What to Do If You’re Hit by a Car
Pedestrians almost always have the right of way while walking through intersections, provided they obey traffic signals and signs. If you’re hit by a vehicle, you’ll likely be rightfully confused, angry, and scared—however, it’s important that you handle the situation as calmly as you can. Your safety is the top priority, so if you’re seriously wounded or suffering, you should ignore these steps and seek medical treatment immediately. Nearly 100 percent of pedestrian collisions result in injuries, and 13 percent are fatal according to the Arizona Department of Transportation’s annual crash facts. Losing the opportunity to take a few photos or exchange insurance information is negligible compared to staying safe and minimizing the chance for future medical complications.
Contact Law Enforcement
No matter how small the collision was, you should contact your local law enforcement, even if the driver fled the scene. Filing a report immediately is essential, as if you wait to receive medical treatment first, it might be too late in some circumstances. Again, note that your health is more important—although it’s often advisable to stay long enough to file a report and exchange contact information at the least, this is only relevant in low-speed collisions where your injuries do not need immediate attention.
Once the police have been notified, you should exchange contact and insurance information with the driver, as well as gather contact information from any witnesses. Photographs are especially helpful, as the other driver might attempt to pin a small portion of the blame on you, which, under Arizona’s comparative fault system, could result in your settlement being reduced in direct proportion to your level of fault.
Seek Medical Attention
Even if your injuries aren’t pressing or you feel no pain at all, you should seek medical attention after a collision. Shock can nullify symptoms of pain and discomfort for a time, and some symptoms only manifest hours or days after an auto accident. This is also your opportunity to photograph your injuries and have medical records on hand in case the validity of your wounds is later called into question.
Contact the At-Fault Driver’s Insurance
Once you’ve been treated and know the general circumstances of the collision, you should contact the driver’s insurance company to open a claim. However, you need to be extremely cautious during this process and provide the bare minimum of information needed. Before you’ve talked to an attorney, you should never provide statements to, agree to anything with, or accept a settlement from, an insurance company, as they’ll likely try to devalue your claim.
Talk to an Arizona Accident Attorney
Don’t make assumptions about a collision. Arizona pedestrian laws vary by city, so talking to an experienced accident attorney is the only way to be sure you know everything about your accident. Escamilla Law Group can help protect you in the claims process and secure you a fair settlement that accounts for your injuries and pain. Even if you don’t intend to hire one, you still should consult a lawyer before discussing settlements with an insurance company, so please, contact us at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation.