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Were You a Pedestrian Hit By a Car? What to Do Next (7 Steps)

Were You a Pedestrian Hit By a Car? What to Do Next (7 Steps)

The State of California takes pedestrian safety extremely seriously. If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident that was caused by driver negligence, there are specific steps to protect you both medically and financially.

These include seeking immediate medical care and carefully following through with your doctor’s instructions. In addition, address your emotional, financial and physical losses while consulting with a pedestrian accident attorney early in the process.

I was hit by a car as a pedestrian, what do I do?

If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident that was caused by a driver’s negligence, protecting your claim is paramount. To this end, there are 7 primary steps to follow:

1. Consider your safety

To begin, it’s important to say that pedestrian accidents are some of the deadliest out there, and if you’re a pedestrian accident victim who has been seriously injured, you should skip directly to Step 5.

Otherwise, it’s time to consider your safety and to remove yourself from harm’s way, which means getting off the street.

2. Call 911

Even if you think someone may have already called the authorities, call the police – or 911 – right away. This is the best means of ensuring that help will be on the way as soon as possible. 

3. Exchange contact information with the at-fault driver

In California, motorists involved in accidents are required to exchange basic contact information, which includes the following:
  • Name, current address, and phone number
  • Driver’s license number
  • Vehicle identification number
  • Auto insurance card
As an injured pedestrian, you should request this information of the driver who hit you and you should also provide the other driver with your contact information.

4. Collect relevant evidence

If you’re able, do what you can to gather evidence at the scene, which can go a long way toward building a strong claim – in pursuit of just compensation that covers your losses in their entirety. Some of the most common forms of evidence in pedestrian accidents include:
  • Photos and videos of the accident itself or of its aftermath – as captured by you, by eyewitnesses at the accident scene, or by the authorities who respond to the accident
  • Footage from dashcams, security cameras, or traffic cameras
  • Photographic documentation of your injuries
  • Any physical evidence at the scene
  • The testimony of eyewitnesses
  • Your account of how the accident happened – your memories may fade due to accident-induced stress, which makes it advisable to make notes on your phone
  • The police report that documents the accident and any tickets that were issued
Accident cases involving pedestrians are based on evidence, and the stronger the evidence, the stronger your case will be.

5. Accept medical treatment at the scene

If you were seriously injured by someone else’s negligence, you’re likely to receive emergency treatment and be transported to a medical facility for emergency medical care.

Even if you think you feel fine at the time of the accident, it’s important to accept medical treatment if it’s offered and to seek immediate medical attention if it’s not. The bottom line is that pedestrians are exceptionally vulnerable to the overwhelming impact of a traffic accident. The adrenaline – along with the physical and emotional shock – you experience can mask your symptoms and pain.

If you’ve been struck by a car, it’s always in your best interests to err on the side of caution by consulting with a medical professional as soon as you can.

Even if you think you feel fine at the time of the accident, it’s important to accept medical treatment if it’s offered and to seek immediate medical attention if it’s not. The bottom line is that pedestrians are exceptionally vulnerable to the overwhelming impact of a traffic accident, and the adrenaline – along with the physical and emotional shock – you experience can mask your symptoms and pain.

If you’ve been struck by a car, it’s always in your best interests to err on the side of caution by consulting with a medical professional as soon as you can.

6. Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as you're able to do so

The next order of business is protecting your legal claim, which will directly affect your recovery. This translates to consulting with a trusted lawyer at your earliest opportunity. Your attorney will step in and help ably guide your claim toward its best possible resolution – in support of your best possible health outcome. 

The qualified Torrance pedestrian lawyers at Feher Law are committed to ensuring your legal rights, and we’ll leave no stone unturned in our focused efforts to do so.

7. Carefully assess the full range of your losses

A primary factor in your pedestrian accident claim is accurately assessing your complete physical, financial, and emotional losses, which your settlement should reflect.

Medical bills

In the wake of a pedestrian accident, your related medical bills are likely to mount quickly. Further, pedestrian accidents tend to be so serious that your healthcare needs may be ongoing. For example, you may experience dangerous complications and secondary health concerns that require further treatments and procedures.

