People from all over the world flock to Rhode Island in the summer months. In fact, some cities and towns like Newport, Rhode Island, where Sheeley Law is headquartered, will have more pedestrians than vehicles. Unfortunately, that often equates to a spike in pedestrian accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, each year nearly 5,000 pedestrians die in motor vehicle related accidents in the U.S. and more than 7,000 are injured, sometimes severely.
It is a driver’s responsibility to be extra cautious in high traffic pedestrian areas. In the area of personal injury law, this responsibility is called “duty of reasonable care” or “due care.” However, pedestrians must also remain vigilant and abide by pedestrian laws.
Who Is At Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?
In many cases, the driver of the vehicle is considered at fault if he/she failed to stop for pedestrians at a crosswalk; ran a red light; made a left- or right-hand turn without yielding for pedestrians; did not come to a complete stop before turning right on red; was speeding or was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The pedestrian may be at fault if he/ she was jaywalking at the time of the accident; was walking in areas where pedestrian traffic is prohibited; opened their car doors roadside without checking for oncoming traffic or was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Without a personal injury attorney, the drivers’ insurance company will try to place the blame on the pedestrian or get the pedestrian to settle for less money than he/she is entitled.
If You Were Injured in a Pedestrian Accident, What Should You Do?
If you or a loved one were hit by a car while walking on the sidewalk, using a crosswalk, getting out of your car or anywhere else, it’s important to know what to do next:
1. Contact the police and file a police report. Timing is of the essence, as it may be difficult to file a report later on, even if it filed later on that same day. A Police Accident Report is an important document to have when you file any claims with insurance companies, whether it’s your insurance company or the insurance company of the driver in the vehicle that hit you. Make sure to read the police report carefully to ensure accuracy.
2. Take down the license plate of the vehicle. Even if you don’t feel you were injured, it’s important for the driver of the vehicle to remain at the scene until police arrive. Otherwise, it constitutes “leaving the scene of the accident.” If the driver refuses to remain at the scene, at the very least you should capture their license plate number to provide the police.
3. Exchange contact information. Make sure to collect the driver’s contact and insurance information. If there are any witnesses around, also request their contact information.
4. Always seek immediate medical attention. Even if you do not believe you were severely injured, we recommend always seeking medical attention. Often times, it takes days for injuries to surface.
5. Keep records of your medical treatment, bills, and other expenses incurred.
6. Consult an experienced personal injury lawyer who can protect your rights and fight for fair compensation, further medical.
We at Sheeley Law encourage you to have a fun summer but move with caution. If you have been in a pedestrian accident, it is important that you have an experienced personal injury attorney to examine every angle and protect your rights. Attorney Ann Sheeley has more than 25 years of experience and a proven track record of helping her clients obtain maximum compensation for their injuries, losses, and pain and suffering. For more information or a free consultation, contact Rhode Island and Massachusetts Personal Injury Attorney Ann Sheeley at 401-619-5555.