If you were hit by a vehicle and suffered injuries, you’ve been the victim of a pedestrian accident. Essentially, a “pedestrian accident” is just another way to say that a driver ran into a person who was on foot. There are many ways a pedestrian accident can occur in Orlando, Florida, and they occur far too often. Typically, pedestrian accidents occur in downtown Orlando or in other areas where there are lots of people walking around and crossing streets.
After a pedestrian accident, the atmosphere can be hectic. People are in pain from getting hit by a car, and they may be left bloody and in the middle of a road, in danger of getting hit by another car. It’s a terrifying situation, and in the aftermath of this nightmare, many people are not sure what to do.
As we’ve mentioned, the moments after a pedestrian accident are hectic, just like with a car accident, truck accident, or any other type of accident involving injuries. However, these moments can also be critical to your personal injury case because evidence can evaporate quickly. For example, the scene of the accident can be quickly swept away when a clean-up crew comes in and makes it look like nothing ever happened. The vehicle that hit you may get towed away, never to be seen again. And local businesses may have camera footage of the accident, but they may delete that footage every two weeks or every month. Thus, it’s critical to get a pedestrian accident lawyer that will investigate your case right away.
We help victims of pedestrian accidents in Orlando and across Florida to get the justice they deserve. We wrote this article to help pedestrian accident victims who are wondering what to do after they’ve been hit by an automobile. Below are things you can do immediately following your pedestrian accident that could help your personal injury claim.
A Quick Summary of What to Do When You Get Hit by a Car
Here’s a quick summary of what to do after you get hit by a car.
- Assess your injuries and get to safety.
- Contact the authorities.
- Get the contact information and insurance information of the driver of the car that hit you.
- Get the contact info of any witnesses.
- Take pictures and video of everything.
- Don’t speak with the driver’s insurance company.
- Contact a pedestrian accident lawyer at the earliest opportunity.
Now, let’ talk about each of these steps in greater detail.
Step 1: Assess Your Injuries and Get to Safety
The first step after you have been injured is to carefully assess the severity of your injuries. If you need to move to safety, do so. However, do not make any big movements unless you must. Instead, try to calm yourself and determine how badly you are hurt. Keep in mind that your adrenaline may keep you from feeling pain immediately following a pedestrian accident.
This process of assessing your condition can take several minutes, and that is fine. There is no rush. If you stand up quickly or engage in any rapid movements, it could make things worse. Therefore, take your time and determine how badly you are injured.
If you’re injured, make sure you or someone else calls an ambulance. You need to get medical attention as soon as possible so that your injuries do not get worse. The earlier you can get medical help, the better.
If you’re stuck in the middle of the road or somewhere dangerous and are unable to move to safety, it’s a little different situation. You should try to dial 911 as soon as possible. That way, someone can get to the scene and help you as soon as possible. Also, you may want to ask for help getting out of a dangerous position if there are any bystanders.
Step 2: Contact the Authorities About Your Pedestrian Accident
As soon as you have assessed your injuries and made your way to safety, you should report the pedestrian accident. If it’s an emergency, you should dial 911. If it’s not an emergency and you are in Orange County, Florida, you can call (407) 836-HELP.
Although someone else will have likely contacted the authorities, it’s always best to be sure. If you’re not able to make the call yourself, try to get someone else, like a bystander, to make the call as soon as possible. Not only is it important to get emergency services to the scene to check people for injuries, but it is also important that the police file an office police report of the pedestrian accident.
Step 3: Get the Contact Information and Insurance Information of the Driver of the Car that Hit You
Before the driver of the vehicle that hit you leaves the scene, you need to do your best to get:
- The driver’s name;
- The driver’s contact information;
- The driver’s insurance information; and
- The driver’s license plate number.
You can check many of the boxes above if you can get a picture of the offending driver’s driver license. Also, take a video and walk around the driver’s vehicle if you can. Try to capture the damage to the vehicle and the license plate. Alternatively, you can snap pictures of the vehicle and the license place. That way, you have the information you need in a few photos.
