If you get into a car accident with a pedestrian, stay mindful and don’t try to make matters worse. Know that hitting a pedestrian exposes you to civil and criminal liabilities.
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According to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center, there’s a 12.1% increase in pedestrian fatalities between 2006 and 2015.
It’s a very distressing situation but drivers are expected to take full responsibility for their actions and follow the right steps to handle the accident with full disposition.
From calling your auto insurer to taking pictures of the incident, it is your duty to make sure the whole process does not get even more complicated.
Here’s a list of things you should do (and shouldn’t do) when it comes to accidents involving pedestrians.
Do stop your vehicle
If you hit a pedestrian while driving your vehicle, regardless of who is at fault, you must stop your vehicle. The injured pedestrian may need your help calling an ambulance for immediate aid.
That said, never try to run away. It’s a crime to leave the scene of a car accident where one of the affected parties is injured. It doesn’t matter who is at fault.
Do get out of your vehicle to see what happened
Once you can get out of your vehicle, turn your emergency blinkers on and investigate the incident. Check on any injuries that you may haven’t noticed because of the shock.
Investigation is required and it doesn’t matter who is at fault or the nature of the accident. That’s something you should always keep in mind.
Do provide the pedestrian aid
There’s nothing more alarming than seeing a pedestrian laying on the road because of a accident. Even if it wasn’t your fault, you should check for injuries.
It could be a minor or critical thing, but try to be there for that person. If the injured pedestrian needs immediate medical attention, call 911 to report the accident.
Do call the police
Call the police right away. The police must be there to take statements from all the parties involved and speak to any other witness to gather more information.
Even if the pedestrian refuses to cooperate with you, contact the police immediately. Don’t give other parties reasons to use that against you.
Don’t escape from the scene of the accident
Stay in the scene of the accident. Don’t leave without exchanging information with the affected party. The police needs to get further details from both parties and even other witnesses to come up with a report.
Depending on the severity of the accident, you may need to wait until the emergency medical unit allows you to do so. Always keep that in mind.
Don’t throw away or hide any evidence
Keep any relevant evidence that you gathered during the accident with you. It may be the case that a picture or even a witness could support your statement.
It’s your own responsibility to demonstrate that you were driving safely. The more evidence you provide, the better for your case.
Do cooperate with authorities and emergency units
Always let others do their part without disrupting them. If they ask you to follow certain procedures, show some cordiality and disposition.
Not cooperating with the law or medical agents can only make things more complicated for everyone. Ultimately, you don’t need to do more things that could make you look bad.
Do exchange information with every party involved in the accident
A good start is to take notes of names, addresses, and other contact details of any party that was involved in the accident. The more contact details and information you get, the easier for the authorities to determine an outcome.
Sometimes it happens that police officers do not include information from voices other than the driver and the affected pedestrian. Reach out to any witness that could add more to the case.
Do take pictures
Give your cell phone a good use of your time during an accident. It helps to take pictures of any damage or situation caused by the accident.
Check your surrounding areas for evidence. Take picture of anything around you that could help your case.
For example, drivers could take pictures of road conditions that affected their driving. Take as many pictures as you can for your own benefit.
Do contact your auto insurance company
Once you are involved in a car accident, you must contact your auto insurance company immediately. It’s your own responsibility to handle accident liabilities.
Many auto insurance providers require customers to report any car accidents within a 30-day window. Know that your auto insurance companies are good at handling these kind of situations.
Depending on the severity of the incident, you may need to obtain more legal support. But, when it comes to liabilities, check your policy, contact your agent, and find out how you can cover your accident liabilities timely.
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