You’ve heard of this horrific event happening, but you’ve never experienced it yourself. It can be your worst nightmare – being hit by a moving vehicle while you’re walking across or down a street. But it happens and it can cause minor or major injuries.
So… what do you do if you get hit by a car? Many people don’t know how to react when they get hit, besides being angry of course. It’s important to know there are certain steps you must take in the event of a collision to protect yourself financially, legally, and medically. If you don’t understand the consequences to not knowing the correct steps to take, these tips should help you.
Instead of freaking out, move to the side of the street
You first reaction when you get hit by a car may be fury, not to mention a ton of adrenaline is now overtaking your senses. Whereas your first reaction may be lashing out at the driver, that won’t help you. Assuming you’re not seriously injured, as soon as you get your wits about you, move out of the street onto a driveway or sidewalk instead.
Take deep breaths and try to control your emotions (even though what you’re feeling is completely valid). When police arrive at the scene, you will look more sympathetic and it’ll also be easiest to communicate with the driver.
Call a lawyer to walk you through it
Even though filing a claim and going to the hospital is important, as soon as you’re able, call a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will be able to provide advice on how to write a letter to an insurance company as well as how to go about asking about what medical expenses are covered and receiving money for psychological distress you may be experiencing.
Get the driver’s information and take a lot of photos
Right after the accident takes place and you’re waiting for the police to arrive, it’s in your best interest to get the driver’s basic information such as their insurance information, license plate number, and their driver’s license. If you have time before going to the hospital also jot down witness’ numbers and names in case you need to contact them later.
Don’t be afraid to take a ton of photos – pictures of the car that hit you, the intersection, your injuries, and anything else you may find useful. A lot of these photos may not help your case, but a hard-to-see traffic sign or light that wasn’t mentioned at the time could help potentially you later.
Shortly after the accident, if you’re not badly injured, be sure to give your statement to the police. And then a few days later see if you can review a copy of the report to check for accuracy. If needed, a lawyer can assist you with the process.
Begin an insurance claim
As soon as you can, call the driver’s insurance company and open a claim. Do not get mad at the company and let them know everything that happened. Simply tell them the facts and not a full narrative of what happened. Prior to giving them additional information you should consult with a lawyer first.
In addition to filing a claim, also document other expenses such as medical bills, the fees you incurred for fixing a bike, the wages you lost during that time, and more. Eventually you’ll provide all of this information to the insurance company.