Accidents that occur between automobiles and pedestrians can be severe. Someone may be walking on a sidewalk, headed to meet someone or pick up groceries when suddenly a vehicle jumps the curb and strikes them. Although some are lucky to walk away from these incidents with only some scrapes and bruises, others might experience concussions, broken bones, internal bleeding, and more. In the worst cases, injuries could be fatal.
Have you recently found yourself in this unfortunate position, or are you worried about knowing what to do in such a situation? A personal injury attorney in San Diego can help you to understand the steps you should take that are crucial for what happens next — especially if the driver does not remain at the scene of the accident initially. Let’s review the essential facts to know about pedestrian accidents.
Related post: 6 Tips for Preparing Your Car Accident Case
If You Were a Pedestrian Struck by a Driver, Know These Things
The law surrounding accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians is more complex than you might expect at first. A driver is not necessarily at fault automatically just because they struck a pedestrian. There are times when pedestrians do not have the right of way, and provided the driver made an effort to avoid the pedestrian or observe the road rules; they may not be liable for your injuries.
However, drivers can breach their duty of care to pedestrians in several ways. Speeding is a typical example. A driver exceeding the posted limit might not be able to slow down in time to avoid a pedestrian entering a crosswalk. Texting and driving or driving while intoxicated also creates a breach. In such situations, you may be able to pursue a claim against the driver to seek compensation for your injuries.
What are some of the key things you should know about these types of incidents? Our car accident attorneys have put together four key takeaways.
1. Always Call the Police at the Scene of the Accident
Don’t skip this critical step. Without a police report documenting the facts of the accident as officers determine them in the immediate aftermath, it can be tough to make your claim later. You may only receive compensation from your insurance for basic medical costs. Phone the police when you’ve been hit or have someone else on the scene make the call for you — especially if the driver who struck you fled the scene.
2. Seek Proper Medical Attention Immediately
If you need care, you can get medical care at the scene or seek treatment after the fact. However, seeking treatment soon after the accident occurs creates a verifiable paper trail about what injuries you suffered, your prognosis, and what courses of action doctors pursued. These costs will be vital to know later.
3. Don’t Make Unnecessary Statements to Insurers or Other Attorneys
You can accidentally endanger your claim by speaking too freely about the incident, as you could create evidence that may be used to show the driver was not entirely at fault for your accident. Avoid signing settlement offers from insurance agencies on your own without a proper review.
4. Have Your Claim Evaluated and Secure Representation
As soon as possible, seek representation to protect your legal rights and forge a path forward. Look for personal injury attorneys with experience and compassion and explore your options through a consultation.
Finding Help Assessing Your Case Today
At HHJ Trial Attorneys, we understand how traumatic it can be to suffer an accident with a vehicle as a pedestrian. We have successfully handled many of these cases in the past, and we are ready to step up and help you pursue a better outcome for this situation. Book a free initial no-obligation consultation with our offices to fully evaluate the potential of your claim today.
Testimonial from Taryn, Car Accident Victim
This firm is the best. I was injured in a serious car accident where I had a serious back injury. My friend told me that HHJ was the best personal injury law firm in California. I contacted the firm and was assigned to Michael Hernandez. Michael was extremely patient, sent me to the right doctors and put my health in front of everything. After my back injury started healing, Michael resolved the case for a crazy high amount. Way beyond my expectations. I did not pay a dollar for their services out of pocket. I highly recommend this firm for anyone that was injured in a car accident.