What To Do If You’re a Pedestrian Hit by a Car
Madison Personal Injury Attorneys Advise on Steps to Take after an Accident
No one likes to think about it, but as a pedestrian or cyclist there’s always the chance of being struck by a car. Especially in a city with as much traffic as Madison.
So, what happens if the unthinkable happens? Would you have the clarity of mind to know what to say (and not say) and what to do? Or would you be completely freaked out? It’s easy to think you would keep your cool, but unless you have internalized the things you need to do, it’s highly unlikely you’ll do them.
While we hope you’ll never find yourself the victim of an accident involving a motorist, here are some things to keep in mind in case you are:
Get Out of the Street
It may seem obvious, but right after an accident your thought process isn’t usually the clearest. Even though traffic may have come to a halt right after the accident, you don’t want to spend any more time in the street than absolutely necessary. Assuming you’re conscious and able to move on your own, get out of the street and onto the sidewalk or shoulder of the road as quickly as possible.
Insist the Driver Remain on the Scene
Assuming the driver has stopped after hitting you, do whatever you can to get him or her to remain on the scene. The main reason for keeping the driver on the scene is that you’re going to need the driver’s statement to the police (see the next step). Also, while the driver is there, ask for his driver’s license and insurance. If you don’t have anything to write this information down on, use your cell phone to snap a photo.
Call the Police
Even if the accident seems like a minor one that just caused a little bruising, CALL THE POLICE! First of all, what seems like a minor injury may actually be much worse than you think. Without the documentation of a police report, your claim is compromised. Second, the investigating officer is who will make the first determination of fault in the accident. In order to do that, he has to be on the scene shortly after the accident occurred. Having an officer conclude in his report that the driver was at fault will be invaluable in any personal injury lawsuit you may file.
Document the Accident
Most people today have a cell phone with a camera on them at all times. Chances are your hands will be shaking for some time after the accident, but do what you can to document the scene of the accident with photos. Be sure to get a shot of the driver’s car showing his license plate, the street signs and street lights in the area, and any injuries to yourself that you can photograph.
Get Medical Treatment
You might think it’s just a bruise (and it may well be just a bruise), but it may actually be something more. What seems like just a bruise on your head could actually be severe enough to cause internal bleeding. Because your adrenaline is usually pumping at full speed right after an accident, it’s also possible you may not even feel an injury. Best advice: Get yourself checked over at the hospital just to be sure.
Getting medical attention promptly is also important because if it turns out you have a more serious injury than first suspected, you’re in a much better position (legally speaking) to seek restitution if you sought treatment immediately after the accident. Basically, it negates any argument that you “made up an injury” after the fact just to try to get money from the driver’s insurance company.
Request a Copy of the Police Report
You should get a copy of the police report, particularly if there’s a chance you will be filing a personal injury suit. Give the police 3 or 4 days to compile their report, then make a request for a copy. If anything in the report is incorrect, contact the police and tell them you want it noted the report is not accurate. Typically, they will add a notation to the report documenting your call and whatever facts you dispute or add to the report.
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
Get a Lawyer
Sometimes, your insurance company and the insurance company of the driver who hit you will get together and make sure you are duly compensated for the cost of any medical care you received and, in the event you were on a bicycle, the cost of replacing your bicycle. More often than not, though, there are complications which are better left to experienced car accident lawyers to handle. In which case, you can do no better than Warshafsky Law.
The personal injury attorneys of Warshafsky Law have a long history of securing the maximum financial compensation possible for those who have been injured by careless or neglectful drivers. Unlike many personal injury law firms, Warshafsky Law isn’t quick to accept lowball settlement offers from the opposing side. We put our clients first and do whatever it takes to make sure they are fairly compensated for their injuries—including taking the case to court.
If you or someone you care about have been injured, you only get one chance to choose a lawyer—and who you choose makes all the difference in how your personal injury lawsuit will resolve. Don’t settle for anything less than the very best legal representation you can get.
Free Initial Consultation and No Fee Unless We Win
Warshafsky Law offers a free initial legal consultation and maintains a No Win, No Fee policy. If we do not prevail in your case, we don’t charge our clients a thing. Learn more at a free, no-obligation legal consultation with one of our Milwaukee personal injury attorneys.