If your car strikes a pedestrian, it is vitally important that you remain at the scene until police arrive and recall details about what happened – as this will help police track down who hit them and track down any details about what may have caused their collision.
Immediate medical assistance is also crucial after an accident has taken place to ensure you do not face long-term repercussions from it.
1. Call the Police
If your car hits someone and they walk away, calling the police should be your immediate action. In many states this is legally mandated and essential to filing an accident report and tracking down those at fault and seeking any potential compensation for damage caused.
If possible, obtain the license plate number of the car driven by the culprit. This will enable police to track down their driver later and is an invaluable piece of evidence. Also take notes about its make, model, color(s), make/model number(s), as well as any identifying features you or any witnesses noticed at the scene – make sure that this information is shared with police when they arrive so that they may use it in their search for the offending vehicle and driver.
Next, it is essential to assess whether any one has been injured and seek medical assistance immediately if necessary. In serious injuries cases, calling 911 and having an ambulance arrive immediately at the scene will ensure they receive appropriate medical treatment, protecting their health and wellbeing in the future while documenting injuries so they can receive proper compensation.
2. Get Medical Attention
If you are struck by a car as a pedestrian, the initial shock may leave you unconscious or dazed; if conscious, take immediate steps after an accident occurs to protect both legal and medical rights and wellbeing.
First and foremost, make sure that you are unharmed in an accident. If this is the case for you, call 911 immediately; police can document and help get in touch with the driver’s insurance provider. When communicating with them directly, remain factual and stay away from giving your personal opinion on why or how it happened.
As part of your efforts, it is also advisable to ask for the driver’s name, address, insurance details and license plate number. Furthermore, try and obtain witness statements as this could strengthen your case later if the driver denies responsibility for an accident.
If EMTs arrive and advise that you be taken to the emergency room, take their advice seriously. Many victims avoid ambulance rides because they think their injuries are minor; this can often prove costly as expensive medical bills are not covered by their car insurance-known as Personal Injury Protection or PIP coverage.
3. Get a Police Report
Insurance companies typically require police reports as part of the claim processing procedure after an accident occurs, even if no injuries or visible damages were sustained by either party involved. A police report can help document this event should someone decide to pursue medical costs or car repair expenses down the line.
While waiting for police to arrive, take notes of what you remember. Be sure to include any distinguishing features about the vehicle or driver (such as license plate number or physical characteristics). As soon as possible after writing down what occurred, ask other witnesses whether they saw what occurred or have additional details.
If the other driver doesn’t wish to remain at the scene, ask them for a recorded statement instead. However, do not discuss fault or apologize at this stage; anything said at this stage could be misconstrued as admitting guilt by another party.
Attain a copy of the police report as soon as possible by visiting the precinct where your accident happened and providing identification and paying a $10 fee. After 120 days have passed since sending it off to DMV, your report can be accessed here.
Never attempt to pursue a driver who flees; doing so is inadvisable and could even prove deadly if they’re under the influence or carrying weapons.
4. Take Pictures
Photographing the accident site and your vehicle can help illustrate what the scene looked like, providing your lawyer and insurance adjuster a more complete view of what transpired. When possible, use a camera with timestamp feature so each picture will include dates and timestamps for accuracy.
If the accident took place in a public place such as a mall or supermarket parking lot, video surveillance cameras may capture the license plate of the driver involved. Ask employees at nearby businesses if they saw the car leave the scene; they may provide you with details such as make, model, color as well as name and contact info of its driver.
When speaking to witnesses, answer their inquiries succinctly without admitting fault or taking on blame – your words could later be used against you in a claim or lawsuit.
Even if the damage seems minor, don’t leave the scene of an accident unattended. Doing so could result in hit-and-run charges against both drivers, even if their coverage doesn’t cover your damages. Even if you can’t locate them right away, leave your contact info as an added precaution so if they have insurance or driver’s license they may contact you and come forward with information on who caused their crash.