While some collisions result in minor injuries, a pedestrian-vehicle crash can result in serious and potentially life-threatening injuries—injuries that can result in significant physical pain and overwhelming medical expenses.
After any accident, recovering compensation from the at-fault motorist’s insurance policy can prove challenging. However, if the driver who caused your injuries fled the scene without stopping, you must act fast to help ensure you receive compensation for damages.
Protecting Your Rights After a Rhode Island Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Car Accident
Car accidents with a pedestrian are inherently traumatic events. Pedestrians, who are not afforded the protection of airbags and the metal frame of a vehicle, are at high risk for severe injury.
Since Rhode Island is an at-fault state, survivors can typically file a claim for compensation against the person who caused their accident. However, recovering damages could be difficult if the at-fault motorist left the crash scene without stopping to identify themselves or render aid.
If you have been injured in a Rhode Island hit-and-run pedestrian car accident that was not your fault, you should protect your rights to recovery by taking important steps.
Steps to Take After Your Pedestrian-Car Accident
1. Record the Vehicle Details
While you might not have seen the at-fault motorist or saw their license plate, try to memorize or record details, including:
- The vehicle make and model
- The vehicle color
- Distinguishing features, such as bumper stickers or existing accident damage
2. Call 911
Rhode Island state law requires that any motorist involved in an automobile accident inform law enforcement if the collision resulted in personal injury, death, or significant property damage.
If the at-fault driver abrogated their duty to report the collision, call 911 immediately. Even if the police cannot locate the other motorist, the investigating officer’s report could serve as evidence in insurance negotiations.
3. Seek Immediate Medical Attention
You should always seek medical attention after a car accident, even if you do not believe you’ve been seriously injured. Pedestrians are more likely to suffer physical injuries, including bruises, fractures, and internal injuries. Some injuries, including whiplash and traumatic brain injuries, are not always immediately noticeable.
Additionally, seeing the doctor will show the insurance company that you had legitimate concerns about your physical well-being and are not simply trying to profit from an unfortunate accident.
4. Talk to Eyewitnesses
If you believe that another person—a driver, a cyclist, or a nearby homeowner—may have witnessed your accident, ask for their full name, their phone number, and other contact information.
5. Contact an Attorney
You likely stand your best chance at making a fair legal recovery when you have an experienced Rhode Island car accident attorney on your side. Your lawyer can help you explore your options for compensation, which could include:
- Your own car insurance policy. Under certain, limited circumstances, your automobile insurance policy could provide uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits, even if you were not driving your car when the accident occurred.
- Your health insurance policy. If you have private or subsidized health insurance, your policy should help you cover the costs of recovery. However, health insurance policies will not typically provide benefits beyond reimbursement for medical expenses.
- A personal injury lawsuit. Even if the police are still trying to locate the hit-and-run driver who caused your Rhode Island pedestrian accident, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer could help you coordinate with police, obtain additional evidence, and begin preparing for a potential civil lawsuit.
Have You Been Injured In A Rhode Island Pedestrian Accident?
If you've been injured in a pedestrian accident you need to speak with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Warwick office directly at 401.946.3200 to schedule your free consultation. We help clients in Providence, Warwick and all areas of Rhode Island.