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Originally Posted On : https://belmontaccidentlawyers.com/what-to-do-if-you-were-hit-by-a-car-at-a-crosswalk/
Over 7,000 pedestrians sustained fatal injuries due to road crashes in 2020, as reported by the CDC. If you recently suffered a crosswalk injury, legal recourse is available. Victims who are hit by a car are entitled to compensation to cover medical bills, make up for lost wages, and to account for other damages. Read on to learn what to do after a pedestrian accident and how to recover your losses.
A pedestrian hit by a car should immediately call 911. If you are injured, this is a fast way to get paramedics and first responders to the accident site so they can assess your injuries. You will be driven to the hospital immediately if you need medical assistance.
A 911 call also gets police to the accident site. Authorities can assess the scene and determine what happened to you. They can make note of details that you might have missed while experiencing a trauma.
All of this information will be filed in a police report. This is vital evidence, as it contains all relevant information about the pedestrian accident. This will help the authorities determine who was at fault and why, establishing a better outcome when a personal injury claim is filed.
If the accident was a hit-and-run, they can also use this information to track down the driver that hit you.
If you are able to and without worsening any sustained injuries, collect as much evidence as possible.
Take photos of the accident scene. This includes photos of the vehicle that hit you and your injuries. Also ask for the driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information. All involved parties are legally required to provide this.
If the other driver leaves the accident scene before exchanging information with you, make a note of their vehicle make, model, color, and license plate in your phone. This is considered a hit-and-run, and it’s illegal.
You also will want to record the date and time of the accident, your precise location, and what parts of your body were hit. Take photos of any cuts and bruises you may have sustained.
If you are too injured to do this, ask for assistance. Call a friend or family member, or ask a witness for help. Also, request any present witnesses’ contact information and statement of what they observed happened.
The more evidence that is obtained, the stronger the case will be. Lawyers can also assist in gathering important evidence. They will:
- Request security camera footage
- Take eyewitness accounts
- Assess the scene of the accident for safety features and hazards
- Analyze police reports and medical records
- Review medical bills and lost wages to determine your case’s value
Talk to an Attorney
Once you have tended to your injuries and filed a police report, it’s critical that you contact a lawyer immediately. California has a 2-year statute of limitations for personal injury cases, but if you wait too long it can call the credibility of your claim into question.
Sometimes, a delayed response can be perceived as being dishonest about the accident or the severity of injuries.
A lawyer can answer questions about California driving laws and pedestrian rights. They can assess what happened and determine what reasonable financial compensation entails. They can then create a plan for negotiating with the driver’s insurance company to reach a fair settlement.
Consulting with a lawyer is beneficial because it helps victims understand all available legal options. Consulting a lawyer is different from hiring. Some attorneys offer free consultations, so you are not committing to working with them. Instead, you are simply gathering information at no cost.
California is an at-fault state. This means that both parties can be somewhat at fault for an accident. The pedestrian hit by a car can be slightly at fault and still get compensation.
For example, if you crossed the street without the “walk” signal prompting you, you may be deemed partially responsible for the accident. However, the driver still may be mainly at fault if he or she was engaged in distracted driving (texting and driving, DUI, etc.). Therefore, you may be 25% at fault, while they are 75% at fault.
Attorneys and courts determining fault will look at right-of-way laws for pedestrians and the specifics of the driver’s negligence.
Pedestrians usually have the right of way in California. However, this can vary if someone jaywalked, crossed outside of a designated crosswalk, or disobeyed traffic signal commands.
Regardless, fault may still be lower if the driver is texting, otherwise distracted, under the influence, speeding, or driving recklessly. Only a legal professional can help determine fault and the highest possible settlement if both parties are at fault.
Negotiate a Settlement
Once your lawyer determines fault, they can begin to negotiate a settlement with the driver’s insurance company.
Note that you must wait for the case to be fully investigated so attorneys can calculate the full extent of damages. This means waiting for medical treatment to conclude so you can calculate the cost of all bills. Only then can your attorney fight to get you as much compensation as possible for your bills.
Insurance agents want to pay the lowest possible amount while your attorney fights for the highest compensation available. Expert negotiations can help you get as much compensation as possible.
“Damages” are sums of money awarded as compensation after an injury. Examples include:
- Payment of medical bills
- Compensation for lost wages
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Compensation to cover 24/7 care or inpatient programs
- Pain and suffering damages (physical pain and emotional distress caused by the incident)
The earliest settlement offered by the insurance company is likely to be lower than you deserve, so do not take it. You will not be able to reopen your case after accepting a settlement. Instead, a lawyer should review the case first and confirm what is an acceptable offer.
Take Action After Being Hit by a Car
If you were hit by a car at a crosswalk, meet with the top pedestrian accident attorneys in Long Beach. Belmont Accident Lawyers is committed to helping you obtain evidence, determine fault, and reach the highest possible settlement.
Our experience, skills, and resources are valuable in crosswalk injury cases. Contact Belmont to schedule a free consultation.