It's one of everyone's worst nightmares: getting hit by a car while on foot. Hopefully it never happens to you, but if it does, it's important that you know what to do and what not to do in this situation. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind in case you're ever struck by a car as a pedestrian.
Do: Move out of the crosswalk or street if you're able.
If you are conscious and able, move to the side of the street so that you are not accidentally struck by any other oncoming cars. Don't go far, though. Sit down on the median, the grass along the side of the road, or even in the corner of a nearby parking lot. You don't want to move so far that you risk aggravating any injuries that you have not quite noticed yet due to adrenaline, but you do need to get yourself out of the busy street.
Don't: Let the driver leave.
When you first experience an accident like getting hit by a car, a rush of adrenaline floods your body. You may feel like you're just fine, only to find out later that you actually have substantial injuries. So even if you feel perfectly okay, do not let the driver leave the scene until the police have arrived. If the driver leaves before the police get their information and generate an accident report, you'll have no way to contact them or their insurance company to get compensation for any injuries you discover after the fact.
Do: Ask strangers to stay around and give statements.
Especially if you are hit in a busy area, you're likely to have strangers approach you and offer help. It's perfectly okay to ask them to step back and give you space if you feel that they are crowding you, but do not "chase them off" completely. Kindly ask that they stay and give witness statements to the police. Having eye witnesses testimonies to state what happened will greatly help if you end up filing a personal injury case against the driver.
Don't: Apologize to the driver.
It's all too common for pedestrians to feel bad and assume that they somehow caused the accident. Especially if the driver is panicking and nervous, you may find yourself apologizing to them. But this can be a huge mistake. If you file a lawsuit against the driver and there is any question as to whether or not the driver is at fault for the accident, your apology may be taken as an admission of guilt. It's really best not to communicate with the driver any more than necessary until the police get there. This way, you don't risk saying something that may get you in trouble later on.
Do: Seek medical attention immediately.
Once the police arrive and take your report, you must go to the hospital -- even if you are confident you are fine. The police may send an ambulance for you or even transport you there themselves if you're in good shape. If you delay seeking medical treatment and later discover that you have an injury, you may have a harder time filing a personal injury case. The judge may feel that there's no way to prove your injuries are really due to the accident if you don't head to the hospital until two or three days later.
When you do arrive at the hospital, make sure those examining you know that you were hit by a car as a pedestrian. They should make careful notes so that, if you do end up filing a lawsuit, there are complete records of the injuries you suffered.
As soon as you get home from the hospital, contact a personal injury attorney or visit websites like http://www.ilcomp.com to get in contact with a professional. They will guide you through the process of seeking compensation for your injuries.