What Pedestrians Must Do When Hit by a Car
Suppose you are a pedestrian and as you walk to your car at the local shopping mall parking lot, someone backs out of a parking slot and strikes you. This is a rather common occurrence judging by the number of calls we get each week.
It is also rather common in these pedestrian and car accident situations that the pedestrian victims overlook the need to properly document the incident with the police. There are likely many reasons for this.
For example when a person is hit by a car as a pedestrian, and the injury is not immediately considered to be serious or life threatening, that person is usually embarrassed. The embarrassment is similar to the type of embarrassment a person who slips and falls in a store experiences. Further, if the driver of the car that struck the pedestrian apologizes, it is all too easy to think “well, maybe this is not a big deal”. From there it becomes easy to think “there is no real need to call the police, or otherwise document the incident, I’m okay”. In such circumstances it is easy to fail to even get contact information from the other driver. After all, it’s no big deal, right?
But, suppose you are the one that is hit by a car, and the next morning you wake up and your back is so stiff that you can hardly get out of bed? You look in the mirror and you are worried. You go to the ER and the doctor puts you into therapy and prescribes several medications to address the awful muscle spasms and hands you a note saying to stay off work for the next two weeks. … What you thought was no big deal is all of a sudden turning into something serious.
You decide to call an attorney. He or she says “okay, what is the name of the driver who struck you?” … What happens if you don’t know? If you failed to call the police or document otherwise what happened?
Well, all is not lost. At least in many cases if we are called soon after the occurrence we can track down a business video camera that captured the incident, or at least will help identifying the car involved. But, if much time has passed, video that might have existed soon after the incident is not preserved.
Why do we share this information?
We believe that everyone who is involved in this type of pedestrian vs car injury incident ought to be aware of the need to take steps to protect their legal rights. As we noted earlier, we get this call at least a couple times a week. The outcome is usually always better for those who have called the police to the scene and made a police report.
It’s not a problem if you’re unsure about whether you’re hurt to call the police and make a report of the incident. Documenting vehicle related incidents is part of what police officers do. At the very least we suggest that you should go with the person who struck you as a pedestrian to the shopping mall authorities and make a incident report. However, if there is no opportunity to call the police of otherwise document the incident, it is essential to get a quick photo of the license plate of the vehicle that struck you, and if possible a photo of the driver’s insurance card and driver’s license. With this essential information an attorney has at least a chance to track down who to sue if the circumstances justify filing suit for the injury.
In short, a pedestrian hit of the type described in this post, needs to be treated seriously like any injury incident involving a vehicle. It is rare that muscle strain and injuries of that type show themselves immediately after these incidents. Injuries often show up in the hours and weeks following such an incident.
For more information on what to do, we suggest that you follow the guidelines set forth in our Things to Do in the Event of an Injury video.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident of any type, and it happened in Indiana, pick up the phone and call us at +1 (219) 736-9700 today.