Magnuson Lowell Blog
Each week we post a blog about relevant legal issues. Glance through our various topics to learn more about a particular legal situation.
When a car hits a pedestrian, there are often serious consequences. On March 22, a car hit and killed a pedestrian on Interstate 5. You must be prepared if you get injured by a car as a pedestrian. There are certain steps you should take to protect yourself medically, legally and financially. If you fail to take certain actions, you may reduce your chances of getting adequate compensation. Follow these guidelines when you get hit by a car.
1. Remain calm and get somewhere safe
Try your best to remain calm and refrain from taking out any rage on the driver. As best you can, control your emotions so you will be better able to communicate with police, the other driver and witnesses. If you are able to move, make sure you are out of the street and on a safe sidewalk or driveway.
2. Make sure the driver stays
Even if you believe you are unharmed and did not sustain any serious injuries, you might not feel the symptoms of injuries due to shock and adrenaline. Calmly request that the driver stay and wait for law enforcement to arrive. If the driver tries to attempt a hit and run, try to take a picture of the license plate and write down the make, model and color of the vehicle.
3. Document the scene
The first step to properly documenting the accident is contacting police. A police report helps you when dealing with insurance and legal claims. Even if it takes a little while for the police to show up, do not leave the scene. You should also collect the contact information of the driver and take photos of the accident from multiple angles.
4. Seek medical attention
See a doctor as soon as possible. You may have fractures or broken bones that you do not realize. The sooner you see a doctor, the sooner you can get treatment if necessary. Medical reports are a critical component to insurance claims and lawsuits too.
5. Start a claim
Before speaking extensively with the insurance company, you should call a personal injury lawyer. Once you have consulted a lawyer, you can file a claim with the insurance company. A lawyer can help you fight for more compensation than the insurance company will initially offer. You may also need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Pedestrian accidents are scary and the aftermath can be confusing. If you have been in a pedestrian accident, make sure to consult a lawyer to ensure you are doing everything correctly.