First Things You Should Do After A Pedestrian Accident in Virginia

A pedestrian accident in Virginia refers to when an automobile or other vehicle strikes a pedestrian causing them personal injuries. Oftentimes these accidents occur when a pedestrian is actually in a crosswalk crossing the street, however, there could be a host of different reasons for the accident—either visibility is bad, the driver is under the influence of alcohol, brake failure, or any other number of unfortunate circumstances.

Pedestrian accidents are even more frequent in unmarked intersections that are not controlled by a crosswalk. A lot of residential areas and even areas that share intersections with state highways are legal to cross on foot, but don’t have a clearly marked crosswalk and anyone driving an automobile has a duty to stop for a pedestrian, these are areas where pedestrians are frequently struck by vehicles. If you or someone you know is struck by a vehicle while crossing a street it is important you consult with a Virginia pedestrian accident lawyer regarding your injuries to discuss filing an injury claim.

What Should You Do After a Pedestrian Accident?

The first thing a person should do if they’re involved in pedestrian accident is assess their own safety. Are they in a safe place? If they’re able to, move outside of the danger zone. Often times these pedestrian accidents take place in the roadway and that can be debilitating. A person can suffer a lower body injury and they may not be able to move. If they’re able to move, then it’s important to try to make sure that they can ascertain their safety so they’re not hit by another car. If they’re with other people, after determining their own danger level, check on the others around them. Here is an example of some important steps one can take after an accident.

 Call 911

Pedestrian accidents often involve serious injuries because an automobile is a few thousand pounds usually when striking a pedestrian there’s going to be multiple points of impact—a vehicle striking a person, and then that person perhaps suffering impact from the ground, other vehicles, or other dangerous objects or debris in the area.

Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

It’s important to stay calm, but not to try and immediately get up and go talk to the other people. Assess your injuries first and call 911 to have the police respond to the scene and to have an ambulance come to the scene to provide medical care if necessary. Then assess the safety of others who were involved in the accident. Taking care of safety is always priority number one.

Speak With The Driver & Record Information

Depending on how bad the impact is, speak with the other driver. If it’s a hit and run, try to record the license plate number—but that is oftentimes very difficult to do immediately after being struck by a vehicle.

Why Do I Need to Seek Medical Care?

A lot of the time just the severity of the injury is such that immediate medical attention is necessary.

Traumatic brain injuries are relatively common in pedestrian accidents. A common misunderstanding is that people think traumatic brain injury means there has actually been head trauma.  This, however, is completely untrue. Individuals can suffer concussions and other brain trauma without actually hitting their head on anything—the simple act of a brain being jolted around within the skull can cause serious brain injury, even if the victim doesn’t actually hit the ground or make impact with another hard surface.

Pedestrian accidents involve more serious types of injuries than some other cases, including broken bones or serious internal injuries. It’s always important to seek medical care if you think you have been injured, but immediate care is even more important in a pedestrian accident to avoid excessive blood loss or internal bleeding that could cause permanent damage.

Why Is It To Important For An Injured Party to Seek Immediate Medical Care?

If you are injured as a result of a pedestrian accident, then often your injuries are going to be severe. That medical treatment is going to be necessary and could be potentially life-saving.

It’s also important to document when and where the incident occurs so that later on another party can’t come back and claim that your injury was made worse by your failure to act and your failure to mitigate your damages.

Look out for yourself and put yourself in a more safe position. But the primary reasons are safety concerns, medical treatment,  documenting the accident, and then Virginia law requires mitigation of damages.

How This Can Help Your Case

By seeking immediate medical attention, you can also help your personal injury lawyer to attribute injuries and the associated bills and damages to the pedestrian accident in question, rather than some event that occurred after the pedestrian accident.  This is important to the injury claim process because the longer a client waits to seek medical help, the more difficult that it may be for a personal injury lawyer to prove that a given injury was actually sustained at a certain place and time.  This can have a serious impact on the amount a victim may be awarded for his or her injury damages.

What Should Someone Do if The Pain From The Accident Doesn’t Set in Until Later?

Often in an automobile accident where there’s a whiplash type injury, the pain might not set in till later as a result of adrenalin making up for the initial shock to the body. The body reacts in a way through chemicals and tenses up to protect itself.

The same occurs on a different scale in a pedestrian accident. Back or joint pain may occur later on as well as concussion-like symptoms. If that does happen, then it’s important to seek medical treatment right away and notify those medical providers that you were recently involved in a pedestrian accident.

Persons involved in a pedestrian accident may be experiencing symptoms of something very severe. There could be internal bleeding so they want to a medical professional to know right away. It also helps to document the fact where their injuries occurred that they can use later in their claim.

What Are Some of The First Things That You Hope to Identify in a Pedestrian Accident Case?

The first thing is liability. Without liability the case does not proceed further. So we want to establish both liability and clearly identify the party that’s liable. Then, take it from there and see what kind of coverage is available for them based upon their situation.

Are There Any Questions That You Commonly Ask During an Initial Intake?

During initial intake for pedestrian accident cases, I want to know where the accident happened. Was it a controlled or uncontrolled intersection? All the observations of the injured party prior to the accident. What had they been doing prior to the accident? Had they been drinking? What did they notice prior to the accident? What statements did they make after the accident? Who did they talk to?