Hit by a Car as a Tourist?
Traveling is a fun hobby that allows you to experience exciting sites and meet new people. By the time you are boarding your bus or flight, you are already anticipating your stay in the city. However, a rogue or an inattentive driver could cut your trip short. Statistics show that around seventeen percent of individuals involved in car accidents are pedestrians walking on the sidewalk or pavements. Since you are a tourist, you are perhaps not sure of what to do to protect your health and rights, especially if you are in a foreign country. Well, here are some key steps you ought to take.
After the accident, you might experience mixed emotions, including anger and forms of frustration. It would be wise to resist the temptation to shout or curse at the driver, which would worsen the situation. Well, you could say something that the driver could use against you later on. Try to keep calm and focus on getting out of the road to a safe spot. You could try taking a breath and try to analyze the situation.
Call the police
The next key step after getting to safety would be to contact the police. Most tourists or rather pedestrians tend to neglect to call the police because they think their injuries are minor. However, the police need to be at the accident scene to file an accident report and collect an official statement from you and the rest of the witnesses. The police will often be the first to arrive at the scene. They will also dispatch the medical help needed. If your injuries are minor, you could wait for the police at the scene and seek medical attention afterward. However, if your injuries are too severe, the police could come to you in the hospital ward to record your statement.
Collect the driver’s contact information
A grave mistake you could make as a tourist involved in an accident would be to release the driver because you are in a hurry or you think you are fine. Ensure the driver doesn’t leave the accident scene until the police arrive. It would also be best to collect their contact information and include their name, address, and insurance information. If the driver tries to run away, try to take note of their license plate number and the model of their car. Law enforcement will do their best to find the driver and charge him for their crimes.
Speak to a top pedestrian lawyer
Since you are not in your native land, you might not understand the laws and rights. The other driver could also try to manipulate you to get away with their mistake. It would help to reach out to a pedestrian accident lawyer in the area who will fight for your rights. The lawyer will be instrumental in finding out who is at fault for the incident and strive to protect you. A top lawyer conversant with local laws will ensure you are adequately protected and compensated for any injuries you sustained during the accident. A top lawyer will also help you understand the situation you are in and the dos and don’ts as you build a case to protect your rights. A good example is avoiding posting on social media, a feat that might be used against your claim for injuries and damages incurred.
The lawyer will also be key in handling insurance companies that might have your best interests. Quite often some insurance companies might use unscrupulous tactics to avoid paying for compensations or pay quite low if they do. In fact, the attorney will help in coming up with the right amount of compensation you deserve, factoring even the future effects that might occur from the accident. This includes factors like medical expenses you incur, lost income, pain and suffering, repairs, physical therapy costs, and so on.
Tip: Take your time to find a good attorney with a proven track record handling similar cases in the area
Take lots of photos
Photos are excellent evidence you could show the jury if you decide to sue the other driver after the accident. While you wait for the police or the ambulance to arrive, take numerous photos as possible of the debris, street name, and your torn or bloody clothes. If you are too shaken up to capture clear images or lack enough phone memory, you could ask a bystander to help you or use their phone. You could also take videos to help bolster your evidence. Again, working with a lawyer will help in compiling the evidence that will help your case.
Give the police your complete statement
A significant percentage of pedestrians involved in an accident don’t get to give their complete statement because they need urgent medical attention. When the police arrive at the accident scene, ensure you give them your side of the story. Please don’t leave out important details such as where you were and what you were doing when the driver hit you. You could also let the police know if you spotted the driver using their phone instead of concentrating on the road.
Seek medical attention
It is also wise to seek medical attention, even though you think your injuries are minor. Your body enters a fight or flight mode when it senses danger and stimulates adrenaline production. When the adrenaline finally wears off from your bloodstream, you might notice injuries you didn’t know existed. A healthcare provider will conduct a couple of tests to reveal the full extent of your injuries. Remember, medical records are also part and parcel of the evidence used to bolster your claim. This is why skipping seeking medical help may come back to haunt you later, especially if there are hidden injuries from the accident.
Now that you know what to do in case you get hit by a car as a tourist, we hope you will take the proper steps to protect your health, rights and secure adequate compensation for any damages. If you are a tourist, protecting your safety in any new place should be paramount. Seek help from an attorney whenever you run into any legal issues.