Steps To Take If Involved in a DC Pedestrian Accident

If involved in a pedestrian accident in Washington, DC it is imperative you take the necessary steps to ensure your claim is as strong as possible. The following is information on those steps, and how they can impact your claim. To learn more or begin your quest for recovery, call a DC pedestrian accident lawyer today.

Step 1: Make Sure You’re In a Safe Location

When someone is involved in a motor-vehicle accident as a pedestrian, the first thing the pedestrian should do is remain calm. If the person is able to remain calm then the injured person is better able to assess both their physical well-being and the situation at hand. While remaining claim and not panicking someone involved in a pedestrian accident should also make sure they are in a safe location. If a pedestrian is knocked down or becomes disabled in the street, the pedestrian may be in danger of being struck by another driver, who may not see them. So if they are able to remain in place safely, then they should try not to move. If they cannot safely remain in place, then they should try their best to get the attention of those around them or try to move to a safe location.

Step 2: Seek Medical Attention

If the pedestrian is injured, they should seek medical attention immediately. Oftentimes, people are embarrassed, for no good reason, or may think that they will be fine. However, when a major trauma like this occurs, a person may not fully appreciate any internal injuries until much later.  Thus, it is always a good idea to seek medical attention to ensure that there are no internal injuries.

Step 3: Call The Police

Next, it is always important for a pedestrian call the police.  This is done for a number of reasons including:

  • The police officer can help the pedestrian remain safe at the scene.
  • The police officer can facilitate an ambulance.
  • The police officer can gather information of anyone involved in the collision along with any witnesses to the incident.
  • A police officer may also issue a traffic citation.

The traffic citation is not necessarily a definitive determination of fault, but the information contained on the citation may be able to assist with the investigation of a civil claim later on.

Step 4: Go To The Doctor’s Office

If the pedestrian does not seek immediate medical attention through the ER, for whatever reason, it does make good sense for the pedestrian to be evaluated by his/her primary care physician. Hopefully, the pedestrian has a good relationship with his or her primary care physician, and the primary care physician should have a good understanding of the pedestrian’s medical history, which can better assist him to assess the pedestrian’s injuries.

Step 5: Gather Information From The Driver

A pedestrian or anyone involved in an accident should do their best to collect as much information from the driver of the other vehicle involved. This will include insurance information, their driver’s license or any other form of identification. At a minimum, anyone involved in a motor vehicle accident, especially a pedestrian, should take a good look at the vehicle involved and try their best to either write down or memorize the license plate number.

If possible, anyone involved in a motor vehicle collision should take photographs of everything. It is helpful to have photographs of the parties, the vehicles, the location of the incident and anything else related to the occurrence. Over time, memories can fade and photographs can be an invaluable aid in refreshing one’s recollection.

Also, it is important for a pedestrian or anyone involved in a motor-vehicle accident to understand they have the right to request this information. They have the right to request contact information from anyone involved in the accident. If the driver of the vehicle refuses to provide this information, they have yet another reason to call the police immediately.

When To Contact An Attorney Following a Pedestrian Accident

It is always best to contact an attorney as soon as possible following an incident.  The important thing to remember is that consulting with an attorney is not the same as retaining or hiring an attorney. By consulting with the attorney, a person is better able to assess the situation, know their legal rights and be better able to relay what happened. The other thing that hopefully will occur is that the attorney should give the person some advice about collecting additional information that may be important at a later date. When exactly a person should contact an attorney is really up to them, but generally speaking the sooner the better.