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What Should You Do if You or a Pedestrian Is Hit by a Car?

Hit by a Car?

Being involved in a pedestrian accident can be a traumatic and life-altering experience. Whether you’re a pedestrian hit by a car or a witness to a pedestrian accident, knowing what steps to take can significantly affect the outcome of your injury case.

If you are injured in a pedestrian car accident in Washington, DC, Maryland, or Virginia, Regan Zambri Long can help. We can provide the support and legal guidance necessary, allowing you to focus on your recovery and well-being.

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Immediate Steps After a Pedestrian Hit by a Car Accident

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 18 pedestrians were killed in 2021 in the District of Columbia. When involved in an accident as a pedestrian, the moments immediately following the incident are critical for your safety, health, and any future legal or insurance claims. Here’s what to do:

Ensure Safety and Get to a Safe Location

If you are struck by a car or witness a pedestrian involved in a car crash, your first instinct may be to panic; however, you must assess your surroundings for immediate danger. If you’re conscious and able to move, get to a safe place away from traffic. If you’re assisting someone else, ensure your safety before helping them.

However, if you are seriously injured, try not to move unless it involves further injury.

Check for Injuries and Seek Medical Aid

Next, look for obvious physical injuries. Look for cuts, bleeding, bruising, etc., and seek medical assistance immediately. Even if you feel fine, you should get a medical evaluation, as shock and adrenaline can mask severe injury.

If there’s another injured party, provide basic first aid if you’re qualified, but do not attempt to move someone with serious injuries.

Following common sense safety precautions is important to you as a victim and bystander, as you do not want to cause further harm to yourself or others unintentionally

What Should You Do if You or a Pedestrian is Hit by a Car?

Contact Emergency Services and Report the Accident

You’ll want to call or have another witness call for medical attention as well as for a police officer. Filing a police report will be an important part of medical or disability claims in the future, as well as when filing a personal injury claim. Report the accident to emergency services immediately, providing details about the injuries’ location and nature.

You need to stay at the scene until help arrives. If you leave, it can muddy the waters for future legal claims and insurance filings.

Keep the following in mind if you get hit by a car:

  • Stay Calm: Keeping calm helps you think clearly and communicate effectively with emergency responders.
  • Collect Information: If possible, get the driver’s contact and insurance information, license plate number, and make and model of the vehicle.
  • Witnesses: Identify any witnesses and collect their contact information, as they can provide crucial details later.

Taking these immediate steps after being hit by a car can significantly impact your physical health and the outcome of any subsequent legal or insurance matters. Remember, the steps you take immediately following an accident are critical for your well-being and for protecting your rights as a pedestrian.

How to Protect Your Rights as a Pedestrian After Being Hit by a Car

As a pedestrian hit by a car, there are multiple legal aspects you need to be aware of to protect yourself and your future claim.

Document the Accident Scene and Gather Evidence

Evidence collection and preservation are essential to filing a claim, whether with the insurance company or in a personal injury lawsuit. Evidence you or a bystander should collect includes:

  • Photographs of the accident scene
  • Traffic camera footage
  • Testimonies of witnesses
  • Documentation of property damage
  • Medical treatment documents

What Should You Do if You or a Pedestrian is Hit by a Car?

The more documentation you have, the stronger your claim will be, and the more likely you are to recover the compensation you need to recover from losses and injuries.

Proving Negligence When Hit by a Car While Walking

One of the first things a pedestrian accident lawyer will do is determine who is at fault for the accident. However, depending on your jurisdiction, the concepts of fault and negligence may be nuanced.

Washington, DC, recognizes contributory negligence, meaning that if someone is charged with injuring another person, but the victim contributed to the accident in any way, he or she is not entitled to any compensation. The exception to this is

“A pedestrian or vulnerable user of a public highway or sidewalk involved in a collision with a motor vehicle or another vulnerable user; or (2) A vulnerable user of a public highway or sidewalk involved in a collision with a pedestrian,” as these parties are not barred from recovery if they share in the fault of the accident.

Remember that your car insurance policy can also impose limitations on recovery, so before accepting a settlement from the insurance company, contact a qualified personal injury attorney.

Police Reports and Pedestrian Accidents

An accident report provides an objective perspective on the accident. However, what you say during the police report can be used in your claim or court. Be sure the information you provide is fact, different from what you think occurred. Further, ask for a copy of the report for your records.

