You are crossing the street, and out of the blue, you hear screaming brakes, and you hear a thud. Your body is flung forward, and you land with a painful crunch. At that moment your mind is racing.
Your body has released a flood of adrenaline into your system, and you are simultaneously furious and terrified. You’re not sure if the driver was drunk or just not paying attention. You feel confused, overwhelmed, and unsteady. You manage to sit up and thankfully, you are not seriously injured. So, what do you do next? In the article below, a pedestrian accident seattle attorney reveals the 5 crucial steps you’ll need to take.
Immediately after impact, most people get into a fit of rage against the driver of the vehicle. They may start shouting at them and perhaps even crying at the same time. This commotion creates confusion and can escalate into a brawl, both of which will not help the situation.
Although your emotions will be on edge and you will be fighting feelings of anger and fear, try and remain calm. Examine yourself to make sure you can move and move out of the street and onto the sidewalk. Make sure to ask the driver to remain in place as well if they have not fled the scene of the accident.
Call the Police
Once you are off the street, call 911. In pedestrian accidents, a police report is the only evidence that will give you a persuasive case. Even if you feel okay, do not leave until the police arrive. If you do, the accident will become inadmissible to the police, and you will lose your chance at a compelling case.
Once the police arrive, give them your statement as slowly and calmly as possible. Try not to get emotional and shout as this may result in mistakes in the police statement. If possible, ask the police officer to go over the statement with you after you finish giving it.
Document as Much as You Can
Before leaving the scene, try and document the details of the accident. Take pictures of the car that hit you, your bike (if you were cycling), traffic signs, the street condition, etc. Although most of this “evidence” will not be used, some of it may prove useful when filing a claim with the insurance company.
Get Medical Attention
In such a situation, adrenaline and other hormones may blunt pain, and you may feel okay. Once you finish giving your police statement, immediately go for a medical checkup. Things like bone fractures may not be easy to identify and may need an X-ray.
Once it is clear you have no physical injuries, consider seeing a psychologist for a mental evaluation. Most motor accident victims get PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), so it is important to get treatment for this if present.
Call a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Finally, seek the help of a pedestrian accident Seattle lawyer. While you can file a claim yourself and you will possibly get a payout, chances are you will get less than if a lawyer represents you. The reason is simple.
When you file the claim yourself, the insurance company, which has a massive legal team and other resources, will employ all these tools to pay you as little as possible. Having legal representation on your side can help balance this out.
Getting into an accident can be a life-altering event. If you are fortunate and do not get seriously injured, you can move on with your life relatively quickly. If you were badly injured, you would need substantial financial compensation to help adjust to the new state of your life. Following the steps laid out here can help make sure you do not come out of the situation empty-handed.