The Automobile & the Pedestrian
I recently read a post on next-door about a teen who had been hit by a car while jogging. Apparently, the car, even after hitting him, had not stopped. The mother was trying to locate the driver who hit him. Although he had been apparently tossed onto the hood of the car, he did not have any immediately apparent injuries and was thankfully rescued by another driver who witnessed the accident and stopped to help. I’ve handled quite a few cases like this over the years, so a lot of immediate thoughts came to mind. What do you do in this scenario (and hopefully it never happens to you or someone you love)? Here you go:
- Contact the police. Get a formal report. The police may be able to help you track down the hit and run driver. More importantly, you may need this for an insurance claim.
- Get the contact information for any witnesses. It may be helpful to get written statements from them as well. People remember things best when they are fresh.
- Take photos of the intersection/crosswalk/etc. In this example, the witness confirmed the teen was jogging in a crosswalk when he was hit, although someone commented that there was potentially not a crosswalk at that particular intersection. Even if he had not been in a crosswalk, Georgia law still requires drivers to exercise reasonable care to avoid colliding with pedestrians. And it also requires you to stop if you actually hit someone (although basic human decency and common sense should tell you that!)
- Take pictures of any visible injuries.
- Get checked out. The mother in this post believed her son was not injured. However, as someone mentioned in the comments, they had a friend in a similar situation who later discovered they had significant internal injuries. Also, as I recognize a lot in my practice, many people do not experience pain immediately following an accident. Why? Because the adrenaline and shock of being in the accident itself may initially shield you from feeling it!
- Notify your own auto insurance carrier. This may seem strange, but here is why. First, most auto insurance carriers require you to notify them if you’ve been in an accident, even if you’re not at fault. Second, your auto insurance may help you – yes, you heard me correctly! If you have medical payments coverage or uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your own policy, it may help you out EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT IN YOUR CAR. In fact, it may help your family members out EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT OLD ENOUGH TO DRIVE. Both of these are things that you pay a little extra for on your policy and your insurance should not drop you or raise your rates if you end up using them and you are not at fault.
Call us for a free consultation if you are ever in this situation – we are happy to help! And we are all hoping this mother locates the driver who hit her child. Keep a lookout for a Caucasian blonde female driving a Blue Tesla SUV. This incident happened in Buckhead.