What should you do if, as a pedestrian, you are involved in a car accident? This is a common occurrence and it’s important to know what steps to take so that you can avoid any potential legal repercussions.
1. Remain calm and get medical help as needed.
The very first thing you need to do is make sure that you are safe and secure. You should always take a step back from the accident scene to ensure that nobody else is going to become involved. Your safety is of the utmost importance and you need to make sure that nobody else is going to jeopardize your health. You should also seek medical help as soon as possible even if you feel perfectly fine after the accident. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your personal well-being.
2. Call the proper authorities.
After you have checked yourself out for injuries or trauma, call 911 and let them know what happened. They will fill out an official report about the accident and either send a police officer to the accident scene or ask you to come down to the station later on. Either way, you should cooperate with what they’re asking of you and give them as much information as possible about the incident.
3. Seek out an attorney.
Most attorneys will offer a free consultation that gives you a chance to find out your rights and what you can do to protect yourself. If the driver was clearly at fault for your accident, find out if there are any grounds for a potential lawsuit against them or their insurance company, depending on how much damage was done to your body and/or property. A trained car accident lawyer is a good choice for this kind of lawsuit that requires in-depth knowledge about the law and how it pertains to your accident.
4. Prepare ahead of time by taking pictures during the scene.
The worst thing that could happen is that you file a claim and then can’t provide hard evidence to back up your claims. That’s why it’s important to take pictures during the scene before the police come. It also helps to get multiple angles so you can determine if, in fact, the damage was worse than what either party initially reported.
5. Do not give a statement to the insurance company until you have found representation.
If the driver of the car that hit you attempts to contact you for any reason, do not agree with them or their insurance representative to provide any statements or information beyond an initial discussion of the accident. You need to hold off on giving any sort of detailed statement until you get in touch with an attorney so they can advise you on what to say and how to act during these kinds of conversations. Only your attorney should be providing information about the accident because they are representing your best interests under the law.
6. Take note of what happened and provide a description of the accident to your insurance company or to an attorney if you’ve been injured.
Taking note of what happened and describing the accident to the appropriate authorities is another way that you can protect yourself from legal trouble. Be sure to include the weather conditions, time of day, any distractions, and anything else that might have contributed to the accident. If your case ends up in court, you’ll need to be able to prove exactly what happened during the incident and how it transpired. Including as many details as possible will make sure that your story stays straight no matter who asks about it.
7. Make sure you are compensated for the damages that were caused by the accident.
If your injuries or damage to property is significant, make sure that you are given just compensation by the person responsible for the accident. If they do not want to pay you, take them to court and let a judge decide on an amount of money that is fair for what you have experienced.
8. File a police report even if the other driver has fled the scene.
Sometimes, hit-and-run accidents happen. If you are able to get their license plate number or some other kind of identifying information, file a police report ASAP so they can determine who was behind the wheel at that time and place. Then, contact your insurance agency to start the claims process to get your property or body checked by a professional that can help properly diagnose what’s wrong and how you should move forward in treating your injuries.
Pedestrians are often vulnerable to accidents. However, there is much you can do if this happens to you or someone close to you. This post has given some helpful tips for what would happen in the event of an accident and how one might be compensated for their injuries. If any of these scenarios sound familiar, it’s important that you take action as soon as possible so your rights are protected under the law. Remember: Always get legal representation before saying anything about the incident with anyone other than the lawyer who represents your best interests legally speaking.