According to the police chief of Calgary, there is a disturbing increase in pedestrian accidents in Calgary this year. The authorities cite the changes in traffic patterns due to the pandemic. With less traffic and people crossing the streets, many drivers have been driving at increased speeds. Hence, pedestrian-related mishaps are often the result of negligence on the part of vehicle operators.
With the increase of incidents such as these, it is essential to know what to do should you ever be in these types of unfortunate scenarios. You could have been out on your afternoon walk when you suddenly find yourself making contact with a moving vehicle. As you are sprawled across the pavement, you notice the driver’s face looming above you, muttering apologies and platitudes and asking if you are all right. On the other hand, maybe you are a driver who has been following all the rules of the road, but a pedestrian suddenly comes running out onto the road, giving you no time to avoid them. What you do in the coming moments may be critical in the long run.
Follow these simple steps below if you have been injured in an accident, whether it be as a pedestrian or as a driver:
What to do as a Pedestrian:
- Check for Injuries
Even if everyone appears to be fine after the incident, you should double-check to ensure that this is the case. It can take several minutes before someone feels pain or notices bleeding from an injury, so it would be vital not to assume that no one is hurt just because they do not appear to be.
- Notify Emergency Services
Call 911 immediately. Even if the extent of the injuries is not severe, if someone has been hit by a car, they need to see a physician or go to an emergency room. Something as seemingly insignificant as whiplash can cause serious problems later, so it is vital not to take any miscalculated risks after an accident.
- Exchange Contact Information with the Driver
- Ensure that you get the following from the driver involved in the accident: full name, address, phone number, and driver’s license number.
- You will also want to note the: make, model, and license plate of the vehicle that he or she was driving.
Exchanging contact information will make applying for insurance claims and trying to seek compensation for damages much simpler.
- Contact Information from Witnesses
In any accident, it is crucial to get the contact information of all the witnesses who were on the scene. These individuals’ statements will be considered in the determining who was responsible for causing damage and injury in the collision. You may also need these individuals to provide witness statements down the road if your case goes to trial or if you try to reach a settlement with insurance companies.
- Remember What Happened Right Before, During, and After the Impact
A detailed account of what happened before, during, and after the impact is imperative. This way, charges can be pressed against the driver if necessary. Remember that it might take time to recall every detail surrounding the crash, but you will want to make sure your version of events matches up with those of other drivers and pedestrians involved as closely as possible. It would be a good idea to jot down everything as soon as you can, such that you can refer to your notes throughout the claim process.
In addition, it is important that you do not deal with this situation alone. Always seek legal help. A pedestrian accident lawyer can guide you through this difficult time.
What to do as a Driver:
1. Be at a Complete Stop
After the mishap, the best thing you can do is stop and stay until help arrives. Call the authorities (police, ambulance, fire) and remain at the scene of the accident. If you leave without providing any information about yourself or without leaving contact information, you may face serious legal consequences in the future.
2. Check Yourself and your Passengers for Injuries
Though there might be severe injuries to the people involved in the crash, you must stop and check that you are alright yourself. You should also check that your passengers have not sustained any injuries immediately following a collision with a pedestrian. If someone in your vehicle is injured or becomes unconscious after a crash, you will need to let the authorities know.
3. Check the Scene for Witnesses
If there are eyewitnesses, ask them to stay on the scene until authorities arrive. Gather as much information from them as possible, and ask for details about their full name, contact information, and a description of what they saw, or heard during the incident.
Who is Liable?
As a Pedestrian:
Take note of the ways that you may be liable if you have been negligent of the following:
- Not complying with traffic signals
- Crossing against red lights
- Walking out into the road in a place where it is not safe to do so
- Beating oncoming trolley cars
- Jaywalking instead of using official crossings
There is always a need to be safe and careful whenever you cross public roads, intersections, or highways.
As a Driver:
Motor vehicle laws in each province differ. However, the following are some universal examples of conduct in which the driver is presumed to be negligent. In these scenarios, the defendant must present evidence to prove they were not truly negligent:
- Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- Violating the Right-of-Way Rules (provides right of way of pedestrians)
- Navigating through the wrong side of the road
When someone has been injured as a result of being hit by a car – whether they’re walking, cycling, or even just standing – it’s important not to assume that damage has been done. Hence, it is crucial that the victim hires a personal injury lawyer who will be able to assist in the claim process, such that the victim receives the compensation that he or she rightfully deserves.
