Pedestrian Accident FAQs

Below, an attorney at Price Benowitz LLP answers some frequently asked questions about pedestrian accidents, their causes, and what people should do if they find themselves in such a situation. We have more information on pedestrian accidents in DC.

What is a pedestrian accident?

Well, the very simplest is the pedestrian accident involves an accident involving a pedestrian and a motor vehicle or bicycle or perhaps even a horse. Anywhere, any accident involving someone on foot and some other force.

Where are some common places that you have seen pedestrian accidents occur?

In the streets themselves and on sidewalks and parking lots, in public parks, any place really where pedestrians share lanes of travel with either a motor vehicle or motorcycle, a bicycle, roller blades, even scooters. Anywhere where people are walking and can get injured at some point. If a vehicle or bicycle is indoors it is also called a pedestrian accident. What is a Pedestrian Accident?

Why are pedestrian accidents so common?

It’s a natural occurrence because you have one or two objects or vehicles that move at drastically different speeds. A bicycle moves faster than pedestrian, a car moves much faster than a pedestrian and a pedestrian is much more vulnerable to any impacts from a bicycle or a car. Where in a perfect world everyone drove at a safe speed and everyone crossed at the cross walk and everyone used a little extra patience so that other vehicles go ahead instead of trying to rush across, then pedestrian accidents may not be so common.

What are some of the first things an individual involved in a pedestrian accident should do?

They should try to get as much information about the person that hit them as humanly possible because sometimes a person will leave the scene of an accident or if it’s a bicyclist they might try to ride away and then you can’t get the information you need to later identify them. The bicyclists don’t have license plates and if the person doesn’t give you their name then you’re kind of out of luck. You want to get as much information as possible from the person you want to take as either mental notes or photographs or even drawings or diagrams of the situation around you so you can accurately describe how something happened with as much detail as possible to an attorney who wasn’t at the scene of the accident. If there’s no police report or accident report describing how something happened, the only version you can rely on is from the person who is injured.

So first thing would be to contact to figure out any information you can from the person involved in the accident that hit you, second will be to take as detailed notes of the surrounding area or the area where this happened and the third thing you would do is to call the police so that they could document the accident and then any injuries or complaints you have. If you walk away without trying to document the accident then you might be hard pressed trying to describe how something happened or the scene to an attorney down the road because of faded memories or your emotions overriding your memories.

Why is it so important for an injured party to seek immediate medical care?

Any damages you can recover out of an accident is derived solely from your injuries and your injuries are documented by your medical records and if you wait to go to seek medical treatment then you’re raising an issue of causation without probably intending to do so because the longer the time is between the time of the accident and the time that you report an injury. It creates the inference that something else could have caused that injury. Whereas if you seek medical treatment right away, even if you’re not hurt, at least you know you can establish that you felt you were in pain or you felt some sort of pain that needed to be evaluated because of the accident. And if ultimately you don’t have any pain you win in the game of health but you unfortunately don’t get any recovery in the game of law.