In the United States, over 100,000 pedestrians visited emergency rooms in 2020 for non-fatal injuries they sustained during a collision. The true number of injuries sustained by pedestrians during collisions is likely much higher, as most decline to report them to proper authorities. Children and seniors regrettably represent a disproportionate number of injured pedestrians.
Drivers who are operating under the influence or speeding cause a disproportionate number of pedestrian injuries. Distracted drivers – especially ones who were using their cell phones at the times of collisions – are often accountable for injuring pedestrians as well.
If you walk or cycle on or near a roadway, you are unfortunately at risk of getting struck by a vehicle. In the event that happens to you, you will no doubt feel distraught and wonder what you should do next. Here are the steps you should immediately follow if you are hit by a car.
Please note that Hillyard, Anderson & Olsen offers the following information for general advisory purposes only. The information on this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Reading this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.
1. Seek Immediate Medical Assistance
If you are struck by a vehicle and you are capable of doing so, call 911 at once. Your well-being demands that you receive a full medical evaluation following the collision as quickly as possible. The trauma caused by the collision may make you incapable of realizing you are injured. Certain types of injuries may be very serious and become worse without treatment, yet are only immediately detectable by trained medical professionals.
2. Document Your Injuries
Take a mental inventory of any injury you have or may have sustained. Note which areas of your body are in pain or bleeding, as well as whether your vision has become impaired in any way. Also note any areas where your clothing has torn, as these may indicate parts of your body that have become injured without accompanying pain.
If you are able to, report these injuries and potential injuries to emergency responders on their arrival. Record the same information you provided to responders as soon as you are safely able to do so; writing, audio recording and video recording are all valid methods of creating such a record.
3. Contact the Police
Once you have requested medical assistance, contact the police as soon as possible. You want to provide the most detailed personal account of the collision that you are able. The sooner you file a police report, the more vividly you will be able to recall the events surrounding the collision.
Do not forgo filing a police report, even if you suspect you were not injured during the collision. Should you decide to pursue recourse in the future, your insurance provider and your attorney may both require a police report.
4. Do Not Discuss Details With the Wrong Parties
You are likely already familiar with the Fifth Amendment, which most Americans accurately correlate with their right to remain silent. While pedestrians who have been struck by vehicles are rarely suspected of having committed a crime, and although they are advised to speak with medical personnel and report the incident to the police, they are not advised to speak with the motorist, the motorist’s insurance company or the motorist’s attorney.
Under no circumstances should you admit fault following the collision. Do not sign anything provided by the motorist, their insurance company or their attorney following the collision. Provide no information other than your name, address, phone number and the claim number assigned to your case by your own insurance provider. Any additional information you provide may be used against you. Furthermore, do not accept a settlement without first consulting your own personal injury attorney.
Only speak freely with medical personnel, your insurance company and your attorney. Only these parties are concerned with your personal interests!
5. Contact Your Insurance Provider
If you have car insurance, contact your insurance provider at once. Even if you were a pedestrian at the time of the collision, many auto insurance providers cover such accidents. Bringing the collision to your insurance provider’s attention as soon as possible can simplify disability or medical claims you may decide to make in the future.
6. Seek Professional Legal Counsel
If you are struck by a vehicle, you are highly likely to incur financial, physical and emotional hardships as the result. The motorist’s insurance company will make every effort to assign fault to you even if you were totally blameless for the collision which injured you. Even if they do offer a settlement, it will likely be far too little to compensate you for your pain and suffering.
You deserve a partner who will fight for you during such a difficult time. If you live in the greater Logan, Utah area and have recently been struck by a vehicle, then we welcome you to contact Hillyard, Anderson & Olsen today. Our clients’ best interests are the only interests we have in mind.