We often think of car accidents in terms of two or more vehicles, but of course, pedestrians can also be victims. Whereas drivers and passengers have the protection of an automobile’s steel frame, pedestrians have little to nothing standing between them and the vehicle. That means the stakes are much higher, and many accidents will prove fatal. If you or a loved one were a pedestrian involved in an accident, you understand how important it is to have strong legal representation. Our firm is ready to help.
How serious are pedestrian accidents?
The consequences of a pedestrian accident are pretty apparent. Even in a relatively low-speed crash, the victim will need medical attention. Anyone struck by a vehicle should seek immediate treatment, regardless of whether the crash seemed minor or the victim doesn’t believe there were any injuries. It could take hours or days for injuries to show up, and not seeing a doctor could make them worse.
Getting medical attention also helps preserve your legal claim. If you wait to see a doctor, and the defendant finds out about it, he or she may try to argue that something else could have caused your injuries during the gap in time. Don’t give the defendant an easy argument; let a doctor take a look.
Injured pedestrians usually lose time from work while they are hospitalized or recovering. That means no one is bringing in money for the family, which for many will cause immediate financial hardship. If the accident was serious enough, an injured pedestrian might not be able to work at the same level of productivity as before. This can be especially catastrophic if the victim previously performed physical labor and is no longer able to do so.
After getting the medical attention you need, and making whatever short-term financial arrangements you can for the immediate needs of your family, start documenting the accident. It begins with making a police report. You or someone else should call emergency services right away at the scene. A law enforcement officer will help you make a police report, which will record certain basic information about the accident like time, date, and location. You or your lawyer can obtain a copy of this report later.
Next, speak with any witnesses you can. Get their names and contact information, plus a statement of what they observed. If you are able to take any pictures or video of the accident scene, that may also help. Plus, make your own notes with as many details as you can.
It’s an unfortunate reality that many drivers flee the scenes of accidents, particularly those that involve pedestrians. Although it’s illegal, they realize a pedestrian can’t chase them down the way a driver can. Making notes and speaking to witnesses will prove especially important if this occurs. Whether the driver flees or stays, you will want to obtain any surveillance footage in the area from private businesses or government traffic systems. Your lawyer can assist with this process.
Speaking of which, talk to an attorney right away. Witness memories (including your own) can fade, and it can become more difficult to track down evidence, the longer you delay. Plus, your medical bills and lost wages won’t wait for you to take action. Securing the legal services of an aggressive Northern Virginia personal injury attorney can put you on the path to recovery and to getting the compensation you need for your accident.
Contact Our Northern Virginia Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP serves accident victims in the Northern Virginia area, including pedestrians. We’re ready to start on your case today.