When you’re interacting with the driver, keep in mind that everything you say and do could be used against you in your pedestrian accident lawsuit. Avoid yelling or getting emotional. Don’t say anything harsh to the driver that could come back to hurt you later in your pedestrian accident case. Additionally, don’t admit fault or apologize for anything. For example, don’t say something like, “I’m sorry. I wasn’t paying attention. This is my fault, too.” Statements like this come from a good place. However, you could greatly diminish the value of the claim. Therefore, be cordial, but don’t say too much.
Step 4: Get the Information of Any Witnesses to the Pedestrian Accident
Eyewitnesses are a fantastic source of evidence. Their statements can serve as strong evidence of what happened in the moments surrounding a pedestrian accident. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find a witness when you need them. Therefore, if you see a witness to your pedestrian accident, engage him or her if you feel that it is safe to do so. Tell the witness you need his or her contact information. Many people are eager to help and will gladly hand you a business card or give you their information so that you can contact them later for their statement about what happened.
Step 5: Gather and Preserve Evidence
If you’re able to, you should take videos and pictures of the scene of the accident. Take pictures of the vehicle that hit you, especially the parts of the car that are damaged. Also, take pictures of the vehicle’s license plate. Take videos and pictures of everything around you. Try to capture things like tire marks, stop signs, stop lights, nearby businesses, people standing around. Videos and pictures are a quick and easy way to preserve the scene of the accident forever.
In addition to documenting the scene of the accident, you should also document your injuries. Take videos and pictures of your wounds. Make sure to get pictures of what you look like after the accident and with all the same clothes you were wearing when the vehicle hit you. Also, don’t wash those clothes. Keep them as they are, in the condition they are in after the vehicle hit you. The key point here is this: Take videos and pictures of everything and keep everything that could be used as evidence in your pedestrian accident case. Don’t throw anything away until your case is finished.
Step 6: Do Not Speak with the At Fault Driver’s Insurance Company
As we have mentioned, anything you say or do could be used against you in your pedestrian accident case. As a general rule, you should say as little as possible to avoid damaging your claim. You should only discuss your pedestrian accident with your attorney and medical providers.
In the aftermath of your pedestrian accident, the insurance company for the driver of the car that hit you is likely going to reach out to you. They may try to get you to give them a recorded statement. They may try to get you to talk to them about the accident or about your injuries. They may try to get you to sign something. Additionally, the insurance company may try to get you to take a settlement that is a fraction of what your case is worth. We recommend that you do none of these things without first speaking with your pedestrian accident attorney. Remember this: The goal of the insurance company is to pay you as little as possible.
Step 7: Contact an Orlando Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
The earlier you contact a pedestrian accident attorney, the better. As we have talked about, evidence tends to disappear quickly. Therefore, it helps your case if you can get an attorney to perform an investigation at the earliest opportunity. Additionally, if you have an attorney there to guide you, you can properly fight the insurance company and be sure that your rights are protected.
Many people ask us if they need a pedestrian accident lawyer. The truth is that not all people that experience an accident are going to need an attorney. However, it doesn’t hurt to make sure. Thus, it can be helpful to at least speak with an attorney early on to be sure that you don’t do anything to hurt your potential case.
Schedule Your Free Consultation with an Orlando Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you’ve been in a pedestrian accident in Orlando, Florida, or anywhere else in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina, we would be happy to talk with you about your case. We offer free legal consultations with a pedestrian accident lawyer. All you need to do is call us at (321) 352-7588 to schedule your consultation, or you can contact us on our website.
At our law firm, lawyers do the consultations, not intake specialists or customer service representatives. We believe the best person to evaluate your case is a pedestrian accident lawyer. Also, if we decide to take your case, you can have the cell phone number of your attorney. That way, if you would like, you can call or text when you have questions about your case. We’re here when you need us.