Pedestrian Accident Victim: Know Your Rights and Next Steps

Pedestrian Accident Victim: Know Your Rights and Next Steps

In New Jersey, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety highlights the grim statistics of pedestrian accidents, with figures surpassing the national average, partly due to distracted driving and failure to adhere to crosswalk laws. This alarming trend emphasizes the critical importance of knowing one’s rights and the necessary steps to take following an accident with a pedestrian, including seeking the expertise of a pedestrian accident lawyer.

Following such incidents, New Jersey law stipulates that pedestrians may be entitled to compensation for damages ranging from medical expenses to pain and suffering, dependent on their insurance policy’s terms. This underscores the need for immediate action, including consulting a knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorney to navigate the complexities of securing deserved compensation.

Check for Injuries and Get to Safety

After a pedestrian accident, immediate action is crucial for both safety and health. Follow these steps to ensure you’re taking the right precautions:

  1. Assess Your Injuries:
    • Check for any visible wounds, discomfort, or signs of severe brain injury such as numbness, tingling, or confusion. Even if injuries seem minor, they could be indicative of more serious issues.
  2. Move to Safety:
    • If you can, carefully move to a location away from traffic. This reduces the risk of further injury and allows you to gather your thoughts and assess the situation more clearly.
  3. Seek Medical Attention:
    • Regardless of how you feel immediately after the incident, it’s essential to see a medical professional. Some injuries, especially internal ones, may not be immediately apparent.
    • Detail any symptoms and your medical history to healthcare professionals. This step is not just about receiving treatment for current injuries but also documenting them, which could be crucial if you decide to consult a pedestrian accident lawyer or pursue compensation.

These steps are not just about physical safety but also about ensuring that you have the necessary documentation and support if legal action becomes necessary. Remember, pedestrian accidents can have long-lasting impacts, and taking the right steps early on can make a significant difference in recovery and legal proceedings.

Contact Authorities and Report the Incident

Immediately after a pedestrian accident, it’s crucial to report the incident to ensure your rights are protected and to begin the process of seeking compensation if necessary. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Contact Authorities:
    1. Call 911 or the local police immediately to report the accident. This ensures an official record is made.
    2. If the police do not arrive, ensure you gather witness information, including names and contact details.
    3. In Ohio, report pedestrian accidents to the police within five days if there’s injury or significant property damage.
  • Documenting the Incident:
    • Provide detailed information when reporting, such as the accident location, time and date, involved parties’ information, and a description of the incident.
    • Obtain a copy of the police report from the local department or the Ohio Department of Public Safety website for your records.
  • Insurance Reporting:
    • Notify your insurance company about the accident. They will guide you on filing a claim.
    • If the accident involved an uninsured driver, collect their name, address, and either their driver’s license number or Social Security number.

These steps not only ensure the safety and health of everyone involved but also play a critical role in the legal process that may follow a pedestrian accident.

Exchange Information and Document Evidence

After a pedestrian accident, it’s crucial to exchange and document the right information to support any potential claims:

  • Exchange Information with the Driver:
    • Name, address, phone number
    • Vehicle registration, make, and model
    • Insurance company name and policy number
    • If applicable, company name and whether the driver is an employee
  • Documenting the Scene:
    • Take photographs of the accident scene, including the positions of cars and any visible damage.
    • Capture images of your injuries, the vehicle that hit you, skid marks, and any malfunctioning lights or signals on the vehicle.
    • Note the time, date, and specific location of the accident.
  • Witness Information:
    • Collect names and contact information of any eyewitnesses.
    • Keep the driver and witnesses at the scene if possible to gather their accounts and contact details.

Remember, do not discuss fault or apologize at the scene, as this can be used against you in legal proceedings. Documenting everything thoroughly at the moment can significantly aid a pedestrian accident lawyer in building a strong case.

