Nearly 6,000 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in the US within the span of a year. That’s one death every 88 minutes. Despite how often it happens, many people don’t know what to do after an auto accident that involves a pedestrian. The steps you follow after an accident can protect your rights. You can even file a claim to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Here are the six steps you should take after an auto-pedestrian accident. After following these steps, you can consult a car accident attorney. They’ll help you fight with your best legal options in mind.
Make your case. Read on to discover what to do after a pedestrian auto accident today.
1. Prioritize Safety
It’s normal to feel upset immediately after a traffic accident. Adrenaline can make it difficult to focus, too. First, try to catch your breath.
Anything you say or do immediately after an auto-pedestrian accident can impact your case. Focus on remaining calm. Try to recall these six steps.
First, prioritize your safety. If you experience neck or back pain, don’t move. Instead, call for medical attention right away.
Otherwise, moving without help from a medical professional could do more harm than good.
If you’re able to move, move away from incoming traffic.
Assess everyone else’s injuries, too.
Avoid administering medical treatment beyond what’s required in an emergency (such as CPR). If any other parties were injured, call for medical attention. Let a medical professional handle the situation.
Otherwise, make sure to visit a doctor after you leave the scene of the accident. Seeking medical attention could strengthen your claim. Only a medical professional can assess your injuries.
Get a report from your doctor before you leave their offices. Keep track of any treatments, tests, or medications you need. Your auto accident attorney will need these documents when calculating your losses.
After your initial doctor’s appointment, make sure to follow up. Don’t allow a gap in treatment. A gap in treatment could indicate your injuries aren’t that serious.
2. File a Police Report
While at the scene of the crash, make sure to call the police. In some states, you’re legally obligated to call the police after a motor accident. They’ll gather statements from everyone involved in the crash.
They’ll also record any deaths and property damage that occurred.
When you speak with the police, remain truthful. Stick to the facts as you remember them. Avoid embellishing, which could do more harm than good.
Instead, only provide the information the police need.
Make sure to get the police officer’s contact information, including their badge number. Your car accident lawyer might need to contact them in the future. If your case goes to court, the officer might need to make a statement.
Take a look around while you wait for the police to arrive. Did anyone witness the traffic accident?
Get their name and contact information (if they’re comfortable providing it). Your lawyer might need to get a witness statement later on.
Let the police know that someone witnessed the crash, too. They’ll add the witness statement to the police report.
3. Exchange Information
As you wait for the police to arrive, take the time to gather evidence.
First, write down your recollection of what happened. It’s normal to forget certain details in the hours or days after the crash. Writing down what happened can ensure you don’t forget any essential details.
Consider what direction you were traveling in. Make a note of any relevant road or weather conditions that might have contributed to the crash.
Then, gather video and photo footage. Take pictures of the car and your injuries. Gather footage of the surrounding area, too.
While you wait for the police to arrive, make sure to exchange information with everyone involved in the accident. That includes:
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
- Insurance information
Only exchange contact information. Try to avoid apologizing or saying “I feel guilty.” Remember, anything you say or do could impact your case.
Instead, remain careful about what you say. Avoid speaking to anyone’s insurance company or attorney on your own, too. The insurance company will try to use anything you say against you.
Instead, let your auto accident lawyer handle the situation on your behalf.
4. Call Your Insurance Information
Call your insurance agent before you leave the scene of the crash. Let them know what happened.
They’ll provide you with a list of instructions you’ll need to follow.
Some insurance companies require you to use an app to file your claim. Make sure you have the app downloaded before an auto-pedestrian accident.
5. Consult a Lawyer
If you’re ever in an auto-pedestrian accident, it’s important to contact a lawyer right away. There are over 135,000 personal injury lawyers in the US, though.
Make sure to find an auto accident lawyer with experience handling similar cases. They’ll understand the laws and procedures that are relevant to the situation.
Once you find someone who specializes in pedestrian auto accidents, consider how long they’ve practiced law. Make sure they have years of experience you can count on.
Determine their track record for similar cases, too. You’ll have peace of mind knowing they’re capable of handling your case.
Otherwise, look for references and reviews. You can check the law firm’s BBB and Google My Business listings. Check their website for client testimonials as well.
Most lawyers offer a free consultation appointment. Schedule an appointment to discuss the specifics of your case.
6. Consider Your Legal Options
Talk to your auto accident lawyer about your legal options. They can help you determine the best course of action moving forward.
With an auto-pedestrian accident, the biggest question is “whose fault was it?” In some cases, both the driver and pedestrian are at fault. For example, maybe the pedestrian crossed the street illegally.
Perhaps the driver was traveling over the speed limit.
Your lawyer will help determine fault. They’ll help you recognize the legal options available to you as well.
Protect Your Rights: 6 Steps to Take After an Auto-Pedestrian Accident
The steps you take after an auto accident can impact your legal options moving forward. Make sure to talk to a lawyer after an auto-pedestrian accident right away. They’ll protect your best interests.
Do you have a case? We’re here to help.
Contact a free, instant case evaluation to get started.
CONTACT A TAMPA AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.RHINO.77.