Around 5000 pedestrians are killed and another 65,000 pedestrians are injured each year in pedestrian accidents. These accidents can be traumatizing for the victim and can cause long-term, painful injuries and financial strain.
Pedestrian accidents have many causes, but a majority of the time, they are caused by impaired or distracted drivers.
If you’ve been hit by a car driven by an impaired or distracted driver, it will be crucial for you to follow these steps to ensure that you’re legally protected.
1. Call Emergency Services
If you are a pedestrian or riding a bike and have been hit by a car, get to a safe location if you’re able to, out of the way of traffic. Then, call 9-1-1.
Even if you don’t believe you were seriously injured, it’s always best to get checked by a medical professional and have the incident investigated by the police.
Many people involved in a traumatic accident are in shock afterward, which can temporarily cloud your judgment. Give yourself enough time to calm down a little and try to think clearly before making any decisions.
Waiting to receive treatment is not advised, but if you choose not to go the emergency room, you should at least go to an urgent care center or check in with your primary care physician. Make sure that whoever treats you will give you a report of any injuries you have suffered as a result of the accident.
2. Document the Incident
You will need to gather all of the information you can regarding the pedestrian accident so you can present it to your lawyer and the associated insurance companies. Some important items to collect are:
- The driver’s information, including insurance details, license plate number, details about their vehicle, and ways to contact them.
- Statements from witnesses, along with their contact information.
- Photographs of the scene. Take pictures from lots of different angles in addition to the surrounding area.
- Photographs of your injuries.
- A copy of the police report
You will also want to observe the driver and see if they might have been distracted or impaired at the time of the accident. Try and see if they have a cell phone in their hand or in their car, and if it appears that they might have been using it right before the wreck occurred.
If the driver appears to be under the influence of anything that might have impaired their driving, let the police know immediately when they arrive and include that in your documentation. This way, the police can perform a field sobriety test of the individual if they think that is necessary.
If you are unable to gather this information because of your injuries, it’s okay to ask a witness for help. However, be very careful what you say.
3. Bite Your Tongue
Whenever you speak with the driver, witnesses, or the police, be very careful with your words. It is a fact that “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law,” so use extreme caution when discussing any details of the accident.
Even if you feel you are being careful with your words, or if you believe you can trust the person with whom you’re talking, it’s still best not to discuss details. Your statements could easily be misconstrued by someone or even twisted to work against you.
Also, be very careful about what you post on social media. Refrain from posting any details about the accident or anything that could be considered contradictory to your claims.
For example, if you’re claiming to not be able to work from your injuries, how do you think a judge would feel about seeing a picture of you on social media playing golf with your friends?
The best way to protect yourself from having your social media posts later being used against you, is to simply not post anything at all.
4. Contact Your Insurance Companies
Even though you weren’t in a car when the accident happened, most auto insurance policies will still cover you in the event of a pedestrian accident. Call your car insurance company and see what your options are.
It’s also important to let any medical providers that treat you know whether you have health insurance. But NEVER give them the claim information or insurance information of any auto insurance companies that are involved.
If you have health insurance, you will help yourself and keep more money in your pocket by making any and all medical providers bill your health insurance.
5. Hire an Attorney
It’s important that you contact a personal injury attorney quickly after an accident in order to avoid the loss or destruction of any evidence. Your attorney will look at all of the reports and documents submitted by the insurance companies, the police, medical doctors, and you, to get a well-rounded understanding of the accident. From there, they will then conduct their own investigation.
Since injuries from pedestrian accidents and bicycle accidents tend to be more severe than a typical car accident, it’s likely that you could face greater financial and physical burdens.
An experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney will help you seek full compensation for your injuries, pain, and suffering. Your attorney will also be able to speak on your behalf to the various parties involved in your case, while giving you the best advice on how to proceed legally.
When necessary, your attorney can also file a lawsuit on your behalf against the at-fault party.
You Got Hit by a Car. Let Us Handle It From Here.
Getting hit in a car accident when you are a pedestrian or riding a bicycle can be extremely stressful. And the process of filing a claim or fighting a lawsuit can be time-consuming, and involve a lot back-and-forth between the parties involved.
The good news is that you don’t have to do it all alone. Let a highly experienced and professional Pedestrian Accident Attorney assist you down your road to recovery.
If you’ve been the victim of a pedestrian accident, book a free consultation at Reasonover Law Firm to learn more about your legal rights and begin building your case.
Reasonover Law Firm works strictly on a contingency fee arrangement. This means that you don’t owe the firm anything up front. They don’t get paid unless they obtain a settlement on your behalf.