Pedestrians who are hit by a car sustain serious and life-threatening injuries. Thousands of pedestrians are killed or injured each year in traffic accidents. According to the NHTSA, California had the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in 2017. California typically leads or has the second-highest number of pedestrian deaths each year.
If a negligent driver injures you when you are walking, jogging, or crossing the road, you need to take steps to protect your legal right to receive compensation for your injuries and damages. The steps you take immediately following a pedestrian accident impact your injury claim. Consulting with a California pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible after a traffic accident helps you avoid mistakes and errors that could hurt your pedestrian accident claim.
Five Steps to Take After Being Hit by a Vehicle in California
1. Call the Police
Immediately contact the police by calling 911 to request assistance. An official police record of the accident helps when you file an insurance claim for damages.
2. Seek Medical Attention Quickly
You need to document the accident, but you also need to document your injuries. In most cases, pedestrians are transported to the hospital by an ambulance because their injuries are severe. If you do not go to the ER from the accident scene, you need to see your doctor as soon as possible. A delay in medical care could cause more damage and could hurt your injury claim.
3. Document the Accident Scene
If possible, take pictures and make videos of the accident scene. If you are unable to take photos, a bystander may do so for you with your cell phone. Also, ask bystanders for their names and contact information. Eyewitness testimony is very helpful if liability for the accident is challenged.
4. Avoid Speaking with the Insurance Adjuster
An insurance representative may seem to care and tell you that he has your best interest in mind when investigating the claim. However, insurance claims adjusters work to protect the insurance company, even when a pedestrian is injured. It is best to consult with a personal injury lawyer before you provide a statement or discuss the pedestrian accident with any person representing the driver’s insurance provider.
5. Consult with a California Personal Injury Attorney
The sooner you talk with an attorney, the sooner the attorney can investigate the accident, identify the responsible party, and gather evidence to prove fault and liability. Pedestrian accident claims can be complicated. The driver may allege that you were at fault for the accident or that your actions contributed to the collision. If a court finds you contributed to the cause of the accident, your compensation for damages could be significantly reduced.
Talk to a California Personal Injury Attorney as soon as possible
An attorney can help you build a case against the driver who caused your injuries. Your attorney fights for you to receive full compensation for your physical injuries, emotional distress, pain, and suffering. The attorney also fights for full reimbursement of all financial losses, including medical expenses, loss of income, travel expenses, personal care, and future damages because of permanent impairments and disabilities. Contact a California personal injury attorney today to learn about your rights after a pedestrian accident.