Pedestrians getting hit by cars is a significant problem in Washington and throughout the nation. Reports for 2021 show the highest number of pedestrian deaths in four decades, with an average of 20 deaths per day. If you get hit by a car while walking or jogging in Vancouver, here’s what to do to protect your rights and seek a fair financial recovery.
Remain Calm and Restrict Your Movements
Stay where you are and try to remain calm. While you may instinctively want to minimalize your injuries and jump to your feet out of embarrassment, resist any sudden movements. You may have a serious injury, such as a spinal cord injury, that could be exacerbated if you move or twist your body the wrong way. Do your best to remain still and wait where you are for paramedics to arrive. They can immobilize you with the appropriate medical devices. Only move from the accident scene if it is necessary to stay safe.
Call the Police
While you are still at the scene of the collision, use your cell phone or ask someone else to call 911 for you. Washington law requires residents to report any car accident that results in injuries or deaths. Pedestrian accidents almost always cause injuries. Report the accident to local law enforcement immediately. When the police arrive, give them your version of events for the record, but do not admit fault or apologize for the accident. Write down your police report number before you leave the scene.
Keep the driver at the accident scene until the police arrive. While you wait, exchange information with the driver. This includes your names, addresses, phone numbers and the driver’s insurance information. Write down a description of the vehicle that struck you and its license plate numbers, as well. If the other driver appears agitated or aggressive, you don’t have to communicate with the driver. Allow the police to interview the driver, instead.
You might assume that you automatically qualify for insurance coverage after being hit by a car, but this is not the case. It is possible to be blamed for an accident even as an injured pedestrian in Vancouver. Protect yourself and build your case from the very beginning by taking photos while you are still at the scene. Take plenty of photos of the scene of the crash, your injuries, the vehicle that hit you, the intersection, street signs and any other relevant details. Look around for video surveillance footage that might have caught the accident, as well.
Seek Medical Care Without Delay
An insurance company will look for any reason to deny your claim or reduce your payout. This includes blaming you for the extent of your injuries if you delayed in seeking medical care. Go to a hospital immediately after being hit by a car in Vancouver. Even if you feel fine, you may have an injury with delayed symptoms, or your adrenaline could be masking pain. Explain to the doctor what happened and follow any treatment orders. Request copies of your medical records for insurance purposes.
Initiate a Claim
Contact the driver’s car insurance company to report the accident as soon as possible. Do not give the insurance claims adjuster a recorded statement during your phone call, and do not discuss your injuries until you’ve seen a doctor. Protecting your rights during conversations with a claims adjuster means providing as little information as possible. The insurance company will search for reasons to deny your claim. Do not accidentally say something that hurts your case.
Contact a Vancouver Pedestrian Accident Attorney
You cannot trust an insurance corporation to protect your interests after being hit by a car, but you can trust a personal injury attorney. Contact a Vancouver pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible to help you with the claims process. Your attorney can take over negotiations with the driver’s insurance company and pursue maximum financial compensation on your behalf while you recover.