The effects of a pedestrian accident can be traumatic, but it’s imperative that you don’t make any rash decisions. Taking a calculated approach to every step of the process can prevent you from making missteps that could jeopardize your case. There are a few things you should know before going in to court.
1. Information Gathered at the Accident Can be Critical
Proving fault can sometimes be tricky, so you’ll want to have as much verification for your story as possible. The strength of your argument can vary wildly depending on whether you gathered the information of witnesses or filed an official police report.
2. Don’t Neglect to Factor in Lost Opportunities
There’s more at stake in a pedestrian accident than just medical bills. Lost wages and missed opportunities can and should factor into any settlement, so be sure to take these circumstances into consideration and have paperwork to back up your claims.
3. Proving Fault Isn’t Always a Slam Dunk
While accidents like these generally land in favor of the pedestrian, that isn’t always the case. Failing to use the crosswalk, crossing without a signal, or stepping into ongoing traffic can shift responsibility to the pedestrian.
4. Know How Damages Are Determined
Insurance companies typically fall a formula when settling a pedestrian injury claim. This is generally your quantifiable losses multiplied by a number between one and a half and five. Understanding where your proposed settlement falls on this spectrum can help you decide whether or not a civil court case is economically viable.
5. The Treatment You Take Matters
When settling on damages, who you visit to address your injuries is important. The court and insurance companies apply more more weight to physicians than to specialists like chiropractors and acupuncturists when assessing your case.
6. Get Representation From a Qualified Attorney
You may think your case is open and shut, but if you’re looking to bring your claim to court, chances are that you’re going to be going up against a well-financed insurance company. That can complicate issues, and having a lawyer who understands the complexities of cases like these is essential.
7. Be Aware of the Statute of Limitations
How long you have to file a claim in the wake of an accident can vary from state to state, and the statute of limitations may be as short as six months. Due diligence is important, but you want to make sure you understand the laws to make sure the statute doesn’t lapse.
8. Other Parties May Be Liable
Most states have laws in place to ensure that those in control of the land properly maintain their property and establish clear warnings about any dangers. If hazardous conditions contributed to your accident, you may be able to seek reparations from the landowner.