When a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, the resulting injuries are usually severe. These injuries can be costly for the accident victim. A pedestrian involved in an accident with a car may be able to file a claim for damages for medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and pain and suffering.
Types of injuries sustained in pedestrian vs. motor vehicle accidents
Pedestrian accidents can cause life-changing injuries, including the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Cuts and scrapes
- Bone fractures
Pedestrian accidents account for many car accident fatalities every year. Pedestrians may sustain serious injuries even if they were hit by a car at low speeds.
Causes of pedestrian accidents
Common causes of car versus pedestrian accidents include the following:
- Inattentive drivers
- Fatigued drivers
- Failure to obey traffic signals
- Driving unsafely for conditions
What should I do if I am hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian?
The first thing you should do if you are hit by a vehicle is to seek immediate medical attention. Many people do not realize how seriously they have been injured after an accident due to shock. It is best not to try to move while waiting for emergency services unless you absolutely must to get out of the way of traffic since this could make your injuries worse.
Next, you should file a police report. A police report is necessary to file a claim later. If the driver flees the scene of the accident, get their license plate number if possible but do not rely on your own memory or witness statements to identify the driver. It is best to have police dispatched to the scene of the accident to record the conditions at the time of the accident. If you did not have police investigate the accident at the scene, you should still file a report within 24 hours.
You should next contact an attorney. It is best to contact a lawyer before making a statement to anyone about the accident (other than filing a police report). If the driver's insurance company contacts you to request a statement, give them your attorney's contact information and suggest that they contact your attorney.
What if the driver says the accident was my fault?
It is common for drivers to dispute liability when they hit a pedestrian by claiming that the pedestrian was not inside a crosswalk, disregarded traffic signals or walked out in front of them before they had time to stop. Drivers are expected to maintain awareness at all times of anyone who might attempt to cross the street. If the driver had time to stop and avoid a pedestrian but failed to do so or could not do so because they were speeding, the driver was negligent even if the pedestrian was not crossing the street at a crosswalk.
Note that Iowa recognizes a doctrine known as comparative fault, so if you are found partially at fault for an accident, any award of compensation may be reduced by the percentage you were at fault. The issue of liability and assignment of fault is a question for a fact-finder (usually a jury) to decide. If you are found 51 percent or more at fault, you will not be able to recover damages.
Pedestrian accident lawyer in Iowa
If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident in Iowa, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to fight for you. Call Shawn Smith today to schedule a consultation. Contact the Smith Law Firm, PC online or call (855) 451-1260.