*This is a guest post.
What happens if you are hit by a vehicle? This is a fear that lurks in the minds of almost every person. If you get hit by a vehicle and are fortunate enough not to be seriously injured, you may not know how to handle the situation. What are your rights? How do you know what you should do?
Take a look at this article where we explain how to handle the situation.
1. Keep Calm
Yes, you have just been hit by a vehicle, so you probably are not in the calmest state of mind. But it is imperative that you keep a cool head- do not panic. You need to be thinking clearly, even if you are being filled with adrenaline and feelings of fury and disbelief. How to stay calm in this situation? Focus on your breathing. First of all, be grateful that you still can breathe. Now to calm yourself down draw in long, deep breathes. Exhale and feel the breath exit your lungs. Another deep inhalation. Another full exhalation. Keep breathing. There, doesn’t everything feel calmer and clearer?
Once you are calm, you will be able to communicate appropriately and effectively with the driver and the police once they arrive on the scene.
2. Move out of the Way
If you can, then you should move out of the road. Try to get yourself into a safe place on the sidewalk and the pavement.
3. Ensure that the Driver Remains on the Scene
The biggest mistake most people make when they’ve been hit by a vehicle is that they let the driver go. This usually happens because the person thinks that they have sustained no injuries. But, after the adrenaline passes, they discover the pain of a broken bone or a concussion. And then, it is too late to get the insurance and contact details of the person who hit you.
For this reason, you need to make sure that the driver remains with you until the police arrive. Be sure to do this politely and calmly, or else you could risk turning the scene into a hostile environment. It is also a good idea to ask the witnesses to remain as well, as they will help to paint an accurate picture for the police.
But what if it was a hit and run? Do your best to take a picture of the number plate. This is the best hope you will have of catching the driver after he leaves. If this is not an option for you, take a good look at the number plate and summon all your mental powers into memorizing the details.
It is essential for you to know that even if you do not have an auto insurance, you could still make a claim with your insurance company. Most insurance policies have a clause that titles the “Uninsured Motorist” clause. You should investigate this with your insurance company and see if you are covered. If you need extra help, then read more about how you should proceed with your case.
4. If you haven’t already: Call the Cops
Some people, when they get hit by a vehicle, don’t call the cops because they think they are okay and that they won’t need to involve the police. Here’s the thing, You need to call the police even if you are thinking; “I’m fine.” Or, some people wait until they have calmed down, and have arrived home already before they call the police in the hopes of filing an accident report. But, if you wait, then it will be too late. Always call the police from the scene of the accident if you want to file an accident report.
Why do you need to file an accident report? Well, this report will be one of the most critical piece of documentation should you wish to have any type of insurance coverage. If you are lucky, and the driver seems like a nice person who made a genuine mistake, you may not want to incriminate him or her. But, you need to take care of yourself. The driver made a mistake, and these are the consequences- no matter how nice or sorry he or she is. With the accident report, you will have a good case should you go up against your driver’s insurance company. Call the police, and then wait at the scene until they arrive.
5. Collect as much Information about the Driver as you can
So you have moved out of harm’s way, convinced the driver to remain on the scene, have already called the cops and are now just awaiting their arrival- now what?
Now, as you wait, you should be collecting as much information about the driver as you can. This includes the following:
– Drivers license
– Insurance information
– License plate number
Take pictures of everything as well, including yourself, your bike if you were on a motorcycle or bicycle, the place and surrounds where the accident took place (all involved traffic lights, intersections or signs) and anything else that you see. Will you use all of these pictures? Probably not. But, you will at least have them on hand should you need them. If the fault lies in a misplaced sign or a traffic light that is disguised or challenging to see, then you have the evidence that can help you and your case. If you cannot take the pictures yourself, then ask a witness or bystander to assist you.
Even though we are living in the days of social media where everything is tweeted and posted online, resist the temptation to make your accident public. This can be done through the appropriate groups (advocacy or transportation officials) but should not be done in a bold action during the accident or while you wait for the police to show up.
Once the police arrive, make sure you speak calmly to them and let them know what happened. By now, you should have all the relevant information, and you should make sure to give the police your personal statement.
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