Pedestrian accidents are, unfortunately, more common than you might think. According to the CDC, 5,987 pedestrians were killed in car accidents in the U.S. during 2016. That doesn’t even take into account how many pedestrians were treated in emergency departments (almost 129,000).
If you’re hit by a car, you’re encouraged to follow the steps below.
Get to safety
If you’re able to get up and walk by yourself, then it’s important to get to safety. This might sound obvious, but you need to get out of the way of traffic, as well as ensure no further damage or accidents take place. Your safety and well-being are the biggest priorities.
Call the police
Whether you’re injured or not, and even if there’s no damage to the vehicle that hit you, you should call the police. You should never rely on the other driver to put in a claim or admit fault in an accident. Not to mention, the driver could tell his or her insurance company that it’s your fault after everyone has left the scene.
The police will investigate the scene, determine who’s at fault, and make it so legal records are available of the accident. Everything will be documented, and you might need a police report to make a proper claim with your insurance company.
Receive medical attention
Once the police and paramedics arrive, you should receive medical attention. If you’re conscious, then it’s your responsibility to do so. If not, then the responsibility falls on witnesses or the driver involved in the accident.
Even if you think you feel fine, medical attention is necessary because you could be in shock (emotionally and physically) which can cloud your judgement. Plus, injury symptoms can show up 24 hours or more after the initial trauma.
You should receive a full medical evaluation from a car accident doctor even if you don’t think you were injured and to also have a follow-up appointment just in case you find new injuries from the accident or injuries and symptoms worsen. Document all of your injuries, medical appointments, and fees.
Exchange insurance information
As is the case with any accident, you’ll want to exchange personal and insurance information with the driver involved so you can make a claim, and of course, hold the other person accountable for damages and injuries.
Your insurance company will need this information so it can contact the other insurance company and properly file a claim. Again, don’t rely on the other person involved to make a claim. You should make one with your insurance company no matter what.
Contact your insurance company and seek professional legal assistance
After you’ve received medical attention and exchanged information, you’ll want to contact your insurance company so you can put in a claim. Your insurance provider will then contact the other driver’s insurance. Even though your vehicle wasn’t involved in an accident, traffic lawyers can still assist you as a pedestrian, so get into contact with one. Lastly, keep in mind that you might need to make medical claims after the fact.
Another important step is to contact pedestrian accident lawyers so you can seek professional legal advice. An accident lawyer can help you get compensated fairly and also deal with the other party when it comes to settlements or possibly court dates and other legal issues.
The last thing you want to do is accept a settlement without seeking legal assistance from a car accident lawyer. That’s because your compensation might be unfair and other injuries, concerns, and medical bills could arise in the future. A legal professional can ensure you’re being treated properly and ethically.