Five Steps to Take After Being Injured in a Pedestrian Accident
Around 5,000 pedestrians are killed yearly, and 65,000 are injured in pedestrian accidents. Pedestrian accidents can be traumatizing. They can also cause long-term, painful injuries that result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses. Pedestrians, like drivers and passengers in motor vehicles, do not have any protection around them and are more likely to become severely injured. If you have been struck by a car driven by a drunk, distracted, or otherwise negligent driver, it is vital that you follow these steps to protect your compensation claim.Call Emergency Services
Whether you are a pedestrian who has been struck by a vehicle or riding a bicycle and hit by a car, try to go to a safe location if you can. When you are out of the way of traffic, call 911 or ask someone else to do so. Even if you are unsure whether you have been seriously injured, it is wise to be evaluated by emergency medical personnel. Often, victims of traumatic accidents will feel a surge of adrenaline that can mask the pain of their injuries. If you choose not to go to the emergency room, you should go to urgent care or your primary care physician the same day of the accident or the next day. Make sure you tell the treating physician about your injuries and symptoms and obtain a copy of the medical records.Document the Incident and Keep All Medical Records
You may not be able to get up if you have been seriously injured, but if you can stand up safely, we recommend taking photos of the accident scene with your phone. You should also gather the driver's contact information, including their license plate number, insurance details, details about the vehicle, and phone number. If there were any witnesses, write down their contact information. It would be best if you also took photographs of your injuries soon after the accident.
Sometimes bruises and lacerations do not become fully apparent until a few hours or days after the accident. Make sure you obtain a copy of the police report. It is also important to keep all records of the treatment you have received and follow your doctor's orders. Doing so will help you prove that the accident caused your injuries and that your injuries are as severe as you claim them to be.Be Careful What You Say
Being involved in any type of accident is traumatic, and it can be easy to unintentionally admit fault in the heat of the moment. Nonetheless, it is vital that you use caution when you talk to the police. Anything you say can be used against you as you pursue a claim for compensation for your injuries. It would help if you also refrained from posting anything on social media about the accident. Refrain from posting any details about the accident or anything unrelated to the accident that could be considered contradictory to your claims. For example, if you are claiming you cannot work due to your injuries, do not post a photo of yourself outside doing yard work.Contact Your Insurance Company
Even though you were a pedestrian when the accident occurred, most auto insurance policies cover pedestrian accidents. Your insurance company will have a deadline by which you must report the accident. They could only allow coverage later if you report the accident to them within the deadline. For example, if the driver who caused your accident does not have auto insurance, you may need to file a claim through your uninsured driver policy. An attorney can help you understand your policy if you have questions about your coverage.Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
Speaking to an attorney may be the last thing you think about after you have been seriously injured. However, it would be best if you discussed your case with a skilled personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. Your attorney will be able to prevent the loss or destruction of evidence that is important to your legal claim. Additionally, your attorney will be able to protect you during the insurance settlement process while negotiating for the best settlement possible. When you work with Arnold & Smith, PLLC, you can rest assured that we will handle every aspect of your case while you focus on your recovery. Contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about your legal options and rights.