After a car or truck hits you and leaves the scene illegally, you have to act fast as a pedestrian to protect your health and potential legal claim. Here is what to do after a hit and run pedestrian accident. Avoid pitfalls by using these ten tips:
1. Get To A Safe Place
If you can do so without risking additional injury or danger, get to a safe place nearby. If you cannot move from your location, ask someone to wave off traffic so that no one will run over you.
2. Call 911
The sooner the police know about the hit and run, the more likely they will be to catch the fleeing driver. It is against the law to leave the scene of an accident. Also, you need to know the identity of the driver to file a claim against his insurance company for your damages.
3. Gather As Much Information About the Car That Hit You As You Can
Make a note of the color and type of car or truck, as well as the approximate age and as much of the license plate as you were able to see. Even partial license plate information can help the police track down the vehicle’s owner.
4. Seek Eyewitnesses
Look around for potential eyewitnesses. They may have seen something you did not. That something might be the detail that the police need. Eyewitnesses might be able to fill in the blanks of what you did not see, such as other letters or numbers from the license plate, or the appearance and number of people in the car.
5. Talk To The Police
When the police arrive, tell them everything you can remember from the incident, including the street the car was on and the direction it went when it left the scene. Cooperate with the police, but do not say anything that could damage your claim. Some people have the habit of beating themselves up verbally when things go wrong, such as saying that it was their own fault they got hit because they were doing something stupid. Do not say anything critical of or negative about yourself to the police or anyone else.
6. Get Immediate Medical Attention
In the adrenaline rush that can happen with an accident, you might not feel pain the way you typically would. The blunt force trauma of a crash can cause broken bones and internal injuries that might not show visible symptoms right away. You can bleed to death internally before you know that you sustained damage to your internal organs.
7. See A Doctor
Make sure you tell the doctor and other medical personnel who treat your injuries that a car hit you. We will use your medical records to link your injuries to the hit and run accident, so that fact must be in your examination and treatment notes. If it is not, the defense may say your injuries are from something else, not from the hit and run. This defense tactic is another reason you must get medical attention immediately, so the insurance company cannot claim there was another cause.
8. Notify Your Insurance Company
While you need to report the incident to your insurance company, be careful about talking with an insurance adjuster and giving them or any other insurance company a written or recorded statement. Know the seven things not to say to an insurance adjuster; they can twist your words to mean something you did not intend, which could damage the value of your claim. Remember that insurance companies do not make a profit by paying money on claims – they make money by denying and marginalizing claims.
9. Recover From Your Injuries
Do your very best to get well and achieve the best recuperation possible. Physical therapy is often a component of treatment after an accident. Physical therapy can be painful, and it can throw a wrench into your schedule to have to attend therapy appointments two or three times a week for weeks or even months on end. Despite these facts, you need to complete all scheduled therapy and other treatments, so you will recover as much function as possible, and so the insurance company does not try to reduce the amount of your compensation.
10. Talk To A Lawyer
After doing these nine things after a hit and run pedestrian accident, consider speaking with a personal injury lawyer. Let the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, PC handle the legal matters so that you can focus on getting your life back. Once you get a lawyer, the insurance company cannot harass you. They have to go through us for information and to negotiate a fair settlement. Never sign anything or agree to settle your case without first talking to a lawyer.
Call us today at 404-474-0804, and we will set up your free consultation and claim evaluation.