What to do in the event of a traffic accident involving a pedestrian?

Sexagenarian caught by a motorist. Beaten teenager coming home from school. More than 300 pedestrians were killed and thousands more were injured in traffic accidents between 2016 and 2020. Do you know what to do if you are involved in such an accident?

According to data from the Société de l’assurance Automobile du Québec (SAAQ), pedestrians are 60% more likely to be victims of a traffic accident during the month following the daylight saving time in the fall. Due to the darkness that begins earlier, the particularly critical period is between 5 and 8 pm

Call the police

The first thing to do in the event of an accident is to call the police so they can take your testimony and produce an accident report. This will give you more protection, whether you are the driver of the car involved or the pedestrian struck. Even if the injuries are minor or the only damage is torn clothing. The same applies if there are minors among the victims.

“If a pedestrian hit is not injured later, it is considered unnecessary to contact the police and there is no exchange of contact information, it is considered that the driver has left the scene. Without identifying himself,” says SAAQ spokesman Mario Vaillancourt.

“However, if an injury manifests itself retrospectively, a hit-and-run report could be drawn up, an investigation triggered and charges filed,” he said.

The Road Safety Code specifies that the motorist must remain at the scene of the accident. If he leaves, he must return quickly to “provide the necessary assistance to those who have suffered some damage,” says the law.

In addition, by reporting the accident, you are helping the SAAQ to compile statistics that allow it to analyze the behavior of road users. If some of them pose a problem, changes can be made to road improvements, but also to current regulations and legislation.

See a doctor

After the accident, see a doctor quickly to assess your health. And the sooner the better, especially if you are injured and want to file a claim with the SAAQ.

“The longer the time elapsed between the accident and the first medical consultation, the more the SAAQ will be legitimized to question the relationship between the alleged injuries and the accident,” warns Mario Vaillancourt.

Claim for compensation

If you have suffered bodily injury, you have three years to file a claim for compensation with the SAAQ.

You will need to have your personal information (health insurance number, social security number, bank details, etc.), the accident report and the information provided by the witnesses. If you don’t have an accident report, you can submit other documents, such as a friendly report, a witness statement, or the claim to a private insurer.

«[Le rapport d’accident] therefore, it is not mandatory, but it is still the most convincing evidence, ”says Mario Vaillancourt.

It should be noted that the circumstances in which the accident occurred may lead the SAAQ to reject the claim for compensation. For example, if the impact occurred during a performance, competition or repair work, no compensation will be awarded. Restrictions also apply if the crashed vehicle is a snowmobile, tractor, ATV, or motorized personal transportation device (golf cart, gyro vehicle, scooter, etc.).

Contact your insurer

If you were the motorist involved in the accident, you should quickly call your insurer to notify them and have your vehicle repaired. It should explain the circumstances in which the accident occurred as well as the property damage and bodily injury, as well as tell you where your car is.

Your insurer will assess whether you are responsible for this accident. If necessary, it will ask you to pay a franchise, specifies the Autorité des marchés financiers. If he is acquitted, he will bear all expenses.

Then, you will have to wait for the green light on your insurance before calling a shop to repair your vehicle.

>> Read also: Electric bikes: the rules you should know and how to choose a child car seat


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