Thousands of pedestrians are hit by automobiles every year. These accidents are devastating to everyone involved including the driver, pedestrian, and witnesses. Pedestrians are less protected more vulnerable than drivers. Faster speeds often result in serious injuries and even fatalities to the unprotected individual.
As the driver, it is important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Paying attention to what is happening on and around the roadways will help you see the people near the roadways and intersections. But no matter how careful you are, you cannot always predict the movements of walkers.
Pedestrian-vehicle collisions are not always straight forward. Determining who is at fault can take time while the police and insurance companies conduct their investigations. Should you be involved in a roadway accident between your car and another person, there are certain steps you should take to protect yourself.
1. Never Leave the Scene
If an accident happens, leaving the scene is one of the worst things you can do. Stay at the site with your vehicle until the authorities arrive.
2. Contact the Authorities
If the accident is serious enough that it requires first responders, call your local authorities right away. Once they arrive, get checked for injuries and shock. The impact could cause injuries that you are not even aware of, so it is better to let the paramedics treat you for potential harm.
3. Exchange Details
If the pedestrian is aware enough to exchange the necessary information for insurance purposes, get their details and offer them yours. It will save time later trying to get it. Only get and give what you need for the insurance company.
4. Get Witness Names
If their witnesses, get their names and telephone numbers. They can tell the insurance and law enforcement agents what they saw before, during, and after the impact.
5. Say Nothing to Others
It is natural during this highly emotional event to apologize or make comments like “I didn’t mean to…….”, “It’s all my fault,” “I’m sorry I hit you,” to the casualty and their loved ones. However, these comments can be used against you later on. Say very little to the pedestrian, witnesses, and friends, and family after the collision occurs.
6. Cooperate with The Authorities
If the police are involved, they will question everyone involved, including yourself. Be honest and cooperative at all throughout the investigation. It will be more difficult for you if you are not helpful and honest during questioning.
7. Contact Your Insurance Agency
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to open a claim. Report any injuries you have sustained and damage to your vehicle.
8. Contact a Lawyer
If you know you are at fault or feel there may be legal repercussions as a result of the event, contact an injury attorney as soon as possible. A legal professional can go through the details of the accident with you, reports, liability claims and other processes you may or may not face as a result of the accident.
Accidents between pedestrians and drivers are traumatizing for all parties. While driver’s face scrutiny, not all collisions are their fault. Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, people will run into traffic unexpectedly. You can help reduce the risk by following the rules of the road, paying full attention to the roadway and surroundings while driving. Always watch for people, especially in high risk areas where there is lots of foot traffic.
If an accident occurs, you will need to contact the authorities, your insurance provider, and an accident lawyer to help you navigate through the process.