The Governors Highway Safety Association estimates that nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in the U.S. in 2017, and thousands more suffered non-fatal injuries. These numbers are nearly identical to those recorded in 2016, when there was a 9% increase in pedestrian fatalities over the previous year. Based on this data, it’s clear that pedestrians are at a great risk of getting hit by negligent drivers. Because of this threat, it’s important for pedestrians to know exactly what to do if they are ever in this situation. Follow these steps after an accident:
Call For Help
It’s crucial that you call for help immediately after getting hit by a vehicle. Pedestrians usually suffer serious injuries in these accidents, so it’s possible that you will need emergency medical assistance. But, it’s best to call for help even if you are not badly injured. Ask the dispatcher to send a police officer to the scene to write an accident report so the details of what happened are documented.
Seek Medical Attention
If you are not treated at the scene of the accident, seek medical attention as soon as possible after leaving. All pedestrians that are hit should seek medical attention right away–no matter how minor your injuries may seem. Some symptoms of injuries take longer to appear than others, so it’s best to be examined by a doctor even if you feel fine after an accident.
Seeking medical attention is also important if you plan on filing a personal injury claim. The at-fault party’s insurance company will want to see proof that you were treated immediately after the accident. If you waited a few days before seeing a doctor, the insurance company may not believe that you were actually injured in the accident. This can affect your ability to recover compensation, so protect yourself by seeking medical attention at once.
Be sure to keep a copy of your medical records and bills in a safe place. You will need these documents to recover compensation in your personal injury claim.
Take Pictures At the Scene
If possible, spend time collecting evidence at the scene of the accident. Use your smartphone to take pictures of the positioning of the car, debris on the road, traffic signs, traffic lights, and anything else that seems significant. The more pictures that you take, the better. Something as minor as a skid mark on the road can help experts determine how the car crashed into you and who is to blame. You should also photograph your injuries (if they are visible) and any damage to your property caused by the accident.
Ask Other Parties For Their Information
It’s important to exchange information with the other parties involved in the accident. Ask for their insurance and contact information, but keep the conversation brief. It’s never a good idea to discuss details of the accident, such as what you were doing before you were hit. During this brief conversation, it’s crucial that you avoid talking about who caused the accident or the injuries you sustained as a result of being hit.
The other party that was involved in the accident is not the only one who you should connect with at the scene. If there were witnesses, make sure to ask for their contact information as well. A witness could have seen the driver acting negligently prior to crashing into you, so their testimony could help you recover compensation. Take down their names, phones numbers, and addresses and let them know that someone will be in touch soon to talk about what they saw.
Keep An Injury Journal
Buy an inexpensive notebook–or use your computer–to document your recovery after an accident. At the end of each day, take a few moments to write down how you feel both physically and mentally. For example, let’s say you broke your leg in the accident and must wear a cast for several months. If you are feeling frustrated because of how the cast is restricting your movement and limiting your activities, mention this in your injury journal. Eventually, the journal can be used as evidence of the pain and suffering caused by your injuries.
Seek Legal Representation
Start the search for a personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident. Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations, so you can schedule these meetings with multiple attorneys in your community. This gives you the opportunity to ask each attorney questions about their experience and qualifications before deciding which one to hire. Look for an attorney who has experience handling cases involving pedestrian accidents and winning large settlements and verdicts for their clients.
After selecting an attorney, make sure they have copies of all of the evidence you have collected since the accident occurred. They will need this evidence in order to calculate the value of your claim and prove liability to the at-fault party’s insurance company.
At this point, it’s best to let your attorney take the lead on your personal injury case while you focus on recovering from your injuries. Your attorney can gather evidence, file the appropriate paperwork, and handle the negotiations with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Most cases are resolved through settlements, but if necessary, your attorney can also take your case to trial and continue to fight for compensation in court.
Have you been hit by a car while walking? If so, contact Trial Lawyers for Justice today to schedule a consultation regarding your case. Pedestrians typically sustain serious injuries in these accidents. It’s best to allocate all of your energy to your recovery–let us handle the rest. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will work tirelessly to ensure you are fairly compensated for your injuries.