Each year, an estimated 145,000 Americans are hit by cars while walking or cycling. Getting hit by a car is frighteningly common, especially in large cities, like those of the Bay Area. To help the injured through a difficult time, we’ve put together these tips explaining what you should do when you’re hit by a car.
After a pedestrian crash, it’s crucial you limit your movement. The blunt force from a car crash often results in serious injuries, including broken bones and organ damage. Excessive movement after an injury puts you at risk of making the symptoms worse, which can also make your recovery much longer.
The best thing you can do is remain where you are and avoid moving your limbs until emergency services arrive. Move out of the road if you are able, but go no further.
Whenever someone is seriously injured in a crash, you need to call 911 and report the crash. If you see blood or a broken bone, you need medical professionals who can stabilize you and take you to the hospital.
At the same time, state law requires a police report for any car crash resulting in serious injuries. While on the phone with emergency operators, make sure you tell them that you were struck by a vehicle and that you need both an ambulance and a police officer at the scene.
When you’re involved in a crash, you’ll be pumped full of adrenaline. You need to resist the “flight or flight” response. Yelling at the driver may be therapeutic, but it will not help you. You don’t want to scare the other driver, as they may try to flee the scene. That could leave you with a hit and run case, where you have little means of getting their contact information.Try to keep the other driver talking. You might try to get their insurance information if you’re not in immediate danger. Try to remember what they say so you can report to your attorney and insurance company once you’ve seen a doctor. An admission of guilt could significantly increase their liability, increasing your chances of a just settlement.
File a Police Report
When the police arrive, make sure they file a police report. A police report is perhaps the most important piece of evidence after any car crash. It is an unbiased account of what happened in the crash, relying on your testimony, the driver’s testimony, and those of any witnesses who may have seen the crash. A police report will also verify the driver’s information in the public record, ensuring your attorney has a way to contact them as your case progresses.
If your injuries require an immediate trip to the hospital, you can expect a visit from the police shortly after. So long as they know you were involved in a crash, they will need your side of the story to complete their report.
Go to the Doctor
Whether you’re able to get there on your own or you need the help of an ambulance, you absolutely need to see a doctor after a car crash. A doctor will conduct a physical examination to determine the extent of your injuries and whether you might develop latent injuries, like internal bleeding.
A doctor’s report will verify your injuries, creating another record proving you were hurt. If you wait to visit a doctor, the insurance companies might argue that your injuries weren’t severe enough to receive immediate treatment or even that they weren’t caused by the car crash.
The good news is that with both the police report and your medical report, your attorney will be well-equipped to fight the insurance companies and earn you the compensation you need to make a successful recovery.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries in a pedestrian accident, we are here for you. If you’d like an experienced attorney from Delfino Green & Green to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call 415-442-4646.