The Governors Highway Safety Association records that within a decade, the number of pedestrian fatalities has increased by a half. They also say that of all traffic fatalities, 17% were on foot. These are sobering statistics, yet they don’t even include all the non-fatal accidents. It’s not hard to understand how such things occur, however. A driver may have a lapse in concentration or fail to provide a right of way.
When a person falls victim to a pedestrian accident, they can seek legal compensation if someone else was responsible. It’s often a lawyer’s job to prove a person had a duty of care and breached it. But how can you preserve your legal rights if it happens to you? For the answer, read on.
Employ A Personal Injury Lawyer
This is the foundation for protecting your rights. A legal professional will be familiar with situations such as yours and will know how to prepare your claim. They’ll help protect you from the common pitfalls, and argue your case in court if necessary.
To make things easier, many legal representatives can be acquired through online searches. The attorneys at the Recovery Law Center say the public are often relieved to find those who offer ‘no win no fee’ policies and free consultations. Some attorneys specifically deal with pedestrian injury cases, whether they be residents, visitors or tourists.
Lawyers can provide holistic assistance for accident victims, by overseeing their physical, financial and emotional recovery.
Let The Lawyer Be Your Voice
Imagine if the other party’s insurance company rang you up for an accident statement. Should there be any inconsistency between this and what you told your solicitor, they would use it against you. Insurance companies don’t want to lose cases and payout unnecessarily. That’s why they employ their attorneys. You could be manipulated into saying something under pressure that would count against you.
If you appoint a lawyer, they can be the one to communicate with the insurance company on all occasions.
Be Careful What You Say
Supposing you have just been injured, and you apologise to the car driver. This could be taken in court as an admission of guilt, even if it was not your fault. If you think you were responsible (even partly) for the incident, this conversation should only be between you and your lawyer.
Don’t plaster the accident details over social media. Insurance companies have been known to read peoples’ posts and send friend requests to gain access. If your account of what happened differs from the official story, this will count against you. If you are claiming for a leg injury but post pictures of you at the gym or running a marathon, this could also be used as evidence by the defendant.
Don’t Wait Too Long Before Submitting Your Claim
You may have heard of the phrase ‘Statute of Limitations‘ and in this scenario, it means a person who is hurt in an accident has a limited time to submit their legal case. The timescale could be two or three years. If we consider American states, for example, it may vary from one to another.
If the deadline has passed, the only way you would be considered for late submission is if there were extenuating circumstances.
Have All The Documents To Hand
Your attorney will be able to work faster if you compile everything they require and submit it on time. This would include a copy of any Police Crash Report, as it could be key supporting evidence.
You will also be well served to compile photographic evidence. This would include pictures of your immediate injury and any vehicles/debris involved. Witness statements can also boost the legal power of your claim, so be sure to collect their full contact details. Obtain the responsible party’s contact information too, plus their insurance and driving license details. Also, check who was the car owner.
Make Sure You Have Medical Records
You must seek medical assistance the moment you become injured. Records will then be created that confirm the incident occurred and stating the injuries you sustained. The doctor and specialist reports, together with all the test results, may help you win your claim.
When the Police and medical services have compiled their evidence, your lawyer can harness it to the rest of the case. If you do all that is required, you will be in the best place possible to have a strong claim and a good chance of winning.