Pedestrian accidents in the last several years have continued to rise at an alarming rate. According to The Governors Highway Safety Association’s report, from the years 2009 to 2018, the number of pedestrian fatalities increased by 53%. That increase is due in part to the rise in the population, economic conditions, and even fuel prices. Although these all play a role in the increased pedestrian accidents, many other things need to be examined, like the kinds of vehicles many people are driving now as well as the widespread problem of those driving while texting or distracted.
The increases mentioned above only talk about pedestrian fatalities. These numbers don’t even begin to count those that incurred injuries in accidents. In 2017 alone, about 137,000 pedestrians were cared for in emergency rooms across the country.
If you have found yourself in a pedestrian accident, do you know the first thing to do after the accident itself? What should take priority? It’s important to know what steps to take if you are already in this situation or in case you or a loved one becomes involved in the future. So let’s find out more about what steps should take precedence after a pedestrian accident.
Watch for Injury Symptoms and Record Everything
If an automobile or other kind of moving vehicle has hit you, it’s likely you have probably been hurt in some way. Even if you don’t think your injuries are very serious, you are most likely hurt more than you initially thought.
It’s important to note that sometimes injuries don’t begin to show themselves until a few hours after the accident when your body is able to recover from the shock. Consequently, your doctor may not even be able to identify injuries directly after the accident. This does not mean you don’t have injuries, though. Some of the symptoms of your injuries to watch for can include:
- Back, neck, or shoulder pain
- Headaches or dizziness
- Abdominal pain
- Numbness or tingling
- Emotional stress or trauma
Be sure to keep track of your pain or other symptoms over the days, weeks, and even months after your accident. The notes you make can help your attorney show how your injuries are affecting your daily life.
Also, make sure to keep track of your doctor’s appointments and other care that you may be receiving (including mental care). Then, it is easy to see what kind of treatment you have required because of your accident. This simple task will save you and your attorney time and money. Who doesn’t want that?
Obtain Medical Care
If you are seriously injured immediately after the accident, it’s essential to stay as still as possible until an ambulance arrives to treat you. Trust that emergency medical professionals will take care of you once they arrive on the scene.
If possible, try to make a mental note of any injuries you believe you’ve incurred as you wait for medical help to arrive. You’ll be able to help the Emergency Medical Service team by telling them where you feel pain or are bleeding. Any information you can share will help them give you the care you need even more quickly.
Talk with the Police
Once you are able, call the police or ask someone to call the police after your accident. Getting important information about your accident documented on a police report can be a vital part of your case. You can use this official report in your pedestrian accident case.
While waiting for the police to arrive, try to remember what happened so that you can tell the officer as accurately as possible what happened. No matter what, do not admit fault. Even if you believe you were partially at fault, don’t mention it. This will be something you can discuss with your attorney later.
Gather Information and Evidence
Gathering information and evidence at the scene, if possible, and afterward is imperative to your case. Your attorney will have so much more information to work with if you are able to give them all that you know. The info you can look to gather from your pedestrian accident may include:
- Photos of your accident
- Photos of your injuries
- The police report from your accident
- Witness accounts
- Your medical records
- Copies of your medical bills
- Documentation of work missed due to injuries
- Any other kinds of documentation or receipts related to your accident
Contact Your Insurance
Make sure to call your insurance to let them know about your accident. You do not need to give too much detailed information. If the insurance company asks you a lot of questions or requests a recorded statement, it is okay to tell them “no” and contact your lawyer.
Not giving out information freely to the other insurance company (the driver’s insurance) is just as important, if not more. DO NOT sign any papers or even consider settlement offers until you talk with your attorney.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, hiring an attorney to represent you will be crucial to recovering the compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.
Your personal injury attorney can help:
- Gather all evidence
- Identify the party at fault and who should be liable
- Build a case for you
- Handle communication with insurance companies
- Negotiate settlements
- Handle legal communication and paperwork required in your case
- Take your injury case to court, if needed
- Obtain the compensation that you deserve
Although it may be tempting to file a claim without a lawyer and represent yourself, the peace of mind and advice you gain with an experienced attorney on your side is worth it. They will fight for you and your best interest more than you may think possible. You will quickly realize all that you gain, including the gift of moving on with your healing and more meaningful life events.