Unfortunately, it’s an everyday occurrence for a pedestrian to be struck by a car while walking along the road and crossing the street. Oftentimes, these accidents are the result distracted driving and drivers who are not keeping a lookout for people on foot, with many happening at night. While there’s no way you can prevent someone from distracted driving or speeding, there are ways to help yourself if you’re the victim of this scenario.
Taking certain steps can help protect your legal rights and hold the driver responsible for their mistakes:
Do not let the driver leave if you can help it. If they do leave, take down their license plate number, make and model of car, as well as the color and any other discernible features of the car and driver. Additionally, do not let the driver talk you out of calling the police.
Call 911 regardless of it you are injured or not. If you need medical attention, let the dispatcher know, otherwise be sure they send a police officer to the scene for an interview and the get an accident report. You need a police report to file any injury claims later.
Gather the driver’s license and insurance information. While you wait for the police to arrive, be sure to exchange license and insurance information with the driver. Put this information somewhere safe and easily accessible. Under the circumstances that the driver refuses to provide this information, let the police officer know when they arrive and they can get it for you. This information is important for you to have so you can file a claim for damages.
Gather any available evidence and document it. Evidence is essential to filing a successful personal injury claim. Alongside the police report, you will want photographs of the scene of the accident including any skid marks, injuries, the driver’s vehicle, as well as any other pertinent visuals. Additionally, identify any witnesses and gather their contact information and statements if they’re willing to talk to you.
Seek medical attention. After you’ve spoken with the police, you are free to leave the scene. Regardless of if you believe you’re injured, it’s best to get a medical evaluation. A doctor can help determine any injuries and provide treatment, if necessary. Visiting a doctor will also provide documentation of your injuries, which is required when seeking compensation. Save all documents and receipts provided.
Contact the driver’s insurance company. Following your medical evaluation, you will need to start the insurance claims process. While this task can quite tedious, prepare to give them full details. They will not have your best interests at heart, but rest assured that you can consult with an attorney to fight for more when you have the police report in hand.
Understand what your legal options are. Having an experienced personal injury attorney on your side will help you immensely in understanding what your legal rights are and determine if you have a valid injury claim. Regardless of if you file a lawsuit against the driver, an attorney can also negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you’re getting what you deserve. This includes compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, lost wages from time off at work, pain and suffering, and even wrongful death.
If you’ve been hit by a car, the best thing you can do is find an experienced personal injury attorney to help fight for your rights and get you back on your feet.