As you could imagine, pedestrian accidents can often be more fatal than your average car accident where two or more cars are involved in a wreck. If you were hit by a car while you were walking or running, chances are that you required immediate medical treatment that came at a hefty price. You may have also missed time from work and expected wages and suffered other compensable damages and you may require future medical and rehabilitative treatment, depending on the speed and size of the car involved in the accident. If this is the case, it’s important that you contact a licensed personal injury attorney in your jurisdiction at the soonest moment possible so that you can preserve your case and get the most out of your personal injury claim.
Far too often, drivers fail to maintain a proper lookout when they’re turning corners in and out of parking lots, parking spots, driveways and other locations. Other drivers fail to see pedestrians enter their path of travel because they’re distracted on their cell phones, smart watches, or adjusting the radio in their cars. These scenarios frequently result in those distracted or unobservant drivers failing to see walkers or runners and worse case scenarios, children and elderly people with the right of way. However, while these people struck by cars may always appear to be victims, keep in mind that as a pedestrian, you also have a duty to obey traffic laws, signs and to maintain a proper lookout while you’re strolling out in public. You don’t always have the right of way when you’re walking. N.C.G.S. § 20-174(a) states, “Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway.” It’s important to know that you also have a duty to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings and abide by the law when you’re out walking in public, just as all motorists have a duty to do the same. The law provides things such as a rule that you must not cross an intersection at any location, other than within a marked crosswalk when there is a traffic light or other operational traffic control signal. In governing the conduct of drivers, N.C.G.S. § 20-174(e) provides, “Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway, and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary, and shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any confused or incapacitated person upon a roadway.” North Carolina is one of the few remaining “Contributory Negligence” states, which generally means that if you are even just slightly responsible for causing your own injuries in a personal injury matter, you are generally, completely barred from receiving any compensation for your injuries and other compensable damages from others who may have contributed to causing your injuries. For more information, check out our (Contributory Negligence blog). So remember, follow the law, stay alert and do things like the following instructions to preserve your potential personal injury claim when you’re walking around in public, in case you ever have the unfortunate chance of being involved in a car accident as a pedestrian.
(1) Always walk on sidewalks, and if there is no sidewalk, walk on the extreme side of the roadway, facing oncoming traffic;
(2) Always make eye contact with oncoming drivers, and never assume the right of way or that the driver is going to honor your right of way;
(3) Always wear bright colored clothing or white clothing at night, that has reflective material when you’re walking or running in public;
(4) Follow directions and pedestrian signals, but never assume drivers will follow them too;
(5) Don’t wear headphones; and
(6) Don’t drink and walk. Get an Uber. Around 30% of car accidents involving pedestrians happen when the pedestrians involved are intoxicated.
If you’re involved in a car accident, whether you’re a pedestrian or a driver struck by another driver, you should always call 911 and report the accident so that a police report documenting the accident that you will need to process your personal injury claim is generated and so that the accident scene is secured. Next, step out of your vehicle if it’s safe to do so and you are physically able to. Take photos of the accident scene, any damage to your car and the other vehicle or vehicles involved, any deployed airbags, and any visible physical injuries you or other people have. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other drivers involved and get the contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident and look for any cameras nearby, such as traffic cameras or security cameras that may have captured the accident and keep a record of where those cameras are located. Next seek any necessary medical treatment that you may need. Take a trip to the emergency room, urgent care, a chiropractor or wherever you think or wherever an ambulance crew tells you to go to or takes you to. Finally, contact a licensed car accident lawyer in your jurisdiction as soon as possible and don’t make any statements to any insurance companies until you have discussed your case with a personal injury attorney.
We strongly encourage you to seek the advice of a licensed North Carolina Personal Injury Attorney at the earliest stage possible after the incident resulting in your injuries. At Biazzo & Panchenko Law, we are prepared to negotiate a settlement for you or file a lawsuit and pursue your case through a jury verdict if warranted, to obtain the compensation you deserve. Our accident attorneys will answer all of your questions free of charge. Contact Biazzo & Panchenko Law,at our Matthews location today to schedule your FREE Personal Injury consultation. This blog is not to be construed as legal advice.