If you were to ask a friend or family member what the worst type of car accident is, they (and possibly you) would answer a multi-car accident—featuring two or more cars hitting each other. However, this is not, strictly speaking, the case; the worst accidents are generally pedestrian accidents involving cars. This is because in a multi-car scenario, each individual is surrounded by a vehicle, is hopefully wearing a seatbelt, and has the safety features of the car to mitigate the collision. If you are a pedestrian and hit by a car, there is nothing protecting you—leaving you open to very serious injuries indeed. As with many south Florida car accidents of all kinds, the results are extremely unpleasant and often shocking; most victims of pedestrian-car accidents sustain broken bones, severe cuts and lacerations, bleeding, and severe bruising.
There are some locations where pedestrians are more likely to be hit by cars; some of them are intuitive and some are not. Generally speaking, pedestrians are assumed to have the right of way when crossing a street at a marked crosswalk or at an intersection when the “walk” signal is flashing. While there are complex issues involved in the scenario of being struck in a crosswalk, the law tends to side with the pedestrian in these cases, assuming that reasonable care was taken (for example, not crossing during the ‘Don’t Walk’ signal). Because these are complex situations, it is a good idea to contact a south Florida personal injury attorney early on to preserve evidence. On streets themselves, pedestrians are still mostly assigned the right-of-way, although the rules are not as hard and fast as at crosswalks. Parking lots are also notoriously common locations for accidents to happen with pedestrians; in many cases this is because drivers in parking lots often act as though they are no longer subject to the “rules of the road,” and engage in reckless behaviors like speeding, failing to stop at stop signs, not signaling their turns, and other problems.
If you have been involved in an accident as a pedestrian, try and make sure that the police come to the scene of the accident. If you are not incapacitated and have access to your cell phone, make the call yourself. Collect the information you need from the driver; if the driver engages in a hit and run, try and record the license plate number or at least a picture of the car, or try and remember as many details as possible. Also try and get the contact information of any witnesses, and note the important facts of the event—the time of day, the location, weather conditions, what you were doing at the time you were hit. If you are able to, record the information on your cell phone when you can. Get medical and legal help as quickly as possible; the injuries you’ve received may be more serious than they initially seem—after all, a 10mph collision with a pedestrian can break their back. By retaining the services of a car accident attorney early on, you will also be doing what you can to preserve the evidence.