Walking offers a number of health benefits and nothing can top a brisk walk. Many people like to take a relaxing stroll to gather their thoughts, whereas others walk as part of their exercise routine. However, walking isn’t always safe. As a Las Vegas pedestrian accident attorney can tell you, sometimes it can be as dangerous as being in a car. Therefore, it is important for you to always be aware of the potential hazards when you are walking. Pay special attention to the cars being driven by inattentive drivers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a research study and the numbers reveal some alarming statistics. For the years 2000 to 2009 the percentage of pedestrians involved in all fatal traffic-related accidents stood at an average of 11%. In 2009 alone, 4,092 pedestrians lost their life in traffic accidents.
Fatal pedestrian-related accidents have a number of causes but some of the most common causes are the following:
- Pedestrians walking in motorist areas
- Dangerous weather conditions
- Age of the pedestrian (very young and very old)
- Time of day
- Walking and/or driving under while under the influence
While the driver of the vehicle is typically at fault in accidents involving pedestrians, that is not always the case. In some cases, an inattentive pedestrian is equally at fault. Therefore, it is important to take proper safety precautions when you are taking a walk.
Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident in Las Vegas
It is a traumatic experience when a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle. The pedestrian not only suffers physical injuries, but it might also lead to emotional and psychological issues. In many cases, the victim must take time off from work which obviously leads to financial hardships. If you have been hit by a vehicle, you might find it challenging to carry out regular day-to-day tasks such as dressing, bathing, eating, sleeping, or caring for your family or your home.
More often than not, pedestrians involved in accidents are either left dazed or knocked unconscious when they are struck by a vehicle. If you do remain conscious after being hit by a vehicle, you will likely be in mental/physical shock. Here is a list of the steps you should take to protect your legal rights after a pedestrian accident in Las Vegas.
1. Get Required Medical Assistance
If you are rendered unconscious after being struck by a vehicle, it is the responsibility of the driver or witnesses (when available) to help you get the required medical assistance. If you remain conscious after the accident, it becomes your responsibility. Your judgment might be clouded due to the physical and emotional shock you have just suffered due to the accident.
Experiencing shock might also impair the ability of your body to immediately experience pain and injury. It is recommended to call 911 to get immediate assistance. It is also important to get a complete medical evaluation even when you feel completely fine.
You need to document everything about your injuries. For instance, you need to document the areas of your body that are in pain and any visual injuries. You also need to document whether any of the clothes are torn. If clothes are torn, it might indicate the area where your body has suffered an injury, but you might not be able to feel pain at this particular time.
Also, use your hands to feel your head, extremities as well as face. See if there is any blood. If your body is bleeding but you are not experiencing the pain associated with it, it might be due to the shock. Document all your injuries and pain and tell the paramedics when they arrive.
3. Call the Cops
Try to make mental notes of the events leading up to the accident. You might not be in a position, physically or emotionally, to recall the required information. Even if you are able to form a mental chain of events, you might not have a pen and paper to write those things down.
When cops arrived, they will file an accident report documenting everything surrounding the accident. It might be required by the insurance company or your attorney and therefore, you should try to explain everything to the cops in order to document things that happened before the accident. Without documenting things, you might not be able to recall everything at a later date. This is why it is extremely important to document everything with the police officer.
4. Do Not Discuss Things with Anyone
The most important thing you need to be aware of is that you should not discuss anything with the insurance company or with anyone. Regardless of the facts surrounding the accident, you are unlikely to be aware of the laws related to pedestrian accidents. Keep in mind that anything you say to the insurance company of the driver or whatever you say on the accident scene could be used against you in the legal proceedings after the accident. Therefore, it is important for you to discuss things only with the medical personnel, your attorney, and your own insurance company. Keep in mind that they are the only one who are looking out for your best interest, legally speaking.
It is also recommended to not discuss too many things with the insurance company of the driver as they are not working for you. You should never sign any documents or accept any of the settlements offered by them. Request them to share the name, phone number, address as well as the claim number. If the insurance company of the driver asks for any information, give them the contact information of your attorney, yourself as well as your insurance company (when applicable).
5. Get in Touch with Your Insurance Company
If you carry car insurance, you should immediately get in touch with your insurance company. Even though you are a pedestrian involved in a vehicle accident, these types of accidents are covered by many car insurance policies. It is important to get in touch with the insurance company to make sure that you are able to make disability or medical claims after your accident, if need be.
6. Get Expert Legal Assistance
A pedestrian involved in an accident caused by a vehicle is likely to suffer more severe injuries as compared to the people in the car. These injuries will have a serious impact on your life and you will likely experience emotional, physical, and financial difficulties. Keep in mind that insurance companies are not working for you.
They like to save as much money as possible and in this case, the insurance company of the driver will most likely try to place the fault on you and deny your claims. If they offer a settlement, it will probably be extremely low. Usually their first offer will not take into account the future expenses (medical or others) you might have to pay due to the accident. Therefore, it is important to have a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney by your side to protect your legal rights as well as your livelihood.
Contact a Las Vegas Pedestrian Accident Attorney at Nettles Morris
In case you or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Las Vegas caused by a vehicle, you should immediately get in touch with our personal injury law firm in Las Vegas to know more about your legal rights and whether you have a case. At Nettles Morris we offer a no obligation and completely free consultation. Also, we work on contingency fee basis which means you do not have to pay anything unless we are able to recover financial compensation for you.