Getting hit by a car is a traumatic experience, and it can be overwhelming to know what to do in the aftermath. As a personal injury lawyer, I've seen many cases where people who were hit by a car didn't know what steps to take to protect their legal rights and get the compensation they deserve. In this blog, I'll share some tips on what to do if you get hit by a car.
First steps after getting hit by a car
While it's impossible to predict or prevent every accident, it's important to know what to do if you find yourself in this situation. Whether you're a pedestrian, cyclist, or driver, knowing the right steps to take can help you protect your health, safety, and legal rights. In this section of the blog, we'll explore some essential tips for what to do if you get hit by a car, including how to seek medical attention, gather evidence, and navigate the legal processes.
1. Stay calm and call for help
The first thing you should do if you're hit by a car is to stay calm and call for help. Dial 911 immediately and tell the operator that you've been hit by a car. If you're unable to call, ask someone nearby to do it for you.
2. Seek medical attention
Even if you don't feel any pain or have any visible injuries, it's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries, such as concussions and internal bleeding, may not show symptoms right away, but they can be life-threatening if left untreated. Even if you don’t go straight to the emergency room, make sure to get a thorough medical exam and follow your doctor's instructions for treatment and recovery.
3. Get information from the driver
If the motorist who hit you stays at the scene, ask for their name, contact information, and insurance information. You should also get the make and model of their car, the license plate number, and any other relevant details. If there are witnesses who saw the accident, ask for their name and phone number as well.
4. Document the scene
Take photos of the accident scene, including any damage to the car and any injuries you have. If you're unable to take photos, ask someone else to do it for you. You should also make a note of the time, date, and location so your car insurance company has as much information as possible.
5. Contact a personal injury lawyer
If you've been hit by a car, it's important to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and ensure that your rights are protected. They can also help you get the compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. With the right help and support, you can recover from your injuries and move forward with your life.
Common car accident injuries
When you're hit by a car, the injuries you sustain can range from minor cuts and bruises to life-threatening injuries. As a personal injury lawyer, I've seen many cases where people have suffered serious injuries due to being hit by a car. In this blog, I'll discuss some of the most common injuries resulting from being hit by a car.
1. Head injuries
Head injuries are one of the most serious types of injuries you can sustain when you're hit by a car. They can range from mild concussions to traumatic brain injuries, which can cause long-term damage or even death. Head injuries can occur when your head hits the ground or a hard object, such as the car's hood or windshield.
2. Spinal cord injuries
Spinal cord injuries can occur when you're hit by a car and your spine is jolted or twisted. These injuries can cause paralysis, loss of sensation, and other debilitating symptoms. Spinal cord injuries can be life-altering and require ongoing medical care.
3. Broken bones
Broken bones are another common injury resulting from being hit by a car. These injuries can range from minor fractures to severe breaks that require surgery. Broken bones can occur in any part of the body, but the most commonly broken bones are the arms, legs, and ribs.
4. Soft tissue injuries
Soft tissue injuries, such as bruises, sprains, and strains, are common when you're hit by a car. These injuries can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness, and can take weeks or months to heal. Soft tissue injuries can occur in any part of the body, but the most commonly affected areas are the legs, arms, and back.
5. Internal injuries
Internal injuries, such as organ damage and internal bleeding, are often the most serious injuries sustained when you're hit by a car. These injuries can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Internal injuries can be difficult to diagnose, as they may not show symptoms right away.
Expenses for pedestrians hit by a car
As a personal injury lawyer, I've seen many cases of pedestrian accidents where the victim was hit by a car and was unsure of their legal rights and who was responsible for paying their bills. Here are some common expenses and information on who should be paying them.
1. Medical bills - Use health insurance!
If you're a pedestrian hit by a car, the driver's insurance company is responsible for paying your medical expenses. This is because drivers are required to carry liability insurance, which covers the cost of medical bills and other damages if they cause an accident.
However, you want your medical bills to initially be covered by your own health insurance carrier. Why? Because your health insurance has negotiated discounted rates with all of the medical providers while the at-fault driver’s automobile carrier has not. If you run the medical bills through your health insurance first, the at-fault carrier still will have to pay the full cost of the bills. This means more money in your pocket. Plus, auto carriers have policy limits. If you incur $300,000 in medical bills and the at-fault negligent driver only has $100,000 policy limits, the math dicates the importance of having your health insurance be the primary payer.
Finally, using your health insurance means the bills are paid right away. This is obviously beneficial for your credit rating. it if the driver doesn't have insurance or their insurance doesn't cover the full cost of your medical bills, you may be able to file a claim with your own auto insurance company to receive benefits through uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage.
2. Property damage bills
If your property, such as your clothing or personal belongings, get damaged, you may be able to file a claim with the driver's insurance company to cover the cost of repairs or replacement. However, property damage claims can be more difficult to prove than medical bills, as you'll need to provide evidence of the value of the property that was damaged.
