Pedestrian accidents might be less common than collisions involving two vehicles, but when they do happen, serious injuries are likely to result. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, 14 percent of all road fatalities and an estimated 3 percent of those injured in collisions in 2015 were pedestrians.
If you are ever involved in a pedestrian accident, it is important that you take steps to ensure everyone is safe and to put yourself in a favorable position to file an insurance claim. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
1. Get Help
Every second counts after a crash. Your first move: Pick up the phone and call emergency services.
Injuries that appear minor at first glance may be far more severe under the surface. Only a trained professional will have the knowledge and equipment to determine whether an accident victim needs emergency care.
2. Move to Safety
If possible, move the injured pedestrian to a safe place off the road. It takes just one careless driver to turn a single accident into a pile-up. But if the pedestrian shows any signs of head, neck, or spine damage, do not attempt to pick up or drag him or her from the scene as you could aggravate or worsen the injuries.
3. Never Admit Fault
A crash site confession will sink your claim before you’ve even filed it. You might think the crash was your fault, but either a pedestrian or a driver can be liable for an accident depending on the circumstances.
4. Take Pictures
Using your phone’s camera, document the crash scene. You want to capture images of any property damage caused by the accident, evidence – such as skid marks – that an accident occurred, and street signs that may help prove that the crash was not your fault. Don’t forget to take pictures of any injuries you may have sustained in the collision.
5. Speak to Witnesses
Witnesses can help corroborate your story during negotiations with your car insurance company. Take down the names, contact details, and statements of anyone who saw the crash take place.
6. File a Report with the Police
Getting an accident report is a vital part of filing a successful claim. This document will provide essential details about liability and the severity of any property damage and injuries.
7. Contact Your Insurer
Contact your insurance company to find out which documentation you will need to file your claim. You should include all the evidence you collected from the crash site including:
- Pictures you took at the scene;
- The names, contact details, and statements you collected from witnesses; and
- A copy of the official accident report to aid in your insurer’s investigation into the accident.
8. Be Willing to Negotiate
If you don’t think the initial offer from the insurance company is fair, consider hiring an attorney and negotiating for a more reasonable settlement. This may be necessary if you incurred significant damages or if there is a dispute regarding liability.