Are you dealing with the aftermath of a pedestrian accident? Well, don’t worry! Here at this blog, we’ve got all the tips you need to settle your claim and get back on your feet. So, join us as we embark on this journey and make sure you don’t take one step wrong in order to get back on track.
1. Seeking Legal Assistance
When involved in a pedestrian accident, victims may need to seek legal assistance from an experienced personal injury lawyer who has a deep knowledge and understanding of the applicable state laws. Working with legal counsel can ensure that your rights are effectively defended and that you are provided with the best possible outcome when settling the claim.
It is important to choose a lawyer that specializes in personal injury cases and has experience handling pedestrian accident matters specifically. The right Pedestrian Accident Lawyer will be well-versed in how to evaluate different damages and factor any uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage into your case. Additionally, they will be able to handle negotiations with insurance companies while providing victims with options for pursuing full compensation for their injuries, medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and more.
2. Understanding Pedestrian Accident Claims
Whether you were walking, running, or in a wheelchair at the time of an accident, it is important to understand all of your legal rights after you’ve been injured.
The law presumes that a pedestrian has the right of way in most circumstances and will place a greater burden on the driver. However there are some exceptions; for instance, drivers must adhere to the speed limit, use caution upon turning corners or during bad weather conditions, or when intersection signs or signals dictate that cars should have priority. In many cases, both parties may be liable for a pedestrian accident.
3. Gathering Evidence of the Accident
In order to demonstrate that you were not at fault for the accident, it is important to take pictures of the scene and collect relevant documentation. This may include obtaining copies of insurance policies, medical records, surveillance footage, or any other information that may prove useful when filing a claim.
Before gathering evidence, it is important to be prepared with the right materials and equipment. Be sure to bring a camera or smartphone with you to the scene of the accident and make notes of details such as time, location, and weather conditions. Documenting injuries should be done as soon as possible after an accident is reported in order to accurately reflect the extent of physical damage caused by the incident. Additionally, make sure to obtain contact information from any witnesses who could provide valuable testimony if needed in court.
When collecting evidence of a pedestrian accident, there are many different items that can prove your case. It is important to always try and obtain:
- A copy of your insurance policy
- Witness statements
- Medical records
- Pictures of property damage including vehicles or bicycles involved in the incident
- The accident report from the responding police officer
- Car registration and driver’s license numbers for both parties involved
- Surveillance footage or dash cam recordings if available
4. Determining Liability
Determining who is liable for a pedestrian accident is key when seeking a settlement. Depending on the circumstances, both parties may be at fault, in which case one party may seek partial compensation from the other for the damages suffered. In some cases, a third party might be responsible or partially responsible for a pedestrian accident, such as another driver or the city responsible for maintaining roads.
It is important to determine who was negligent and why they were negligent before settling a pedestrian accident claim. Generally speaking, negligence is defined as disregarding a duty of care that resulted in harm to another individual or property. A person’s duty of care can range from simple courtesy to adhering to safety protocols mandated by state or local law.
In addition to analyzing the duty of care and how it was broken, it may also be necessary to examine:
- traffic signals and road conditions on the day of the accident.
- if there have been any previous complaints about any involved individuals or systems that might have contributed to the accident (e.g., malfunctioning street lights).
Once liability has been established and it’s established that an individual was negligent in their actions, you can begin looking into settling your pedestrian accident claim with that individual’s insurance company and/or with your own insurance company (for matters such as uninsured motorist coverage).
5. Filing a Lawsuit
If negotiations and other settlement methods are unsuccessful, you may need to move forward and file a lawsuit. Filing a claim against someone else is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. This is why it’s best to speak with an attorney before making a move.
Your lawyer can help you navigate the legal process thoroughly and advise you on what the best course of action may be in your case. When filing a lawsuit, it’s important to understand that there are certain deadlines you must meet, as well as nuances related to filing your lawsuit. Your attorney can help make sure that all of these procedures are met to ensure the process runs smoothly.
Filing a lawsuit involves forms, paperwork, and filing fees that must be paid as part of submitting your documentation in court proceedings, so it’s important to make sure you have everything in order before filing. Once your paperwork is submitted, a judge will review the materials and determine if there is sufficient cause for a lawsuit in light of laws applicable to such cases. If so, your case will proceed through litigating proceedings such as:
- Discovery, where both parties provide evidence for their claims.
- Arriving at settlement.
- Proceeding with trial proceedings in court.
Settling a pedestrian accident claim may seem complicated, but by understanding the process, taking the proper steps, and retaining experienced legal counsel if necessary, it doesn’t have to be. It is important to remember that you have rights and there are resources available that can help you navigate any issues or concerns you may have. Don’t let yourself feel overwhelmed. Take time to understand your situation and move forward with confidence.