It seems like more pedestrians are being hit by cars all the time. Despite various cities’ plans to have zero motor vehicle fatalities and significantly reduce serious traffic injuries by 2030, those goals are still a long way off. If you’re a pedestrian who has been hit by a car and you’re not sure what your next step should be, here’s some professional advice.
Get Medical Attention Right Away
Even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously hurt, you still need to get checked out by a hospital immediately. As long as you are conscious, you have the responsibility to seek medical care and can accept or decline ambulance transportation to an emergency room. While you might not need to take an ambulance, you still need to either go to an ER or to an urgent care facility to have any injuries cared for.
You might not feel very much pain at first due to shock and potential head injuries, so don’t decline medical attention because your pain level may shoot up soon after the accident and all head injuries should be examined as quickly as possible. No matter how hard you were hit, call 911 and get medical personnel on the accident site to evaluate your immediate injuries. Then, follow up at an ER or urgent care center.
Document Your Injuries
If you are physically capable of documenting your injuries while you wait for the police and EMTs to arrive, start this process right away. Determine which parts of your body are in pain and take pictures of any visible injuries. Look for torn clothing, which indicates where your body came into contact with the vehicle or the ground and may potentially be an injury site, even if it doesn’t hurt in the moment. Check your face, head, and extremities for blood because you might not feel the pain yet and the presence of blood will call your attention to your injuries.
When the EMT arrives, they will take over documenting your injuries in your medical records, but be sure to tell them everything that hurts or that’s bleeding. They can’t fully examine you if you don’t tell them what’s wrong. It’s important for any legal case that might result from the accident that all your injuries are accounted for as soon after you’re hit as possible.
Don’t Discuss Fault
At the time of the accident, you should be focused on getting medical help and not on whose fault the accident was. Even if you think you’re to blame for what happened, wait until all the facts are established before you make a statement. In fact, it’s advisable for you to speak with an accident attorney prior to talking to the police, the motorist’s insurance company, or anyone involved with the accident who isn’t providing you with medical or legal assistance. You don’t have to give a statement to the police right away, especially if you’re hurt.
No matter how minor you think the accident is, it’s important for you to protect yourself both physically and legally when you’ve been hit by a car. Contact the police, then after you’ve taken care of your injuries, talk to an accident attorney to make sure your interests are represented and protected.