Pedestrians face an increased risk of getting hurt every day when they step out into the streets. However, for some, walking constitutes their only mode of available transportation. For pedestrians, remaining aware of their surroundings can amount to a matter of life or death.
If a car hits you while walking, knowing what to do after can make a difference in your ability to recover successfully. Read on for more information.
Make Sure To Keep The Driver At The Scene
Sometimes, after a pedestrian accident, drivers don’t stop or quickly leave to try and avoid potential legal repercussions for the accident. If you can, calmly ask the driver to stay at the scene to wait for the police to arrive.
If the driver wants to leave, don’t try to stop him or her. Instead, get a photo of the vehicle and license plate, or jot down the license plate number and vehicle make and model. If you cannot do any of this, ask a witness to gather the information for you.
Call 911 And Report The Accident To The Authorities
The law usually requires police notification following any type of car or pedestrian accident. The police will come to the scene of the accident and gather facts for their official accident report. They will also collect the names and contact information of any witnesses and help get medical assistance for anyone hurt.
A police report often serves as a crucial piece of evidence after a pedestrian accident. Right after, you may feel in shock or experience some confusion, making it difficult to get an accurate account of what happened. Additionally, you may not remember the details of the accident later. Police serve as a neutral third party that will make a factual report of the facts surrounding the case.
Gather Evidence At The Scene If You Can
If you can, try to collect as much evidence as possible at the accident scene. This may include taking pictures of the car, the accident scene, injuries, traffic signs near the accident, and anything else near you. You may also want to take a video of the accident scene right after impact if possible.
You should also collect the contact and insurance information from the driver and the names and contact information for any witnesses. You never know what kind of evidence you will need later or the statement the driver will make to reduce potential liability.
Always Seek Medical Treatment Immediately
Even if you don’t feel pain, you should see a doctor right away if a car hits you as a pedestrian. Your doctor will treat you for injuries and provide you with referrals for a specialist if necessary.
Your doctor also plays a vital part in recovering compensation from the driver that hit you. By seeing a doctor, you create a record of your injuries and get a recovery plan. You will likely need both to prove that the driver caused your injuries and establish a basis for the amount of compensation that you request in your claim.
Contact Your Insurance Company To Report The Accident And Start A Claim
If you have car insurance, call your insurance provider to report the accident immediately. Although you were a pedestrian at the time of the accident, you may have coverage included in your policy for this type of accident. You may also need to contact the insurance provider for the driver. If you need to communicate with the driver’s insurance company, don’t say anything that may indicate you accept some or all liability for the accident.
Never admit fault, especially to the insurance company, and you should refuse to provide a recorded statement. Insurance companies frequently try to get accident victims to say something during a recorded statement that will reduce their policyholder’s liability and reduce the amount of your compensation.
Create A Journal Of Your Recovery And A File For Your Documents
In any injury claim, staying organized and keeping a record of everything will help you in the long run. You will likely need to provide documentation for everything related to the accident, including documentation from your doctor, medical or other bills, and correspondence with the driver’s insurance company. Having all of this in one place can reduce stress if someone asks you to produce the documentation in the future.
Take the time to create a journal to record your injuries and progress as you recover. You will need to make sure to follow your doctor’s treatment plan carefully. Record how you feel each day and what your recovery plan entails. Your recovery journal can serve as strong evidence to support your compensation claim.
Seek The Help Of A Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Working with a lawyer can prove helpful to you in several ways. Your pedestrian accident lawyer knows what you need to do at every step of the legal process. Your lawyer can focus on handling the legal aspects, so you can focus on your recovery.
A pedestrian accident lawyer can help you in many ways, including:
- Gathering evidence to establish the driver’s liability.
- Handling all communications with the driver’s insurance company, so you don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing.
- Working with your doctor to understand the long-term effects and costs of your injuries.
- Filing any legal paperwork required to progress your case.
- Working with specialists and experts to build evidence to support your claim.
- Investigating the driver’s history for evidence of any past driving infractions.
- Negotiating with the driver’s insurance company if it tries to claim shared liability or make a low-ball settlement offer.
- Building your case for trial if necessary.
No matter the facts of your case, working with a pedestrian accident lawyer can help you with all aspects of your legal claim. Your lawyer will help make sure you pursue maximum compensation given your specific circumstances, including any future issues that you may encounter because of the accident.
Contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney today to learn more.