What to Do as a Pedestrian Hit by a Car

Car crashes and collisions are common occurrences in the U.S. However, accidents involving pedestrians have surged in recent years. That comes as no surprise. As a pedestrian, you’re much more vulnerable than a truck driver. Even if you keep on the sidewalk and cross at intersections, you can still get hit by a reckless driver. You need to be alert at all times. One careless moment is enough to be fatal.

If this devastating occurrence happens to you, it’s essential to know which steps to take to protect yourself and get compensation for physical injuries and financial losses. This article outlines your rights as an injured party.

Step 1 — Move to Safety

If you’ve been hit by a vehicle and are conscious enough to move, leave the dangerous area immediately. Call for help and have someone nearby assist you if you need support to walk. However, try not to move too much before you determine the extent of your injuries.

Step 2 — Don’t Let the Driver Escape

Most drivers at fault might be tempted to flee the scene. Do everything in your power to ask them to stay, but remain calm. Try getting their name, license plate number, and contact information in case they leave before the police arrive.

If the driver refuses to cooperate, take their picture and write down their license plate number. Some drivers might turn aggressive. If that’s the case, do it discreetly when you get the chance.

Additionally, gather as many witness statements as possible. Witnesses are crucial in accidents that don’t involve serious injuries or car damage. With an uncooperating party at fault, they’re even more necessary.

Step 3 — Call the Law Enforcement

You need a police officer to file a report to help you with insurance and the lawsuit. Each state has different rules for reporting deadlines based on the statute of limitations. But it’s best to do it immediately after the accident happens. Not only is the scene fresh, but the police will be better at interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, and detaining the driver.

The guilty driver might try to talk you into not calling the police or offer you money. But hold your ground. Explain that you’re only protecting your rights and insist that the police are called. You might be suffering serious short- or long-term injuries you don’t know about yet.

Although compensation money is what you’re ultimately pursuing, no amount of money will help you if your injuries result in limited mobility, mental suffering, or affect your quality of life.

Step 4 — Get Medical Assistance Immediately

Regardless of how well you feel, letting ambulance personnel examine you after an accident is an absolute must – and for two reasons. The first is your own health. Your injury might only feel like a small bruise, but it could worsen over time or reveal a much more severe injury, like broken bones and internal bleeding.

Some injuries only manifest after hours, days, or even weeks. Without proper treatment, you’re unlikely to detect these kinds of injuries yourself and determine the possibility of their progression. You might require an X-ray, an MRI test, or a CT scan.

Limit your movements until a medical professional arrives or you get taken to a doctor. During the examination, be sure to mention your medical history and any past injuries in the same areas as the current injuries.

Secondly, the medical examination is connected to your injury claim. If you don’t report your injuries immediately, they might be classified as unrelated to the accident and result in losing compensation for medical bills, medication, hospital stay, etc.

Step 5 — Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer

The last step is contacting a reliable personal injury attorney to help open a claim with the insurance company on your behalf and guide you through the process of recovery and compensation. They’ll determine the best course of action and your claim’s worth and help you protect your legal rights. Without a good lawyer, the fault might fall on you, leaving you with no compensation for your physical and financial losses.

Stay Safe

In 2022, the number of pedestrian casualties saw an increase of 19% since 2019. Over 7,500 pedestrians were killed in a car accident, while the number of injured people is even greater. In a state of shock, people tend to overlook certain steps that might benefit them later.

Calling the police, detaining the driver at fault, or getting proper medical assistance despite feeling fine are some of the steps that are in your best interest as an injured pedestrian. However, none of that will be of much use unless you find a reliable personal injury attorney to help you with your claim.

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