6000 people die every year due to being struck by cars. Hundreds of thousands more are seriously injured.
While it might seem unlikely that being hit by a vehicle could happen to you, no matter how vigilant of a pedestrian you are, you might find yourself on the wrong end of an accident someday.
Knowing what to do after you get hit by a car is critical to persevering your health and your legal rights.
In this blog post, we briefly go over steps that most pedestrians should take after being involved in a vehicle accident.
1. Call 911
The moment that you’re hit a car a lot of things can happen. You could be seriously injured and consequently, your health might rapidly decline. The driver that struck you could speed off. You might even be intimidated by that driver and dissuaded from getting help.
To improve your chances of avoiding/navigating those variables, if you’re able, call 911. Let the operator know where you are and that you’ve been hit by a car. They will send an ambulance immediately.
If you’re unable to call 911, flag down nearby pedestrians for help.
2. Collect Evidence
Your ability to collect evidence after an accident will be contingent on how injured you are. In our opinion, even if you’re not in substantial pain, your evidence collection efforts should be kept to a reasonable minimum.
Having witnesses walk over to you to get their information and taking pictures of the accident without moving around too much are two smart moves.
If you’re able to get up, chase down witnesses, take videos and chastise the person that hit you, your over-activity might be used against you during legal proceedings.
3. Seek Medical Help
After your accident, no matter how good or bad you feel, seek medical attention. If you should choose to bring your accident to court, one of the first things that people will look at is how severe your injuries were. If you claim severe injury but never went to see a doctor, you’re going to deflate the viability of your word.
See a doctor as soon as possible after you get hit by a car, let the person that checks you in to your doctor’s appointment know that you’re visiting due to an accident and have your doctor give you a thorough evaluation.
4. Collect All Medical Findings
After you’ve gone through a medical evaluation, it’s important that you have your doctor give your copies of findings, prescriptions, and receipts for your medical costs. All of this data should be kept in a folder alongside evidence that you collected from the scene of your accident.
The extent of your medical expenses, as well as your doctor’s outlook on your future health, will have a large impact on your legal outcomes should you choose to take the matter to court.
5. Talk to an Attorney
Sure, you could get hit by a car, seek medical treatment and then go through the process of making claims against the assailant’s insurance provider. The truth is though that most insurance companies are going to try to low-ball you with the settlements that they offer.
By talking to an attorney that specializes in pedestrian accidents, you can get an evaluation of how much money you should be awarded as a result of your unique event.
If you’re being offered less than what an attorney suggests that they can get you in compensation, hire the attorney and have them fight for a better deal.
6. File for Damages Against the Aggressor
With your attorney in tow, make a formal claim against the driver’s insurance company. Accident claims can be tedious to fill out and require high attention to detail as minor issues with claims can later come back to undermine court cases (should your accident end up in front of a jury).
That’s why having an attorney in your corner when dealing with insurance providers is so valuable.
With an attorney by your side, you can sit back and focus on recovery while they handle the paperwork.
7. Consider Making a Claim Against the City
A lot of people that hit pedestrians have sub-par insurance and limited personal funds to draw from once their insurance coverage runs out. Per that fact, if you can make a claim against a city in addition to a claim against an assailant, that’s the way to go.
Simple oversights like a poorly kept stop sign or an unkempt crosswalk could upgrade your settlement potential by millions of dollars.
Again, an attorney is invaluable when it comes to assessing if your case has legs against the city.
8. Settle or Go to Court
Once claims have been made against the appropriate parties, the waiting game begins. Each person that you’ve levied a case against will likely come up with a dollar amount that they’re willing to pay you and your attorney will negotiate to get the sum as high as possible. Once your attorney feels like the amount being offered is fair, they’ll present you the offer and you can accept or take the case to court.
A word of caution: While taking a case to court could result in more compensation, it could also result in a jury denying your claim altogether.
Heed your lawyer’s advice when it comes to accepting or rejecting settlements so you don’t make the wrong move.
Summarizing What You Should Do If You Are Hit by a Car as a Pedestrian
If you’re walking and get hit by a car, call 911, collect evidence, go to the doctor, contact a lawyer, make claims and either accept your settlement or go to court.
With the help of a quality attorney that process should be relatively simple. Believe us when we say that when you’re injured, simplicity is something that you’re going to appreciate.
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