How to Deal With the Aftermath of a Pedestrian Accident
According to the CDC, over 100,000 pedestrians required emergency medical attention due to a car accident in 2020. An additional 7,000 pedestrians were killed in car accidents, accounting for one-sixth of all car accident fatalities. Pedestrian accidents often lead to serious, life-changing injuries.
If you were a pedestrian involved in a car accident, you may not know where to turn. Our leading pedestrian accident lawyer is here to help.
Read on for our complete guide on how to deal with the aftermath of a pedestrian accident.
Assess Your Injuries and Document the Accident
In the immediate aftermath of a pedestrian accident, you have two priorities: assessing your injuries in order to make the safest choices and documenting the accident. If your injuries do not prevent you from standing or moving, move to safety and out of the way of traffic. If your injuries are severe or traumatic, do not move and wait for an ambulance to arrive.
As soon as possible, someone must call the police. However, you will want additional evidence of the accident. You or one of your witnesses should:
- take photos and videos of the scene of the accident, including notable features like crosswalks and stoplights
- collect information from the driver(s) and witnesses
When talking to any involved drivers, keep communication brief. Never apologize or admit fault, as this can be used against you in a personal injury claim.
Seek Immediate Medical Care
Even if you don’t require an ambulance, you should go straight to the emergency room. Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable to serious accident injuries, including:
- broken bones
- head trauma
- spinal damage
- internal bleeding
It is not uncommon for accident victims to go into shock, which can make injuries more difficult to immediately identify. Only a medical professional can properly assess your injuries and put you on the path to recovery. Plus, significant documentation of your injuries from a medical professional will act as one of the largest pieces of evidence in your personal injury claim.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Many pedestrian accident victims assume that the defendant in a pedestrian accident case is the at-fault driver, who may have expressed remorse or admitted fault at the scene of the accident. This can lead plaintiffs to the conclusion that they will easily recover damages from the defendant.
The truth is that the defendant is the at-fault driver’s insurance company, which is financially liable for the accident. Insurance companies will always come armed with experienced lawyers who have one goal: to settle low.
As soon as you are able, contact a pedestrian accident attorney. Not only can an experienced attorney offer valuable legal advice and build a strong case, but they can also oversee all communications with the defense team. This can prevent you from making common mistakes, like handing over your entire medical history, which may strengthen the defense’s argument that your injuries were pre-existing.
Gather Evidence of Your Damages
With the help of your attorney, it is time to gather evidence establishing:
- the negligence of the driver that caused the accident
- the injuries you’ve sustained as a result of the accident
- the financial strain you are experiencing as a result of the accident
To prove negligence, you will need any documentation you have of the accident, itself, including the police report. To prove that you have sustained serious injuries, you will need medical records and testimony from medical professionals. To prove that you are under financial strain, you will need your medical bills, paystubs establishing lost income, and any other bills you now have to pay because of the accident.
Calculate Damages Owed
Damages refer to the amount of money you are seeking to recover from the defense. This includes both economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages include (but are not limited to):
- medical bills
- lost income
- property damage
Non-economic damages include (but are not limited to):
- mental or emotional distress
- diminished quality of life
- pain and suffering
Damages should account for both present and future financial strain. For example, you may require ongoing medical care, which means that you should recover the money needed to pay for that ongoing medical care. An experienced attorney is best equipped to help you calculate damages owed due to their knowledge of personal injury law and legal precedent in your city.
File Your Personal Injury Claim
Once you have sufficient evidence compiled and have calculated the damages you are owed, it’s time to file your personal injury claim. You must file your claim within two years of the accident occurring or one year of discovering injuries. You will file this claim in the county where either:
- the accident occurred
- the majority of witnesses reside
- you live or work
- the defendant lives or works
In order to open your claim, you will need to file your official complaint with the court, which establishes your legal standing and the damages you are demanding from the defendant. The court will issue a summons, which must be served to the defendant within 60 days of filing the complaint so that both parties can move into the discovery and settlement phases.
Hire the Best Garden Grove Accident Attorneys
If you are the victim of a pedestrian accident, know that you don’t have to suffer alone or sink into debt. With the help of an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer, you can fight to recover the damages you are owed.
Grove Accident Lawyers are proud to represent accident victims in Garden Grove, California. We will fight hard for the maximum compensation available to you. To get started with a free case evaluation, contact us today.