Pedestrian Injuries and Accident Investigation (Part 1)


A pedestrian is injured every 8 minutes in the United States.  As a Sacramento Pedestrian Accident attorney for many years, I have handled hundreds of pedestrian injury cases.

In every case, a quick investigation of the scene is necessary. The accident scene may have tire tracks that show the vehicle’s direction of travel, skid marks as well as debris that can show the point of impact. There may be parts of the car still present such as broken headlights or mirrors and these should be collected. Road markings should be measured and photographed.

The direction the pedestrian traveled should also be photographed  and measured. Any blood on the pavement should be photographed and measured.

The attorney should have his investigator find the vehicle involved and should photograph it from different angles for damage. The inside and outside of the vehicle should be scrutinized for deformation, blood or  human tissue or hair.

The attorney should obtain the “Black box” if the vehicle is equipped with one.

In order to help determine causation of pedestrian injuries clothes of the victim should be examined, if possible when still on the body. Smudge marks, blood and dirt should be noted. These marks help determine where the vehicle struck the victim.

The body of the victim should be carefully photographed. This again helps determine which part of the vehicle struck the pedestrian.

If the pedestrian is killed, an autopsy should always be done.

This will determine the cause of death as well as show if there were any drugs inside the victim that may potentially be partially responsible for the sequence of events that led to the death.

The location of the injuries of the pedestrian may show a pattern that can shed light on how the accident occurred.

In every case, the position of the victim and degree of injury should be documented as should marks on and position of the vehicle.

The condition of the road should be noted, and slip testing done if necessary. Any skid marks or other roadway markings should be noted.

Weather and lighting conditions must also be documented.

In Part 2 of this article, I’ll talk about the common injuries suffered by pedestrians in accidents with motor vehicles.

I’m Ed Smith, a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in California and I handle serious cases throughout the state. You can find out more about my firm on Yelp or Avvo.

Call me anytime for advice. In Sacramento 916-921-6400 or Elsewhere in California at 800-404-5400. You can also write me at

Image Attribution: Taken by Enoch Lau on 29 December 2005 via wikimedia commons


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