Just like motorists, most pedestrians are not thinking about their safety 100 percent of the time. Pedestrians should be extra careful since they are much more vulnerable than car drivers; they do not have the protection of being inside a vehicle. If a car is driving around 10 miles an hour when it hits someone, it can result in disastrous injuries for the pedestrian. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that almost 6,300 pedestrians lost their lives in 2018, an increase of three percent from previous years. This does not even include traffic accidents where electric scooters or bicycles were involved.
Types of Pedestrian Injuries
Pedestrians are found walking around in rural areas, small towns, and big cities. These areas present different hazards for pedestrians. Someone walking on a country road could get hit by a slow-moving tractor. An individual crossing a busy city street could get hurt by a speeding car that runs a red light.
Since there is no protection, pedestrians could end up with multiple broken bones and compound fractures, internal bleeding, traumatic brain injuries, or worse. More common injuries include sprained muscles, bruises, road rashes, and scrapes.
After a Pedestrian Accident
These accidents can be traumatic and frightening. The first step is to determine if anyone has suffered injuries. It is not always advisable to move an injured pedestrian, moving victims can worsen damages. When possible, the person should be brought to safety immediately and emergency personnel should be contacted. Getting a police report can be very useful.
Whether or not the pedestrian is seriously hurt, it is important to exchange phone numbers, email addresses, and insurance information with the other driver. Admitting fault or engaging in lengthy conversations with others at the scene is not recommended. This can work against someone claiming a personal injury lawsuit afterwards. It is not advisable to converse to the other driver’s insurance company or attorney.
Determining Fault in Virginia
Like all motor vehicle crashes, more than one person can be held liable in pedestrian accidents. In these cases, the law of negligence is used to determine who is at-fault. This means that someone who does not exercise reasonable care can be considered negligent. Driving recklessly and speeding are two examples of driver negligence. Crossing a street illegally or jumping out from behind a car could be the pedestrian’s fault.
Virginia follows the law of contributory negligence. Therefore, pedestrians who contribute to these accidents, even minimally, cannot recover damages from the drivers or from their insurance companies. Other states have comparative fault laws that do allow injured pedestrians to receive damages, even if they were at fault.
East Coast Trial Lawyers Help Injured Pedestrians Acquire Compensation
If you are a pedestrian that was struck by a car, you may be eligible to obtain compensation for your injuries. Our Virginia Beach personal injury lawyers will give you legal advice about your accident. At East Coast Lawyers, we pride ourselves in helping pedestrians who were involved in accidents. Contact us online or call us at 757-352-2237 for a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, we also serve clients in Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.