What You Should Do If Hit By a Car as a Pedestrian

Cars are one of the most beloved forms of transport. Few things are more delightful that hitting the road and heading off for an adventure. Most Americans will own a car and drive at some point in time. For many people, the car is their primary form of transport. At the same time, getting behind the wheel is a huge responsibility and a great privilege. Drivers must pay close attention to the road even when running a fast errand.

A single missed connection can create all sorts of problems for the driver and anyone on the road with them. Injuries are common for the driver and for others next to them. Pedestrians also need to take responsibility for their actions when they out and about. A pedestrian needs to be aware of their surroundings as they walk across a busy intersection. If a pedestrian accident happens, it is crucial to have a pedestrian accident lawyer on hand to help.

In the Immediate Aftermath

After an accident happens, it can feel very confusing for all involved. The driver may not even be aware something has happened. They might continue to drive on without stopping. Even a minor accident can leave a pedestrian dazed and unaware of their surroundings. Bystanders may be around to respond to the situation or the accident may have taken place on a deserted road late at night. The single most important thing to avoid panic and relax. Accidents happen quickly. Most are completed in less than a minute.

The first thing to do is make sure no one is seriously injured. Allow yourself some time to catch your breath. Then, take a full scale assessment. See if you see any bleeding anywhere. Examine any exposed body parts. You’re looking for bruises and any evidence of broken bones. You should also do the same for all those around you. If you’re with small children, you’ll want to hold them closely and see how they’re reacting. Children may be simply scared and crying as a result.

If you can, it’s also a good idea to look at the driver. If they’ve hit something along the way, the driver may be in danger and in need of medical attention. Be very careful walking around the car. There may be all sorts of hazards including bits of metal and broken glass. The driver may have hit a tree or power line. These can pose even further dangers.

Even if you are feeling okay, you’ll still want to consider seeking medical attention. Injuries are not always readily apparent. A small bump on your head may lead to a more serious concussion later on. Contacting medical attention if you can is imperative. Call 9-11 on your cell phone. If it’s not working, see if you see any place nearby. A business owner will let you contact the police and ask for medical attention if you’ve been injured.

Taking Lots of Photos

Another thing to do is take lots of photos. Document everything. It will make it much easier to work with a personal injury lawyer if you have lots of pictures. Take pictures of the accident scene. Do the same with any hint of injuries. You want to take multiple pictures of your bruises. You also want to take pictures of the car that hit you. Keep in mind the driver may be hostile. They may be driving under the influence or fleeing the scene of a prior crime or other dangerous condition. Now is the time to approach this issue with great caution. Stay away if you feel you’re in danger.

Make a note of the driver’s response. If you smell alcohol on their breath or see any evidence of other issues that might have impaired their driving, send yourself a quick email from your cell phone. If the driver seems to be trying to flee the scene, make a note of that as well. If they offer help, write down exactly what they said and what you said in turn.

Medical Attention

Medical attention is another huge part of the process. If you don’t feel in immediate danger, consider calling a cab to bring you to the emergency room. Contact your primary provider and see if you can get an appointment the next day. You’ll want to explain to the doctor what happened, how it happened and where you were when it happened.

Do the same thing for everyone in your party. Babies may be injured but unable to explain to a parent how and what hurts. If you suspect any problem at all, prompt medical attention should be a priority. Even a minor fracture can leave the baby in pain and lead to lifelong consequences. The same is true of toddlers and preschoolers in your care.

Filing a Claim

Once you’ve taken care of any medical issues, now is the time to speak with a pedestrian accident lawyer. The lawyer can help you figure out what to do next. Medical treatment is expensive. A single visit to the emergency room can mean a few hundred dollars in medical costs even if you have good insurance. Any pedestrian accident can mean you’ll need to take time off from work. You might need ongoing physical therapy to regain full function of an injured body part. If the injury is serious, you might be unable to get to work as you recover. A really serious car crash can leave pedestrians unable to return to their former job.

All of these issues are eligible for compensation from the driver’s insurance company. The driver’s insurance company should assume responsibility for the aftermath of the accident. Some states are what are known as no-fault states. In these states, you do not have to worry about a denied claim because you might be considered at least partially at fault. However, you are not entitled to seek damages from the driver and their insurance company for your pain and suffering.

Other Issues

A good personal injury lawyer can also help you figure out what other issues apply to your case. For example, if you are in a crosswalk when you were hit, the driver is considered at fault. However, if you were doing something such as jaywalking, you might be held at least partially responsible for the accident. Drivers must be alert and paying attention as they drive. Pedestrians are also required to observe a measure of common sense. You cannot simply jump in front of a car and then expect both compensation for your injuries and money for pain and suffering.

The driver and pedestrian may not be the only ones at fault. Municipalities can also be held responsible for the condition of the road. Towns are required to make sure all road signs are in good working order. Faulty traffic lights or missing signs can easily cause a problem. If a driver and a pedestrian both have a green light at the same time, the township can be held responsible for any resulting injuries. Proper legal counsel can help clear up any issues. Speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after any motor vehicle accident.

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