I got hit by a car while walking. No one ever expects to say these words. However, pedestrian accidents occur everyday. In 2021, there were 91 fatal pedestrian accidents in Colorado. Pedestrians deserve the right to walk safely on sidewalks and other areas without fear of getting hit by a car. When the unthinkable happens, it’s essential to know your options for compensation from the driver that hit you. Read on to learn more about what to do after a pedestrian accident and how a pedestrian accident attorney can help you.
Common Injuries After Being Hit by a Car
Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to severe injuries when struck by a car. With no protection from the thousands of pounds of glass and steel coming toward you, pedestrian accidents often result in catastrophic injuries requiring long-term medical attention and care. Common injuries after being hit by a car include the following:
- Broken bones and fractures,
- Soft tissue damage,
- Lacerations and cuts,
- Internal bleeding,
- Traumatic brain injury,
- Spinal cord injuries,
- Joint displacement,
- Disfigurement, and
Even if you hope to recover from your physical injuries, many pedestrian accident victims suffer long-term emotional suffering and mental anguish. They may find it challenging to walk near cars or experience other debilitating fears related to the trauma of their accident. Many never fully recover from their physical injuries and are unable to enjoy the same activities they did prior to their injuries. Additionally, pedestrian accident victims often find themselves out of work for extended periods of time as they heal. It’s vital to seek full compensation that will cover the maximum extent of your injuries.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
It may be difficult to keep a clear head and know what to do after being hit by a car. However, the more of the following steps you remember, the more it aids your attorney in constructing a solid case on your behalf. Here is a list of what to do after a pedestrian accident.
Report the Accident
Regardless of who was at fault, contact the police immediately after a pedestrian accident. A police officer responding to the scene of your accident assesses whether anyone requires medical attention. Furthermore, the reporting officer creates an accident report providing vital and unbiased information regarding the incident. This information can be vital to your case.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if you believe you are fine, seek medical attention. Many serious injuries can take hours or days to appear. However, recovering compensation from the at-fault driver requires proving that your injuries resulted from the accident. Seeking medical attention immediately after your collision maintains the connection between your diagnosis and the crash.
If you can do so safely, gather evidence at the collision scene. Gathering evidence includes obtaining the at-fault driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information. Additionally, if you observe any witnesses to the accident, get their names and contact information for your attorney. Photograph the scene, including pictures of the vehicle that hit you and the surrounding area.
Contact an Attorney
The insurance company for the driver that hit you may reach out in the days following your accident. Before speaking to them, speak to a qualified attorney. Attempts may be made to push you into accepting a lowball settlement offer before you’ve obtained a complete assessment of your injuries. Furthermore, the insurance company may try to shift blame onto you to reduce the driver’s liability. An attorney anticipates the tactics used by insurance companies to protect you from losing out on the compensation you deserve.
Vehicle vs. Pedestrian Accident Law in Colorado
Specific laws in Colorado influence the outcome of pedestrian claims, including the time you have to file your compensation claim. The statute of limitations is the time the law allows you to file your lawsuit. Failing to file within this designated period prevents you from later bringing a claim.
The statute of limitations in Colorado for personal injury claims like pedestrian accidents is three years from the date of the accident. If you fail to file on time, your judge will likely dismiss your case, leaving you with no path for compensation. Contact a personal injury attorney soon after your accident to ensure you never miss this or other crucial deadlines.
Another law impacting your case is the theory of comparative fault. In some situations, a pedestrian may have contributed to their own accident. Colorado’s comparative fault rule permits an injured victim who is 50% or less at fault to recover compensation from a defendant. However, if you are more than 50% at fault, the law prohibits you from getting compensation.
What Can I Recover?
Colorado law permits pedestrian accident victims to recover compensatory damages in the form of economic and noneconomic damages. If you are a pedestrian that was hit by a car, your pedestrian accident attorney will help you gather the evidence required to prove your damages.
Economic damages include financial losses directly related to your accident. These damages include the following:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages,
- Loss of future earnings,
- Property damage.
Receipts, pay stubs, invoices, and other documentation assist your lawyer in calculating an accurate value for your economic damages demand.
Noneconomic damages represent psychological and emotional losses stemming from your injury. These damages generally include the following:
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress,
- Permanent injury or disfigurement,
- Loss of consortium.
Noneconomic damages are difficult to calculate and prove due to their subjective nature. It’s difficult to quantify the value of losing the use of your legs or the post-traumatic stress you may feel after being hit by a car. However, an experienced personal injury attorney strategizes the best way to gather evidence to prove and evaluate these losses.
Contact A Colorado Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
Our team feels a profound responsibility to ensure our client’s physical and emotional well-being during one of the worst times of their life. We provide superior legal representation to our clients and serve as advocates, confidantes, and friends.