Most people think you’re safer walking to a destination than you are in a car, but what happens if one of those cars hits you while you’re walking? You never expect something like this to happen, but if you’re in that situation, there are some signs that you should contact a pedestrian accident lawyer to make sure your rights are protected.
10 Signs You Should Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
You’ve Been In an Incident Involving a Car, No Matter How Small
If you were walking in a place that was legally open to pedestrians, or you were following the law when crossing a street, and you were hit by a car, you should contact a personal injury lawyer that specializes in pedestrian accidents: even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously injured. This is because you never know whether your injuries could worsen or if other injuries could make themselves known in the days or even weeks after the accident.
In many cases, auto-pedestrian accidents are the fault of the driver, and you deserve to be compensated for any injuries you sustained. Even if you didn’t have the right of way in your case, it’s still worth talking to a lawyer, because, in many instances, the driver still has a responsibility to watch for pedestrians. Your attorney may even be able to prove the driver was distracted when they hit you, which means you could receive compensation for your injuries.
You Are Too Injured to Find Witnesses
A pedestrian who’s been hit by a car is probably going to be taken to the hospital whether or not extensive injuries are apparent. This is because of the damage a moving car can inflict on a person. As a result, you may not have had the opportunity to find and interview witnesses who saw the accident happen. Yet, these witnesses could be critical to proving fault in your case. It’s also important to locate these witnesses as soon as possible.
The police report might indicate who the witnesses are, but even the police might have missed some. Fortunately, your attorney has access to investigators who can track these witnesses down and record their statements. You can focus on recovering from your injuries instead of chasing witnesses all over town. Additionally, because your attorney works on a contingency basis, you won’t have to pay for these services unless and until a settlement or award is recovered in your case.
You Need to Prove the Driver Is at Fault
In some states, pedestrians always have the right of way, but that’s not the case in Missouri. Pedestrians are required to yield to the vehicle’s right of way unless they’re legally crossing in a marked crosswalk and with the light. As such, it can be more difficult to prove a driver is at fault, especially if you’re hit outside a crosswalk. You may need to have the accident reconstructed by a professional to have evidence that the driver is responsible.
Your lawyer will have access to an accident reconstructionist who’ll be able to recreate the accident and provide a visual representation of what occurred in the minutes before, during, and after the accident. This process can determine who was at fault and give your lawyer vital evidence to present in front of a jury if your case ends up going to trial. This is a service you may not be able to afford without the help of your attorney.
Your Claim Has Been Denied
If you’ve filed a claim against the driver of the vehicle who hit you and it’s been denied by the insurance company, you need to contact an attorney. Insurance companies are notoriously stingy with compensation for accident victims and often try to avoid paying even when the evidence shows their driver was at fault. They’re hoping you assume that nothing more can be done once they’ve denied your claim and that you won’t retain an attorney.
Sometimes, all it takes is for your attorney to send a letter to the insurance company to restart negotiation talks, but if it requires more action, such as filing a lawsuit against the insurance company and the driver, your lawyer will do whatever it takes to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. Plus, accident and injury attorneys tend to be able to negotiate higher settlements on their clients’ behalf because they know exactly what to say and do.
Your Case Is Headed to Court
This is the most obvious sign that you need to consult with an accident attorney. You probably don’t have the experience necessary to present a solid case in front of a judge and jury, and you need to protect your rights. The insurance company will definitely have a team of lawyers ready to tear your case apart. You need someone on your side who’s not intimidated by the opposing attorneys and will fight to get a verdict in your favor.
Moreover, there are so many procedures and rules to follow when filing a case and appearing in a courtroom. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you run the risk of having your case tossed out on a technicality. Your attorney will make sure this doesn’t happen by drawing on their extensive experience in litigating accident cases. Additionally, when the insurance company realizes you’re willing to go to court, they may suddenly be more amenable to negotiating a settlement.
You’re Too Emotional to Think Logically
Certainly, as a pedestrian, getting hit and injured by a motor vehicle is a distressing experience. You should be allowed to deal with the emotional and physical injuries without worrying about money and how you’re going to pay for your medical bills. As such, if the insurance company offers a settlement, you might be tempted to take it no matter how low it may be. However, your emotions may be clouding your judgment, which can lead to bad decisions.
An attorney will ensure you don’t settle for less than you deserve because they understand all expenses you have now and will have in the future. A financial expert will determine the appropriate compensation to seek based on your current and future medical bills, your lost wages, your potential earnings losses, and your losses related to pain and suffering. While you will still make the decision to accept or deny a settlement, your attorney will be there to advise you.
You Feel Like No One’s On Your Side
When you’re a victim of an auto-pedestrian accident and you’re fighting against large insurance corporations, you may feel extremely alone and believe that no one is on your side, even though you’re the one who was injured. Hiring an attorney will ensure you have someone on your side who will do everything within their power to recover compensation for your injuries. This support will give you the hope you need to continue fighting for your rights.
The legal aspects of an accident can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never dealt with a situation like this before. An attorney will navigate the system for you, ensuring that you can focus on your recovery rather than on the legal process because you’ll know your case is in good hands.
If you’re a pedestrian who’s been hit by a car, don’t take the chance that you won’t get the compensation you deserve. Contact Potts Law Firm to schedule a consultation today and learn how our experts can get justice for your injuries.