Millions of tourists visit Washington, D.C. every year. Thousands of government workers reside in the District as well. What do they have in common? Both groups include countless pedestrians who make their way across the city by foot every day. With such high foot traffic, pedestrian accidents are inevitable. Indeed, hundreds of pedestrians are injured every year, and some of those accidents are fatal.
Contact a dedicated personal injury attorney if you or someone you love has been injured as a pedestrian. Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP demands the compensation that personal injury victims deserve. We’re ready to help you today.
What makes pedestrian accidents so dangerous?
It’s easy to see why a pedestrian accident can be so serious. Unlike a car, truck, or bus driver passengers, pedestrians have no protection in the event they are struck by a vehicle. There is no seat belt, airbag, or steel frame to keep them safe. Some of the most common pedestrian accident injuries include the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries. These can cause irreversible physical and mental disabilities.
- Spinal cord injuries. An injury to the spinal cord can lead to paralysis and other problems.
- Internal organ damage. This, along with internal bleeding, is serious and potentially life-threatening.
- Amputation. Some accidents are severe enough that an arm, leg, or other parts of the body must be amputated.
- Scarring and disfigurement. Permanent scarring and disfigurement can lead to emotional and psychological issues.
- Wrongful death. Some pedestrian accidents cause death to the victim, and the survivors may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim.
The damages that the victim will suffer could be astronomical. Initial emergency treatment alone will result in substantial medical bills and lost time from work. The victim may also require physical therapy, rehabilitation, or special adaptive equipment, all of which are expensive. If the victim is unable to work at the same job as before the accident, he or she will further suffer lost earning capacity and other negative career impacts. Long-term psychological issues such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder are also common.
What should you do after a pedestrian accident?
After suffering a pedestrian accident, the victim or loved ones have to act quickly. First, get immediate medical attention, even if you think the injuries are minor or you don’t have any injuries. This is not only necessary for the victim’s health, but also to preserve the right to a legal claim. If you fail to see a doctor and some hidden injury manifests itself later, the defendant’s attorney will argue that something else caused your injury. Don’t jeopardize your health or your claim; see a doctor.
Next, try to get as much information about the driver as possible. Hopefully, the driver will stop (as required by law) and wait until the police arrive. Unfortunately, many drivers who strike pedestrians flee the scene and are difficult to track down. Be sure to call law enforcement, give a statement, and get a copy of that statement, regardless of whether the driver stops.
If possible, locate witnesses who saw the accident and get as much information from them as you can. Make sure you write down whatever you can remember about the accident too, including the driver’s identity, time and place of the accident, and what exactly happened. Get this information from your witnesses as well.
Finally, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney. Your lawyer can also investigate and find out how the accident occurred and who is responsible. There may be surveillance cameras in the area which contain invaluable footage of the accident, and your lawyer may be able to get a copy of it. Additionally, the driver’s insurance company may contact you to discuss the accident. Be careful if this happens. Insurance adjusters frequently use tricks to get victims to “admit” things that undermine their cases. Before you talk with the insurer, retain an attorney.
Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP knows what it takes to put together a compelling personal injury case to get the compensation that injured Washington, D.C. pedestrians deserve. Contact us today to get started.