According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 70,000 pedestrians were injured and 6,000 were killed in car accidents last year. If you or a loved one is unlucky enough to be counted in these frightening statistics in the coming year, will you know what to do after the accident?
Read our mini-guide to pedestrian accidents to learn how to best handle a pedestrian accident to protect your claim against the driver and to get the medical treatment you need.
What to Do If You're Hit While Walking or Riding in Kansas City
We love that Kansas City is a bustling, vibrant city, but the combination of pedestrians and a lot of motor vehicle traffic can be deadly. Pedestrians are at risk at locations all over the city, especially in popular downtown shopping and dining areas and in busy working-class neighborhoods.
If you're hit, the actions you—or those with you if you're unable—take immediately after the accident can impact your eventual medical recovery, as well as your ability to sue the liable party for damages.
We recommend taking the following steps as soon as possible after an accident:
- Get medical help. Obviously, if someone is in need of an ambulance, don't hesitate to call 911 and get help as quickly as possible. However, sometimes people who are hit are too embarrassed to admit they're hurt, and instead play it off as if they're fine. It's important to the hospital as soon as possible after a pedestrian accident to be thoroughly assessed for injuries. Sometimes, internal injuries aren't immediately obvious and a hospital record will help your claim for damages down the road.
- Get contact information. If you're conscious and able, give your name and phone number to the driver of the car and take his or her information. In all likelihood, the driver is scared and worried, and it's vital you get this information before he realizes he may be in big trouble.
- Call the police. No matter who appears to be at fault, how injured you seem to be, or how much traffic is backed up, take the time to contact the police if they haven't already been called. An official investigation of the accident and police report will be necessary to support your insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
- Report the accident to your insurance company. If it turns out the driver who hit you in uninsured—or is carrying a minimal policy—you may need to file a claim with your insurance company to get all the compensation you need for a full recovery. If you haven't reported the accident and then later file a claim, you could run into trouble.
- Determine fault. Unless you're involved in a clear-cut case such as being hit by a drunk driver while walking on the sidewalk, there are likely to be questions about who played what part in the accident. If you ran out into the street in front of a car, or were riding your bike against traffic, you may be found at fault and could even be held liable for damage to the driver’s car or injuries he suffered. If you were in a crosswalk but crossing against the light, you could be found to be partially at fault and your compensation might be reduced. Insurance companies will look for any reason to deny a claim.
- Call an attorney. If you've suffered injuries after being hit by a car in Kansas City, call our experienced pedestrian accident attorneys. Drivers have a responsibility to watch out for pedestrians and to avoid hitting them no matter what the circumstances are. When we start working with you immediately after the crash, we have the best chance of getting you the compensation you will need to recover.
Have You Been Injured In A Kansas City Area Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.