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Essential Legal Steps for Hit and Run Pedestrian Victims to Secure Justice

Last updated Tuesday, June 4th, 2024

Essential Legal Steps for Hit and Run Pedestrian Victims to Secure Justice

Struck by a vehicle that left the scene? A hit and run pedestrian accident leaves you facing immediate distress and urgent questions. This no-nonsense guide walks you through the crucial steps after such an ordeal, from first aid to filing a claim, and explains your rights to compensation, with or without the culprit’s identity. Arm yourself with the necessary actions to take and learn how skilled legal representation can be your ally in this fraught journey toward healing and justice.

Key Takeaways

  • Hit and run pedestrian victims should seek immediate medical attention, report the incident to the police, and gather evidence such as photos and witness contact information to support their case.
  • Victims have several compensation options, including Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Uninsured Motorist Coverage, and legal action against the at-fault driver, for covering medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
  • Hiring a pedestrian accident attorney can be beneficial for investigating the case, negotiating with insurance companies for fair compensation, and representing the victim in court to secure justice and adequate recompense for injuries and losses suffered.
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Immediate Actions for Hit and Run Pedestrian Victims


In the wake of a hit-and-run accident, victims are often left shocked and disoriented. However, swift action can safeguard your legal rights and enhance your chances of receiving compensation after an accident occurred.

Seek Medical Help

No matter how severe the injuries may seem, timely medical attention after a hit-and-run incident is paramount. Doing so ensures that you receive necessary medical treatment and generates vital medical records that serve as evidence in any subsequent legal action.

Foregoing immediate medical treatment and going home might seem tempting, but it can lead to detrimental health consequences, proving the importance of prioritizing your well-being.

Contact the Police

Initiating the official documentation and investigation process begins by reporting the incident to the police. A police report often contains critical information, such as eyewitness statements, which are instrumental in building a solid legal case.

Reporting the incident to the police remains vital, even if injuries aren’t immediately noticeable, as some may surface later.

Gather Evidence

A man sitting on a wheelchairAfter securing their safety and receiving medical attention, victims should strive to gather as much evidence as possible at the accident scene. This might include:

  • Taking pictures of the scene
  • Taking pictures of any visible injuries
  • Taking pictures of torn or damaged clothing
  • Collecting contact information of any witnesses present at the scene

These pieces of evidence can provide valuable testimonies for the case.

Such evidence is invaluable in a hit-and-run case, significantly aiding the pursuit of justice and compensation.

Understanding Your Compensation Options

Navigating the complexities of securing compensation after a hit-and-run accident is no easy task. As a victim, having knowledge of your compensation options, which are available in various forms, is crucial.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) can be a lifeline for hit and run victims, covering medical expenses and lost wages regardless of who was at fault. If you have PIP insurance through your own vehicle or a family member’s policy, these benefits apply.

If not, the driver who hit you becomes responsible for your PIP insurance benefits.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

When the at-fault driver cannot be identified or is uninsured, Uninsured Motorist Coverage can become a significant source of compensation for an insurance claim. In Connecticut, this type of coverage, provided by your own insurance company, typically covers injuries and losses from hit-and-run accidents.

Although insurers, including your chosen insurance company, must offer uninsured motorist coverage, purchasing it is not obligatory for drivers. This makes it a key consideration when purchasing vehicle insurance.

Legal Action Against the At-Fault Driver

Once the at-fault driver is identified, you can pursue legal action against them for compensation. In Connecticut, pedestrians have the right to take legal action in civil court against hit-and-run drivers. The at-fault driver may face criminal liabilities and civil consequences, including:

  • Compensatory damages for medical expenses
  • Loss of income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

The compensation can vary significantly, influenced by the severity of injuries, economic losses incurred, and medical costs.

The Role of a Pedestrian Accident Attorney

Engaging a pedestrian accident attorney can greatly enhance your likelihood of securing fair compensation. Such professionals offer vital support during the recovery process, safeguarding your rights.

