Pedestrian accidents, which encompass any traffic incident involving a person on foot and a vehicle, pose a significant risk to individuals on foot. In today’s world, most vehicles are equipped with numerous safety features aimed at safeguarding drivers and their passengers. Unfortunately, the same level of protection is not extended to pedestrians.
Pedestrians, especially children, face a heightened risk of enduring severe and potentially fatal head injuries in road accidents. This vulnerability stems from the fact that they lack the protective shell of a vehicle.
As a pedestrian, you find yourself reliant on the caution of motorists, exposing you to danger not only on the road but also on the sidewalk and even at crosswalks.
At Joe Durham Jr., P.C., our dedicated Columbus pedestrian accident attorneys fully comprehend the physical and emotional toll that such scenarios can exact. These incidents can be incredibly traumatic and have the potential to profoundly impact not only the victim but also their family members.
If you’ve experienced injuries in a pedestrian accident or if a family member has tragically lost their life due to such an incident, we urge you to reach out to us. Our firm offers a free, no-risk consultation with a car accident attorney who specializes in personal injury cases just like yours.
What Should I Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
Tragically, according to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), hundreds of pedestrians are killed in pedestrian accidents in Georgia with 2018 recording the highest number of fatalities: 261.
Pedestrian accidents are generally severe and often result in serious and permanent injuries, or death. Many victims involved in a pedestrian accident are knocked unconscious while others are left dazed by the incident.
If you’re conscious and can still think clearly after being hit by a vehicle – whether it’s a truck, van, or bike, there are certain steps to follow. These steps are crucial and can go a long way in protecting your legal rights.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately!
After a pedestrian accident involving a vehicle, it’s understandable that you may be in a state of shock and disorientation. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to gather your composure and attempt to distance yourself from the road. If your injuries permit, make an effort to relocate to a secure area, such as the sidewalk, away from the flow of traffic. However, it’s vital to stay at the scene of the accident.
Once you’ve successfully moved to a safer location, it’s imperative to reach out to emergency medical services. Pedestrians who have been struck by a vehicle, or who have collided with the pavement, often undergo physical pain and emotional shock. This shock can cloud their judgment and ability to recognize pain and injuries. Therefore, it is essential to contact emergency medical services for immediate assistance. Furthermore, even if you initially feel fine, it is advisable to undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation at the hospital. This evaluation is crucial for ensuring that any potential injuries are identified and addressed promptly. Your health and well-being should always remain a top priority in the aftermath of a pedestrian accident.
Contact the Police
In the unfortunate event of a road accident resulting in personal injury claims or harm to an individual, it is imperative that you promptly engage law enforcement. Whether it’s a hit-and-run situation or the driver remains at the scene, it is essential to initiate contact with the authorities. Even if there are no immediate signs of severe injuries, it is strongly recommended that you dial 911.
It’s worth noting that injuries, even those that may initially seem nonexistent, can manifest later on once the shock and adrenaline wear off.
It is advisable to wait patiently until the police arrive at the scene. When they do, provide a detailed account of the incident while refraining from assigning blame or fault. The attending police officer(s) will proceed to compile a comprehensive police report documenting the particulars of the accident. In cases where there is reasonable suspicion that the driver may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the officer(s) may opt to make an arrest following the completion of the report.
To ensure that you have access to this crucial documentation, be sure to obtain the name and badge number of the responding officer. Additionally, inquire about the process for obtaining a copy of the police report and when it will be made available to you. This information is vital for safeguarding your legal rights and potential compensation claims following the accident.
Following your call to 911 and your detailed description of the accident to the reporting police officer, it is advisable, if possible, to jot down the sequence of events while they are still vivid in your memory. However, it’s important to acknowledge that you may find yourself in a physical and emotional state that hinders your ability to recall these events clearly.
Even if you do manage to remember every detail, you might not have access to a pen and paper at that moment. This is where the significance of a police report comes into play. The documentation generated from the police report serves a dual purpose. Not only does it meticulously record the chain of events leading up to the crash, but it also encapsulates the officer’s professional assessment regarding the party at fault in the incident. This report serves as an invaluable resource in the aftermath of an accident, providing a comprehensive and objective account of the circumstances surrounding the incident.
If the accident in question did not involve a hit-and-run scenario, it is essential to gather comprehensive information from the driver involved. This includes obtaining their vital details, such as insurance information, license plate number, address, mobile number, and even noting any distinctive mannerisms or physical characteristics.
However, in cases where the driver of the vehicle that struck you chose not to stop, there may still be an avenue for pursuing a pedestrian accident claim, provided you can gather sufficient evidence to support your case, including the vehicle’s license plate number.
Furthermore, it is prudent to collect additional information from any potential witnesses who may have observed the incident. This includes obtaining their names, addresses, and contact information. Eyewitness testimony can often serve as valuable evidence to bolster your claim, shedding further light on the circumstances of the accident. The more information and evidence you can gather, the stronger your case becomes in seeking the compensation you may rightfully deserve.
Record the Scene
It is highly advisable to capture photographs of the accident scene, as these images can serve as vital evidence to reinforce your compensation claim. These visual records play a crucial role in substantiating your case.
