Personal Injury

12 Steps to Protect Yourself After an Auto/Pedestrian Accident

Chandler | Conway

Chandler | Conway

Tuesday May 21, 2024

Pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles are distressing events with potentially severe consequences. In the chaotic aftermath of such incidents, knowing how to respond promptly and effectively is critical for ensuring the safety of the injured pedestrian, gathering crucial information, and navigating the complex legal and insurance processes. Explore this comprehensive guide on what to do after a pedestrian is hit by a car, with emphasis on the importance of immediate action, safety measures, and legal considerations.

Step 1) Prioritize Safety

The primary concern directly after a pedestrian is hit by a car is ensuring the safety and well-being of the injured individual/s. Immediately assess the situation and (if safe to do so) move the pedestrian to a secure location away from oncoming traffic.

Activate hazard lights or use a flashlight to alert other motorists and pedestrians to the accident scene. Avoid moving the injured person unnecessarily unless there is an immediate threat to their safety, as improper handling may exacerbate injuries.

Step 2) Call Emergency Services

Once the pedestrian is in a safe location, immediately call emergency services to report the accident and request medical assistance. Provide the dispatcher with accurate details about the location of the accident, the condition of the pedestrian, and any other pertinent information.

Emergency medical responders will arrive at the scene to provide necessary medical treatment, assess the extent of injuries, and transport the pedestrian to a medical facility for further care.

Step 3) Secure the Scene

While waiting for emergency services to arrive, take measures to secure the accident scene and prevent further harm. Activate hazard lights on the involved vehicles and set up warning triangles or flares to alert approaching motorists to slow down and proceed with caution. If possible, use barriers or cones to establish a safe perimeter around the accident scene and prevent additional collisions.

Step 4) Gather Information

Once the immediate safety concerns have been addressed, gather essential information related to the accident. Obtain the following information from the driver and any witnesses:

  • Driver: contact information of the driver involved, including their name, address, phone number, and insurance details
  • Witnesses: collect their names and contact information as well

Eyewitness accounts may be valuable for insurance claims or legal proceedings, which is why their information is also very important. Take note of the vehicle’s license plate number, make, model, and color for identification purposes.

Step 5) Document the Scene

If able, document the accident scene thoroughly by taking photographs or videos from multiple angles. Capture the positions of the vehicles involved, the location of the pedestrian at the time of the accident, and any visible injuries or damages.

Pay attention to relevant details such as traffic signs, road conditions, and weather conditions, as these may have contributed to the accident. Documenting the scene comprehensively provides valuable evidence for insurance claims and legal actions.

Step 6) Notify Authorities

Contact local law enforcement to report the accident and request their presence at the scene. Even if the accident seems minor and the pedestrian appears to have suffered only minor injuries, it is essential to involve the police for documentation purposes.

Law enforcement officers will conduct an investigation, gather witness statements, and prepare an official accident report detailing the circumstances of the incident. Cooperate fully with the authorities and provide them with accurate information to the best of your ability.

Step 7) Seek Medical Attention

After the accident scene has been secured and authorities have been notified, the injured pedestrian should seek prompt medical attention. Even if injuries appear minor or non-life-threatening, it is crucial to undergo a thorough medical evaluation to assess for any underlying injuries or complications.

Some injuries, such as concussions or internal trauma, may not manifest symptoms immediately but can have serious long-term consequences if left untreated. Follow all medical recommendations and attend follow-up appointments as necessary for proper recovery.

Step 8) Preserve Evidence

Preserve all evidence related to the accident, including photographs, witness statements, medical records, and correspondence with insurance companies. Refrain from repairing or altering any damaged property until insurers and authorities have had the opportunity to assess the damages.

Keep copies of all documents and records related to the accident in a safe and organized manner for reference during the claims process or potential legal proceedings.

Step 9) Notify Insurance Companies

Notify your insurance company and the at-fault driver’s insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Provide them with accurate details of the incident, including the names of the parties involved, the location and time of the accident, and any documentation gathered at the scene.

Prompt notification enables the insurers to initiate the claims process promptly, facilitating timely assistance with medical expenses, property damage repairs and other damages.

Step 10) Consult Legal Counsel

Consider consulting with a qualified attorney experienced in handling pedestrian accident cases. Legal counsel can provide invaluable guidance on navigating insurance claims, negotiating with insurance companies, and pursuing compensation for damages.  Many injured parties are unaware of the potential insurance coverages that may apply when they have been injured by a car.  In addition to the at-fault party’s auto insurance, there is often additional insurance available through your own auto insurance policy, such as uninsured motorist coverage (UIM) or medical payments coverage (Medpay).

An injury attorney can help determine what insurance coverages are available and will safeguard your rights and interests, advocating for a fair and just resolution of the case. They can also provide assistance in understanding relevant laws and statutes of limitations that may affect the outcome of your claim.

Step 11) Understand Legal Rights

Educate yourself about your legal rights and obligations concerning pedestrian accidents. Each jurisdiction has specific laws governing liability, insurance requirements, and statutes of limitations for filing claims. Understanding these legal nuances empowers you to make informed decisions and effectively advocate for your rights in the aftermath of an accident.

Be sure to comply with all legal obligations, including reporting the accident to the authorities and cooperating with the investigation process.

Step 12) Follow Through

Follow through with all necessary procedures, including attending medical appointments, cooperating with investigators, and adhering to legal deadlines. Keep detailed records of all expenses incurred as a result of the accident, including medical bills and lost wages.

Stay in communication with your insurance company and legal counsel to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages.

Pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles can have devastating consequences for the injured individual and their loved ones. However, by taking prompt and proactive steps in the aftermath of an accident, you can ensure your safety, gather essential information, and seek appropriate recourse for damages incurred. Prioritizing safety, securing the accident scene, documenting evidence, and seeking medical and legal assistance are critical elements of navigating the post-accident landscape. By following these guidelines and seeking support when needed, pedestrians involved in accidents can move towards recovery with greater confidence and resilience.


Use Chandler|Conway Attorneys for Pedestrian/Auto Accidents

Attorneys at Chandler|Conway have exceptional experience and knowledge from several years of successfully representing pedestrians who have been injured from an auto accident. By consulting with one of our expert attorneys, individuals can navigate the legal process effectively and work towards achieving a just resolution to their pedestrian and vehicle-related accident case.

Contact us or explore our website to see how we can help you.


Related Links

Find an Attorney for Auto/Pedestrian Accidents

3 Tips on How to Find a Good Lawyer

How Long Do I Have to File My Personal Injury Claim?

What To Do If An Uninsured Car Hits Me While Walking Across the Street

Chandler | Conway

Related Articles