Whether you are strolling down the sidewalk, crossing the street, or walking through a parking lot, the last thing you expect is to be hit by a car. Pedestrian-involved accidents are some of the most tragic. As a pedestrian, you have little defense against a 3,000-pound steel box on wheels. If you or someone you love is the victim of a pedestrian vs. car accident, you need to speak with a Hattiesburg pedestrian accident attorney immediately.
Common Places for Pedestrian Accidents
While a pedestrian accident can occur almost anywhere, there are several places where pedestrians are more susceptible to being hit by a car.
Perhaps the most common place for a pedestrian accident is in a crosswalk at an intersection. Unfortunately, being in the crosswalk only sometimes ensures you are safe from being struck by a car. If a driver fails to stop at the red light, makes an improper right-hand turn, or fails to yield to crossing pedestrians, disaster can strike.
Sidewalks and Shoulders
While sidewalks are generally designated for pedestrians, the fact of the matter is you can still end up an accident victim when on the sidewalk. If a driver is distracted or loses control of their car, they can end up on the sidewalk, endangering anyone in their path.
However, it is slightly more common to encounter cars striking pedestrians on the shoulder of the road versus the sidewalk. Pedestrians often walk on the shoulder if there are no sidewalks or to avoid sidewalk congestion. If a driver veers off the road, it can mean catastrophe.
Parking lots also pose a danger to pedestrians. Parking lots often have multiple entrances and exits, with cars moving in various directions while pulling into and backing out of parking spaces. It is common for drivers to be so focused on finding a spot that they are not paying attention to much else.
What to Do After a Hattiesburg Pedestrian Accident?
If you’ve been struck by a car, you are undoubtedly shocked, confused, and hurt. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need emergency medical assistance and should call 911 right away.
If you are not severely injured and as the fog of confusion lifts, there are specific steps you should take to ensure your rights and options going forward.
Seek Medical Attention
If you declined or did not need emergency medical care, you should still be seen by a doctor as soon as possible. Many injuries are not visible to the naked eye and may not even appear for several hours or days. For instance, you may only know that you suffered a concussion or internal bleeding once being thoroughly examined by a physician.
Document What You Can
If you are physically able, you should document what you can of the scene and your injuries. The easiest and most efficient way is to take your phone and snap photos. It is also helpful to take down any witness names and contact information so you can contact them later if necessary.
Notify the Police
Under Mississippi law, you must report any accident to the police that results in $500 or more in damages. But regardless, it is always a good idea to contact the police. They need to document the scene, investigate what occurred, and create a police report. The police will also obtain the driver’s information, including their license, insurance information, and contact number.
Stay Off Social Media
In 2023, many people are quick to post their daily life on social media. However, if you were struck by a motor vehicle, staying off social media is wise. Anything you post can be used by the opposition later to dispute liability and downplay your injuries.
Speak with a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Hattiesburg, MS
Lastly, if you are a pedestrian accident victim, you should speak to a seasoned attorney as soon as you can to preserve your rights and discuss your options.
Who Is Liable for Damages After a Pedestrian Accident?
You might wonder how you should pay for your medical treatment after being struck by a car, especially if your injuries are so severe that you cannot work. That is one of the major reasons victims pursue compensation from the negligent party, which is often the driver. There are three basic types of pedestrian-involved accidents, and the ease of filing a lawsuit varies by type.
Single Driver Accident
Sometimes, the responsible party is obvious. For instance, if you are hit by a single vehicle while crossing the street and the police write a report, identifying the responsible party is easy. You can then initiate a lawsuit against the driver for negligence.
Multiple Driver Accident
More than one driver can be responsible for your pedestrian accident. For instance, if Driver A was stopped at the red light and Driver B hit them from behind at high speed and pushed them into the crosswalk, hitting you, both drivers might be liable.
Our attorneys will review the accident report, other documents, and evidence to identify all possible responsible parties.
Perhaps the most challenging pedestrian accident type to recover compensation from are hit-and-run accidents. These accidents occur more often than you might think, usually because the driver panics. It is a crime to hit someone and leave the scene of an accident, so the police will investigate to try and identify the driver. If the driver is identified, you can file a lawsuit against them.
Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Hattiesburg, MS
Our other areas of practice in Hattiesburg include: