What To Do If You Are A Pedestrian Hurt By A Car In An Accident
The idea of being hit by a car while you’re walking might not seem very likely, but being struck by two tons of moving steel is an unfortunate possibility for anyone walking near a roadway.
But if you are ever struck, there are some very specific steps you need to take to keep yourself safe and to reduce your risk and determine if you need to seek legal help.
So if you are hit by a car as a pedestrian, here’s what you should do.
Stay calm and get out of the street
Right after impact, you may have a strong physical reaction even if the blow doesn’t feel all that severe. You may go into a state of shock and have confusion or numbness. You may also feel totally fine, if very angry or upset. You may immediately feel that something is broken or injured.
No matter how you feel, try to stay calm and get out of the street. It’s likely the driver will also be having a strong reaction, so if you keep your cool it will help keep the situation calm and non-reactive as you assess the damage and proceed with the next steps.
Keep the driver and any witnesses on scene
Immediately after the accident, you may feel like you’re fine and don’t need any help getting home. You might think it was just a bump and you’re not actually hurt. This may just be the adrenaline masking the actual extent of your injuries, and a pain might take a few minutes to actually register.
Keep the driver on the scene with you while you wait. If there are witnesses, ask them to stay as well. Take a photo of the driver’s license plate.
Call the police
Be sure you call the police, even if your injuries don’t feel all that severe. Not only will this help police keep accurate records of how many of these accidents happen, it will also carry a lot of weight with your insurance company if you end up needing to file a claim.
Don’t brush off the accident and leave the scene- striking a pedestrian is a serious matter and it’s important that law enforcement knows about it. Most places, you cannot file an accident report after the fact, so play it safe and call the cops right there.
Get the driver’s info and take photographs
After you call the police, take the time to get all the driver’s information, including their driver’s license, license plate, and insurance information. Take detailed pictures of everything around you, such as the car, your body, the traffic light, the intersection, and the street signs. You really can’t overdo it with the photos, because they can be useful if you end up needing to file a claim.
If you can’t take photos, ask a bystander or even the driver to do it.
Go to the doctor
After you’ve given your statement to the police, head to the doctor. Fractures and minor injuries often go undetected, and it can help your claim if you decide to file.
Again, even if you don’t feel like anything is physically wrong with you, you may be experiencing emotional repercussions such as accelerated heart rate, crying, numbness, or other symptoms. Go to a doctor and get checked out.
Notify your insurance
Call your insurance and start a claim. Give a brief statement about what happened, but if the damage is more than minor we suggest waiting to consult a lawyer before giving them too many details.
Be sure to keep your receipts for your medical bills, transportation fees, charges to fix any broken items, and any lost wages.
Find a good lawyer
Getting help from a pro is a good idea in situations like this. An experienced lawyer can help you get more money from a settlement and take the pressure of the situation off you while you recover from any injuries you may have had.
Personal injury lawyers have years of experience with these types of cases and know how to navigate the process to get you the justice you deserve. Additionally, a letter from a lawyer carries more weight with an insurance company than anything you can write alone.
While we hope you never experience an accident like this, these tips can help you make the best of a tough situation.