In California, pedestrian accidents account for over 1,020 deaths every single year, while those that survive this devastating crash often have to deal with debilitating injuries and extensive medical bills that can forever impact their life and their future. Even though nobody actually plans to get hit by a car, it is still important to realize that these incidents do happen, and when they do, you need to know what to do next—not only to protect your health and safety but your legal rights as well.
That is why, if you were involved in a pedestrian accident, you need to consider the following steps:
Contact the Authorities Immediately After You Are Hit By a Car
If you were hit by a car as a pedestrian or even a bicyclist, you need to immediately reach out to the authorities. This is the quickest way to notify emergency medical personnel that you need immediate medical help, get the accident on record, and alert police officers of the accident. Once officers arrive at the scene, they can investigate the incident and write down their findings in their police report. If you decide to pursue a legal claim, this police report can provide you with helpful details regarding what happened.
Gather Evidence From the Area
If the area is safe, you should try to gather evidence from the scene. This includes photos and videos of your visible injuries, the vehicles involved in the crash, their placement on the road, skid marks on the street, traffic signs near the area, the weather conditions at the time of the accident, and any other evidence that can help show what happened.
Get Driver Information
Try to get information from the drivers involved in the accident, including names, phone numbers, driver license numbers, and insurance information. However, as you talk to these individuals, make sure you watch what you say. You want to avoid making any definitive statements about the accident, apologizing for anything that occurred, or taking the blame for the car accident. These types of comments can end up hurting your claim and the amount of money you can obtain.
Check for Witnesses
If there were individuals at the scene who saw you get hit by a car, try to get their names and contact details. Their statements can provide you with valuable information regarding the accident, as well as back up your claim. Yet, if these witnesses are hesitant to provide you with their personal details, do not try to force them. Rather, leave the task of information gathering to your attorney.
Get Medical Help
Even if your injuries may not seem to require emergency medical services, you still need to get checked over by a medical professional as soon as possible. Serious injuries such as brain trauma can take days to manifest, and the longer you wait to get this condition checked out, the more severe and deadly it can become. That is why it is best not to delay getting medical help, but instead, head to a medical professional as soon as you can after you are hit by a car.
In addition, medical professionals can help your legal claim. By not getting checked over immediately after an accident, the insurance company may try to argue that your injuries are not that serious or are the result of a subsequent event. Thankfully, when you get examined by a doctor, they will write down information about your injuries in their medical report, providing you with evidence of a direct connection between your accident and your injuries.
Seek Professional Legal Help as Soon as Possible
Finally, after you get the medical help you need after your accident, you should reach out to an experienced pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible. With these lawyers fighting on your side, you can rest assured you have the legal professional with the skills and knowledge needed to take on these claims and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve.
Once you retain one of these attorneys, they can promptly get to work, evaluating your claim and determining if you have a viable case. They can also:
- Investigate your pedestrian accident in detail
- Gather the evidence needed to prove fault and damages
- Obtain experts, such as accident reconstructionists, to substantiate your claim
- Ensure that legal motions are correctly prepared and filed before time runs out
- Handle all the negotiations and discussions with the insurance company, and
- Fight for the justice and financial recovery you are entitled to
Do not wait any longer to get the legal help you need. Instead, contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney today for a free case consultation and let these lawyers show you how they can fight for your rights and go after the damages you deserve.