Whether you walk out of necessity, for your health, or for the simple enjoyment of doing so, you should be able to travel around Louisville without fear or concern for your safety. Unfortunately, the reality of life as a pedestrian is dangerous. From inattentive drivers to poor infrastructure, those traveling by foot are often the least protected group on the road.
If you walk or travel as a pedestrian, no matter how little, you are at risk for a pedestrian accident. Since your safety and life are on the line, here’s what to do if you’ve been hit by a car as a pedestrian.
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6 Steps To Take After a Pedestrian Accident
The steps you take in the minutes, days, and weeks after a pedestrian accident matter. Knowing what to do can be difficult, though. You’ve just been through a traumatic event, you might be hurt, and you just don’t know what you’re supposed to do next.
While this can be an isolating experience, know that you are not alone. To help you better navigate the period of time following a pedestrian collision, Thomas Law Offices has compiled the six most important steps to take.
Kentucky state law requires you to immediately notify police of an accident if any of the following occurs:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage in excess of $500
If you do not notify police while still at the scene of the accident, you have 10 days to file a written report with the Department of Kentucky State Police.
However, we recommend always calling 911 after a pedestrian collision for two important reasons. First, you can ask that an ambulance and emergency responders be sent to the scene of the accident to provide care and, if necessary, transport victims to the hospital. And second, when police respond to the scene of an accident, they will create a police accident report on your behalf.
This police report can serve as a vital piece of evidence when pursuing compensation for your injuries and related losses.
Seek Medical Attention
There is nothing more important than your health, safety, and well-being, so perhaps the most important step you can take after a pedestrian accident is to seek timely medical care. Options for seeking treatment include at:
- The emergency room (ER)
- An urgent care facility
- Your regular doctor’s office
Keep in mind that some urgent care facilities will not provide treatment for car accident-related injuries. If you need immediate medical attention and are turned away from an urgent care, do not wait for an appointment with your doctor—proceed immediately to the nearest emergency room.
Take Pictures and Videos of the Accident Scene
Evidence disappears quickly in pedestrian accident cases. Everything from traffic and weather conditions to debris from the crash will be gone within a matter of hours or days. If you don’t capture proof of what caused or contributed to your crash while you have the chance, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to preserve this important evidence.
While still at the scene, take pictures and videos of the area and anything you believe could be relevant. Don’t worry about taking too many pictures, either. You and your attorney can later sort through the images and files to determine which are most relevant to your claim.
Not sure what to take pictures or videos of? We recommend capturing as many of the following as you can:
- Any apparent injuries (including bruises and cuts)
- Property damage to the at-fault vehicle or surrounding area
- Driving conditions (such as potholes or traffic)
- Weather and time of day
- Landmarks that show the location of the crash
- Impermanent evidence (including skid marks and debris)
Speak With Eyewitnesses
When the insurance company has a response for every piece of evidence you present, the outcome of your personal injury claim could come down to your word against that of the at-fault party. If it comes to this, the account of an eyewitness could be enough to turn the outcome of your claim back in your favor.
But why is eyewitness testimony so powerful? In general, eyewitnesses don’t have a vested interest in the case. For this reason, their testimony is generally considered as more reliable and factually accurate than testimony provided by those involved in the crash.
You don’t need to get witness statements while still at the accident scene, but you do need to get their contact information. Ask eyewitnesses if they’d be willing to provide an account of what happened, and then take down their names and contact information.
Collect and Preserve Evidence
You can’t just tell the insurance company that their policyholder caused your accident and expect them to take your words at face value. You’ll need evidence to support your claim and the amount of compensation you’re asking for.
After a pedestrian accident, keep copies of everything that could be relevant to your case. This includes:
- Time off work requests
- Medical bills
- Test results and appointment notes
- Auto repair bills
- The police report
You should also keep track of every time that you speak with the insurance company. Note down the date, time of day, who you spoke with, and what the conversation was about. Be careful not to reveal too much information or too many details during these conversations. When in doubt, refer all correspondence from the insurance company to your lawyer.
Speak With a Lawyer
You’ve been injured. You’re out of work. Medical bills are starting to pile up, and it feels like you’re drowning under the pressure.
So what are your legal options? Can you recover compensation for things like pain and suffering, or are you limited to compensation for your verifiable financial losses only? Who is responsible for your accident and injuries, and will they have to pay you?
A pedestrian accident lawyer can answer these and all other questions you may have about your right to recover compensation for a pedestrian accident.
Speak With a Lawyer for Free
Thomas Law Offices prioritizes the needs of our clients above all else. That’s why we proudly offer no-cost case evaluations and take many cases on a contingency fee basis. We don’t believe that financial resources should ever be a barrier to securing high-quality legal representation.
We want to help you navigate what to do if you’ve been hit by a car as a pedestrian. To schedule your free meeting with a lawyer from our Louisville personal injury law firm, contact us via our convenient online form or by phone.