Pedestrian accident injuries are among the most common types of personal injury claims, especially in large urban areas. Many different pedestrian injury types are common when a moving vehicle hits a pedestrian. Unfortunately, the human body is no match for an automobile or even a motorcycle. Since catastrophic injuries are common consequences of pedestrian accidents, personal injury claims tend to be large.
Most Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents
No part of your body is safe in a pedestrian accident, particularly in pedestrian auto accidents. Following is a list of some of the most common pedestrian injuries.
Soft Tissue Damage
Soft tissue damage includes whiplash and similar injuries that doctors often have trouble seeing on medical scans such as X-rays and MRIs. This type of injury can cause a lot of pain. Your lawyer can help you prove your injury, either in court or at the settlement table.
Broken Bones and Bone Fractures
Bone fractures are perhaps the most common type of injury in pedestrian accidents. Sometimes they are not very serious. In other cases, you could end up in traction. A broken bone could even puncture an internal organ. Broken ribs, in particular, can cause debilitating suffering that might justify a large claim for pain and suffering.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Pedestrian injuries and fatalities caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI) are especially common in car-pedestrian accidents. Symptoms might not show up immediately. Since TBI can result in death or lifelong disability, you need to begin preparing your claim as soon as possible after the accident. The assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer is a practical necessity.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries include neck and back injuries. They frequently cause paralysis, which could result in total occupational disability. Serious spinal cord injuries frequently require long-term care, justifying large compensation claims.
Amputation of body parts such as arms, legs, or feet can cause lifelong disability and psychological trauma. Amputation injuries can easily justify incredibly high compensation claims, especially when combined with other injuries.
The term “extremities” typically refers to the hands and the feet. Injuries to the hands and feet are common in pedestrian accidents. In some cases, the doctor might even need to amputate an extremity to prevent gangrene.
Indiana allows you to claim damages for emotional distress, especially if you sustained a physical injury as well. Damages for emotional trauma are a form of non-economic damages, and they can amount to more than half of the entire value of your claim.
If someone dies in a pedestrian accident, a wrongful death claim, rather than a personal injury claim, is appropriate. Wrongful death claims work differently than personal injury claims. The claim must be filed by the estate executor (for adult victims) or the parents (for child victims). Damages are different as well.
What Should I Do If I Am Involved in a Pedestrian Accident?
To protect yourself legally and physically, you need to know in advance what to do in case of a pedestrian accident. Following are some tips.
Seek Medical Attention
Don’t wait, even if you think you can afford to. Medical records are the best way of documenting personal injury in pedestrian accidents. Failing to seek immediate medical attention might give the defendant the opportunity to claim that her injuries resulted from something that happened to her after the accident.
Record Information about the Accident
To the extent that your injuries allow, gather the following information:
- Photos of the scene of the accident, damaged vehicles, skid marks, and any injuries;
- Contact details for the driver of the other car (including insurance information) and any witnesses;
- License plate numbers of the vehicles involved; and
- A personal description of the accident and your injuries.
Be careful! In Indiana, leaving the scene of an accident can result in felony charges under certain circumstances.
Do Not Admit Fault
The words “I’m sorry” should never come out of your mouth, even for the sake of politeness. Do not utter anything that the other side could twist into an admission of fault. There is no need to make it easy for the defendant to evade liability. You can be certain that the defendant will try to blame you for the accident if the facts give them an opening.
Retain Legal Counsel
Defendants and insurance adjusters love pedestrian victims who represent themselves because it gives them a critical advantage. They also love victims who select substandard lawyers to represent them. Remember – the best way to stay out of court is to retain a law firm with a track record of winning in court, like Stracci Law Group.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
Following are some safety tips to help you avoid common injuries in pedestrian accidents:
- Wear bright clothing at night to increase your visibility. Consider carrying a flashlight while walking at night.
- Never jaywalk. Jaywalking is an invitation to pedestrian-car accident injuries that the driver may be able to blame on you, perhaps leaving you with no compensation.
- Stay off the shoulder of the road wherever possible. Since sidewalks are the safest place, plan your route around them.
- Avoid distractions such as earbuds playing loud music.
- Don’t walk while intoxicated, unless the only alternative is driving while intoxicated.
In addition to the foregoing tips, always be aware of what is going on around you.
Pedestrian accidents tend to be serious, and they very often cause lifelong disability. You need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you calculate your future damages, which can be difficult to prove. Remember — once your case resolves, you won’t be able to come back and ask for more money later. You have to get it right the first time around.
As Northwest Indiana’s top personal injury lawyers, we offer the following:
- Over eight decades of successful trial experience;
- A track record of large personal injury settlements for our clients; and
- Thousands of satisfied clients.
Our lawyers have practiced in Indiana for their entire careers, and we know how the Indiana system works. Call Stracci Law Group today at (219) 525-1000 or contact us online.
We serve personal injury clients in Gary, Crown Point, Portage, Hammond, Merrillville, Valparaiso, and elsewhere in Northwest Indiana.