If you or someone you love has been hit while walking, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. It all starts with talking to a personal injury attorney about your options. Take the first step now and call Reeves & Mestayer at 228-374-5151 to schedule a consultation.
Pedestrian Collisions in Mississippi
The Mississippi Department of Transportation maintains statistics on pedestrian accidents and other traffic collisions. Pedestrian injuries are the fifth most common cause of injury-related fatalities in the United States for children aged five to 19. Teens are at greatest risk of death, but younger children are also in serious danger when out walking. Shockingly, statistics indicate that pedestrian deaths make up 14% of all traffic deaths.
While pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere, there are certain areas that are considerably more dangerous than others. The vast majority of pedestrian collisions resulting in deaths occur in urban settings, as opposed to rural settings. People often believe that most collisions happen at intersections, but most fatalities actually occur at non-intersections.
Furthermore, people often attribute pedestrian accidents to poor weather. However, most fatalities happen in normal weather conditions—sunny, clear days with no inclement weather. Fewer accidents occur in snowy, foggy, or rainy weather. Most fatalities happen during nighttime hours.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents?
Understanding the root causes of pedestrian accidents can make it easier for people to keep themselves safe. When an accident occurs, insurance companies and attorneys use this information to determine what happened and who is at fault. Some common triggers of pedestrian accidents include:
- Pedestrians not crossing at an intersection. As noted earlier, most fatal accidents do not happen at intersections. Because of this, pedestrians should always cross at crosswalks whenever possible. Although drivers do have an obligation to watch out for pedestrians in the road, they are less likely to stop on time if a pedestrian starts crossing in the middle of the street.
- Vehicles failing to check crosswalks before turning. Turns create the perfect opportunity for a pedestrian collision. When a driver is waiting to turn right at a red light, they may check for cars coming from the left without stopping to check if any pedestrians are crossing from the right. This can lead to collisions and injuries. Along the same lines, left-turn accidents can happen if a driver tries to run through a light without checking for pedestrians.
- Pedestrians traveling in the wrong direction. Pedestrians should use the sidewalk when it is available. If they must travel in the road, it is important to walk against the flow of traffic. This allows them to keep an eye on oncoming traffic and remain visible to drivers. When pedestrians walk in the same direction as traffic, it is easy for drivers to miss them and possibly cause a crash.
- Speeding. Speeding is a factor in many pedestrian collisions. Drivers who ignore the speed limit or drive too fast for conditions are often unable to stop if they see a pedestrian.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
If you are hit by a car while walking, it’s important to act quickly to get the care you need and protect yourself. Take the following steps to ensure your safety and explore your legal rights:
- Call 911. You need proof of the accident to file a claim against the driver. Since you don’t yet know what injuries you may have or how serious they are, it is important to report the accident and get it documented.
- Limit communication with the driver. The driver may have a range of responses once they realize they hit you. Many are apologetic and want to check that you’re okay. However, there are some drivers who get aggressive, demand to know why you were crossing the road, or claim that the accident was your fault. It’s best to have communication go through the police.
- Take pictures of the area where the accident occurred. Include street signs and any other identifying information that will help your attorney understand how and where the collision occurred.
- Tell the responding police officer what happened and ensure that your side is in the police report. It’s unfortunately common for police officers to leave out the pedestrian’s side of the story in the police report. Insist that your retelling of events be given the same weight as the driver’s.
- Seek medical attention. Get checked out right away. Accidents can leave you with serious injuries that are invisible to the naked eye. If you need prompt care, immediate detection and diagnosis is essential.
- Call an attorney. An attorney can help you seek compensation from the liable party. This will help you cover medical bills, lost wages at work, and other financial losses associated with the accident.
How Our Team Can Help You
Getting the compensation that you deserve after a pedestrian accident is surprisingly difficult. Insurance companies know that pedestrian accidents can be extremely expensive, so they have an incentive to minimize your claim or injuries. If you speak to the driver’s insurance company, don’t be surprised if they downplay your injuries, try to shift blame to you, or even imply that you are faking your injuries. This is all to limit the amount they pay you—if they plan on offering anything at all.
At Reeves & Mestayer, we believe that victims deserve better. By investigating the crash and getting a full understanding of what happened, we can determine how much your claim is worth. From there, we will negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company to fight for full and fair compensation.
Call Reeves & Mestayer to Explore Your Legal Options
After a pedestrian accident, having the right attorney can make all the difference. Take the first step in your personal injury claim now by calling Reeves & Mestayer at 228-374-5151 or contacting us online.