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5 things to do if a careless driver hits you when you are walking

Cars, buses and metro trains seem to be everywhere in the Washington, D.C., area. When you head out on foot, you must contend with traffic congestion. Even if you exercise caution, you may find yourself in an accident with an automobile. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average weight of passenger vehicles in the United States is more than 4,000 pounds. When combined with speed and a careless driver, heavy vehicles can inflict serious bodily injury on unsuspecting pedestrians. Here are five things you should do if a distracted or negligent driver hits you with his or her vehicle. 

1. Carefully move to safety 

Because traffic does not necessarily stop when a collision occurs, you may remain in danger after the accident. As such, if you are in the roadway, you must carefully move to safety. Before you move, however, you should evaluate your physical condition. If you have a neck, head or spinal injury, moving could be dangerous

2. Talk to the police 

Even if you have no pain, talking to a police officer can be intimidating. Nonetheless, you should explain the accident to a law enforcement official in as much detail as possible. If you have a comprehensive police report, filing an insurance claim will likely be easier for you. 

3. Get some information 

If you can do so without jeopardizing your safety, document the accident yourself. Ask the driver for identification and proof of insurance. Also, take many photographs of the accident scene. Then, record traffic patterns, signage and other relevant information in a written narrative. If you need to exercise your legal right to file a lawsuit, this information can be invaluable. 

4. Go to the hospital 

Soft tissue and other injuries often fail to show up until days or weeks after an accident. Even if you think you are fine, you should go to the hospital for an evaluation. Not only can seeking medical treatment help you manage long-term injuries, it can also assist you with pursuing an insurance or legal claim. 

5. File an insurance claim 

Assuming the driver has automobile insurance, you must file a claim to receive compensation for your injuries. When you speak with the insurance adjuster, plan to provide documentation about the accident and any injuries you suffered. 

Even though congestion is common on streets in the metro area, you should not have to worry about a car running you over when you walk through town. If you do sustain an injury in an accident with a motor vehicle, you must be sure you protect your right to receive compensation for your pain.

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