The 2019 report of the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration revealed that in 2018, the United States saw the highest number of pedestrian fatalities (6,227) that it has seen in nearly three decades.
Consider these startling statistics from the 2019 report:
- Between 2008 and 2017, pedestrian fatalities increased by 35%; all other traffic deaths combined decreased by 6%
- More than one-third (35%) of pedestrian fatalities occur on local streets
- Since 2013, pedestrian fatalities involving SUVs have increased by 50% compared to a 30% increase for passenger cars
- Between January-June 2017 and January-June 2018 statistics, Missouri’s pedestrian fatalities increased by 5% (from 42 to 44); during the same periods, the pedestrian fatalities in Kansas increased by 33% (from 12 to 16)
If you are struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian and suffer injuries, contact Foster Wallace to discuss your rights and your ability to recover damages from the responsible party.
Here are seven things you should do immediately after a pedestrian accident to increase your chances of receiving full compensation for your injuries.
1. Assess your condition
If you are a pedestrian who is struck by a moving vehicle, it is likely that you have sustained serious injury. Even if you are not unconscious or seriously injured physically, you may be in shock. If you are seriously injured and the driver of the vehicle or other witnesses are there to assist, just remain still until emergency medical care arrives.
However, if you are not seriously injured, you may be able to obtain valuable information that could help your case. Before you do this, however, you should assess your injuries. Try to determine the following:
- Are you in pain?Sometimes you may not be able to tell if you are injured because you cannot stand up or inspect your entire body, or you may have suffered internal injuries. Consider whether you are in pain anywhere. If so, you have probably suffered an injury there.
- Have you suffered visual injuries?Sometimes you may not be able to feel your pain because you are in shock and your adrenaline is masking your condition. Check to see if your clothes are torn. Where your clothes are torn, you are likely to have been struck or scraped the ground after being struck and you are likely to have sustained an injury there.
- Are you bleeding?Even if you cannot stand, try to feel your face and head with your hands. If you feel blood, this indicates that you have sustained a head injury. You should inform emergency medical services of this as soon as they arrive.
To the extent possible, try to make note of your injuries so that you can remember to report everything you are feeling to medical personnel. If you are in shock or go in-and-out of consciousness, this will help to document your injuries.
2. Call the police
If you are able, call the police immediately for assistance. Try to recall any information leading up to being struck that may be relevant to the information the police record in their police report. Again, if you are able, try to document what you recall in case you are not able to remember by the time police arrive on the scene.
Whether you know you are injured or not, request to have emergency medical services that are on the scene examine you for injuries. Always go to the hospital for a complete examination as soon as possible after the accident. The longer you wait to be examined the less likely you are to discover any kind of internal injury or injury that may not manifest until later. This can be used against you in later litigation because the driver may claim that you did not sustain the injuries in the accident or that you were not injured seriously enough to obtain medical attention right away.
4. Do not admit fault
While waiting for police and trying to obtain information from the driver and witnesses (insurance information, license plate number from the driver and contact information from witnesses), do not make any statements about the accident or admit any fault.
Sometimes the pedestrian may have contributed to a pedestrian/vehicle accident by walking into the roadway, being intoxicated, or not paying attention. But this does not mean that the driver is not at fault. Let your attorney assess who is at fault.
5. Do not deal with other insurance companies
If you were injured, the driver’s insurance company will contact you. Do not make any statements to the driver’s insurance company. They are not trying to assist you. Just say that you are seeking representation and that you will provide the contact information for your personal injury attorney, but nothing more.
Certainly do not sign any papers or accept or even entertain any settlement proposals without first conferring with an pedestrian accident lawyer.
As soon as possible, you should contact your insurance company, but you do not need to provide anything other than the pertinent information about your vehicle and your injuries. Your own insurance company will want to minimize the amount they may have to pay out, so do not offer any opinions about fault, negligence, or the cause of the accident. Your personal injury lawyer will assess these issues and convey that information at the appropriate time.
Have You Been Injured in a Bicycle or Pedestrian Accident in Kansas City?
If you've been injured in a Kansas City pedestrian or bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.249.2101 to schedule your free consultation.