What Should I Do if I Was Hit By a Car As a Pedestrian?
Here, in the City of Brotherly Love, walking is one of the most popular methods of transportation. Unfortunately, despite the convenience that walking offers, it isn’t without its risks. If you are struck by a car while crossing the street, what should you do? Who do you file a claim against? Will your claim for compensation be denied if you crossed the street where you shouldn’t have or if you were looking down at your phone at the time of the accident? If your loved one was killed as a result of a pedestrian accident, how long do you have to file a wrongful death claim? Continue reading to find out what you should do if you or a family member was hit by a car as a pedestrian.
Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident in Pennsylvania
The most important thing you should do after a pedestrian accident is seek medical care. The injuries resulting from a pedestrian accident are usually severe, and even if you think you’re fine, the adrenaline that comes with an accident can mask even the most severe injuries.
Receiving medical care is not only important to ensure your own health and safety but it’s important for your personal injury claim, too. Insurance adjusters and juries alike will question the severity of your injuries if you did not seek medical attention.
In addition to seeking medical attention be sure to:
- Contact the police so they can make a report of what happened
- Get the contact information of the driver who hit you, including their name, phone number and insurance carrier
- Take photos of the accident scene, including the street, street signs and any traffic lights and/or traffic control devices
Duties of Pedestrians in Pennsylvania
In most pedestrian accident cases, the driver is usually the one to be considered at-fault. This is true even if the pedestrian was struck outside of a designated crosswalk (in most cases). This is because drivers owe a duty of care to those around them, which means they should be aware of their surroundings. However, pedestrians have their own set of duties they need to adhere to.
Under the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code Subchapter C, pedestrians are obligated to:
- Exercise care when crossing the street
- Use the sidewalk when available
- Obey all traffic control devices
- Use crosswalks when traffic signals are working
- Yield to the right-of-way of vehicles
If a pedestrian was aware of oncoming traffic and chose to walk anyway, then he or she may not be eligible to collect compensation. Jaywalking – the act of illegally crossing a street – is not illegal in the state of Pennsylvania, but doing so when it was not safe may jeopardize your personal injury claim
What Happens If My Family Member Was Killed in a Pedestrian Accident?
Pedestrian accidents have a higher risk of causing fatalities compared to other types of motor vehicle-related accidents. Pedestrians lack protection against a collision with a motor vehicle. Even though recent advancements in vehicle design have been aimed at protecting pedestrians in the event of a collision, deaths from pedestrian accidents remain an all-too-frequent occurrence.
If your family has lost a loved one due to a pedestrian accident, you and your family may be entitled to bring a wrongful death claim against the driver at fault for the collision. In Pennsylvania, a wrongful death claim may be brought by the personal representative of the deceased person, usually the executor or administrator of their estate. If a wrongful death suit is not filed within six months of the decedent’s death, Pennsylvania law allows any family member who would be a beneficiary of a wrongful death claim to file the suit on behalf of all beneficiaries.
In a wrongful death claim, you and your family may be entitled to recover losses that you have suffered as a result of your family member’s passing in a pedestrian accident. This includes compensation for the loss of your loved one’s comfort, companionship, guidance, and society, which directly compensates you and other family and household members of the decedent for your loss. A wrongful death claim can also recover expenses incurred by the decedent and their estate, including costs of medical treatment for the fatal injuries they suffered in the pedestrian accident, along with funeral and burial costs.
A wrongful death claim may also entitle you and your family to recover the lost expected contribution of your loved one’s wages or income. This compensation may include the portion of wages or income your loved one would have been expected to contribute to your family or household had they not been injured and killed in the pedestrian accident, along with other benefits from your loved one’s work that they contributed to the family, such as health insurance or life insurance benefits, or pension/retirement benefits. In many cases, actuarial and financial experts can be helpful to calculate and explain the full extent of lost wages and benefits that you and your family have incurred due to your loved one’s death from a pedestrian accident.
How Do I File a Claim Against the Driver?
In Pennsylvania, those who have been injured in a pedestrian accident or the surviving family members of someone lost as a result of one have two years from the date the accident occurred to file a claim for compensation. If you were injured in a pedestrian accident while walking around Philadelphia or if you lost a loved one as a result of a negligent driver, you have rights. The personal injury attorneys at the Marrone Law Firm, LLC can help you file a claim. Give us a call today to get started: 215-709-7360.
Contact A Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer To Discuss Your Pedestrian Accident Case In Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a pedestrian accident in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Marrone Law Firm LLC represent clients injured because of pedestrian accidents in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill and throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call 215-709-7360 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 200 South Broad Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia PA 19102 as well as offices in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.