Involved in a Pedestrian Motor Vehicle Accident? Go to the ER!

personal injury NJ

Pedestrian accidents have dramatically increased in the last 2 years. In 2016 and 2017, accidents involving pedestrians reached a 25-year high. Each of those years saw 6,000 deaths of pedestrians in motor vehicle accidents. There has been a convergence of contributing factors.

 

  • Distracted drivers—Drivers can be distracted by anything: turning on the air conditioner, taking a bite of a sandwich, rolling down their window, talking to other people in the car. These tasks typically only take a few seconds, but texting while driving takes drivers’ eyes away from the road for longer periods of time and is the cause of 1 out of every 4 car accidents.

 

  • Distracted pedestrians—Pedestrians eliminate two of their crucial senses when walking in traffic with their phones: sight (by looking at the screen), and hearing (by wearing headphones and listening to music.) While pedestrians have the right of way, they become a hazard when they aren’t paying attention.

 

  • Legal marijuana use—The availability of legal marijuana in some states has contributed to a slight rise in motor vehicle accidents.

 

  • Illegal and/or prescription drug use—The opioid epidemic has meant an increase in drug abuse, and since it is harder to test for, driving under the influence of opioids and other medications has led to more accidents.

 

All of these have contributed to a 46% increase in pedestrian accidents which means that more people than ever are at risk.

If you are a pedestrian involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is crucial to know what to do. Without question, you must seek emergency care. Whether you believe you need treatment or not, insist on transport or travel to the ER yourself.

 

Why it’s important to go to the ER

When you are involved in an accident, your body and your brain go into protective mode. Your adrenaline goes into action, your heart starts blood pumping faster, and you become excited. Your injuries may seem minimal or non-existent. You may leave the accident feeling fine and decide not to seek medical treatment. Eventually, whether minutes or hours later, the body’s fight-or-flight reaction calms down and the effects of the accident become more evident. Your injuries may have been more extensive than you originally thought. You may have even made your injury by waiting to seek care.

Any delay in seeking medical treatment can be used as justification for an insurance claim denial. It is important to go to the ER immediately to get an accurate record of all of your injuries, no matter how minor. The medical record will be used as evidence for your insurance or personal injury claim.

 

What to do when you get there

  • Make it clear that a motor vehicle was involved. This may seem like an obvious point, but if this information is missing from the medical report it will make your auto insurance claim difficult to prove.
  • Report all of your injuries — even minor ones. While you may be more focused on broken bones or abrasions, don’t forget to report soreness, stiffness, headaches, neck or back pain, and even slight sprains or bruises. Any injury can become serious, and if it is missing from the initial medical report, an insurance adjuster will argue that it is unrelated to the accident.

 

Should you go to your PCP or urgent care center?

Primary care physicians typically do not have the ability to see patients immediately and the sooner you seek treatment the better for your health and for any claim you may make in a case. They will also likely send you for testing at another facility with X-ray, MRI, CAT Scan, and send you for blood work. Rather than chasing all of those things down separately, the ER is much better equipped to treat your needs. An urgent care center will be able to perform more tests than your PCP, but if your injuries are extensive and you need to be admitted you will have to go to the hospital anyway.

After your accident it is important to seek legal counsel. At Veitengruber Law, we have the knowledge and experience to fully and thoroughly evaluate your case. PLEASE NOTE THAT YOUR CONSULTATION WILL BE FREE OF CHARGE.

We will then refer you to the best personal injury attorney for your situation. Our professional network allows us to reach out to a number of very talented and caring personal injury NJ attorneys. Seek legal representation as soon as possible after your accident to ensure that your case gets the proper attention and results.