Approximately 225 pedestrians are killed or injured by vehicle collisions in Minnesota every year. Pedestrians who survive auto accidents commonly suffer severe injuries, including soft tissue damage, broken and fractured bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and spinal cord injuries (SCIs).
Many pedestrians who survive vehicle collisions will enjoy fast and full recoveries. Sadly, this is not always the case. Only one out of four people who suffer a severe TBI typically achieves a full recovery.
Naturally, avoiding pedestrian injuries altogether is your best course of action – but all the caution in the world cannot keep you entirely safe while you are walking, jogging or cycling near a roadway. That’s why it is essential for everyone to understand the immediate actions they should take if they are struck by a vehicle.
What to Do If You Are Hit by a Car
Call 911. Do not refrain from seeking immediate medical attention if you feel and appear to be uninjured. Many soft tissue injuries, sometimes referred to as “whiplash”, aren’t evident right after the physical trauma occurred, but can become serious when they go untreated. You also want law enforcement to assess the situation, write a report, and determine whether the driver was impaired at the time of collision.
Exchange contact and insurance information with the driver. If the driver of the car that struck you isn’t its owner, get the owner’s contact and insurance information as well.
Do not discuss who was to blame for the collision. If you decide to pursue legal action against the driver, anything you say after the accident can be used against you in civil court.
Take photos of the scene of the collision. These photos should include any and all injuries you have sustained, the vehicle that struck you, crosswalks, and any other details that are possibly relevant to the situation.
Request contact information from potential witnesses. People who observed an auto accident often remain nearby to witness its aftermath. If you are physically able to, approach every onlooker and ask if they saw what happened. They are likely to volunteer their contact information if they understand that doing so could help you in the future.
Contact your insurance provider. The sooner you alert your insurance provider, the better. Pedestrians in Minnesota may recover No-fault benefits from their auto insurance providers regardless of who, if anyone, is at fault for the collision.
Seek legal representation. Do not speak with the driver’s insurance company, even if one of their representatives contacts you directly. Sign nothing. In order to secure your best chance of being made whole again after you are struck by a car, you need an attorney who is solely committed to your best interests.
Why You Should Get a Lawyer When You are Hit by a Car
If you were moderately or severely injured as the result of a pedestrian collision, then you will likely have more than just medical bills to worry about. You may lose wages as the result of missing work. You may experience significant pain and suffering, as well as permanent disability or disfigurement. You may also experience loss of enjoyment of life due to your inability to partake in activities, in which you once took pleasure.
You can receive compensation for all of these damages. Your best chance at doing so is with an attorney, who will negotiate for the highest possible payout from the driver’s insurance provider. The majority of personal injury claims are settled through negotiation. If the insurance company refuses to pay an amount that you and your attorney deem commensurate to your damages, civil action may be the only remaining course of action.
Your attorney will investigate the accident on your behalf, and secure medical records that support your claim. If litigation is necessary, they will serve all parties the documents commencing the litigation. As the case progresses, they will scrutinize the defendant’s case during discovery. They will attempt mediation through a neutral third party. If that last attempt at arbitration fails, your attorney will take your case to trial.
If you have recently been involved in an auto accident in the state of Minnesota, please contact Kiernan Personal Injury Attorneys for a free consultation today. We can speak with you at your home, in our office in Buffalo, MN, or remotely to assess your situation and determine your best legal options. There’s no risk, no obligation, and you pay nothing unless we recover for you.