Pedestrians who are injured by a vehicle may be owed significant compensation for the harm they have suffered. Therefore, if you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, knowing which steps to take next is critical.
Notify the Police
Call 911 and report the collision. Police officers and emergency responders will arrive on the scene to treat you and create an accident report. The police report will contain critical facts on the collision and what they believe happened. This report can weigh heavily in an insurance company’s decision on fault.
Seek Medical Attention
If you were hit by a vehicle, the most important thing to do next is see a doctor. Even if your injuries seem minor and you were not transported to the hospital by first responders, go to urgent care, the emergency room, or schedule an appointment to see your normal physician as soon as possible. Some severe injuries can have delayed symptoms, so it is critical to your health to undergo a complete medical evaluation.
Once you are released to go home, remain alert for any urgent symptoms, such as headaches or dizziness, pain in the shoulder, neck, or back, tingling or numbness, abdominal pain, or severe emotional distress. Be sure to follow all of your doctor’s orders. If you fail to do so, not only can it jeopardize your health but also your claim for compensation. Gaps or delays in treatment can give the at-fault driver’s insurance company the ability to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim them to be
Document the Accident
If your injuries allow you to remain at the scene before seeing a physician, be sure to take photos or videos. Documenting the accident scene can provide evidence of fault and substantiate your injuries. Try to capture the following:
The position of the vehicle involved
The point of impact on the vehicle
The surrounding area and any property damage
A far away shot of the entire scene
Any skid marks or other markings on the road
Street signs and traffic signals
Any hazards, such as potholes or uneven lanes
If there are any witnesses, ask for their contact information and if they would be willing to make a brief recorded statement (you can use your phone).
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company to report the accident, but don’t make a recorded statement before speaking to an attorney. Insurance adjusters can seem friendly, but they will look for any way to devalue or deny your claim. Depending on the type of insurance coverage you have, you may be able to file a claim under your policy if you do not want to file one directly with the at-fault party’s insurer.
Speak to a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
It is in your best interests to consult with a top-rated pedestrian accident attorney before speaking to the at-fault party’s insurance company. Getting legal advice on your case will ensure you do not settle for a less than fair amount of compensation and will prevent you from saying anything that can reduce the driver’s liability.