A pedestrian accident occurs every eight seconds. While motor vehicle drivers have a responsibility to obey traffic laws, which are put in place to keep people safe, these laws are sometimes disregarded. Many times, pedestrian accidents are the result of negligence. Pedestrians who are struck by vehicles often experience injuries, missed work, and interference in their day-today activities.
In addition to experiencing physical pain as a result of an accident, the emotional pain may be even worse. The thoughts of not knowing what to do, to not knowing how to find a good lawyer, to the need to understand how the insurance process works can be daunting. To help you understand this process and get you back to health as soon as possible in the event of an accident, here are seven tips for dealing with a pedestrian accident.
The seven steps to take after a pedestrian accident
Here are some of the most important actions you can take after involvement in a pedestrian accident.
Document the accident. Recording critical information while it is still fresh in your mind can have a great contribution to the success of your case.
See a doctor. No matter how small you think your injury may be, see a doctor. This is important for your health as well as your claim. After you have visited your doctor, listen to their advice; many people make their injuries worse but not taking this advice.
Document your injuries. Both you and your doctor are responsible for documenting your injuries. This will make dealing with the insurance companies much easier down the road.
Report the accident to your insurance company. If you have an automobile insurance policy that covers you in the event of a pedestrian accident, report the accident immediately.
Find a lawyer. If you escaped the accident with only minor injuries, you should contact your lawyer even before your insurance company. Finding a qualified attorney with experience in cases like yours is key because you need someone who will advocate for you and protect your interests.
Educate yourself. You can empower yourself by learning the legal process. Rather than sitting back and being the victim, you can play an active role by asserting yourself.
Relax. While this is easier said than done, if you have hired a qualified attorney, you should be in good hands to lay back and get some rest.
How to find a good pedestrian accident lawyer
The number of confusing messages coming from different lawyers can be overwhelming. Lawyers are allowed to advertise themselves, which means that they can puff up their qualifications. Once you identify the legal problem that you face, you can then make an informed decision about which attorney is right for you. A helpful tool in pinpointing your legal issues is the Consumer Rights Alliance. [http://www.consumerrightsalliance.org] This site will also help you compile a list of attorneys to speak with.
Ask your list of potential lawyers question regarding what kind of law they specialize in and what qualifications they have for your particular case. You can then make an informed decision. If an attorney declines to provide you with written information, you should remove them from your list.
How do I handle my insurance company?
Being the victim of a pedestrian accident can leave you feeling overly trustworthy of people who are not really on your side. Sadly, your insurance adjuster has the company’s interests at heart, not yours. Their bottom line is to save their company money. The insurance company’s ultimate goal is to settle your claim cheaply, which is the opposite of your ultimate goal: to get fair compensation for your injury or damages. Here are five tips to help protect you after the accident:
Don’t fall for your insurance adjustor’s “nice guy” act. Your adjustor’s kind demeanor is part of the process of obtaining the information they need to settle your claim for the smallest possible amount.
Remember that your words can be used against you. Before you say anything to your insurance adjustor or sign any document, speak with your attorney. Anything you say can be used against you by the insurance company.
Be wary of making recorded statements. There is no law that requires recorded statements. Some insurance companies require you to make a recorded statement before they will settle your claim, but what you say on a recorded statement can still be used against you.
Do not grant access to past records. This might include medical, school or employment records, leaving your whole life open to scrutiny. Once the insurance adjuster has all the information they needs from you to finalize your claim, they no longer have to be friendly to you.
Be wary of delayed payments. There are two reasons for delaying your settlement. The first is because delayed payments make the company more money on interest. The second reason is to get you to become so frustrated or desperate for your compensation that you will accept less than you deserve.
Regardless of how serious you injuries may be from a pedestrian accident, seeking help can make the process easier. If you need help, please contact us immediately.