Pedestrian accidents are a common occurrence in Las Vegas. If you are hit, or if you see someone struck by a vehicle, you should take certain steps to protect the pedestrian’s health and legal rights. At Ladah Law Firm, we have brought many personal injury claims on behalf of pedestrians, and our Las Vegas pedestrian Accident Lawyer goes into detail about why each step is important.
Note Details about a Hit & Run Driver
We are sad to report that too many people actually flee the scene of a pedestrian accident instead of stopping and rendering assistance, as is required by the law. They flee for many reasons, one of which is drug or alcohol use. If they stop, they are afraid the police will arrest them for drunk driving.
You can help the pedestrian and improve public safety by quickly noting as many details as possible:
- Car color
- Car make and model
- Direction the car fled
- Details about the driver (sex, race, hair color, glasses, and so on)
- License plate (or as much as you saw)
You can share this information with the police, which will help them in their search. If they find the driver, they can arrest him or her for fleeing the scene of an accident. The injured pedestrian can also file a personal injury claim against the driver.
Move the Pedestrian to Safety After a Hit and Run
Nobody should be lying in the road for hours. Instead, help an injured pedestrian get to the sidewalk so they are no longer blocking traffic. Moving them also reduces the odds of them being struck by another vehicle.
Be careful when moving someone who is hurt. Two people should stand on either side of the victim to take as much of their weight as possible. If they are unconscious or in considerable pain, then you might choose not to move them at all. Instead, people should stand in the road to block off traffic as someone calls the police and an ambulance. Let medical professionals deal with moving them.
Call the Police
The police need to know about any car accident that results in injury or death. You can call the Las Vegas Police Department to report the collision. Under the law, the driver who struck the pedestrian must call, but we encourage anyone who observed the accident to call the police. Report the location of the crash so an officer can come out and write up a crash report.
Get the Pedestrian Medical Help
Pedestrians suffer the brunt of injuries in any collision with a motor vehicle. It isn’t unusual for pedestrians to be thrown into traffic and get struck by other vehicles, or to hit their heads on the pavement. Their injuries are often severe.
Call emergency services so an ambulance can come out and pick them up. If the pedestrian isn’t badly hurt, then you might hold off on an ambulance and let them go once they are finished at the accident scene with the police. At a minimum, ask the pedestrian how they feel and if they want an ambulance.
Obtain Information from the Driver
An injured pedestrian can often bring a personal injury claim against the driver who hit them. However, they need information about the driver and their insurer before making a claim. You can help an injured pedestrian by gathering this evidence.
We recommend the following:
- The driver’s name and address
- The driver’s phone number or email address (preferably both)
- License number
- Registration number
- The driver’s insurance information
With this information, the pedestrian can submit a claim to the correct insurer.
Photograph the Accident Scene
You can assist the injured pedestrian by documenting the accident scene. Take out your phone and take pictures of the cars, where the victim ended up, any skid marks or hazards, and other valuable information. Get as many pictures as you can. The goal is to help in the recreation of the accident. Insurance adjusters, lawyers, judges, and jurors are not there and will not have seen the crash with their own eyes. These pictures will help acquaint them with the accident scene so they can better understand what happened.
Collect Evidence from Witnesses
A key point in pedestrian accidents is fault. Fault answers the question “Who is responsible for this collision between a car and pedestrian?” The pedestrian has an incentive to blame the driver who hit them, but the driver also has an incentive to blame the pedestrian, possibly for jaywalking or jumping into the intersection when a traffic control device told them not to cross.
This is where witnesses come in. They can provide testimony about how the accident unfolded. For example, they might have seen the driver run a red light before slamming into the pedestrian in the crosswalk. That testimony can help prove that the driver was at fault for the collision.
You should get the name and contact information for each witness, then share this information with the injured pedestrian later. You can also talk to witnesses to find out what they saw, if you want. But the contact information is most critical, because witnesses are prone to disappear—especially in Vegas.
Talk with a Pedestrian’s Accident Attorney
An injured pedestrian should quickly contact an attorney to represent them. It’s possible to get compensation following a collision, even a hit and run. But you need the experience that a lawyer provides. This lawyer will begin building a personal injury claim for the injured pedestrian.
If you witness the collision, the lawyer might want to talk with you. Make yourself available, even if only over the phone or by Zoom. Many people in Vegas are visiting from away, and you might return home before the pedestrian gets their legal claim going. That’s fine. You can still talk with their attorney and share whatever recollections you have.
What to Do if You Are the Injured Pedestrian
So far, we have explained what someone witnessing a pedestrian accident should do. But what if you are the victim? You probably went straight to the hospital as soon as an ambulance arrived. But there are certain things you should do—and avoid doing—to strengthen your claim:
- Reach out to a pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can immediately begin an insurance claim and perform other necessary tasks. Even if the driver fled the scene, a Hit & Run Las Vegas pedestrian Accident Attorney can help you make a claim.
- Avoid giving any type of recorded statement or lengthy Q& A with an insurance adjuster if you have not yet hired a lawyer.
- Don’t post about your accident on social media. That’s a good way to undermine your claim, since you might say something that suggests you were at fault for the collision or aren’t really injured.
- Set social media accounts to private and decline to add friends until your case is finished. You don’t want an insurance adjuster to add you and start digging through your posts.
- Get organized. You should keep relevant documents, like hospital bills and receipts for prescription medications. These documents will help your legal team determine the value of your claim.
Contact Ladah Law Firm to Schedule a Consultation
We help injured pedestrians seek justice. Our firm can investigate the collision, speak to witnesses, and document your injuries. We rely on decades of experience to negotiate tough settlements with insurers and negligent drivers who hit people. Please call us today at (702) 252-0055 to speak with our team.