Owning an automobile is fun and convenient, but it is also a big responsibility. Due to the proliferation of smartphones, people don’t always look where they are going when they walk down the street. It is important to be on the lookout for people staring down at their cell phones or children running out into traffic. No matter how careful a person might be, pedestrian-involved accidents do happen. If you hit a pedestrian, there are some important steps to follow.
Call the Police
According to personal injury attorney Goldstein, when you are in an accident, you should pull up to the side of the road, find out if anyone has been injured, and call the police. You should always wait for the police to arrive. Get the names of any witnesses who may have seen the crash and request a copy of the accident report from the police officer. You may also want to take pictures of the scene with your cell phone.
You should never admit to guilt at the scene, even if you think that you were the one who caused the accident. Although it may seem obvious, there may be circumstances of which you are unaware.
You should get the name and contact information of the person that you hit, and you should give them your name, contact information, and insurance information.
You should go to the doctor right away even if you feel just fine. Sudden stops can cause whiplash, and that can take a couple of days to manifest itself.
You are likely to be asked to take a breathalyzer test or perform field exercises. If you are charged with driving under the influence, you may want to contact your criminal attorney.
Contact Your Insurance Company
You should contact your insurance company as soon as you can and give them the details of the accident. They will ask you to answer some questions for them. They may ask to record you, but you do not have to let them. They will also ask you to send in all the evidence that you have.
New Jersey is a no-fault state, which means that a person’s own insurance company is supposed to pay their accident-related bills no matter who caused the crash. This does not always work in a pedestrian-involved accident. Most pedestrians do not insure their feet, and if a person is not a driver, they may not have any auto insurance.
Some no-fault states require drivers to carry insurance to cover medical bills should they hit a pedestrian. The state of New Jersey has no such requirement. If an uninsured pedestrian is injured in an accident, they can receive funds from the Unsatisfied Claim and Judgment Fund. There may also be situations in which they can sue the driver if the driver was inebriated or if The pedestrian was very severely injured.
If you feel the fault of the accident was not your own, you should not let the fact that the other person was a pedestrian dissuade you. Pedestrians cause accidents by jaywalking or not paying attention to where they are going.
If alcohol was involved in the accident and you are accused of driving under the influence, you should contact a criminal attorney. If you feel your insurance company is not going to pay you enough for any damages you may have suffered, you will want to contact a personal injury attorney.