If you are hit by a car, the immediate aftermath of the incident can be frightening. You may be feeling stunned and shocked and uncertain of what to do next. There are steps to take to protect your health and your legal rights. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney can provide information on what you should do to secure compensation for losses.
Steps to Take Following a Pedestrian Collision
Following a pedestrian collision:
- Assess your medical condition. Have you been obviously harmed? Can you stand? If you are in pain, limit movement until medical attention arrives. Contact an ambulance if possible or have someone contact an ambulance for you.
- Call the police. 911.gov advises those involved in motor vehicle collisions to call for assistance, especially in situations where injuries may have occurred. If you do not believe you were badly hurt, accidents should still be reported. The police non-emergency line may be called to request an officer come to the crash scene.
- Go to the hospital or an urgent care clinic. Getting a thorough medical examination is important even if you do not feel obviously injured. Mayo Clinic warns concussion symptoms can sometimes be delayed, as can symptoms of serious brain injury. A physician should be consulted to give you a clean bill of health because crash impact can cause serious internal injuries. A doctor can also document any injuries you sustained so it will later be possible to seek compensation for losses.
- Get contact information for the driver who hit you and from crash witnesses. Those who observed the collision can provide invaluable information about how the accident happened. You may need to prove the driver hit you in order to be compensated for pedestrian accident losses. Obtaining contact information from the motorist whose vehicle struck you is important so you can be in contact with him later and can make a claim with his insurance company. If the driver refuses to provide information to you, contact the police so they can obtain the details you need. If the driver tries to leave the crash scene before police have arrived or contact information is exchanged, obtain his license plate number (consider using your phone to try to take a picture of the vehicle and license plate when possible).
- Tell your insurance company about the crash. The claim for compensation you make should be with the insurer of the driver who hurt you. Sometimes, however, motorists have no insurance despite coverage requirements. You can sometimes obtain payment for damages if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage available to provide payments for crashes with drivers who have insufficient liability coverage.
You should also consider pursuing a legal claim for compensation if it is possible to demonstrate the motorist who hit you was at fault. Recovery can be expensive after a pedestrian accident and you should not be forced to endure financial losses.