What Should I Do If I Was Hit By a Car as a Pedestrian?
As a pedestrian, you have a specific set of laws and regulations (as well as infrastructure) that are designed to protect you from harm from motor vehicles as you travel by foot. It is your job as a pedestrian to know these legal guidelines and stick to them to make sure that you are taking every possible step to reduce the potential of harm to you, such as crossing a road on a crosswalk, staying on the sidewalk or in the designated pedestrian area, and not walking on roadways where pedestrian traffic is banned – such as highways.
Following the rules to keep pedestrians safe is simple enough, but unfortunately, this is not a guarantee that you will avoid being hit by a car. Drivers often seem to forget that roads are not just for motor vehicles, and can easily violate a law intended for pedestrian safety and cause an accident, possibly injuring or even killing a law-abiding pedestrian who was following the rules. If you are a pedestrian who is injured by a car, you need a lawyer.
The following are some important steps that you should take immediately.
Get a Lawyer
Ok this one is out of order, but take this step the MOMENT that you are first able to. Trying to wade through the legal complexity of an accident on your own is extremely overwhelming, especially when you are trying to deal with your injuries at the same time you are trying to advocate for your rights against a party who is set on limiting them. Visit the Capital Law Firm to speak directly with a lawyer about your options moving forward. Once you have an attorney, they will be able to take you step by step through the necessary process, and make sure that you do it with care to the legal guidelines that will maximize your chances of a favorable outcome.
Don’t try to “play it cool” after being hit by a car, even as your adrenaline is full-blast, you are scared, and you just want the situation to be over. Even if you have minor, seemingly inconsequential injuries, you need to make sure that this incident is documented so that if your condition worsens, if the driver changes the story, or if any other detail changes, you have an official record of the accident once the police complete and file an accident report.
Get Eyewitness Contact Information
If there are others around who witnessed the accident, get their contact information so that they can provide a third-party report of what happened. Remember: even if you do not plan to file a complaint or seek damages against the driver, you will benefit from having as many different official documents as possible supporting that you were the victim, otherwise it will be your word against the driver if they try to avoid taking responsibility, or even go as far as to blame you for the accident.
Get Medical Attention
Since you called 911, EMTs will be dispatched to the scene along with police and firefighters. Make sure that you allow the EMTs to at least examine you and check for injuries, whether or not you think that they are serious. Like the accident report that the police will complete, the EMTs will be able to establish the first records of your injuries that you have sustained, and will be able to make medical recommendations for you based on their expertise.
See a Doctor
If you do not take an ambulance to the emergency room after being examined by EMTs, you need to see your own primary care physician as soon as possible. Again, this is important regardless of how minor your injuries are, because you need to establish a legal record of these injuries to make sure that you are legally protected by supporting information either if you decide to seek compensation, or if the driver claims that you are the one who was at fault and tries to sue you for damages.