When it comes to pedestrian accidents, treatments like the following often prove beneficial:

  • Chiropractic care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy
  • Assistance in carrying out your normal daily activities of living

Keeping your healthcare needs in focus will play a critical role in how well your settlement covers the full scope of your legal damages.

Lost income

While your medical bills pile up and you focus on your recovery, you can also face lost income due to lost hours on the job. If your earning capacity is affected, this form of legal damages can be compounded in the future.

Physical and emotional pain and suffering

In addition to your economic losses, you’re very likely to experience emotional consequences that are more challenging to tally. These can result in serious losses that can be extremely difficult to master and overcome.

When a pedestrian is hit in a car accident, it’s not uncommon to suffer debilitating emotional symptoms that are likened to PTSD. Common examples include:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Symptoms associated with depression
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Terrifying accident flashbacks
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Self-isolation that can limit support just when it’s needed most
  • Severe mood swings

If you’re involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s important to note that the insurance company handling your claim is very likely to seriously undervalue your emotional damages. This does not, however, mean that they aren’t important to your overall health.

In fact, your accomplished San Bernardino pedestrian accident lawyer will spare no effort when it comes to ensuring that this category of loss is well represented – and difficult to refute.

The legal process after your accident

Once you have skilled legal guidance in your corner, your attorney will begin the legal process. You’ve been hit by a vehicle in a car crash, and your job is regaining your health and well-being. In the meantime, your attorney will take all the necessary steps to keep your claim moving effectively and efficiently forward, including:

  • Compiling the evidence necessary to build your strongest claim
  • Filing your claim
  • Ensuring that you understand the legal process and that you make the right decisions for you along the way
  • Engaging in skilled negotiations with the involved insurance company, which can lead to a considerable amount of back-and-forth
  • Being well-prepared to file a lawsuit and to take your case to court in the event that the insurance company won’t negotiate fairly

In terms of time, your claim will proceed something like this:

  • Once your attorney files your claim with the involved insurance company, they have 15 days to acknowledge receipt. 
  • From here, the insurance company has 40 days to make a decision that’s based on the claim. 
  • Once the claim is resolved through settlement, the insurance company has 30 days to make the final payment.

This timeline can vary considerably based on the complexities of the case. The more serious your injuries are, the more likely your case is to be challenging – and the more likely it is that negotiations will be lengthy.

A good rule of thumb when it comes to how long it takes for personal injury claims to be finalized is that:

  • Fast: 2 weeks to 3 months
  • Average: 3 months to 9 months
  • Protracted: 9 months+

If your case goes to court, of course, it’s likely to take considerably longer. It’s also worthwhile to note here that the statute of limitations – or the legal limit – for filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver of the vehicle involved is a short two years from the date of the injury-causing accident.

How we’ve helped pedestrians after they’ve been struck by a vehicle

Our commitment to our clients’ rights, rightful compensation, and well-being is reflected in the reviews and testimonials they share, including the following excerpts:

  • Knowledgeable, professional experts . . . highly recommend
  • Their professionalism, attention, and care are outstanding.
  • Their great efforts and service give me peace of mind.
  • These people jump through hoops to take care of you!
  • They went above and beyond to get me what I deserved.

These tributes speak to the difference we make in our clients’ lives, and we take great pride in their appreciation.

Additional reading: average payout for a pedestrian hit by a car in California

Let us help you secure the maximum compensation you deserve

If you’ve suffered physical injuries as a result of a pedestrian accident that was caused by a motorist’s negligence, your legal rights and livelihood are at stake. At Feher Law, we offer focused legal representation throughout California.

We’re also well-prepared to help guide you seamlessly through the legal process – from identifying the driver who caused the accident to negotiating a fair settlement, and everything in between.

The injuries and pain you sustain in a pedestrian accident may cloud your judgment and your ability to adequately address the challenging situation you face. At Feher Law, we have the legal insight necessary to swoop in and zealously pursue the compensation to which you’re entitled.

We welcome the opportunity to fight for your rights, so please don’t wait to contact us today.

Our key takeaways

If a negligent driver leaves you injured in a pedestrian accident, there are several steps you should take in the protection of your rights:

  1. Calling 911 for immediate assistance
  2. Receiving a full medical evaluation
  3. Recognizing that emotional and psychological issues may be concerns
  4. Consulting with a practiced pedestrian accident attorney as soon after the accident as possible.

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