Understanding Pedestrian Rights

As a pedestrian, you have inherent rights to safety and, in the event of injuries due to the negligence of others, to seek compensation for severe injuries. Compensation could include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages due to injury
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death

In addition, each region has specific laws protecting pedestrians. Familiarizing yourself with these laws in your area can provide insight into your rights and the legal obligations of drivers.

Legal Proceedings and Settlements

Washington, DC pedestrian accident lawyers discussing a caseBefore you file a claim, it is best to consult with an experienced lawyer. Here, you can understand your options for financial recovery and what steps to take next.

If your injuries are severe, you can even allow the law firm to handle the claim on your behalf so you can focus on your health.

While most pedestrian accidents are settled out of court, if you must go before a judge, a lawyer can guide you through the process and provide the representation you need to succeed.

Be aware that whether you are working with a lawyer or not, there is a statute of limitations on pedestrian accident claims. Missing the deadline means you no longer have the opportunity to procure compensation for your losses.

Remembering this is critical as many injuries can have long-term medical ramifications, making your financial future hang in the balance.

Average Settlement Amount of a Pedestrian Accident in DC

The average settlement amount for a pedestrian accident in Washington, D.C., can vary based on several factors, including:

  • Severity of Injuries: The more severe the injury, the higher the potential settlement. Catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injuries can result in higher compensation due to long-term medical care and life-altering consequences.
  • Medical Expenses: Medical expenses, including future medical care, greatly influence the settlement amount. Medical expenses include hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, medications, mobility aids, and long-term healthcare requirements.
  • Lost Wages and Diminished Earning Capacity: If the injury affects your ability to work temporarily or permanently, you can recover that loss in a settlement.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for non-economic damages like pain, suffering, and emotional and psychological issues varies but can often be negotiated during an accident settlement.

Because of these factors, there is no standard settlement amount for pedestrian accidents in DC. Settlements can range from thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the specifics of the case.

However, having skilled legal representation, including that of Regan Zambri Long, can significantly impact the settlement amount.

Common Types of Injuries in Pedestrians Hit by a Car

Pedestrian accident injuries vary in severity from minor to life-threatening. Understanding the common types of injuries can help victims recognize the seriousness of their situation and allow a lawyer to estimate the value of a claim.

  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Among the most common injuries, bruises, lacerations, sprains, and strains can have short-term or long-term implications on mobility if not treated properly and leave scarring.
  • Bone Fractures: Simple fractures involve a single break to a bone and heal relatively quickly. However, compound fractures can be more serious, breaking through the skin and requiring surgery for repair.
  • Head and Brain Injuries: Mild traumatic brain injuries like concussions are common but can have serious long-term effects, whereas traumatic brain injuries can lead to more severe implications, creating a long road of cognitive, physical, and emotional impairments.
  • Internal Injuries: Organ damage and internal bleeding can be life-threatening if not found and addressed immediately.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Partial paralysis can impact a person’s mobility and bodily functions, making independence more difficult post-accident. In severe cases, complete paralysis may occur, forever altering a victim’s quality of life.
  • Psychological Trauma: The mental and emotional strain of a pedestrian accident can lead to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well as ongoing anxiety and depression, which require professional treatment.

The long-term complications of such injuries can include chronic pain and long-term disability.  With the help of a skilled personal injury lawyer, an injured pedestrian can recover compensation for the losses they endured. In fatal pedestrian accidents, the family can file a wrongful death claim

Have Questions About Your Rights as a Pedestrian Hit by a Car? Call Regan Zambri Long.

Taking the proper steps after a pedestrian accident can profoundly impact your recovery and the outcome of your case. Legal representation is not just about pursuing compensation. It’s about ensuring justice and protecting your future. This is where Regan Zambri Long’s expertise can make a significant difference.

With their deep understanding of personal injury law and specific experience in pedestrian accidents, Regan Zambri Long provides more than just legal representation. We offer a pathway to a fair resolution from dealing with insurance companies to understanding how laws in challenging jurisdictions like Washington, DC; our team is equipped to fight on your behalf.

Regan Zambri Long offers:

  • Expert Legal Strategy
  • Comprehensive Case Building
  • Negotiation Prowess
  • Support Through the Process
  • No Upfront Cost

Recovery and justice should be your top priority. By choosing Regan Zambri Long, you’re not just hiring a lawyer but empowering yourself with a team that fights tirelessly for your rights. Don’t wait; the sooner you act, the stronger your case will be.

Contact Regan Zambri Long today for a consultation and take the first step towards a resolution that respects your rights and addresses your needs. Remember, in legal matters, time is of the essence. Secure your future now.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

Call 202-960-4596

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