Rhode Island pedestrian accident fatalities are down since 2017, falling from 21 in 2017 to just 5 in 2019. The last call a person wants to make is to their lawyer asking, “I was hit by a car, what do I do?”
If you or a loved one were involved in a pedestrian accident, the following steps should be taken.
6 Steps I Would Take If I Was Hit by a Car
1. Get to Safety If Possible
Whether you’re walking or riding a bike, being hit by a car can leave you significantly injured on the pavement. If you’re in the middle of the street, you want to move to safety if possible. Injuries, such as spinal cord injuries, may not allow you to safely move and can greatly worsen your injuries.
When possible, move to a safe position out of the way of traffic.
If you have significant injuries, you will need to skip to step 2.
2. Call the Police and Seek Medical Assistance
Call the police and wait for them to arrive. You should call the police as soon as possible to speed up the process of seeking medical assistance. An ambulance will be dispatched to assist you if needed so that your injuries can be treated as soon as possible.
If your injuries or pain are severe, you should go to the emergency room.
Minor injuries can be treated at your primary care physician.
The shock of the accident can cloud your ability to recognize the severity of an injury. Receiving a full medical evaluation will ensure that if you have injuries, you’re treated promptly.
3. Write Down the License Plate of the Driver
In the ideal situation, the driver will stop their car and stay at the scene of the accident. Some drivers will panic and leave the scene of the accident. The goal is to remain calm and keep the driver at the scene of the accident if possible.
Jotting down the license plate number is a good choice just in case the driver speeds away.
Even if you don’t think you’re injured, take down the driver’s license plate and information because some injuries may not present until hours later.
If you can safely take pictures of the accident scene or videos, this will serve as vital documentation that can help strengthen your lawsuit.
4. Document Your Injuries
You’ll want to document your injuries to provide proof and further insight into what you experienced following your accident. A typical personal inventory that you want to write down will include:
- Where you have pain.
- Photos or videos of visual injuries.
- Description of the injuries you have.
- Description of your clothes if they’re torn.
You’ll want to have all of this information written down.
It’s vital that you ask for copies of all of your medical records relating to your injuries, medications you’re taking, bills, and diagnosis. The more documentation that you collect at this time, the more it will strengthen your case.
5. File a Claim Against the Driver
Since a driver is involved in the accident, this will be your first point of contact to seek damages for your injuries. The driver is usually at fault if a pedestrian was hit, even if the incident occurred in an area where no crosswalk was present.
Drivers have a responsibility to stay alert and to pay attention to road hazards.
You may want to contact your insurance company, even though you weren’t in a vehicle, because your policy may cover these types of accidents.
Filing a claim against the driver is important, but you never want to divulge too much information. You only want to discuss the accident with:
- Medical personnel
- Your insurance company
- Your attorney
If the motorist’s insurance company asks for your version of the accident, they will try to find some fault in your actions. It’s better to provide the motorist’s insurance company with your contact information, insurance information, and the information of your attorney.
6. Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Pedestrian accidents are serious, and the injuries that you sustain can cause you significant:
- Loss of work
- Financial hardships
A lawyer will be able to guide your case, deal with ruthless insurance companies that aim to make you settle for less than you deserve. You may also have a case against the local municipality if there was a failure of traffic lights or signage involved.
Local municipalities are taking steps to help make cities safer for pedestrians.
“In little Rhode Island, seven pedestrians were killed last year. That was down from an unusually high 20. The association credited Rhode Island with a new emphasis on pedestrian safety training. The training, which is required for all agencies seeking funding for pedestrian projects, offers best practices and a review of laws and policies,” explains the Providence Journal.
Even with increased safety training, pedestrian accidents still occur in Rhode Island.
If you or a loved one is dealing with the horrible thought of “I was hit by a car, now what?” call a pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible.