As a pedestrian, one of the most shocking and terrifying things that can happen is to be hit by a car. Most of the time these incidents happen in a flash, without warning, and leave you reeling. Unfortunately, the reality is this is not an uncommon occurrence. In fact, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association, 2021 represented a 40-year high for pedestrian deaths on U.S. roads, with an astonishing 7,485 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a pedestrian accident, there are some important steps you should take after the fact to ensure your safety and wellbeing, as well as to protect your legal rights. Contact a dedicated lawyer today to learn more about the first steps you should take after a pedestrian accident.
If you’re the victim of a pedestrian accident, chances are very high that you will be at the minimum, in a state of shock, and at the worst, seriously injured. The first thing you should do if you’ve been hit by a car is to assess your injuries. If you are able, move to the side of the road or sidewalk and out of harm’s way. Once you have done this, call 911 and wait for emergency medical personnel to arrive.
If the driver who hit you is still at the scene, exchange insurance information with him or her. However, do not discuss the accident with the driver or accept any responsibility for what happened. These types of statements can be used against you later if you decide to take legal action. Believe it or not, in some cases, the driver who hit you may not stop or exchange information. If this happens, try to get the license plate number of the car and call the police. It’s also a good idea to take pictures of the scene of the accident if you are able to do so.
Once the police arrive, give them a detailed account of what happened, however, it’s important that you do not speculate about what caused the accident or admit any responsibility. Just give them the facts as you know them. It’s also important to get the names and contact information of any witnesses to the accident, as they may be able to provide valuable testimony if you decide to take legal action. The police will create an accident report, which can be helpful later if you decide to file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Even if you believe your injuries are minor, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible after a pedestrian accident. In many cases, the full extent of an injury is not immediately apparent. For example, you may think you’ve only sustained bruising, when in reality you may have a serious internal injury that requires hospitalization. A delay in seeking medical attention can also negatively impact your personal injury claim if you decide to file one.
In the days and weeks following the accident, it’s important that you keep detailed records of all your expenses related to the accident, including medical bills, prescriptions, lost wages, and any other out-of-pocket costs. This will be important evidence if you decide to take legal action. A skilled attorney in Columbia could help you document your injuries to ensure you get the maximum recovery possible for your injuries.
Finally, one of the most important things you can do after a pedestrian accident is to contact a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling these types of cases. An experienced attorney in Columbia will be able to fully assess your case and advise you of your legal options. If you decide to pursue a personal injury claim, an attorney can help you navigate the complex legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.
It’s important to understand that Missouri law gives pedestrians the right of way in many situations. For example, Missouri law requires drivers to stop and yield the right of way to pedestrians who are crossing the street in a marked crosswalk or at an intersection with a stop sign or traffic light. Drivers are also required to stop and yield the right of way to pedestrians who are crossing the street in an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.
There are also specific laws in Missouri that prohibit distracted driving. For example, it’s against the law to text while driving in Missouri. Additionally, Missouri law prohibits drivers from using handheld electronic devices while driving, with limited exceptions.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident in Columbia, MO, the personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Chris Miller can help. We have extensive experience handling these types of cases and are dedicated to fighting for the compensation our clients deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation find out the first steps you should take after a pedestrian accident.