People crossing the street with the words, "what to do if you

Bicycles, electric scooters, and walking from place to place have become more and more popular, first in 2020 and early 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. As individuals sought ways to enjoy time outside their homes in the open air, alternatives seemed a viable option.

Though, even as the world began to return to some sense of normalcy, the number of people using bikes or walking to their destinations continued to rise. Unfortunately, this increase in pedestrians has also seen an unfortunate increase in pedestrian accidents across the state. The Texas Department of Transportation 5,370 accidents involving pedestrians in 2021. This resulted in 843 deaths, which was a 15 percent increase from the previous year. 

While the numbers haven’t been solidified for 2022, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration estimates that 7,500 pedestrians were killed in accidents with motor vehicles across the United States.

The pedestrian accident attorneys at the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. has created this guide to help you know what to do after a pedestrian has been hit by a vehicle in Texas. Knowing these steps can help you react more calmly after an accident and ensure that you can get the compensation you deserve. Here is what you need to know:

Why Has the Amount of Pedestrian Accidents Increased?

 Un hombre buscando su uber.

The COVID-19 pandemic had the effect of clearing roadways of cars as businesses closed down to stop the spread of the virus. As many people continued working from home, some no longer had to commute to work. More individuals also chose to walk or bike to their destinations rather than take public transit or drive, getting exercise while simultaneously saving money.

However, due to the freed-up roadways, another dangerous trend started to occur. Some drivers felt emboldened by the lack of traffic, choosing to speed or drive impaired. This trend led to increased pedestrian accidents, as drivers didn’t have enough time to slow down when approaching intersections or crosswalks.

Another trend that may contribute to the increase in pedestrian accidents is the increased usage of larger vehicles, such as SUVs and trucks. These cars, while providing more room for the driver and their family and being safer in a crash due to their size, also have the adverse effect of making pedestrian accidents more serious. They can hit harder and in more dangerous positions than smaller vehicles if they strike a pedestrian. Because of the increased preference for larger vehicles, more pedestrian accidents result in serious injury or death.

Other risk factors that increase the likelihood of a pedestrian accident include:

  • Driving while fatigued
  • Distracted driving
  • Reckless driving
  • Inexperienced driving

What Should I Do As a Pedestrian If I Have Been Hit By a Car?

A man is suffering from whiplash after a car accident.

If you are hit by a car in a pedestrian accident, the actions you take afterward make all the difference when protecting your health and legal rights to compensation. Here are the steps to take:

  1. Call 911 to report the accident and ensure that anyone who needs it gets immediate medical attention. 
  2. Exchange contact and insurance information with the driver who hit you. If the driver of the car is not the owner of the car, you will need the owner’s contact information and insurance as well.
  3. Make sure you give the police officers who show up to the accident your full statement. Stick to the facts only. The police will do their investigation and write a police report that you can use later for legal purposes.
  4. If you are able, take pictures of the accident. This includes pictures of the following:
    1. The scene of the accident
    2. Damages to the car
    3. Injuries you sustained due to the accident
    4. Any debris on the road
  5. If there were any witnesses to the accident, make sure you get their name, number, and address.
  6. Contact your insurance company to see if you are covered under your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy.
  7. Contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.

Always Make Sure You Get Looked Over By a Medical Professional If You Have Been Hit By a Car

While pedestrian accidents often lead to serious injuries that require immediate medical attention, in some pedestrian accidents, it may seem like the pedestrian is fine. If you find yourself in the latter situation, and you don’t feel or see any immediate damage, it is still important to get checked out by a medical professional. Sometimes, injuries may be masked due to adrenaline coursing through your body, making some things such as a stress fracture not noticeable at first. A medical professional will ensure that you can get the medical treatment you need to ensure that your injuries do not get worse. They also provide clear documentation as to what your injuries were.

What Are Common Injuries From a Pedestrian Accident?

Unlike motor vehicle drivers and passengers, a pedestrian has no body of metal surrounding them during an accident. The low protection combined with the force and speed of the car that hit them, the types of injuries that a pedestrian faces are often severe. Here are some of the most common types of injuries that come from a pedestrian accident:

Who Is Liable For the Pedestrian Accident?

An elderly man walks across a street in heavy traffic

Liability for an accident falls on the party who was acting negligently. The negligent party will be considered at fault and will have to pay for the related damages. When it comes to pedestrian accidents, this often falls to the following parties:

  • The driver of the vehicle
  • The owner of the car, if the accident was caused by a different driver, such as a teenager driving their parent’s car
  • The employer of the driver, if the vehicle that hit the pedestrian was a work vehicle
  • Anyone who contributed to the accident, such as a government agency if the accident was caused by an improperly maintained road
  • The pedestrian and their own insurance company if the pedestrian was the one who caused the accident

Pedestrian Accident Attorneys You Can Trust

The Hernandez Law Group, P.C. is dedicated to helping injured parties after an accident get the compensation they deserve. If you were injured in a traffic accident as a pedestrian, we can help you through the entire legal process, from filing the claim and talking with the insurance companies to taking the case to court if the insurance companies refuse to pay the compensation you deserve.

You or your loved one should not have to pick up the pieces after an accident on your own. Let the personal injury attorneys at the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. be your representatives to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. While you focus on your recovery, we focus on gathering the evidence for your case to show the negligence of the other party. Contact our team today for more information on our services or to schedule a free no-obligation consultation.

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