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In almost all states, you need car insurance to register and drive a vehicle. However, some states go beyond the basic standards by mandating that drivers carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. While obtaining uninsured motorist insurance is always a smart idea, in Missouri, it is required by law. When the at-fault driver can’t or won’t pay for your property damage and physical injury expenses, an uninsured/underinsured motorist policy can help. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage makes up the gap between what the underinsured driver’s policy will pay for and your actual situation.
But what if a driver who is operating a vehicle without insurance causes harm to a pedestrian? Even if you have health insurance, it doesn’t seem right to have to pay the deductible, co-pays, and hospital costs, or spend your savings and vacation days to make up for lost wages. In the worst-case situation, what if you or a loved one is killed while walking by an uninsured driver? If you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for your own automobile, your insurance company may pay for any damages you sustain, even if the collision occurs while you’re walking or biking.
However, many insurance companies also offer pedestrian coverage. Even though you are not required by law to have pedestrian coverage, there are several compelling reasons to get this reasonably inexpensive auto insurance policy. First, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research, automobiles hurt roughly 55,000 pedestrians in the United States each year. Therefore, it is not unexpected that approximately 5,000 pedestrians pass away each year due to those accidents because every collision with a moving vehicle is likely to result in significant injuries.
Additional information from the NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is provided below, and it should prompt you to request rates for uninsured motorist insurance:
● 11% of all fatalities in car crashes are pedestrian-related.
● Pedestrians die in motor vehicle accidents at a higher rate than other vehicle occupants.
● 90% of deadly pedestrian accidents involve just one car.
While walking, you might want to remember that crowded urban areas have the highest percentage of pedestrian fatalities—nearly two-thirds. This makes sense given that cities have more pedestrians and cars. Country residents should take caution, nonetheless, as the ratio of pedestrian fatalities to injuries is higher on rural roads due to the tendency of vehicles to go more quickly.
Unsurprisingly, these encounters typically occur after dark on Fridays and Saturdays. Although drivers are regularly at fault for accidents, pedestrians are frequently to blame because they wear dark clothing, jaywalk, or walk while inebriated or otherwise distracted.
If you were walking when you were struck by a car, you could be having a hard time recovering from your wounds and worried about how you’ll afford your medical expenses and lost wages from missed work. However, you can take specific actions to safeguard your ability to hold the driver accountable under the law. The Missouri pedestrian accident attorneys of Goldblatt + Singer are prepared to advocate for you if you’re considering legal action against the driver who struck you.
Allowing the motorist to depart the scene after being hit by a car is one of the worst blunders a pedestrian can make. Ensure the driver of the vehicle that struck you stays at the scene while you call the police if you were struck by a car in a crosswalk or on the sidewalk. If they attempt to flee, note their vehicle’s make, model, color, and license plate number so that the authorities can subsequently identify the hit-and-run driver. Don’t let a driver dissuade you from dialing 911.
Request an ambulance from the dispatcher if you need to go to the emergency department due to an injury. Make sure the dispatcher sends the police to the scene, even if you don’t need to be taken to the hospital right away. The police will question the driver, you, and any witnesses about what happened, and they will also gather data and create an accident report. Any injury claim you submit afterward will need to include the police report.
Give the driver your license and insurance information while you wait for the cops to arrive. Write down the details or take a photo of the other driver’s driver’s license with your phone’s camera. Inform the police if the motorist won’t provide you with this information, and the officer will obtain it on your behalf.
For a personal injury claim to be successful, there must be substantial proof. Therefore, you should immediately take photographs of the accident scene, including your injuries, the driver’s vehicle, any skid marks or other obvious signs of the collision, and the road itself, in addition to filing a police report. At this point, you should also identify any witnesses, acquire their contact information, and request statements from any onlookers who might be willing to cooperate.
You and the driver are free to depart the collision scene after speaking with the police and gathering your evidence. However, even if you feel unharmed, you should visit the doctor and get a medical checkup. A doctor will assess your injuries and recommend a course of treatment. Visiting a doctor will also aid in documenting your injuries, which is necessary if you intend to file a personal injury claim and seek reimbursement for your medical expenses. Tell your doctor everything that happened in detail, and keep any supporting paperwork and invoices.
An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can evaluate the specifics of the collision, go over your legal alternatives, and determine whether your injury claim is legitimate. Regardless of whether you choose to file a lawsuit against the driver who hit you, a skilled attorney can raise the likelihood that you’ll receive a just settlement. Based on the specifics of your pedestrian accident, an experienced attorney can decide what damages are acceptable to seek. They might involve payment for:
● Medical expenses
● Personal property damage
● Time off work-related lost wages
● Future loss of income
● Pain and suffering
● Other incidental expenses
After suffering a severe injury in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to pay off your medical costs and achieve financial security with the aid of a settlement or court ruling.
A pedestrian accident recovery period can be lengthy and challenging. Your financial situation may have also suffered in addition to the likely excruciating discomfort of your injuries. However, you need not face this experience alone. Contact the experienced attorneys at Goldblatt + Singer, the St. Louis Injury Law Firm, immediately for more details on how we can help you with your personal injury claim. Call (314) 888-1000 or contact us online to receive your free, confidential case evaluation.