Steps to Take After Being a Pedestrian Accident Victim

pedestrian accident

Florida is a beautiful State with many outdoor activities to enjoy year-round. Because of the sunny weather, people have flocked to Florida in droves, causing the State to surpass New York for the third most populous State in the country. With the increase in population comes the reality that people enjoying their outdoor activities come into contact with automobiles more frequently, which can in turn lead to a higher incidence of pedestrian accidents. If you or someone you know has recently been involved in a pedestrian accident, read on for more information about what to do and contact Carey Leisure Carney for a free consult.

Next Steps to Take After Being Involved in or Witnessing a Pedestrian Accident

Any accident is incredibly stressful but being involved in an accident as a pedestrian can be much worse because the injuries can be devastating, and even life changing. Your first moments after an accident, and the actions you take, are crucial to protect your rights. Here are the steps you should take to preserve your claim:

1. Stay Calm and Assess What Injuries You Have Sustained

It is certainly easier said than done, but you will need to stay calm and try to assess any injuries you may have sustained. Try not to move as you take into account what hurts and recount what happened in the accident. After taking a few minutes to self-assess, carefully try to move to see if you are able. Make slow, deliberate movements and do not put any weight on your extremities until you are sure you have not broken any bones.

If you can safely move, attempt to move out of the street or walkway where you fell to make sure you are not still in the way of oncoming traffic. If you are unable to move, ask someone nearby to call 911 and wait patiently for help.

2. Call the Police

You will want to call 911 as soon as possible, or make sure someone else does, so the police can be dispatched to the scene to file an official report of the incident. The dispatch center will likely send paramedics along with the police, who can check you for initial injuries. Because of the trauma your body suffers in an accident, you may not feel the full extent of your injuries for some time. Having paramedics at the scene will give you a clearer picture of what you may be facing.

3. Get the Information for the Driver that Hit You

Regardless of your injury status, you will want to make sure you get the information of the driver. Most people involved in an accident with a pedestrian will be good Samaritans who will remain at the scene to make sure you get help, but some people may panic and flee the scene. Be sure to note the driver’s license plate and the type and color of their car at a minimum so the police can catch the driver if they do happen to flee the scene.

Ideally, the driver will remain at the scene for when the police arrive to file an accident report. They will provide their contact and insurance information to the police during the creation of the accident report, which is critical to preserve your claim for compensation.

If the driver happens to come up to you after the accident to check on you, make sure you don’t say anything that may be used against you in the future. Stick to the facts, and don’t mention anything about the accident being “your fault too” or say that “you were in the driver’s way.” As a party to incident, any statement you make may be an exception to hearsay in court in the future.

4. Take Photos and Gather Other Evidence

Immediately following the accident, take pictures. Be sure you get pictures of the car that hit you, including the license plate if possible. Try to get pictures of the driver’s license and registration if you can. Be sure to photograph the scene of the accident, including any identifying features such as street signs or well-known landmarks that can help show your location.

If there were any witnesses who saw the accident, be sure to get their names and contact information. Their testimony will be important to building your case, particularly if you were hit in an area where there are no cameras around. Normally after witnessing an accident, anyone who saw the accident will stay to give a statement to the police, but be sure you make a record of their information as well.

Keep your clothing and shoes in the same condition they were in after you were hit. The markings on your clothing after an accident can help tell the story of your accident to the jury, so you do not want to clean them or alter their condition in any way. If your phone was broken in the impact or your subsequent fall, keep it in the same condition as well to show proof of impact.

5. Seek Medical Attention

After you have completed everything you need to do at the scene, be sure to go and seek medical attention. Even if the paramedics have done a preliminary check, it is good to get in to see a doctor to make sure that you have been properly diagnosed. There may be injuries you have sustained that are not easy to see, or that manifest themselves later due to the shock your body experienced.

6. Write Down Your Impressions of what Happened

You will want to write down a detailed account of what happened as soon as possible to make a record of the information while it is fresh. As we all know, memories fade over time and details can become fuzzy. Having all the information regarding your accident in one place ensures that you have one place to look in the future. Best practice is to keep a folder of all information related to your accident, including any medical bills you incur after seeking treatment and any witness contact information you obtain at the scene.

7. Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company

If you have uninsured motorists coverage, your own insurance company may cover you for your pedestrian accident if the driver who hit you does not have coverage. Regardless, it is important for you to report the information, and you should report the accident to the driver’s insurance company as soon as possible to open a claim. If either insurance company calls you with questions, stick to the facts. Do not discuss who may have been at fault, make a recorded statement, or agree to sign any forms without consulting an attorney first. You do not want to prematurely agree to something that may damage your case in the long run.

8. Contact an Experienced Injury Attorney

Dealing with insurance companies after an accident can be difficult, and adjusters are trained to minimize your injury claim. Pedestrian accidents can be even trickier, especially because of the nature and severity of the injuries that can come with these accidents. Contacting an attorney early can help make sure that all evidence related to your accident is preserved, and an attorney’s office will be able to negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf to help get the compensation you deserve.

If you or someone you know was recently injured in a pedestrian accident, call the team at Carey Leisure Carney. Our attorneys have been assisting pedestrians injured in accidents for over 40 years, so our team has plenty of experience in handling these types of claims. Give us a call today for a free consult to see if we are able to help!