Claim Compensation with the Right Representation
As cases of pedestrian accidents in Calgary increase, here is the possible types of compensation that you can file, should you ever be involved in these types of mishaps:
Loss of Income
You can file a claim for lost wages if you are no longer able to work as a result of the accident. In this case, you must provide proof of your employment and expected income. If there is a period of disability, a calculation of missed wages should be brought forth during the claim process.
The injured party could be reimbursed for any medical expenses which he or she incurred because of the incident. This includes:
- hospital stays
- doctor’s fees
- other necessary treatments
Pain and Suffering
Even if someone survives without permanent physical damage, he or she can still seek compensation for the pain and suffering that they had to endure. To do so, the individual must ensure that there is proof that he or she was in severe pain after colliding with a car or another motor vehicle. Evidence for pain and suffering that was endured can come in the form of doctor’s notes and treatment receipts. Pain and suffering claims are often more successful in cases whereby victims have been hit by drivers who were under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs.
One of the most difficult claims to file involves permanent disability. In these scenarios, the victim must prove that he or she requires ongoing care or that his or her quality of life has reduced, and will continue to stay reduced, for the remainder of his or her life.
If someone has passed away due to an accident, his or her family can claim financial compensation in a wrongful death lawsuit. This type of lawsuit often involves a negligent driver who should have known that their actions would put others in danger.
Navigating through the process of filing for a personal injury claim can be both daunting and energy-draining. Hiring an attorney ensures that you can put your efforts towards recovering from your injuries instead. He or she will make sure that the process is done correctly and that all claims are properly filed before the deadlines for these cases end. Moreover, he or she will be able to help you get the compensation that you rightfully deserve.
What to look for in a Personal Injury Lawyer in Calgary
Finding an experienced car collision lawyer in Calgary who specializes in pedestrian accident claims can be difficult. To make things easier for you, here is a list of qualities that a accident lawyer in Calgary should possess:
The success of your compensation claim can be determined by the lawyer’s experience in handling similar cases. Hence, it is ideal to hire a lawyer who has experience with cases which are similar to that of yours.
A personal injury lawyer in Calgary who focuses specifically on similar incidents and vehicle collisions is a must. Their expertise in assessing your case appropriately is crucial. These professionals can determine if negotiations with insurance companies are beneficial for you or if you might need to go through with court proceedings.
The legal counsel must be proactive when ensuring that your rights are adequately represented before any form of negotiation occurs. They should also let you know if there are grounds for a strong claim and clearly explain the benefits of each course of action, such that you can make informed decisions about your claim.
Many car collision victims are desperate to get help after being injured by a car or other motor vehicle, especially if they have permanent injuries or are forced to miss work because of their injuries sustained from this incident. It is critical to hire a personal injury lawyer who you can trust to do what’s best for your long-term interests, and not seek financial gain at the cost of compromising what you deserve.
Proven Track Record
The personal injury lawyers who you are considering of hiring should be able to tell you about the similar cases they have handled in the past and provide you with references from satisfied clients who are eager to discuss their experiences working with them.
Before making your final decision about which personal injury lawyer you want representing your interests in negotiating settlements before Calgary courts, it is important to ask others that you trust for their recommendations. Don’t just take your family and friends’ word for it, though. Conduct your own online research to see what other people in similar situations have said about the lawyers they have worked with.
Other things to consider:
Personal Injury Litigation Costs
It’s important to know what you’ll be charged if your injury lawyer takes on your case. You can ask them for a list of fees and expenses associated with getting started, along with how they work out their charges when dealing with cases involving victims struck by vehicles. Be sure to have an understanding of the percentage they will take off your settlement offer.
Legal Team of the Law Firm
It is ideal to work with an attorney who has the resources available to hire additional experts when needed during negotiations or any hearings held before courts. These include accident reconstructionists, medical experts such as chiropractors and neurologists, and vocational rehabilitation specialists. These professionals can solidify your case even further.
It is critical to determine whether a personal injury lawyer possesses the qualities mentioned above before you hire him or her to take on your case. This is especially important in claims which involve serious collisions, such as hit and run accidents. You want to do your best to ensure that you hire someone who will be focused on getting you the best settlement offer available.