Imagine standing at one end of the pedestrian lane, waiting for your turn to cross the busy street. The pedestrian light turns green, and you step off the curb after looking both ways. Out of nowhere, a vehicle takes a sharp turn at the corner and hits you.
Unlike passengers in a car, pedestrians have no protection in case of a road accident. That’s why it can take months or even years for victims to recover from injuries. In some cases, victims do not fully recover.
This article will discuss the steps to take in case you were hurt in a pedestrian accident. Following these can help protect your health and claim compensation.
6 Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident
1. Check if you have sustained injuries
The first step is to check for any injuries you may have sustained from the accident. If you are severely injured, your ability to move might become limited. However, if you can move out of the road, do so. Move to a safer spot like a sidewalk to prevent any further injuries.
2. Contact the authorities
There is a good chance the witnesses may have called emergency services like 911 or the police. But if not, do it yourself and report what happened. You can also request someone to make the call for you, especially if you’re still reeling from shock.
A police report must be filed regarding the accident. The information can help back up your case when you file an insurance claim or decide to take your case to court.
3. Get the driver’s information
If possible, try to exchange information with the driver. Get their name, contact number, plate number, and insurance details. But try to avoid apologizing or saying too much when talking to the driver. Limit the discussion to data collection to prevent your statements from potentially being used against you later on.
4. Gather evidence
As you wait for help to arrive, try to take photos of the following:
- Your injuries
- The vehicle that hit you
- Skid marks or inoperative lights or turn signals on the car that hit you
- The situation in the surrounding area
You may also ask others to take photos on your behalf and for witnesses to give their statements to the police. The sooner you document the accident, the better. Evidence can be lost or destroyed over time, and each piece can help paint a picture of what happened. This will allow you to be in a better position when you negotiate with the insurance company or pursue a lawsuit later on.
5. Seek medical care and stick to your treatment plan
Your health should be your priority. As such, be sure to seek medical attention immediately after the accident. Some injuries are visible, but others are not, requiring more tests and assessments.
For instance, you may have sustained a spine injury, which can be dangerous if not treated quickly. Or you may have internal bleeding that can be fatal if not treated on time. Your medical provider will identify and treat the injuries, and it is your job to stick to the treatment plan to make a full recovery.
6. Contact a personal injury lawyer
Another important step is to reach out to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. In Orange County, there are Irvine injury attorneys you can ask for help.
Not only can an attorney help you recover the compensation you deserve, but they can also ensure that your rights are protected. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. With a lawyer by your side, you can be confident that you are rightfully paid for your injuries.
What Types of Damages Am I Entitled to in a Pedestrian Accident?
After completing the steps mentioned above, the next step is to discuss with your personal injury lawyer the damages you can recover. If the driver is liable for the accident, they will be responsible for paying the resulting expenses. This may include special damages, such as the following:
- medical expenses
- lost wages for time off work
- property damage
- out-of-pocket litigation expenses relating to the accident claim
Properties that may have been damaged when you were hit can include:
- mobile phone
- other valuables you were carrying
You may also recover for general damages like the following:
- physical pain
- anxiety, fear, or emotional distress
- loss of consortium (inability to be intimate with your partner)
- loss or reduced enjoyment of life
- shortened life expectancy
- long-term medical care and treatments for injuries that take time to appear
Many victims of pedestrian accidents are unaware that they can be compensated for these types of injuries and, therefore, do not document or invoke them when filing an insurance claim. Document all relevant evidence to strengthen your personal injury case and get a favorable outcome.
Protect Yourself, Protect Your Rights
The moments following a pedestrian accident can be confusing. But it’s important to stay alert and do the steps outlined here to protect your health and rights.
If you have been hurt in a pedestrian incident and need a personal injury attorney to work your case, reach out to us at RMD Law. Our team is composed of experienced lawyers ready for the tireless representation you deserve.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation!