Georgia is a state with such a variety of outdoor activities to enjoy that many people can hardly wait to get their workday or week over, so they can get outside. Vacationers come to the Peach State for some of the same reasons that others choose to live here. Brisk walks down country lanes or strolling through city blocks of stores sounds like an ideal way to unwind. However, these relaxing activities are not without their own specific potential hazards.
260 pedestrians were killed in Georgia by motor vehicles in 2018, up from 253 in 2017. Alarmingly, pedestrian deaths increased by 60 percent from 2013 to 2018. The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reported, “The safety and accessibility of pedestrian walkways are critical issues throughout the state and in urban areas.” Director Allen Poole noted, “Distraction by phone is a major factor in the increase of pedestrian deaths in our state and across the nation.”
Any accident involving a massive moving metal object and a human being on foot does not give the individual very good odds. Critically serious and often fatal injuries occur. If such a collision happens, there are recommended steps to follow in the aftermath that can help ensure the success of a future potential pedestrian accident lawsuit to hold the negligent driver responsible.
Make Health and Safety a Priority
Usually, one of the eyewitnesses to an auto-pedestrian accident will call 911 immediately. If the pedestrian is conscious and able to stand or move, some might think this indicates he or she is alright. However, the victim should always seek medical treatment as quickly as possible. This could involve being transported by ambulance to an emergency room, or accepting medical care at the accident scene, or having a family member or friend take the injured victim straight to the hospital. Of utmost importance is moving off the roadway immediately if at all possible.
The human body releases adrenaline in moments of great stress, often giving accident victims the mistaken sense that everything is okay, and they are fine. However, in reality, there could be internal injuries completely unseen. Likewise, a blow to the head can initiate a traumatic brain injury that might not manifest symptoms for days afterward. Seeing a physician for a thorough exam is crucial, not only for the victim’s health but also to help provide critical pieces of documentation about the injuries for a potential claim.
Obtain Contact Information
If physically able at the scene, the injured pedestrian should get as much information as possible about the negligent driver. Law enforcement will likely do this as well, but it is advisable to individually collect the information anyway. Ask for all pertinent details like name, phone number, address, email info, and vehicle insurance details. Also jot down the type of vehicle, color, year, make, model, and license plate number.
In addition to these details, an accident victim should collect the contact info of all other occupants in the vehicle. Also, get personal information from all witnesses, and document all law enforcement members’ names, badge numbers, and their departments.
When gathering the above-mentioned information, do not engage in other conversations with any of the parties. Be very brief, and only exchange crucial contact information. Never admit any fault, whether partially or fully. Drivers of motor vehicles owe a special duty of care to pedestrians. Therefore, even if a pedestrian was jaywalking at the time of the accident, the injured victim may still be able to file suit for compensation. The best interest of the injured party is served by not discussing any details at the scene or afterward unless it’s with a qualified attorney.
Take Pictures at the Scene
If physically able at the accident scene, the pedestrian should take pictures and videos. Being able to prove a point with photos can be invaluable for insurance purposes, settlements, and lawsuits. Visual proof moves a case from word of mouth testimony into the realm of visual realization.
Photos should be made of all vehicle damage, physical injuries, skid marks, and vehicle positions. At this point, it’s a great idea to take a picture of the license plate even if the number is already written down.
If other collisions were triggered due to the initial pedestrian-auto accident, document them and any resulting damage by taking pictures. Time can be critical in these situations because valuable evidence can be forever lost when the cleaning crew arrives.
Schedule a Consultation With a Qualified Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Accidents involving pedestrians and motor vehicles are quite different than ones involving two or more automobiles. If a vehicle happens to hit a pedestrian at such a slow momentum that the pedestrian is barely touched and isn’t even knocked down, this might be one of the rare cases where the individual doesn’t need to speak with an accident attorney. However, most instances are not this minor, and the pedestrian receives serious physical injuries when hit by a car or truck. In these cases, the injured victim can end up in a body cast or in the intensive care unit for weeks or months.
In order to ensure that the victim’s medical needs are met, lost wages are reimbursed, and mounting bills are paid, it is to the victim’s advantage to seek out a trusted legal representative who will stand up to the insurance industry giants. The Eichholz Law Firm has a team of legal professionals who will not back down from the pressure exerted by insurance companies that want to devalue a victim’s claim, pay a fraction of the value, and shove the file into the completed bin.
Give us a call for a free consultation that will help establish your case’s merits. We know how uncertainties can keep victims paralyzed in fear. Let us help alleviate that fear.