According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 5,000 pedestrians were killed in accidents with cars, trucks, and other vehicles in 2015. In addition, nearly 130,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic accidents during the same year. Because these accidents happen so frequently, it’s important to know what to do if you are ever hit by a vehicle while crossing the street. Follow these tips:
Seek Medical Attention
If possible, call 9-1-1 to report the accident and ask for emergency medical assistance for yourself and anyone else who has been seriously injured. If you are unable to place the call on your own, ask someone else at the scene of the accident to do it for you.
Pedestrians are far more likely to suffer injuries than motorists are, so it’s possible that you could be seriously hurt. But, if you’re not, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after you leave the scene of the accident. Doing this is crucial since injuries typically tend to worsen as time passes. Seeing a doctor right away also ensures your injuries are documented, which makes it easier to recover compensation in a personal injury claim.
But, even if you are not seriously injured, you should still call 9-1-1 immediately after an accident. Tell the dispatcher to send a police officer to the scene to document the accident and issue a citation to the at-fault party. The police officer will create a police report that summarizes the events of the accident and identifies the at-fault party.
Document the Accident
If your injuries are not severe, it’s strongly recommended that you take the time to document the scene of the accident. Take photos of the everything you see, including the car, the area of the street where the accident occurred, your visible injuries, and nearby traffic signs and signals. You should also make an effort to talk to witnesses to see what they saw. If they are willing to provide it, write down their contact information in a safe place so you can ask them more questions later on.
Do not admit fault when talking to anyone at the scene of the accident. Stick to exchanging information and asking witnesses for a brief statement. If you admit it was your fault, these words could come back to haunt you in your personal injury claim.
Contact A Personal Injury Attorney
Seeing a doctor should be your first priority after leaving the scene of the accident. If you’ve already done so, the next item on your to-do list should be getting in touch with a personal injury attorney. Set up an initial consultation so you have an opportunity to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. Bring all of the evidence you have gathered from the scene of the accident, including photographs, the police report, and the witnesses’ statements. You should also bring your medical records so the attorney can learn more about the severity of your injuries.
The attorney will review all of these documents to determine whether or not you have a case. Some attorneys will even provide victims of a rough estimate of the value of their cases during this initial meeting. But, this is only possible if you have provided the attorney with the appropriate documents. If you believe the attorney is qualified to take your case, you may be able to sign the paperwork at the end of the meeting so they can get started right away.
Follow the Doctors’ Orders
Your attorney will be working tirelessly to gather additional evidence needed to prove liability in your case and negotiate with the insurance company. While your attorney handles these aspects of the case, you should continue to follow your doctors’ orders.
If a doctor tells you to take a certain medication, make an appointment with a specialist, schedule follow-ups, or take time off of work, do as you are told. Failing to follow a doctor’s orders could negatively affect your health. Plus, it could also impact your personal injury case. If the insurance adjuster sees you are not following orders, they may argue you are exaggerating your injuries or not actually interested in recovering from your injuries. This argument is not always effective, but if it is, it could drastically reduce the value of your claim.
Let Your Attorney Do the Talking
It is also important to let your attorney do the talking when it comes to the at-fault party’s insurance company. The insurance adjuster that has been assigned to your case will try every trick in the book to lower the value of your claim. After all, their goal is to get victims to settle for as little as possible. For example, the insurance company may ask for a recorded statement right after the crash. This may seem innocent, but it’s not. The insurance adjuster will use this time to ask misleading questions and get responses that can be taken out of context and used against you.
This is just one of the many tricks that insurance adjusters use to lower the value of your claim. You may not be familiar with these tricks, but an experienced attorney will be. For this reason, it’s best to let an attorney handle the negotiations with the insurance company. Your attorney will ensure you do not fall victim to one of the insurance company’s sneaky tactics.
Were you hit by a car, truck, or other vehicle while crossing the street? If so, contact Trial Lawyers for Justice today to schedule a consultation regarding your pedestrian accident case. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will help you seek justice against the negligent parties and recover the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.