Traffic-related injuries and deaths in Los Angeles are rising, according to a recent study published in the LA Times. Pedestrians and cyclists are being struck by distracted and/or intoxicated drivers every day, and many of these victims are unfamiliar with the steps they should be taking immediately after an accident has occurred. The way in which you respond to an accident has the potential to greatly affect your legal outcome, and in today’s blog, we’ll carefully outline each of the steps you should take if you are a pedestrian who has been hit by a car. While each personal injury case is different, these tips will serve as a sound general rule to follow. Los Angeles City Law has helped thousands of California residents navigate personal injury cases. Contact our personal injury attorneys today to receive the legal counsel you deserve.
Get Out of the Street
If you remain conscious after being struck by a car, do your best to get out of the street. Your adrenaline will likely be high and you may not feel your injuries right away, but removing yourself from the path of oncoming traffic will prevent you from being hit again.
Call the Police
Other people may have called the police after witnessing your crash, but you should immediately dial 911 as soon as you are able to. As we noted in the previous post, you may not be able to feel that you have been injured because of adrenaline, but ensuring that a medical professional looks you over is incredibly important. Documenting the crash will be key when you meet with a personal injury attorney, and your memory of the accident will be at its best immediately after the accident.
Exchange Only the Basics
If you are able to talk, only exchange basic information with the person who hit you. Admitting fault or apologizing may make it harder for you to receive compensation, so we recommend that you only provide the driver with your name and phone number. Collect the names and phone numbers of any nearby witnesses who saw the accident. It can be incredibly difficult to track down people who were present at the scene of the crash in the days and weeks following the accident, so try to do this step immediately after calling the police. Witnesses will be able to corroborate your story when they talk to the police, and this will only serve to strengthen your case.
Your personal injury lawyer should be consulted prior to your insurance provider. While it may not be detrimental to speak with your insurance agent, a personal injury lawyer can help you determine exactly what you should do to optimize the outcome of your case.
If the driver hit you and did not stop, do your best to remember their license plate, or try to find a witness who may have seen the car. Look for cameras in the area that may have captured the accident and the driver’s license plate. Many drivers have dash cams installed in their vehicles, and regardless of whether your accident was a hit and run or not, a dash cam from a nearby car could end up being a key piece of evidence in your case.
Document as much of the scene as you can. Take photos of yourself, the car, the intersection, the driver’s license plate, and any injuries you may have sustained during the crash. Los Angeles is a fast-paced and dynamic city, and much of the scenery changes frequently. Having too few pictures during your case is easily prevented by being proactive and documenting as much of the scene as possible.
Under no circumstances should you share your experience on social media following the accident. Social media posts are often used against victims and can harm the outcome of your case. Many claims are denied by insurance companies because of social media posts, so it is recommended that you keep the details of your situation offline.
While we hope that you never find yourself in a situation in which these tips are helpful, this information has the potential to save your life and to deliver an optimal legal outcome. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact a personal injury attorney at Los Angeles City Law to schedule a free case consultation.