By Marcus Fernandez
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 713 pedestrians died and another 6,334 were injured when struck by vehicles in 2020. The data so far for 2021reveals the death and injury rates to be slightly ahead of last year when the state had the second-highest number of pedestrian deaths in the country. As a pedestrian injured in an accident caused by someone’s negligence, you have rights. A consultation with a Tampa personal injury lawyer helps to protect your right to be compensation. In the meantime, here are some things you should do to preserve your rights when involved in a crash as a pedestrian.
Check For Injuries
Your first instinct, after the shock of being suddenly hit and thrown to the ground by a vehicle, may be to get to your feet. Resist the temptation to move. Instead, remain calm and check yourself for injuries. If trying to move causes any pain or discomfort, remain where you are until police and emergency medical personnel arrive to check on your injuries.
Call 911 to Report the Accident
Do not assume that someone called to report the accident. Make the call to 911 or ask someone to call for you. Tell the 911 operator the location of the accident and briefly describe your injuries. If someone is making the call for you, make sure they relay the information about your injuries to the operator.
Get Medical Attention For Your Injuries
You may not feel as though you have been injured, but some types of injuries, such as concussions, may take hours before symptoms manifest. Let paramedics examine you at the accident scene to determine whether you suffered an injury and the medical care it requires.
Even if paramedics do not recommend an ambulance ride to the emergency department of a local hospital, arrange to be seen by your own physician after police allow you to leave the scene of the accident. An examination and diagnostic testing by your doctor may disclose an injury that was not apparent when the paramedics checked you.
Obtain Information About the Driver and Vehicle that Hit You
Get the name and contact information for the driver of the vehicle that hit you or ask someone to do it for you. Use the camera on your cellphone to take a picture of the person’s driver’s license and vehicle registration. Also take pictures of the vehicle identification number, visible through the windshield, and the license plate.
Do not talk to the driver about the cause of the crash or the nature of your injuries. Anything that you say or do at the scene of the accident may become evidence to use against you.
Document the accident with photos
Get the names and contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident. Avoid discussing the accident with them beyond asking them if you saw what happened.
The best way to preserve the scene of an accident is by taking photos using your cellphone. You cannot have too many photos. Be sure to include the following photos when documenting the accident scene:
- Location of the accident from all angles.
- Location of the vehicle taken from different angles.
- Damage done to the vehicle that hit you.
- Police and other emergency vehicles with the name of their departments and vehicle numbers clearly visible.
- Skid marks, vehicle parts and other things on the ground at the scene.
- Signage at the location, including, stop, yield, speed and other types of road signs.
- Traffic lights.
- Crosswalk markings on the pavement and electronic crosswalk signals.
- Streetlights when the accident occurred at night or in low-light conditions.
Ask someone to take pictures of your injuries and the shoes and clothing you wore when hit by the vehicle.
Arrange for a consultation with a Tampa personal injury lawyer
Florida has dangerous intersections, distracted drivers and other hazards that increase the risk of being seriously injured in a pedestrian crash. Get help from an experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer.