Every year, more than 129,000 pedestrians seek medical care after being hit by a motor vehicle. Of those who were struck, about 6,000 of them died in 2017. For pedestrians who are hit by a vehicle in Atlanta, there are some important things to do in the aftermath of the collision.
Seek medical care immediately if you are seriously injured
If you have been seriously injured, it’s important to get examined by a doctor as soon as possible. Also, keep in mind that minor injuries left untreated can become more serious in the days and weeks after the collision. Moreover, car accidents can cause people’s adrenaline to surge, and that can mask the pain of an injury — you may be seriously injured and not even know it until the adrenaline wears off.
As for your personal injury claim, having medical documentation of your injury is crucial when you seek compensation for medical expenses and other costs. If you need treatment for a serious injury, tell the doctor exactly where your injury is causing pain or discomfort. And tell the doctor where the other vehicle hit you and whether you experienced any other impacts (falling down, for example). Do not downplay your injury to the doctor, and be sure to complete the recommended medical treatment. Stopping medical treatment prematurely could hurt your personal injury claim.
If your injury allows you to do so, you should always gather as much information as you can at the scene of the accident. If you are incapacitated, try to get a friend or family member to the scene to help gather information about the driver, the vehicle and anything else that could prove relevant. Taking pictures on a phone can be extremely helpful. Get pictures of the car’s license plate, both sides of the other driver’s license and insurance cards, and the scene where the collision happened. Note whether you see any security or surveillance cameras in the area. Also, be sure to keep any police reports, medical reports and other pertinent documentation to provide to your lawyer.
What if the other driver doesn’t have insurance or left the scene of the accident? See our overview of uninsured motorist claims to learn more. Uninsured motorist insurance can often be used to cover the costs of pedestrian accidents and hit-and-run accidents.
Write down what happened
You will have to give a statement to police, and you should also keep your own notes while the collision is still fresh in your memory. Write down, in as much detail as possible, everything that you remember about the accident.
However — and this is very important — do not give a written statement or a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. The other driver’s insurer will ask you questions that are designed to minimize or deny the compensation paid out to you for medical expenses and other costs. Before giving a statement to the other insurance company, talk to a personal injury attorney.
For more on steps to take after a car accident, please see our Car Accident FAQ.