If your physical condition allows, make use of your phone to take photographs that encompass various aspects of the scene. Ensure that you document images of your injuries, the precise positions of traffic signals, the extent of damage sustained by the vehicle that collided with you, and any noticeable debris or skid marks present on the road.
It’s worth emphasizing that there is no such thing as taking too many photos when it comes to an accident scene. As a precautionary measure, it is strongly recommended to promptly document the scene in its entirety right after the accident occurs. This proactive approach ensures the preservation of critical evidence, which may ultimately play a pivotal role in bolstering your pursuit of financial compensation.
Document Your Injuries
In addition to capturing photographs of your injuries at the accident scene, it’s essential to conduct a personal inventory and take additional photos once you’ve contacted emergency medical services.
Begin by assessing which parts of your body are experiencing pain. Take note of any discomfort or pain you may be feeling, as it is crucial information for medical care.
Examine your clothing for any tears or damage. Torn clothing can sometimes reveal injuries that may not initially cause pain.
Inspect your face and head for any signs of bleeding or injury.
Compile a record of all the pain and injuries you have identified. Report these details to the emergency and immediate medical care staff as soon as they arrive at the scene.
Following your medical evaluation and care after a pedestrian accident, it is imperative to maintain thorough documentation of your treatment, prescribed medications, and physical therapy.
Every detail and document related to your injuries holds significant importance if you intend to pursue a legal claim against the at-fault driver. In cases of pedestrian accidents and other personal injuries in Georgia, the injured party will require every available piece of evidence to establish negligence and seek rightful compensation.
Do Not Discuss Fault at the Scene
Regardless of the details or facts surrounding the events that led to you being hit by a vehicle, you most likely are not familiar with the law in regard to pedestrian accidents.
In these kinds of accidents, anything you say at the scene or to the driver, eyewitnesses, or the motorist’s insurance company can and probably will be used against you should legal proceedings commence following the incident.
For this reason, suppress the urge to vent your emotions and do not assign or accept blame for the crash. You should only discuss your version of events with your pedestrian accident attorney, medical personnel, and your insurance company.
Contact a Columbus Pedestrian Accident Lawyer!
An individual involved in a pedestrian accident is likely to suffer from more severe injuries than occupants in a vehicle. These injuries often lead to physical, mental, and financial difficulties that will severely impact your life.
The other driver and their insurance provider will most likely attempt to deny any claims you file by placing fault on you. And even if they offer you a settlement, the chances are that it will be grossly undervalued and will not take into account your suffering or other difficulties that you may encounter in the future as a result of your injuries.
By acquiring professional legal assistance, you will be ensuring the protection of your legal rights and livelihood. So take advantage of our first free consultation, no-obligation consultation with our Columbus, GA pedestrian accident lawyers at Joe Durham and protect your rights.
How Is Liability or Fault Established for Pedestrian Accidents in Georgia?
Typically, pedestrian accidents occur when either the motorist or the driver was distracted and not paying attention to their surroundings. While there are several cases where the pedestrian is to blame for example, if someone steps out to cross the road while texting, but it is usually the motorist who through distracted driving is at fault.
It is very unusual in legal terms for a motorist not to be at fault.
Georgia is an at-fault state, which means that the party breaking the law is most likely at fault. To prove negligence in a pedestrian accident case, the harmed or injured pedestrian*(s) must satisfy four criteria.
Duty of Care
Show that the motorist owed the pedestrian a duty of care. All drivers owe other road users a duty to act reasonably while on the road.
Breach of Duty
Show that the driver’s actions or omissions violated their duty to act reasonably while on the road.
Show that the driver’s breach of duty or failure to act reasonably while on the road was the direct cause of your injuries.
Show that you suffered actual harm or damages as a pedestrian accident injuries as a direct result of the incident caused by the driver’s breach of duty.
Joe Durham’s pedestrian accident lawyers have secured many wins on behalf of many injured pedestrians. In pedestrian accident cases where who was at fault is not easy to determine or is not immediately clear, we will investigate the incident and help you determine whether you have a case.
Our team will always be honest and straightforward about the likely outcome of your case.
How Can a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Assist With My Claim?
If you work with a reliable Columbus pedestrian accident lawyer, they can help you with the following.
As soon as you enlist the services of our law firm, we will start gathering crucial evidence including photos of the scene, dashcam footage, witness statements, etc. We will also get evidence related to the financial impact of your injuries and help you lodge a pedestrian accident or personal injury claim together.
We will ask the at-fault party’s insurance company to accept responsibility for medical costs, your injuries and other damages. We will continue negotiations with the insurance company to get you a fair settlement offer.
Trial Preparation & Representation
Even if the case ends in court, don’t worry, our pedestrian accident attorneys will represent you and support you throughout the process. We will enlist expert witnesses to help strengthen the case.
Are There Time Limits for Filing a Pedestrian Injury Claim in Georgia?
Yes. You normally have two years from the date of the accident to lodge an injury compensation claim in Georgia.
The clock is ticking, don’t wait, get in touch with our top pedestrian accident victims’ lawyers in Columbus, GA and begin your compensation claim today! If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, call Joe Durham today at 229-210-6226 for a free case evaluation.