Investigating the Case

A pedestrian accident attorney can play a crucial role in:

  • Gathering evidence
  • Identifying the at-fault driver
  • Collaborating with law enforcement
  • Gathering evidence such as traffic crash reports and video surveillance to support the investigation into hit-and-run incidents.

Through this collaborative process, the hit and run driver responsible for the hit and run can be identified, a pivotal step towards justice and compensation.

Negotiating with Insurance Companies

Negotiating with insurance companies can be a daunting task for victims. However, a pedestrian accident attorney can manage these interactions on your behalf, ensuring you receive fair treatment. They can help determine fair compensation amounts, taking into account factors such as emotional distress and suffering.

This fact emphasizes the necessity of legal expertise in pedestrian accident cases, especially when dealing with premature settlement offers from insurance companies that might lead to inadequate compensation.

Representing You in Court

Having an experienced personal injury lawyer represent you in a personal injury lawsuit can be a significant advantage. They can effectively build and present a strong legal case to secure rightful compensation. This arrangement enables you to concentrate on recovering from your injuries as your lawyer navigates the intricacies of court representation.

Two doctors in a hospital

Common Injuries and Long-Term Consequences of Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents, including those involving a pedestrian hit, can yield life-changing outcomes, affecting victims both physically and emotionally. The long-term challenges often extend beyond immediate physical injuries.

Physical Injuries

Pedestrian accidents can result in serious physical injuries including:

  • Trauma to the head, legs, and pelvis
  • Soft tissue injuries such as contusions, lacerations, and sprains
  • Injuries as severe as broken bones, fractures, and traumatic brain injuries

These injuries can have long-lasting effects.

In more serious cases, victims may suffer spinal cord injuries that can lead to paralysis or even death.

Emotional Trauma

Beyond the physical injuries, victims of hit-and-run accidents often face emotional trauma. This can manifest in the form of:

  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • depressive episodes
  • specific phobias following the accident, such as vehophobia (a fear of driving) or agoraphobia (a fear of places and situations that might cause panic).

Some victims may even resort to substance abuse or alcoholism as coping mechanisms.

Financial Burden

The financial impact of a pedestrian accident can be devastating, particularly when the victim is the main provider for their family. Victims often face substantial medical bills and income loss due to injury-related work absences. An attorney can significantly mitigate these financial strains by assisting victims in compiling medical expenses, negotiating to reduce them, and aiding in the recovery of lost income.

Preventive Measures for Pedestrians

While the discussion has centered on the legal measures to take following a hit-and-run accident, prevention remains the best approach. Pedestrians can heighten their safety by:

  • Adhering to road rules
  • Obeying signs and signals
  • Utilizing sidewalks when possible
  • Staying vigilant for cars from all directions

In the absence of a crosswalk or intersection, crossing at a well-lit area with a clear view of traffic can help ensure a safe cross.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the first thing to do after a hit and run accident?

The first thing to do after a hit and run accident is to seek immediate medical help and report the incident to the police, then gather as much evidence as possible from the scene of the accident.

What compensation options are available for victims of hit and run accidents?

Victims of hit and run accidents can seek compensation through Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Uninsured Motorist Coverage, or by taking legal action against the at-fault driver. Legal action against the at-fault driver is an additional option for compensation.

How can a pedestrian accident attorney help?

A pedestrian accident attorney can investigate the case, negotiate with insurance companies, represent the victim in court, and provide emotional support during the recovery process. This can be particularly helpful for individuals dealing with the aftermath of a pedestrian accident.

What are some common injuries from pedestrian accidents?

In pedestrian accidents, common injuries include trauma to the head, legs, and pelvis, broken bones, fractures, and soft tissue injuries. In severe cases, victims may suffer spinal cord injuries leading to paralysis or death.

What preventive measures can pedestrians take?

Pedestrians can enhance their safety by obeying traffic rules and signals, using sidewalks and crosswalks wherever available, and being vigilant for vehicles at all times. These measures can significantly reduce the risk of accidents.

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