What Should You Do After a Pedestrian or Bicycle Car Accident?

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What Should You Do After a Pedestrian or Bicycle Car Accident?

pedestrian/bike accident caused by a car

Stressed man suffering after Accident car crash with children's bicycle

What you do after an auto accident can be vital for the outcome of your case and even your personal freedoms. Never try to flee the scene of an accident. Always check on the other people involved in an accident and administer help if possible. If anyone is seriously injured, you should immediately call 911 for assistance.

Whether you’re the pedestrian, bicycle rider or driver, you should always exchange contact information with the other people involved in the accident. Avoid discussions about the accident. Statements about guilt or comments implying regret could be interpreted to be an admission of fault, so the less you say the better.

If you were hit by a vehicle while riding your bike or walking, and the car tries to drive off, immediately contact authorities. If you can, try to get the plate number or a vehicle description to give to law enforcement.

Finding people involved in hit and runs is far easier today than it was even five or 10 years ago. Many businesses and homes are equipped with security camera and video camera technology. Your car accident lawyer may even be able to subpoena the local government where the accident occurred to get traffic camera footage – if it’s available.

Quick action by law enforcement or your car accident attorney increases the likelihood that footage of the accident and the vehicle fleeing can be secured.

This is important to remember for drivers too. Don’t assume that you can cleanly flee the scene of an accident. Chances are you will be found and face harsh criminal punishments as a result.

Seek Medical Attention Right Away

Your top priorities after being involved in an accident should be to see a doctor and then contact a car accident attorney with experience in pedestrian accidents and bike accidents. The ER or a chiropractor should probably be your first stop, as it’s important to have your injuries documented as soon as possible.

Your doctor’s diagnostic tests and physical examination will play a significant role in your eventual settlement outcome or verdict. A doctor will be able to determine how severe your injuries are, how much it will likely cost to treat those injuries and how long you’ll be forced to miss work.

Pain and suffering damages are generally calculated using a multiplier that’s based on the emotional and physical pain you’ve experienced due to your injuries. Because the equation is essentially your economic damages times the multiplier, getting an accurate baseline for your economic damages as early as possible is vital for negotiations.

The only way to get the process started is by seeing a doctor and being examined.

Failure to seek medical attention right away might give the insurance company the impression that your injuries weren’t all that serious. This might complicate your negotiating position.

Speak With an Auto Accident or Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

The sooner a car wreck lawyer can get started on your case the better. The insurance company won’t waste any time when preparing to defend themselves from your claim. In fact, one of the first calls you might get could be from the insurance company.

They may say nice things like, “We hope you’re feeling better,” but then start questioning your story or your injuries.

Then, while you’re starting to doubt your case’s chance for success, they’ll offer you some small amount of money. Too many injured pedestrians accept this “lowball” settlement offer because they’re intimidated by the insurance company and are worried that if they don’t accept, they might get nothing.

Before you accept any settlement offer from the insurance company, it’s likely in your best interest to speak with an auto accident lawyer. Car crash attorneys represent injured drivers, pedestrians and cyclists for a living. They’re very familiar with insurance company negotiations and won’t be intimidated by the insurance company’s attempt to dispute the facts of the case.

Is the Driver Always at Fault in Pedestrian Accidents?

Not necessarily, but in many cases the driver shares some or most of the blame. Even if you were illegally in the street at the time of the accident (jaywalking), the driver might still share some of the responsibility for your injuries. No driver ever has the right to strike a bicycle rider or walker.

The rare exceptions will be situations where the pedestrian or bike rider’s actions made avoiding the collision impossible or near enough to impossible that the driver isn’t held responsible for injuries. Florida does have comparative negligence rules, which means the damages you can recover will be reduced based on your level of fault. That doesn’t mean you can’t get any compensation, but you may be eligible to receive less if you share the blame for your injuries.