3. Legal assistance
A lawyer can help you navigate the claims process and ensure that your rights are protected. They can also help you negotiate with insurance companies and get the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, property damage, and other damages.
In conclusion, if you're a pedestrian hit by a car, the driver's insurance company is typically responsible for paying your medical bills and property damage bills. However, if the driver doesn't have insurance or their insurance doesn't cover the full cost of your bills, you may need to file a claim with your own insurance company or sue the driver for damages.
How does the legal process work with a personal injury lawyer?
Here's how the process works when you hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you after an auto accident:
1. Initial Consultation
The first step in the process is to schedule an initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer. During this consultation, the lawyer will ask you questions about the accident, your injuries, and any medical treatment you've received. They'll also explain the legal process and your rights as a victim of the accident.
Once you hire a personal injury lawyer, they'll begin investigating the accident to gather evidence that can be used to support your case. This may include reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses, and obtaining any surveillance footage or other evidence that may have been captured at the scene of the accident.
3. Medical Treatment
If you haven't already done so, your personal injury lawyer will help you obtain any necessary medical treatment for your injuries. They may also work with medical experts to document the extent of your injuries and the long-term effects they may have on your life.
After your lawyer has gathered evidence and obtained medical documentation, they'll begin negotiating with the driver's insurance company to obtain compensation for your injuries. This may include filing an insurance claim, negotiating a settlement, or taking the case to court if a fair settlement can't be reached.
5. Settlement or Trial
If a settlement is reached, your personal injury lawyer will review the terms of the settlement with you and help you decide whether to accept it or continue to trial. If you decide to go to trial, your lawyer will represent you in court and argue your case to a judge or jury.
If your case is successful, you'll receive compensation for your injuries, medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of normal life and/or disability. Your personal injury lawyer will help you obtain this compensation and ensure that you're fairly compensated for your injuries.
The psychological impact of being hit by a car
People who have been hit by a car can experience a range of psychological problems as a result of the accident. These problems can be just as debilitating as physical injuries, affecting a person's quality of life and ability to function. Here are some of the psychological problems that people who have been hit by a car can experience:
1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, such as being hit by a car. Symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance of triggers related to the event, and feelings of detachment or numbness.
2. Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are common psychological problems that can develop after a car accident. These conditions can be caused by the stress of dealing with injuries, medical bills, and other consequences of the accident.
3. Fear of Crossing the Street
After being hit by a car, some people may develop a fear of crossing the street or being near traffic. This fear can be debilitating and can affect a person's ability to get around and participate in daily activities.
4. Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is a physical problem, but it can also lead to psychological problems such as depression, anxiety, and anger. People who are experiencing chronic pain after being hit by a car may struggle to cope with the pain and may become isolated or depressed as a result.
Insomnia, or difficulty sleeping, is a common problem that can develop after a car accident. This can be caused by physical pain, anxiety, or other psychological factors related to the accident.
What differentiates a personal injury lawyer from other lawyers?
When it comes to handling an accident case, hiring a personal injury attorney is different from hiring another kind of lawyer. Here are some of the key differences:
Personal injury lawyers specialize in handling cases related to accidents and injuries. They have extensive knowledge of the legal system and understand the complexities of personal injury cases. Other types of lawyers, such as family law attorneys or criminal defense lawyers, may not have the same level of expertise when it comes to personal injury cases.
2. Contingency Fees
Car accident attorneys typically work on a contingency fee basis, which means that they don't get paid unless they win your case. This is different from other types of lawyers, who may charge hourly fees or require a retainer upfront.
3. Negotiation Skills
Personal injury cases often involve negotiating with insurance companies to obtain compensation for your injuries. Personal injury lawyers have experience negotiating with insurance companies and know how to get the best possible settlement for their clients. Other types of lawyers may not have the same negotiation skills or experience.
4. Medical Knowledge
Personal injury lawyers often work with medical experts to document the extent of their clients' injuries and the long-term effects they may have on their clients' lives. They have a deep understanding of medical terminology and can effectively communicate with medical professionals. Other types of lawyers may not have the same level of medical knowledge.
5. Focus on Client Needs
Personal injury lawyers are focused on meeting the needs of their clients. They understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that accidents can take on their clients and work to ensure that their clients receive the compensation they deserve. Other types of lawyers may not have the same level of focus on client needs.
Get in touch with a personal injury law firm today
If you've been hit by a car, you don't have to go through the aftermath alone. Seeking the guidance and support of an experienced car accident lawyer can help you navigate the complex legal and insurance processes, ensure that your rights are protected, and get you the compensation you deserve.
At Palermo Law Group, we understand how overwhelming and stressful this experience can be, and we're here to help. Our team of skilled and compassionate attorneys can provide you with a free consultation to discuss your case, answer your questions, and help you understand your options. Don't wait to get the help you need. Contact Palermo Law Group today and let us fight for your rights.