What to Do if You’ve Been a Victim of a Pedestrian Accident

By Peter DePaolis

If you get hit by a car when you are on foot, you might wonder what you should do to protect your health and your right to compensation from the at-fault party. In a moment of crisis, it can be challenging to think clearly, so this blog offers suggestions about what to do if you’ve been a victim of a pedestrian accident. A Virginia personal injury attorney can provide additional guidance and help you navigate the personal injury claim or lawsuit process.

First Steps After a Pedestrian Accident

Minutes count after a pedestrian accident. Many of these crashes are hit-and-run incidents because the driver panics and flees the scene illegally. It is essential that the police pursue the fleeing vehicle immediately to maximize the likelihood of capture. Try to provide details for the police, like the make, model, color, and age of the car. Also, let law enforcement know the direction the vehicle drove when leaving the scene of the accident.

If the driver remained at the scene, law enforcement should still come to the site to investigate and write an accident report. It will be your word against the driver’s word if there is not a crash report from law enforcement.

Also, when a car or truck strikes a person who is walking, the injuries can be catastrophic. You will want to request medical attention as well as the police when you call 911. Sometimes, even severe injuries do not produce symptoms for a few hours or longer. The adrenalin of the situation might mask the pain temporarily.

Get Evidence

If you can do so safely and you are physically able to do so, you might want to use your phone to take pictures of the scene of the crash. If the car that hit you stayed, try to take photographs of the point of impact and anything else that could be relevant to your claim. For example, the at-fault driver might try to blame the accident on bad lighting, and your photos might show that the area was actually well-lit.

Collect the names and contact information of potential eyewitnesses. Look around to assess whether there are security cameras or video doorbells on nearby houses or commercial buildings that might have caught something you could use as evidence. Get the insurance and registration information of all the parties involved in the crash.

Medical Attention

In addition to getting prompt medical attention for your wounds, it is essential that you complete the medical treatment your doctor prescribes, for three reasons:

  1. Wounds generally heal better with prompt, thorough treatment.
  2. If you put off some of your treatment in hopes that you will heal the rest of the way on your own, the defendant could argue that you would have healed better with all of the prescribed treatment, so they should not have to pay you as much money.
  3. If you settle your accident claim with the defendant and later decide to have the rest of the medical interventions, you will not be able to make the defendant pay those medical bills. When you settle an accident injury case, you sign a waiver that releases the defendant from all future claims arising out of the accident.

A Virginia personal injury attorney would be happy to talk to you about your pedestrian accident at no charge. Reach out to us today for help with your case, we gladly offer a free consultation.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.