Heading out for daily walks is one of the best ways to stay fit and get fresh air. Unfortunately, this seemingly innocuous activity is not without risks. Pedestrians in cities, suburbs, and even in rural areas run the risk of being hit by trucks even if they are following all of the applicable traffic laws.
Pedestrians hit by any type of vehicle are at a greater risk of suffering severe injuries than drivers because they don’t have the benefit of airbags and other safety features. When people are hit by commercial trucks while out walking, the consequences are almost always devastating. Read on to find out what pedestrians should do after being hit by trucks to protect their rights and get the compensation required to support optimal recovery.
1. Stay at the Scene
The first thing anyone hit during a walk should know is that it’s important to stay at the scene of the accident even if it’s possible to get up and walk away. In almost all states, it’s illegal for drivers to leave the scene of an accident involving a pedestrian. Leaving the scene of an accident is often referred to as a hit-and-run and can result in felony charges.
While the same laws don’t always apply to pedestrians, it’s equally important that accident victims who were hit while out walking stay at the scene. Remain there until the authorities arrive, whether that means EMTs or the police. It’s fine to take an ambulance to the hospital if a walker’s injuries are severe, but otherwise, stick around to file a police report and collect evidence.
2. Seek Medical Care
Accidents that involve both large trucks and pedestrians can be deadly, and not all injuries are immediately obvious. Internal injuries can be deadly and because they’re not visible from the outside, they often go unnoticed until it’s too late to treat them with optimal efficacy.
If the EMTs recommend going to the hospital, take the ambulance and worry about paying for it later. If their initial check doesn’t turn up anything serious, don’t assume that means there’s no reason to go to the doctor. Accident victims should still schedule appointments with their primary care physicians or visit urgent care facilities following truck accidents.
3. Document Everything
Medical bills and lost wages often pile up fast after accidents, and being able to hold the responsible party liable for those and other damages can make a big difference when it comes to a victim’s quality of life and ability to make a full recovery. Proving fault requires providing evidence, so document everything. Keep copies of the police report, medical reports, and other official documents and make a point of writing down a personal statement as soon as possible while the details are still clear.
4. Work With a Lawyer
The best time to hire a pedestrian accident lawyer is as soon as possible after a crash occurs. Don’t prioritize seeking legal help over getting necessary medical care, but don’t put it off, either. There are deadlines for filing paperwork and statutes of limitation for personal injury cases.
All Accident Victims Deserve to Make a Full Recovery
Being struck by a truck can cause life-threatening injuries. What a victim does immediately after the accident will help to determine his or her medical outcome, so follow the steps above and make sure to accept necessary medical care.