Did you know that nearly 3,300 people die in car accidents every day all over the world? That amounts to approximately 1.25 million people a year.
The worst news is that out of these 3,300 people, nearly 1,000 of them are teenagers under 25 years of age. As you can probably see, road safety is very important for pedestrians and drivers alike.
Obviously, there are many things you can do to avoid getting hit by a car, but what if this unfortunate event happens? What are your rights as an injured pedestrian and who should you talk to in this case?
Hopefully, you never have to go through this experience, but if it happens, it’s good to know what to do, so you can save precious time and get compensated for your injuries.
Top Things to Do When Getting Hit by a Car as a Pedestrian
Knowing what to do when you get hit by a car will also help to reduce the panic and anxiety which definitely occurs as a result. Here’s what you need to know to be prepared:
1. Take Care of Yourself First
This is by far the most important aspect you need to take into account. If you were hit by a car, gather yourself, take a few deep breaths and get up, if you’ve fallen on the ground.
Check yourself and look for major signs of injury. Do you see blood? Do you feel pain? Do you feel numbness? It’s common for pain to occur several moments after an accident.
If you do feel pain, how bad is it? Do you think you need to go to the emergency room? Studies show that pedestrian injuries resulting in death on the rise, so by treating yourself early you can avoid a major health complication.
If you are relatively ok and have just a few scratches, look around you and identify the car which hit you. Snap a picture of the license plate number, so you have it as proof. If it is possible, talk with the drive to release your negative emotions, but don’t try to hit him/her.
Talk with the witnesses as well and take their contact information. Note down the place and time when the accident occurred. Also, check your pockets/handbag and see if you have all your personal belongings with you. It’s common for mobile phones or keys to jump out of pockets when you are being hit by something.
Now it would be a good time to assess your clothes more closely as well. Is your jacket ripped? How about your jeans? After you have talked with people at the scene of the accident, maybe it’s a good idea to hop on a taxi and go home to exchange your clothes and have a shower.
2. You Can Make a Claim Against the Driver
If you were on a crosswalk when you were hit by the car then it’s almost 100% the driver’s fault in this case. The law states that vehicles should slow down and stop near crosswalks to let pedestrians pass.
If you were on the walkway next to the road then again it’s the driver’s fault for not driving his vehicle correctly. It might happen that the vehicle also hit other things such as nearby garbage bins, benches, trees, etc.
You can make a claim against the driver in these cases and be almost sure that you’re going to win. You will get compensated by the driver’s insurance company for your injuries and this money can be used to pay for medical bills, if necessary.
However, if you were hit when you crossed the street illegally then it’s hard to win the case in this scenario. Pedestrians should be involved in jaywalking and in this case, it’s most likely your fault for the accident. if you have life or health insurance, you will eventually be compensated by your own insurance company. If you don’t, you might need to pay your medical bills from your own pocket.
3. You Can Make a Claim Against the Municipality
In some cases, you also have the possibility to make a claim against the local municipality. This can be done when a safety hazard has been created by improper street planning and sign/crosswalk placement.
For example, you can make a claim against the municipality if the traffic light is broken. In this case, it’s not your fault that the signaling system is malfunctioning and you can win the case in court. If the crosswalk is poorly placed and there are no signs to alert drivers of its existence then again, you have high chances of winning the case against the local municipality.
4. Make Calls
Once you have exchanged information with the driver who hit you and with the witnesses, you should make a few phone calls. For example, it would be a good idea to call your insurance company and tell them about this event. If you have been hurt and you’re in the hospital, you should call some of your family members and friends. It’s better for them to find out about this from you than from the news.
The days following a car accident will definitely be stressful, so have patience with yourself. You might also want to call your work colleagues and superiors to inform them that you’re not able to do your job for the upcoming days/weeks. They will definitely understand what you went through and they will wish you the best.
Do Everything You Can to Prevent Car Accidents
You might be happy to find out that you can avoid getting hit by a car by following a few simple tips. For example, don’t try to cross the street if there isn’t a crosswalk nearby. When you find a crosswalk, double check in both directions to make sure there isn’t a speeding vehicle coming towards you.
Also, don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family members, so they know what to do in such unfortunate situations as well.