Getting hit by a car as a pedestrian is more common than you’d think.
According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 6,500 pedestrians were killed and nearly 55,000 more were injured by car crashes in 2020.
Typically, pedestrian accidents happen at intersections or crossswalks. Common causes include jaywalking, bad weather, and drunk driving or walking.
Often, pedestrians don’t see the accident coming. Cars move so fast that there’s little time to react. This is not only scary but can leave you with serious injuries.
So if you ever find yourself in a car accident as a pedestrian, here’s what you should do:
- Get medical attention
First and foremost, get medical attention. If you are badly injured, you’ll need first aid. Call 911 and call for help from people nearby.
Whatever you do, stay calm and let the medical professionals do their job. But don’t skip this step. If you do, insurance adjusters and juries will assume you weren’t that hurt when you make legal and insurance claims later on.
- Document the accident scene
If you’re able, document the accident scene so you have evidence for later. If you have a smartphone on you, use it to take pictures and notes.
If the driver says anything that indicates fault, be sure to record or write it down as well. These could include statements like:
- “I’m sorry I didn’t see you”
- “I was on the phone”
- “I’ll pay for your medical bills”
If there are any witnesses to the accident, have them record their testimonies as well. This can all be put in the police report to help your legal and insurance case later.
- Exchange contact information with the driver
At the scene, exchange contact information with the driver. Don’t discuss fault or legal options with them. Anything you say could be held against you later on. Just get their name, address, phone number, and insurance policy if they have one. This lets you start the process of filing insurance and legal claims.
- Keep track of any losses, damages, and injuries
From the incident on, keep track of any losses, damages, or injuries you incur. This means holding onto medical records, tracking lost wages, and even keeping your unwashed clothes from the day of the accident in a plastic bag. Any rips, blood stains, or road marks will serve as vauable evidence for later.
- Call your insurance company
Be sure to call and inform your insurance company of the accident soon after it happens. This allows you to make any medical or disability claims later if necessary.
- Consult a lawyer
Lastly, consult an experienced auto accident lawyer. They’ll be able to assess your legal case and tell you what your best options for moving forward are.
It’s best to choose a lawyer with a proven track record at winning similar cases. That way, you can be sure you get the best settlement.
If the insurance won’t cover your losses, your lawyer can help you file a personal injury lawsuit that will. That’s their job. You don’t know what options are on the table, but they do – so don’t go it alone.
At the end of the day, nobody wants to get hit by a car. But sometimes it happens even when you don’t do anything wrong.
In such cases, it’s important to know how to react. Doing the wrong thing or forgetting to document something could impact your final compensation.
So play it safe by following the steps above. If you do, it’s hard to go wrong.