian accident lawyers at Warren & Simpson have put together this guide. Read on for more information, and contact our firm for help with your case.
Common Types of Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are known for causing catastrophic injuries. Whether these accidents result from speeding, distracted driving, drunk driving, malfunctioning traffic signals or even vehicle defects, the result is likely to be a life-altering injury for the pedestrian hit by a car.
The following are some of the most common types of injuries seen in pedestrian accidents:
- Numbness. A pedestrian hit by a car in a crosswalk could suffer injuries severe enough to cause nerve damage. This damage can lead to long-term numbness that affects almost every aspect of your daily life.
- Chronic pain. After a pedestrian accident, your initial injuries may only be the beginning. Most types of high-impact pedestrian injuries can leave you with chronic pain that makes it difficult to get out of bed in the morning — much less work or care for your family.
- Paralysis. A serious back or spine injury can occur when a vehicle hits you. If the impact damages your spinal cord, you could be paralyzed for life.
- Brain injuries. Hitting your head on the hood of the car or the pavement during a pedestrian accident puts you at risk of a traumatic brain injury. Concussions, brain damage, and contusions can have long-term effects on your memory, speaking, and thinking skills.
- Broken bones. After getting hit by a car, injuries like bone fractures and breaks are almost inevitable. The recovery time can last for months. And even after that, you may suffer from lingering pain or reduced mobility.
If you are a pedestrian who has been hit by a car, what to do next is ensure you have the best possible chance of recovering compensation for your damages.
What to Do After Being Hit by a Car as a Pedestrian
We are not here to tell a pedestrian hit by a car what to do. How you move forward is up to you. But, if you are hoping to recover fair compensation for what you have been through, the following steps can help.
- Seek immediate medical care. Even if you feel fine, it is important to see a doctor to make sure you are OK and create a medical record of the accident.
- Gather evidence. If possible, take photos or videos of the vehicle involved, the area where the accident happened, and any other relevant details. Also, get the contact information of witnesses at the scene of the accident. All of this evidence can prove that the driver was at fault for your pedestrian accident.
- Do not talk to the driver or insurance company. Insurers and at-fault drivers are not your friends if you are a pedestrian hit by a car. They will want to avoid liability for your injuries, and they will use anything you say against you. That can make it impossible for you to recover compensation.
- Instead, contact an attorney. An experienced personal injury lawyer can handle every aspect of your insurance claim or lawsuit for you. We will ensure you are not taken advantage of. We will build a bulletproof case designed to maximize your settlement. And we will keep you informed of your case’s status while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Damages Pedestrians Can Recover After Being Hit by a Car
Under Alabama law, anyone injured because of someone else's negligence can recover compensation for their damages from the at-fault party.
To recover compensation as a pedestrian hit by a car in a crosswalk, on the sidewalk, or elsewhere, you have to show how your injuries have harmed you. Then, you have to assign a monetary value to each of those damages.
The following are some common damages for which you can recover compensation in pedestrian accidents:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Lost wages at work
- Disability due to your injury
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Reduced quality of life
A personal injury attorney can help you demonstrate your damages and maximize your compensation. Often, simply hiring a lawyer is enough to convince insurers and at-fault parties to negotiate or offer a settlement.
Determining Fault in an Alabama Pedestrian Car Accident
In Alabama, "fault" is an incredibly important concept in personal injury cases. As a pedestrian hit by a car, you must avoid falling into the traps the insurers will set for you. They will try to twist your words against you and do everything in their power to point the blame back at you.
Why do they do that? Because if they can convince a court that you hold even 1% of the blame for your accident, you will be barred from recovering compensation. This is thanks to Alabama's contributory negligence law, the modern form established in an Alabama Supreme Court case. This is one reason that working with an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial. Your attorney will advise you on how to interact with insurance companies.
Pedestrian Hit by a Car? Warren & Simpson Can Help.
After getting hit by a car, injuries are not your only concern. You also need to recover compensation from the person who hurt you. But doing that is going to present some huge challenges. How can you take on a lawsuit when you are severely injured?
The Alabama personal injury lawyers at Warren & Simpson are here to help. We can handle all the legal details of your case and fight for what you’re owed while you rest and recover. We have won more than 2,000 cases for our personal injury clients. We’re prepared to win for you, too. To schedule a free consultation, call 256.539.7575 or contact us online.