Each year, over 137,000 pedestrians are injured in car-related accidents. Every time you cross a crosswalk, jog down the sidewalk, or run alongside the road, you’re at risk of getting hit by a motor vehicle. In fact, pedestrian injuries and fatalities hit an all-time high in 2020. For pedestrians, getting hit by a motor vehicle is a terrifying ordeal. You may be stunned, dazed, and physically injured immediately after impact. So, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what to do in this situation.
Today, we’re going to look at the first steps pedestrians should take after getting hit by a vehicle. By reading these steps now, you can prepare yourself in the case of an accident or discover what steps you need to take next after an accident.
Seek Medical Attention
After an accident (regardless of the type), you should immediately seek medical attention. You want to address any potential injuries before you take any additional steps. Remember, not all injuries are immediately painful or visible. When you’re involved in an injury-related accident, your body will likely start producing endorphins and adrenaline. These are “pain-blocking” chemicals that mask injuries to help you survive in high-intensity situations.
Even if you don’t feel any pain or see any injuries, get help. Call 9-1-1. Don’t let hidden injuries get worse. Common accident injuries like whiplash, back strains, internal injuries, and soft tissue damage often take days or weeks to feel. By getting help immediately, you can assess these injuries and begin a treatment plan before they grow worse. Plus, documenting injuries with a medical professional can help you establish monetary damages.
Contact the Authorities
Often, this step is completed when you call for injuries. You should get first responders to the scene to document the accident and provide medical services. You should also advise medical services of any injuries sustained by the driver or passengers in the vehicle. Always puts human lives above any emotional feelings. Once the appropriate authorities arrive on the scene (e.g., police officers, firefighters, etc.), you should inform them of the nature of the accident. The police may ask for details surrounding the accident, such as how it happened, who was at fault, and the exact location of the accident.
Remember, this step is important for both you, the driver, and any personal injury case you may pursue. You should obtain a copy of the police report for your insurance company and the insurance company of the at-fault driver.
Speak with the At-Fault Driver
While the nature of the accident may cause emotions between you and the driver, it’s important to set them aside and speak with the driver to obtain critical information. Never discuss fault, injuries, or how you currently “feel.” Instead, focus solely on collecting facts such as:
- Their name
- The name of their insurance company and their insurance number
- Their license plate number
- Their driver’s license number
- The color, model, and year of their vehicle
- Their contact information
Once you’ve collected this information, let the authorities handle the rest. Do not over-discuss the details of the accident with the driver. And leave any personal feelings out of the conversation. Saying something as simple as “I’m okay, thanks for asking.” could be used against you in any future claims cases. So, try to keep strictly to the facts of the accident.
Document Any Injuries
You should document any injuries that occurred as a result of the accident. Do not discuss these injuries publicly on social media. Instead, privately document your injuries in a personal journey while gathering crucial medical documents. You should keep copies of any documents from healthcare providers and/or medical treatments, including:
- Copies of MRIs, x-rays, or ultrasound images
- Copies of medical bills and medical receipts
- Any doctor’s appointment notices or mail
- Copies of your doctor’s notes on your injuries
- Copies of any additional treatment plans, including physical therapy, mental health therapy, or visits to any other specialists
In your journal, you should track the nature of your injury. Write how the injury feels each day, how it’s healing, and what type of impact it’s having on your day-to-day life. In addition, we recommend keeping copies of workdays or life events you missed due to the nature of your injuries. All of this information could be important in a personal injury claim.
File Your Insurance Claim
Louisiana is a “fault” car accident state. In other words, the person who was at fault for the accident is responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from the accident. As a pedestrian, you have multiple methods of filing a claim. You can:
- File a claim with your insurance company (who will likely pursue the at-fault driver’s insurer for damages)
- File a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- Pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver
It’s important to understand your claims options. If the at-fault driver’s insurance cannot cover your damages, it may be appropriate to file a personal injury lawsuit against them to recover the remaining damages. You will also likely choose to file a personal injury lawsuit if the driver does not have insurance. Navigating Louisiana’s complex personal injury landscape isn’t always easy. You need someone in your corner.
Contact A Qualified Personal Injury Lawyer
Have you or someone you love been injured in a car accident? You may require a personal injury lawsuit to cover the full damages of your injuries. From paying medical bills and mental health charges to recovering damages from missed work time and dealing with the emotional stress of injuries, being a pedestrian in an accident often involves a swarm of financial and emotional damages.
At Alvendia, Kelly & Demarest Law Firm, we know how stressful, draining, expensive, and painful pedestrian accidents can be for victims. Our expert injury lawyers may be able to help you get the compensation you rightfully deserve. We’re a Louisiana-based law firm with a deep understanding of the local legal landscape. Contact us online or at 504-200-0000 for a free consultation.