Accidents involving pedestrians are a driver’s worst nightmare. This is because the potential for serious injuries skyrockets when a car hits a person and the possible outcomes of these scenarios can end in multiple ways. That being said, there are a particular set of steps that a driver should take when dealing with a vehicular accident with a pedestrian. Hitting a pedestrian is a shocking experience, but it’s always best to try to respond in a calm and methodical manner to ensure the best possible outcome.
Call for medical assistance
A person’s life is something you should never take lightly, that being said, in the event that you do end up hitting a pedestrian, you need to first establish that they are ok and not in any immediate danger. With that in mind, it is important that you need to establish the condition of the pedestrian who has been hit. Do not try and administer medical treatment beyond what is required of you in an emergency situation such as CPR.
Make sure to stay with the pedestrian and call for medical assistance and wait until it arrives. If they are in a hazardous position, such as on the road, make sure that you try and minimize the risk to them. It is important to note that you should not try to move them if they are unconscious or seriously hurt.
Make sure to call the police
The next step is to call the police. This is a legal requirement as their assessment of the incident can help you later on especially when it comes to your insurance policy. It is also important to note that you should never leave the scene of the incident. If you leave the scene of the accident it could land you in more serious problems and you could face some serious legal consequences. It could also escalate your case to a hit and run accident which could give you criminal charges.
Document the accident
Once help and the police have been called make sure to document the accident. Getting the details of the accident will be very important later on especially with insurances claims for both parties. Make sure you take note of the following information:
Contact details of the pedestrian and any witnesses to the accident
Details of the accident, the time, date, location, weather, and road conditions as well as your version of what happened
Note the name and badge numbers of the police officers at the scene as well
You can also take photos of your vehicle for insurance claim purposes later on
If you have a dashcam installed on your vehicle make sure to save the video on your phone and another device as well. This could help you later on.
Contact your insurance company
Make sure to also contact your car insurance company as soon as possible after the accident. This is an important thing to do as your insurance provider will be able to communicate with the pedestrian’s lawyer or legal counsel on your behalf. If you have a lawyer you also might want to contact them as well to look over your insurance policy to help you understand your coverage and possible liabilities you might encounter with the incident.
Be careful of what you say and seek a lawyer’s advice
Here is where things can get tricky. In the event that you do end up hitting someone, you will understandably be shocked, but it is important that you remain calm and aware of the situation. As weird as this may sound, do not apologize for the incident just yet as it may cause you to be liable for the accident even if it was not your fault.
Wait for the police and insurance findings first before you say anything that might be used against you in a court of law. It may be possible that the pedestrian was at fault for the accident, an example of this would be jaywalking or walking on the road with no regard to danger.
That said, honesty is still the best policy when it comes to these kinds of situations especially when it comes to telling the police your side of the incident. If you were breaking traffic laws when the accident happened, you might face some serious charges. However, placing the blame elsewhere will not help you with your case even if the pedestrian was found to be at fault for the incident. Your lawyer should be able to advise you further on statements you should and should make after the accident once you have contacted them.
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