What Should I Do if I Got Hit by a Car? Tips for Pedestrians

If you have been recently hit by a car, you are not alone. According to the governor’s highway safety association, car accidents involving pedestrians are at the highest they have been in over 30 years. Just in 2019 alone, there were 6590 pedestrian deaths, which is up 5% from 2018.  This does not include bicycles, e-scooters, or other forms of transportation. 

Unfortunately, when a vehicle makes an impact with a human body, the injuries are typically quite severe and possibly life-threatening. 

The problem is,  calling an ambulance and saying “I got hit by a car” is not going to protect you in the court of law, as the drivers are not always at fault in a pedestrian accident. You must know what to do in case you are struck by a moving vehicle so that you can protect yourself and afford your road to recovery.

Thankfully, we’ve created this article to help you understand what to do if you were hit by a moving vehicle as a pedestrian.

Keep on reading to learn more, and how you can medically and legally protect yourself.

What To Do Immediately After You Were Hit

The most important thing you can do after being hit by a car is to ensure you are going to be medically safe. It is one thing to protect yourself legally, and it is another to make sure you are not internally bleeding and suffering any life-threatening injuries. 

  1. First, call over any witnesses to help you and make sure that the person in the car is not the only other person at the scene. Ask them for their support in calling you an ambulance and the police. 
  2. Make sure you are no longer in any danger, away from the street and the vehicle.
  3. Ask the witnesses to stay and stand by, or leave their contact information. 
  4. Remind the driver to stay. While this may sound obvious, many drivers involved in a pedestrian accident do not want to stay on the scene.
  5. Get contact information from the witnesses and driver. Then follow up with photos of the scene, and ask the witnesses to provide a video testimony if possible.
  6. Ensure the police report is accurate. This is crucial for ensuring you will receive compensation against a negligent driver. Check with the police and get them to relay back the information that you shared with them.
  7. Seek medical attention immediately. If you are seriously injured, go straight to the hospital, preferably on an ambulance. The sooner you seek medical treatment, the more severe your injuries seem and can help you with your legal case. If you wait too long, you will not be taken as seriously.
  8. Call the driver’s insurance company to make a claim. Do not provide too much information to the insurance agent other than the time, place, and the fact that you are a pedestrian. You must speak to your lawyer first before providing any more information.
  9. Contact a lawyer with experience in car accidents, preferably pedestrian accidents. 

This information is in the case that you are cognitive enough to make these decisions. If you are knocked unconscious, you are at the mercy of anyone who witnessed the accident. Witnesses are not legally required to stay, however, morally speaking, they should stay to ensure your safety.

I Got Hit By a Car, Who Is At Fault? 

You may think that being a pedestrian, the driver would have the responsibility for the accident. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Due to the rise in distracted driving, and distracted walking, pedestrians are not always innocent. 

Driver’s Responsibilities

To strengthen your case, it is essential that you know the common responsibilities of the driver, so that you can find where they may have been at fault. Unfortunately, due to shock, the accident may feel like a blur in your mind and you may not remember exactly what happened.  

Pay attention to memories such as:

  • Was there a stop sign, and did the driver fully stop?
  • Did the driver yell out, “I did not see you!”
  • Was the driver turning a corner?
  • Was the driver in an area they should not have been? A crosswalk, pedestrian-only area, or turned too soon? 
  • Was the pedestrian crossing sign lit, or did it say stop for pedestrians?

Because you may not remember the exact details, this is another reason why witnesses are crucial for the outcome of your legal case. 

Pedestrian’s Responsibilities

As a pedestrian, you also have rules and responsibilities on the street. It is important that you are honest with your lawyer about the incident, as they can still help you manipulate your case.

Some of the responsibilities of a pedestrian are:

  • Not distracted walking, and staying off your phone while crossing the street
  • Not “J-walking” illegally across the street
  • Crossing only when the pedestrian walk sign is on
  • Crossing at designated crosswalks
  • Staying on the sidewalks, and not stepping out into traffic
  • Staying off the highway, and using only the appropriate pedestrian overpasses
  • Entering traffic from an unseen place, such as behind the bushes, or suddenly stepping out to traffic
  • Walking irregularly down the road due to intoxication

Paying attention to your surroundings will help you to reduce your chances of getting struck by a car. 

Learn More About Pedestrian Accidents


Now that you know what to do in case you get hit by a moving vehicle, there is some legal action you need to take immediately. Remember to be fully honest with your lawyer and fill them in on all the information instead of just saying “I got hit by a car”.

The more you tell your lawyer, the more chances you have of winning your lawsuit and ensuring you are medically protected after the accident.

To learn more about finding the best lawyer for pedestrian accidents, feel free to contact us at any time. Sweetlaw is located in areas from Modesto to Long Beach, as well as Nevada and Washington State. 



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