Are you wondering what do you do when you get hit by a car? If yes, you should click right here for the key things to understand.
Car accidents are way more common than we’d like to think. In the US alone, more than 37,150 car accident fatalities were reported in 2017.
Not only that but even if you’re cautious (and lucky!), the average person is involved in three or four car accidents throughout their lifetime.
Fortunately, the majority of crashes aren’t deadly. But, a modicum of damage to your person or property is highly possible.
Needless to say, if you’ve been hit by a car, your first concern should always be your safety. But once you’re away from danger, there are protocols to follow to ensure you get the compensation you’re entitled to…if the accident wasn’t your fault.
So, what do you do when you get hit by a car? In this article, we’ll discuss the steps you need to take if you’re ever the victim of such an unfortunate event.
Let’s dive in!
What Do You Do When You Get Hit by a Car?: On the Scene
Car crashes are frightening experiences. Period.
It might be hard to think clearly during the moment. So be prepared for the worst, as there are essential steps to be taken directly after an accident occurs.
Most importantly, the safety of everyone involved should be assured as soon as possible. Afterward, you can then take the necessary steps to prepare for any insurance claims you’ll make.
1. Stay Calm and Stay Safe
If you’re hit by a car (either on foot or behind the wheel), you’ll feel shocked, frightened, or even angry. These are natural reactions to a scary situation, but it’s crucial to keep a level head.
Conflicts at the site of the accident might not be in your best interest down the line and could jeopardize efficient communication with the other party.
Keep calm to protect your rights. If it is safe to do so, you should move off the street and to a safe place as soon as possible.
2. Call 911
It doesn’t matter whether the other driver remains on the scene. If a car has struck you, you should call 911 as soon as you are in a safe place to do so. Local law enforcement will want to investigate the scene, which can support your claim against the driver.
They’ll also be able to act faster if they need to clean up the road or ensure the safety of other road users.
Don’t wait to call 911 and tell the police what happened from your perspective. Avoid making any extraneous statements.
Apologizing can be considered an admission of fault, even if you’re just trying to be friendly. In the US, this can be used against you in court. But don’t worry, most accident lawsuits never go to trial!
Try to be truthful and factual in your statements.
Record the name and badge number of all responding officers and ask them whether you can get a copy of the accident report once completed.
If necessary, ask the officers to file a police report. This might be able to expedite your claim and make it easier for you to receive compensation.
3. Get Medical Help
Seek medical attention after a car crash. This applies even if you think your injuries are minor. Sometimes it can be hard to spot a concussion or internal bleeding. You might suffer a hidden condition that you could struggle to identify yourself.
The adrenaline rush induced by shock can cover up pain for quite a while, so you may be seriously injured without knowing.
If you feel fine enough, speak to the police and any witnesses first before you got to the hospital. Follow your doctor’s orders to recover after your accident.
4. Request Information From the Other Driver
Request contact information from the driver.
The other driver should provide:
- Their full name
- Their phone number
- Their address
- Their driving license number (for good measure)
- Their insurance information. (The insurance company’s name and policy number found on their insurance card)
All of this information will help streamline the process of filing a claim. Processing a claim can be a breeze if all parties involved are insured with active policies, stay calm, and are willing to discuss the incident civilly.
Getting this information can save you a lot of headaches further down the line. That’s why it’s essential to remain calm and respectful as you interact with the other driver.
Remember that they too are probably startled and angry and that tensions will be running high for a while on both sides.
5. Document Everything
If you can document the scene of the crash, this could improve the strength of your insurance claim. If possible, snap pictures and videos of the scene, including the vehicle that caused the accident.
Information on obstructions, the weather, and the location to nearby intersections could all be relevant in court. If there are shops in the area, you should note them down in case they might have security footage of the scene.
You can also attempt to speak to witnesses at the scene and note down their contact information. Their statement could prove valuable if issues arise during the claim.
To recap, these are the details you should try to document:
- Pictures of the collision and scene
- Damage to your vehicle
- Skid marks
- The other vehicle
- Images of the intersection
- Other property damage
- Note down street names, intersections, and landmarks at the scene
- Witness contact information
Once you are away from the scene of the accident, you should also consider writing down your memories of what happened—alternatively, audio record yourself talking through the experience.
Your insurance company will ask you to recollect the events in as much detail as possible. So, make this easier by collecting and organizing your thoughts while they’re still fresh.
After the Accident
Moving onto after the accident, here’s what you should do:
1. Review Your Policy Information
Contact your insurance company even if the accident wasn’t your fault. Review your policy so you can be sure of what it covers. Later in the process, the adjuster will help investigate if the other driver’s insurance coordinates with your own.
If the other person did not have auto insurance, and you don’t have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, you might have to pay for some damages out of your own pocket.
2. File a Claim
All of the information detailed above will be nifty to have to hand when filing a claim with your insurance company. If you involved the police, it would be good to have the case number at the ready too.
The insurance company will ask you to recall the accident as best as you can. You can refer to the evidence you gathered and everything you remember about the accident.
All pieces of documentation and evidence can be critical to making a claim successful.
The insurer will send an adjuster. They will want to see all the evidence you collected and help you organize it systematically. They will request the information you gathered on the other driver.
Once you’ve spoken to the adjuster, the claim is out of your hands. You will have to wait for the two insurance companies to communicate and for them to issue a payout.
Usually, this process can take up to sixty days, depending on state law. As long as everything in order, the chances are good that you will get a check to cover any damage to your vehicle.
Filing a Successful Claim
The success of your claim depends on:
- The cover of your insurance and the other driver’s insurance
- Who was at fault
- Sufficient evidence to prove your claim
The status of the above factors will massively influence whether your claim’s success.
Hire a Lawyer
So, there you have it, we hope we’ve answered the question ‘what do you do when you get hit by a car?’ in this article.
You must act quickly and calmly to preserve your legal rights, and hiring an attorney with experience in accident law will help to ensure you’re fully protected and receive maximum compensation – especially if you sustained injuries.
There are also cases where fault doesn’t lie with either yourself or the other driver, rather with the city. A municipality could be at fault if the traffic control measures are inadequate or the street was laid out dangerously.
An experienced car accident attorney can examine your case to help you claim the highest possible compensation. Get in touch with Fitzpatrick & Associates today for a free consultation about your personal injury claim.