Car accidents are extremely traumatic. No matter if you’re the party that’s at-fault, or that’s been hit— you’re likely quite shaken up. We all expect that the time will come when we’re in a little fender bender, or major accident. But, what you might not expect is to be involved in a car accident with a pedestrian. If you’ve hit a pedestrian, it’s important to remain calm, call an ambulance, and do what you can to help in the meantime. Staying calm can be tough, as often these kinds of accidents are very serious. But, I’m here to assure you that by doing your part, you will come out of this just fine.

If you’ve been in a car accident with a pedestrian: remain calm and follow this guide

Obviously the best way to avoid a pedestrian-related car accident is to stay alert and avoid high-foot-traffic areas. But, for the sake of this piece— we’re going to assume that you’ve already hit the pedestrian and now need to help them.

1: Call an ambulance

It’s safe to assume that the person who’s hit is in need of medical care. So, before you do anything else call an ambulance. Dial 911, give them location, and follow their guidance. They can be of great assistance over the phone until help arrives.

2: Both of you, and the vehicle should move form the roadway if at all possible

This is a critical moment within which you should take that first responders advice. Ask the person on the phone what to do. They will likely tell you not to move the person in case of neck or back injury. It’s important for you to take their advice, and react accordingly.

3: When medical aid arrives, get to work on the other stuff

You still need to photograph the scene, the damage, and any pertinent information. Treat this as you would any other accident, and do not admit fault. While you are the one who’s car hit the person, they might have been jaywalking, impaired, or doing something they shouldn’t have been. As we’ve said, it’s extremely important to treat this like you would any other accident after medical aid has arrived.

4: Call your insurance company

Call your insurance company, explain the situation, and send in the photos— just as you would for any other accident. Go through the steps, and give them the initial information. Then, tell them you will provide more after speaking with an attorney. Which brings us to step 5…

5: Contact an attorney

While you might know that you weren’t at fault, or might not feel like you need representation— it is very likely that the other party will seek out a lawyer. After all, they were struck by a car. Depending on what type of person they are, a lawsuit might be the first thing they seek out after they wake up. All in all, speaking with a lawyer and figuring out the potentials is an important step in preparing for worst case scenario after a pedestrian accident .