As a pedestrian, you have to remain vigilant for vehicles on the road, even when you are crossing the street legally and you have the right-of-way.
Take the recent case of a elderly man from Macon. He was badly injured after being struck by a car while crossing the street in a crosswalk. Do you know what to do if you are hit by a car, or if you witness a pedestrian accident?
Find safety and attend to the victim
If you or a family member or companion are clipped by a car, find a safe place out of the street to wait for the ambulance. Ideally, you should not move a person who has been hit by a vehicle, especially if they have been knocked down or thrown into the air. You could make their injuries worse, namely bone fractures or trauma to the neck or back.
But if there is a danger of the victim being struck by another vehicle, carefully move the person to the side of the road. If they are dazed, bleeding or losing consciousness, do not leave the person unattended until rescue crews arrive.
Pedestrian accidents commonly involve fractures and injuries to joints. On July 7th, 66-year-old George Miller suffered severe injuries when he was hit in a crosswalk in downtown Macon. He was taken to Navicent Health Center, where he was listed in critical but stable condition. No charges have been filed against the driver, but the late night accident is still under investigation.
Direct traffic and record information
Make sure the driver is aware of the situation and pulls over. By law they must remain on the scene until police arrive. Make a note of the vehicle’s make and model. Until emergency personnel arrive, alert oncoming traffic that there has been an accident so they slow down or take another route.
When there is a chance, get the driver’s information: name, address, contact number, insurance info. Write down any other details you can remember.
Stay calm and do not engage
While you will naturally have the urge to vent frustrations to the person who hit you, it is important to keep a cool temperament. A confrontation could become physical, leading to more injuries or even criminal charges. Discuss the accident with police, not the driver. And do not say anything that could be construed as admitting fault!
Contact the police and take photos
Police should be called for any accident involving two cars, and it’s even more important in a pedestrian accident. You will need to provide a thorough report to the officers who arrive at the scene, and you will need a copy of that police report if you later pursue compensation.
While waiting for the police, take photographs of the scene, including pictures of the injured person and the vehicle(s) involved. Take a close-up of apparent damage that indicates what part of the car struck the pedestrian.
Get medical treatment
Injuries may not seem serious at the time of the accident. Later, when the shock or adrenaline wear off, there may be pain, swelling, bruising and soreness that indicate more extensive damage.
It is important to be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible, for treatment of wounds and to rule out non-visible injuries such as fractures, concussion or internal bleeding. It is also important to establish medical records of the diagnosis and treatment, for purposes of a personal injury claim.
After medical treatment you may need to contact your insurance agent and the other driver's insurance agency. Talk to an attorney first. You may not need ultimately need a lawyer's assistance if your injuries are minimal and the claim is straightforward, but it is wise to protect your interests.