Every year, dozens of bicyclists and pedestrians in Nebraska suffer serious injuries from being struck by motor vehicles. These road users are the most vulnerable to injury and should take certain steps to protect themselves physically, financially, and emotionally after accidents. If you get hit by a motor vehicle in Omaha, take these steps to begin the recovery process.
Check for Injuries
Stay where you are, unless you are in danger, and check yourself for injuries. If you experience any neck or back pain, loss of feeling, or tingling or numbness anywhere in your body, restrict your motion until paramedics arrive. You may have a serious back or spinal cord injury. Keep in mind that your adrenaline from being hit by a car might be masking the symptoms of an injury. Do not assume that you aren’t injured, even if you feel fine. Instead, tell the driver and the police that you will be visiting a doctor before answering any questions about your injuries.
Call the Police
Use your cell phone or ask someone nearby to call 911 from the scene of a pedestrian or bicycle accident. It is important to take this step to protect your right to financial compensation. Even if the accident appears minor, the police can help you collect key information, such as the crash date, time, and exact location. Do not admit fault for the accident when giving the police your version of events. Ask for your police report number before you leave.
Exchange Information With the Driver
Ask for the motor vehicle driver’s full name, address, and car insurance information. If asked, give your information to the driver, as well. If the other driver fled the scene of the accident (a hit-and-run), talk to eyewitnesses who saw the crash take place. Eyewitnesses may be able to help you describe the vehicle that hit you to the police. They may have even caught important details such as license plate numbers.
If you can, collect evidence while you are still at the scene of the accident. Start by taking pictures of the area. Be sure to capture important details, such as an obscured stop sign or skid marks on the road. Write down a detailed description of what happened while it is still clear in your mind. If there are any traffic cameras or surveillance cameras at nearby businesses, ask for copies of the tapes. It is important to preserve evidence while it is still available, such as vehicle debris in the road or eyewitness statements while the memory is still fresh. If you’re too badly injured to do it yourself, a police officer or a trusted friend can help.
Go to a Hospital in Omaha
Go to a hospital for emergency medical care immediately after being hit by a car. Medics can check you for injuries using diagnostic tests even before you start to notice symptoms, including brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Going to a hospital right away also shows an insurance company that you did your part to treat your injuries and heal.
Start the Claims Process
Arizona follows a traditional fault-based car insurance law. This means the party at fault for your accident will be financially responsible. Call the driver’s car insurance company as soon as possible to initiate a claim. The insurance company will investigate the accident and may offer a settlement for your medical bills, property repairs, and other losses. Before you can recover compensation, however, you must prove that the driver caused the crash.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Before you accept any insurance settlement offer, consult with a pedestrian accident attorney in Omaha to confirm that the offer is fair. Insurance companies often take advantage of claimants to avoid paying them fair damages. A lawyer will evaluate your case to check the adequacy of the settlement offer. Then, your lawyer can go up against an insurance corporation or fight for a fair recovery at a trial, if necessary, to pursue maximum financial compensation on your behalf.