Getting hit by a vehicle can be a traumatic and painful experience. In 2017, 5,977 pedestrians were fatally injured, and around 137,000 were treated for non-fatal injuries in the United States. The common causes of pedestrian accidents are drunk driving, speeding, poor weather conditions, failure to stop and obey traffic signals, and distracted drivers. If you are a victim of a vehicle-related pedestrian accident, here are some crucial steps that you need to take to protect yourself and your legal rights.
Seek medical attention immediately
If you are conscious after being hit by a vehicle, it is important to get medical assistance right away. However, if you are unconscious, this responsibility will fall on the other party or possible witnesses. Remember that your body may be suffering from emotional and physical shock, which could prevent you from recognizing any of your injuries. Assess yourself and document any visible injuries. Do you feel pain in any areas of your body? Are you able to walk freely, or do you need assistance standing up?
Some common pedestrian injuries include neck and back injuries, nerve damage, fractures, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries. Take note that some of them may be similar to the injuries caused by a regular car accident, and in both cases, some may manifest later on. Do not make the mistake of assuming that you are fine just because there are no visible injuries, as you may have sustained internal injuries. Regardless of how you feel after the accident, it is vital that you get treated by a medical professional immediately, and remember to get a copy of the medical report since you will need this to build your case.
Report it to the police
Never leave the scene of the accident and wait for the police to arrive so that you can give your statement. If the police failed to respond or the other party fled from the accident scene, make sure to file a report within 24 hours. A police report is necessary in your legal case and when filing for your insurance. Be careful when making your statements, as anything that you say can be used against you.
Stay calm and discuss only relevant details with the other party
It is natural to be upset after an accident but do your best to stay calm. Avoid starting an argument with the other party on who’s at fault. Get the contact and insurance information of the driver, and remember only to discuss your version of the event with your legal counsel. Never sign any documents or accept any settlement offers with the other party’s insurance company, and always be careful with your statements.
Gather evidence and look for potential witnesses
Regardless of how overwhelming the situation may be, you must do your best to maintain an objective demeanor. Take as many photos and videos of the accident scene and your surroundings. Talk to possible witnesses and get their contact details. Look around the area for any traffic cameras or surveillance cameras from nearby establishments. Video recordings will prove valuable, especially if you are a victim of a hit and run and there are no possible witnesses. Make sure to keep the clothes you are wearing during the accident and remember what you were doing before the accident happened.
Avoid posting or sharing anything on social media
The insurance company of the other party or even your own will most likely monitor your social media accounts, so refrain from sharing any details of the accident that could affect your case. Insurance companies are trained to look for evidence that will prove that your injuries are exaggerated or nonexistent. While it is tempting to share updates of yourself after the pedestrian accident, it would be best not to do so. If possible, stay away from social media until after everything has been settled.
Seek legal and financial assistance
Victims of pedestrian accidents are often more severely injured compared to other vehicle-related accidents. The physical, emotional, and financial difficulties can significantly affect your life, so it is essential that you contact a reliable and experienced legal expert to assist you with your case. Ensure that you hire someone who has your best interests at heart and will be with you throughout the process.
Consider applying for a pedestrian accident lawsuit loan to help you with your current expenses. It will enable you to pay for the unwanted and additional costs during your lawsuit and save you from the financial stress brought by accident.
Pedestrian accidents are inevitable events that can happen to anyone at any time. You must be aware of these steps to safeguard yourself and your loved ones.