According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 70,000 pedestrians were injured and 5,376 were killed in traffic accidents in 2015. This means that a pedestrian was killed every 1.6 hours and injured every 7.5 minutes across the country that year. What should you do if you are hit by a car? Find out here.
What to Do in the First Minutes After an Accident
Because pedestrian accidents can cause very serious injuries, what a pedestrian can do in the moments after a crash will depend on his or her injuries. If the victim is unable to take the following steps, a bystander or family member should do so as soon as possible:
- Contact the police. Any time a car strikes a pedestrian, the police should be called, regardless of how minor the injuries may seem at the time. A police report should be filed and the victim should have the opportunity to tell the police how the accident happened.
- Exchange contact information. People involved in traffic collisions should exchange contact and insurance information with each other. Make sure you get the driver’s name, phone number, license plate number, and insurance policy number. You also need to give the driver your information as well.
- Look for witnesses. While you wait for the police to arrive at the scene, you should talk with anyone standing near the accident scene. Someone may have seen the entire accident unfold and could be essential for determining fault. A witness’s testimony can strengthen a personal injury claim and force an insurance company to offer you the compensation you deserve.
- Get medical care. It goes without saying that if you suffered an injury or feel any amount of pain, you need to get medical attention. This is obvious for those who suffered serious injuries, but sometimes injuries take some time to develop. Far too many times people ignore their pain or downplay their injuries, which ends up hurting them in the long run. If you are hit by a vehicle, you should go to the hospital or see your primary care physician as soon as possible.
- Seek legal help. It is critical that injured pedestrians seek legal advice as soon as possible. Most personal injury lawyers will answer questions and provide advice in a free, no-obligation consultation, so you have nothing to lose by calling a lawyer.
Injured Pedestrian Should Avoid These Actions After an Accident
The aftermath of an accident can be chaotic and confusing. However, if at all possible, pedestrians hit by a car should avoid doing the following:
- Discussing fault. Avoid talking to the other party, aside from exchanging contact information. When conversations occur, sometimes it could lead to statements such as “I’m sorry,” “I didn’t see you,” “I feel bad,” and many more statements that could make you seem responsible for the accident or appear to be an admission of fault.
- Giving the insurance company a recorded statement. Insurance adjusters have tricks and tactics they use in an effort to try and place some of the blame on you. One way they do this is by recording your statement, hoping to get you to say something they can use against you.
- Signing release forms. Insurance companies train their insurance adjusters to look for anything to limit the amount of money they have to pay you. One way they do this is to get you to sign a medical authorization form, which is a way for them to snoop through your past medical records to see if they can blame your current injuries on anything from your past. Don’t sign anything without having an attorney review the document first.
We certainly hope you will never be in a pedestrian accident, but if you are, we hope this list will prepare you to handle the situation appropriately. Feel free to share this information on your favorite social media site. You never know when someone you love will be in a pedestrian accident.