You are putting yourself at some level of risk each time you leave your home as a pedestrian. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2016 alone nearly 700 pedestrians died as a result of being hit by cars. That's a more than a 20 percent spike from the previous year.
There is a reportable crash less than every minute in Texas, and while no one plans to be hit by a car, it's important to know what to expect when the unexpected occurs.
The moments after you're hit by a car are intense. A combination of pain, anger, adrenaline, fear and everything in between are swirling in your mind. Despite this, it's important to keep your wits about you and stick to a basic game plan.
Keep the driver present at the scene
You may be surprised by how often people who are in pedestrian accidents let the drivers leave soon after. In a way, it makes sense, especially if you're not badly injured. You just dust yourself off, tell them to watch what they're doing and go on your way. This is the last thing you want to do.
Take time to get the driver's information. Take photos and record their driver's license information, their proof of insurance, the make, and model of their vehicle, their license plate number, the scene of the accident - everything. You cannot have too much information.
Call the police immediately
While you are gathering the driver's information, be sure to call the police to the scene. Having a thorough report on record is extremely important, so call them as soon as possible. Remember that in Texas an official crash report can only be given at the scene of the accident. You will have missed your chance to file, and possibly your chance at any compensation, by waiting until after the accident has cleared up to notify the authorities.
When the police arrive, make sure to give them your detailed account of the accident. Many people in pedestrian accidents are so shaken up and charged with adrenaline that they give sparse reports at best. Get your experience in the books; you may need it later.
Go to the doctor
Even if you don't think you need to, go to the doctor. The last thing you want is to have the adrenaline of the accident wear off and realize you have a broken rib or fractured wrist the whole time. Not only does a medical record immediately after an accident help your case, but it will also treat any minor problems before they become major ones.
Call an attorney
Legal representation is key after a pedestrian accident. As a lone individual, odds are you are completely on your own from a legal standpoint. The driver, on the other hand, has an insurance company with a team of lawyers behind them. There is no shame in seeking just compensation to cover medical bills, psychological distress and disruption in your life in the wake of an accident.
It's not fun to think about, but something as harmless as taking a walk comes with inherent dangers. You don't need to live in fear of being hit by a car while walking to the grocery store, but knowing what to do if an accident does occur can make a rocky moment run smoothly.