What you do after a pedestrian accident can have long-term impacts on both your physical health and the legal remedies that arise from thereto. The most critical things to do after a pedestrian accident are to get both medical and legal help immediately.
See a Doctor and Follow Their Recommendations
Perhaps the most important thing to do after a pedestrian accident is to tend to your own health. Given the severity of pedestrian accidents, chances are that you received medical treatment at the scene and may have been taken to the hospital. If that is the case, you should follow up on all medical appointments and comply with your doctor’s advice. The insurance company will be looking closely to see if you have done everything within your power to mitigate your damages. If not, they may challenge the amount of your damages, claiming that some of them resulted from your own failure to cooperate.
Even if you were not hospitalized, you should see a doctor in the days after an accident. Not every injury is apparent at the scene. Some pedestrian accident injuries may only show symptoms days or weeks after an accident. In the meantime, the injury may grow worse without treatment. For example, a traumatic brain injury does not necessarily heal on its own. Without medical treatment, your risk of permanent injury is higher.
A doctor will both diagnose and treat your injuries. They will document your condition, and it will allow you to begin the legal process. You should not file a claim or a lawsuit until you reach the point of maximum medical improvement. In order to begin this process, you would need medical treatment.
You would also need a diagnosis and prognosis in order to be fully compensated for your injuries. The insurance company will closely scrutinize your claim for evidence of your injuries. They would have their own medical personnel review your file and reach their own opinions on the extent of your damages. Your medical diagnosis will not only form the basis for your claim for medical bills, but it will also be the origin of your lost wages and pain and suffering compensation.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
In addition, you should contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent you in the legal process. If you are able to show that the accident was someone else’s fault, you may be eligible for substantial financial compensation. Proving liability is not a given. You need to have the evidence necessary to show what someone else did and why it departed from the standard of care expected from them under the circumstances. It is not easy to get out of this on your own when you are dealing with significant injuries. A personal injury lawyer will investigate the circumstances behind your accident and gather the necessary proof that you would need for an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
In addition, your lawyer would also help you place a dollar value on the injuries that you have suffered. The insurance company will have this information almost instantly after you file your claim. They have processes and an infrastructure That allows them to value your claim right down to the dollar. Without a lawyer on your side, this is knowledge that you likely do not have. You may then accept the insurance company settlement offer, not knowing how much you could have gotten for your claim.
Your lawyer will negotiate compensation On your behalf if the insurance company makes you a settlement offer. You have the full right to negotiate with an insurance company because they are an intermediary and not a dictator. If they do not offer you enough money, you can take your case to court, and the jury will decide how much money you can get in damages.
As you can see, it is almost certainly a serious mistake not to hire an attorney after a pedestrian accident. Not only should you enlist the help of counsel, but you should do so as soon as possible after the accident. If you are not able to call a lawyer because of the extent of your injuries, you should have a family member do it on your behalf. The legal process may start without you, whether you are ready or not. If you are worried about the cost of an attorney, you should not. You do not have to pay an attorney up front, and you do not need to pay them anything if you do not win your case.
Gather and Organize All Necessary Documentation
Finally, you should keep detailed records after the accident to the extent that you are able. In order to get financial compensation for your injuries, you have the legal obligation to prove your damages. Without the proper documentation, you may not be able to show how you have been injured.
Here are some of the things that you should save:
- Proof of the income you have lost as a result of your injuries, including but not limited to pay stubs and tax returns from prior to your injury until the date you return
- Statements from your medical treatment providers
- You should keep a journal of your experience since the accident, so you can better prove pain and suffering.
Again, if you are not able to compile this information yourself, you should have a family member do it for you. The more organized you are, the easier you make your attorney’s job during the legal process. They should have the necessary information at their fingertips when they are dealing with the insurance company or are ready to file a lawsuit.
Contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer Today
The Arshakyan Law Firm represents pedestrian accident victims in a determined and sensible manner. We work for you to get the maximum possible financial compensation for your injuries. The most important thing that you can do is contact us to begin the legal process. To schedule your free initial consultation, call us at (888) 851-5005 or send us a message online.