Seek Medical Attention

After a pedestrian accident, seeking medical attention is not just a step towards recovery but a critical action for legal and insurance processes. Here’s why immediate medical care is paramount:

  • Immediate Health Assessment: Regardless of how minor injuries might seem, some conditions, such as internal bleeding or traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), may not show immediate symptoms. Immediate medical attention ensures all injuries, visible or not, are properly assessed and documented.
  • Documentation for Legal and Insurance Claims: Medical records serve as essential evidence in personal injury claims. They officially link injuries to the accident, making it challenging for insurance companies to dispute the severity of injuries or their connection to the incident.
  • Compliance and Recovery:
    • Compliance with Insurance: Seeking medical care promptly meets insurance companies’ requirements, ensuring adequate coverage. Delayed medical attention can lead to decreased or denied coverage.
    • Personalized Treatment Plan: Healthcare professionals will evaluate and recommend a treatment plan tailored to your injuries, ensuring a quicker and more effective recovery. Following this plan is crucial to avoid complications and strengthen your claim.

Remember, the adrenaline rush during an accident might mask pain, making it possible to overlook injuries. Thus, even if you feel fine, a thorough medical evaluation is crucial. This step not only prioritizes your health but also solidifies your position in any subsequent legal actions or compensation claims.

Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer

Consulting with a pedestrian accident lawyer is a pivotal step in protecting your rights and ensuring you receive the compensation you’re entitled to for injuries and losses. Here’s how to navigate this process effectively:

  • Why Consult a Lawyer?
    • A pedestrian accident lawyer provides invaluable insights and guidance, helping you understand your legal rights and the complexities of your case.
    • They play a crucial role in gathering evidence, negotiating with insurance companies, and if necessary, representing you in court.
  • Steps to Take:
    1. Early Consultation: Contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible after the accident. Early legal advice can prevent costly mistakes.
    2. Documentation: Compile all relevant evidence including medical records, police reports, and any photos or witness statements from the accident scene.
    3. Legal Representation: Choose a lawyer with experience in pedestrian accident cases. They can help navigate the legal process, from filing an insurance claim to pursuing a lawsuit if needed.
  • Understanding Compensation:
    • Compensation may cover medical expenses, lost wages, and non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
    • Your lawyer will assess your case to determine the full extent of damages and work towards securing maximum compensation.

Remember, cooperating with your insurance company and the driver’s insurance adjuster is crucial, but avoid discussing fault or agreeing to settlements without consulting your lawyer. With their expertise, a pedestrian accident attorney can significantly influence the outcome of your case, ensuring your rights are protected and you receive the compensation you deserve.


Navigating the aftermath of a pedestrian accident involves a series of crucial steps that not only ensure immediate safety and health but also secure legal rights and compensation possibilities. From the immediate actions taken at the scene for personal safety and documentation to the subsequent medical attention and consultations with a pedestrian accident lawyer, each step plays a pivotal role in the recovery journey and legal outcomes. The emphasis on seeking professional legal advice underscores the complexities of pedestrian accident claims and the importance of understanding and asserting one’s rights under the law.

The broader implications of these steps highlight the significance of knowledgeable action and the right support systems in navigating the aftermath of pedestrian accidents. The potential for securing deserved compensation and ensuring a path towards recovery hinges on an informed approach to the situation. The avenues for further research or action suggested throughout this article aim to empower victims with the knowledge and resources necessary to undertake this challenging journey, ensuring their rights are upheld and their recovery is prioritized.


What steps should you take if you come across someone injured in a vehicular accident?

If you encounter someone injured in a car accident, you should remain at the scene and avoid leaving. Check on all passengers for injuries, call the police to report the incident, exchange contact and insurance information with other involved parties, document the accident scene with photos and notes, and afterward, inform your insurance company about the event.

How can I assist a friend who has been involved in a car accident?

To support a friend involved in a car accident, you can help them by ensuring they get medical attention immediately. Also, take photographs of their injuries, the damage to the vehicle, and the accident scene if possible. Additionally, gather the other driver’s contact and insurance details to aid in your friend’s case.

What is the appropriate course of action after being involved in a car accident?

In the event of a car accident, call 911 immediately if there are any injuries. You should also contact the police to report the accident. Collect the names, addresses, phone numbers, and driver’s license information from all drivers involved, as well as the license plates and vehicle identification numbers. Don’t forget to obtain contact details from passengers and any witnesses.

What is the proper conduct when you are part of a car accident?

If you are involved in a car accident, prioritize safety for yourself and others. If you are unable to exit your vehicle or it is unsafe to do so, keep your seatbelt on, activate your hazard lights, and call 911 if possible while waiting for help. If the accident is minor, turn off your vehicle and retrieve your emergency kit while ensuring you are out of harm’s way.

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