What Happens to Your Body When You Get Hit by a Car?

Whenever cars collide, the occupants of the vehicles involved in the crash could potentially suffer severe injuries. However, modern vehicles are equipped with various safety features designed to mitigate the risk of injury to the occupants of a vehicle. For example, seatbelts can help a driver or passenger remain inside the vehicle in a severe accident, airbags can deploy to prevent the driver and passenger from hitting their heads on the dashboard in a collision, and many modern vehicles’ frames are designed to crumple in specific ways to absorb the force of the crash.

While these safety features and design elements can help when a driver is involved in an accident, when a pedestrian accident occurs, the pedestrian has virtually no physical protection from the force of the vehicle hitting them. Even at relatively low speeds, a car can inflict tremendous damage on a person’s body, and these incidents often result in life-changing or fatal injuries to the pedestrians involved.

Potential Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident

When a person is hit by a car, several factors determine the scope of the damage they will suffer. First is the speed of the vehicle. Even at relatively low speeds under 25 mph, a car can easily cause fatal injuries to a person. In addition, the victim could suffer traumatic injuries throughout the body instantaneously from the primary impact with the vehicle, and they are likely to suffer additional injuries from the secondary impact of slamming into the ground.

The impact of a vehicle hitting a person can result in bone fractures near the location of the body hit first by the vehicle; blood vessels throughout the body and in the brain may burst very quickly from the force of the impact; and soft tissues can experience traumatic tears instantaneously. Therefore, traumatic brain injuries are possible in the initial impact with the vehicle as well as the secondary impact of the victim hitting the ground.

The second factor determining the scope of the victim’s injuries is the location of the incident. For example, if a vehicle strikes a person and slams them into another vehicle, a large object, or a solid surface like the side of a building or a tree, the victim is likely to sustain crushing injuries throughout the body. Finally, the overall medical status of the victim can also play a role in the level of injury they sustain. For example, older people and children are generally most susceptible to life-threatening injuries when a car strikes them. Still, ultimately anyone could potentially suffer life-changing injuries from this type of accident.

Can I Sue a Driver for a Pedestrian Accident?

Every driver in California has a duty of care to prevent collisions with pedestrians, even if pedestrians are negligent. For example, if a pedestrian attempts to cross a street outside of the crosswalk, this is jaywalking and technically illegal. If they step into the street in the path of an oncoming car, the driver may not have time to stop before hitting them. While the pedestrian in this situation is likely to absorb some fault for the incident, any injured pedestrian has the right to pursue a personal injury claim against a driver who hit them.

In a personal injury claim in California, the plaintiff has the right to seek full compensation for any economic losses they suffer due to the defendant’s actions in their claim. These economic losses are likely to include medical expenses and lost income. The victim may suffer severe injuries that demand intensive medical care, and they are unlikely to be able to work until they recover. The defendant is liable for immediate and future medical costs resulting from the accident. They are also liable for lost wages and lost earning capacity if the victim cannot return to work due to a permanent disability from the accident.

What Happens If a Pedestrian Accident Is Fatal?

Unfortunately, many pedestrians struck by cars do not survive these experiences. If your loved one dies in a pedestrian accident, you would have the right to pursue a wrongful death claim. This type of claim effectively replaces the personal injury claim the victim could have filed had they survived, but it focuses on the losses suffered by the victim’s surviving family, not those incurred by the victim’s estate. If your loved one struggled in the hospital after their pedestrian accident and ultimately succumbed to their injuries, you would likely have grounds for a survival action that could secure compensation for their final medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering between the accident and their death.

Succeeding With Your Civil Claim for a Pedestrian Accident

Whether you are filing a personal injury claim in response to a pedestrian accident you or a loved one experienced or pursuing a wrongful death claim after losing a loved one due to a driver’s negligence, you must be prepared for a lengthy and challenging series of legal proceedings to ensure accountability. Success with any civil claim requires accurately identifying the party or parties responsible for causing the accident in question, proving the full scope of the damages resulting from their actions, and providing clear proof that those damages are the direct results of the defendant’s actions, not another cause.

If an injured pedestrian bears partial fault for the accident, California’s pure comparative negligence law comes into play. This law allows the plaintiff to recover compensation when they bear partial liability. However, they lose a percentage of their case award equal to their percentage of fault for causing the incident in question.

Whatever your pedestrian accident claim may entail, you are much more likely to succeed with your legal action when you have an experienced attorney representing you. Perry Personal Injury Lawyers has years of experience representing Southern California clients in a wide range of civil cases, including those pertaining to pedestrian accidents. We know the stress and uncertainty that victims of such accidents are likely to experience, and our goal is to help every client we represent maximize their total recovery. Therefore, if you are ready to discuss your recent pedestrian accident with an experienced personal injury attorney, contact Perry Personal Injury Lawyers today and schedule a consultation with our team.