It almost sounds like a scene out of a movie. You are crossing the street, after looking both ways of course, and bam! Next thing you know you are laying on the ground, in pain and wondering what just happened to you. Even worse, in some cases, your loved one – perhaps a child – is the one who is injured. Now you are standing there helpless and in a panic. What do you do?
Depending on the scenario, whether you are the injured party or the horrified loved one, there are steps you must take to preserve your rights and make sure the negligent car driver is held responsible for causing the pedestrian accident.
If you are seriously hurt, stay still and ask someone to call 9-1-1. It’s likely that anyone who saw the accident (maybe even the driver who hit you) will have called without being asked. If your injuries are minor, you may want to attempt some of the following steps while remaining calm and waiting for help. If you are standing by with the person who was hurt, assure them you are with them but try to gather data that the police and lawyers will need later.
Attempt to collect information such as the license plate and number of the car and the name and address of the driver. Also try to get contact information from witnesses. In the event that you are unable to take the information yourself, ask someone to take notes for you and email or text you the information.
Take photos and/or video. In most cases, if you are severely injured, you will not be able to move around. Photos are worth a thousand words in negotiations and court. Just after an accident you may be in shock. Photos and video can help you remember details of the incident.
If the person who hit you sped off, immediately attempt to get information from onlookers about the hit and run vehicle and driver. At the very least, ask someone to write down what you remember so you don’t forget important details like the make, model and color of the car, if possible.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you somehow caused your pedestrian accident. In New Jersey, pedestrians have the right of way. You have a right to feel safe when crossing the street. If you were injured in an accident with a car, bus, truck or motorcycle, you owe it to yourself and your family to learn how you can hold the negligent driver responsible for causing your injuries.
Contact a savvy lawyer who will fight for maximum compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering and more.
Keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations in New Jersey regarding pedestrian accidents. Contact Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza PC today for a free consultation about your case.