What to Do When You Are Hit by a Car: 3 Tips from a Personal Injury Lawyer

As one of the most populous states in the country, it should come as no surprise that thousands of car collisions happen every day throughout California. These crashes can happen between two vehicles, between a vehicle and a pedestrian, bicyclist, or a car and a motorcyclist. Some may result in no injuries or damage, while others can severely or fatally harm you or your loved one.

Finding yourself the victim of any type of car collision can be alarming. To protect yourself and your legal rights, it is crucial to know what steps you should take immediately after your accident. Swift and correct action can limit complications from physical injuries and safeguard your right to pursue compensation from those responsible for the accident.

Three Steps to Take Immediately After a Car Accident

After a crash occurs is not the time to wonder what to do when you are hit by a car. You should have a plan in place beforehand so that you can take decisive action if you are struck by a vehicle. At a minimum, you should:

1. Get Yourself to a Safe Location

Car collisions almost always happen on or near roadways, so there is a high probability that other vehicular traffic will be moving around the site of your accident. These other cars and trucks pose a danger to you, as do any leaking fluids, broken glass, or other hazards.

Therefore, if you can do so without hurting yourself further, try to get to a safe location out of the roadway and away from other traffic. While you can move your car or bike out of the way, too, your primary focus should be your own physical safety.

2. Check Yourself for Injuries and Make a Plan for Treatment

After you’ve gotten somewhere safe, you may still be wondering what to do. When you are hit by a car, you must take stock of any injuries or pain you notice and decide what to do about it. For severe injuries, you should call 911 and request that an ambulance be dispatched to your location. For less serious injuries, you may be able to drive yourself or have someone drive you to the emergency room. 

Indications that you have been severely hurt and need immediate medical care include the following:

  • You cannot feel your arms or legs, or all you feel is numbness or tingling
  • You are in extreme pain 
  • You hit your head and lost consciousness or experienced a seizure
  • You are bleeding profusely or have lacerations all over your body

Do not neglect to seek some sort of treatment unless you are absolutely certain you were not injured in any way.

3. Contact Law Enforcement and Make a Report

If someone is injured or killed, or if there is extensive property damage, you should contact local law enforcement and ask for an officer to respond. This fulfills your duty to report accidents resulting in injuries or death to the authorities. If you do not summon officers to the scene, you should report your injury or fatal collision to the police within 24 hours.

In addition, you have 10 days from the date of your accident to complete and submit a written report to the Department of Motor Vehicles. You must complete this report regardless of who caused the collision.

Look After Your Health and Your Rights

In the chaos that follows such an event, it can be difficult to know what to do when you are hit by a car. The most important things to protect after an accident are your physical health, well-being, and legal rights. You can safeguard your health by getting medical care as soon as possible. 

Protecting your legal rights involves fulfilling your obligation to report the accident and then speaking with an attorney about filing an insurance claim or lawsuit for compensation.

Since 1992, our personal injury attorneys at the Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. have been fighting for the people of San Diego. Now, when those injured in automobile accidents – including cartruck, and motorcycle accidents – need financial help, or for the families that need to know that the loss of a loved one could have been prevented, there is a personal injury law firm in San Diego that is on their side. If you or a family member has been injured, call the lawyers at Pines Salomon Injury Lawyers, APC. There’s never been a better time than right now to speak to a personal injury attorney—FREE of charge. Call us at 858-551-2090 or request a free consultation online today!