Pedestrian accidents happen when a motorist hits an individual not in a motor vehicle. These crashes can be fatal, with statistics indicating that 7,388 pedestrians (a 13% rise from 2020) were killed in 2021, and over 60,000 others were injured countrywide. Since pedestrians don’t have safety equipment or vehicles to safeguard themselves from a motor vehicle’s impact, pedestrian accident injuries are usually quite severe.
Those who are injured or suffer losses in pedestrian crashes deserve full settlement. However, what you do after the accident determines whether you’ll win/ lose your claim. Outlined below are the five steps to take if you’re injured in a pedestrian accident.
1. Seek prompt medical care
Pedestrian accidents cause severe injuries that necessitate immediate medical care. Prompt medical care ensures early diagnosis and proper treatment, leading to fast recovery. It also comes in handy when filing for a compensation claim.
Failure to get medical assistance immediately after the crash may lead to the insurance adjuster claiming you were injured in a different accident, causing you to lose your right to compensation or receive little settlement.
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2. Call the police
Calling the police after a pedestrian accident is critical, especially if you intend to file a settlement claim. The police officers can document your injuries, interrogate the involved driver or eyewitnesses, and inspect the accident scene to make a police report, an official record of the incident.
These officers act as professional witnesses to the crash scene. If the pedestrian accident involves an uninsured driver or is a hit-and-run, you may require insurance to cover your injuries. Nevertheless, the insurer might need a timely police report. In addition, involving the police may be a legal requirement.
3. Collect evidence
Winning a pedestrian accident claim needs solid, relevant proof. If you’re not severely injured or your injuries permit it, consider taking photos of your injuries, the accident scene, and the motor vehicle that hit you. Talk to the accident’s eyewitnesses and document their side of the story.
You can get their contact details and hand them over to your pedestrian accident attorney to continue speaking to them. Your medical records and receipts are also another form of crucial evidence, so get them from your healthcare provider and document them.
4. Hire a pedestrian accident attorney
Legal matters surrounding pedestrian accidents are complex. Representing yourself in a pedestrian accident lawsuit can lower the chances of getting fair compensation or cause you to lose the case. Collaborating with a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer is vital as it boosts your winning chances and maximizes settlement. A skilled, experienced attorney will investigate your case to identify the at-fault party. They’ll negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and file a personal injury claim if necessary.
A pedestrian accident lawyer has claim valuation experience, which will ascertain your claim is accurately valued to ensure full compensation. They’ll also give the legal advice/guidance you require to navigate the pedestrian injury claim.
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5. File your claim in adherence to the statute of limitations
The statute of limitations dictates the time frame you have to start legal proceedings from when the pedestrian accident happened. Filing your case beyond the stipulated period causes you to lose your right to file a compensation claim. Your attorney will ensure the lawsuit is filed on time.
What you do after a pedestrian accident significantly impacts whether you’ll win or lose your compensation claim. Consider taking these steps when injured in a pedestrian accident to maximize your settlement.