The chances of a pedestrian getting hit by a vehicle are low, but never zero.
No matter how careful you are, there’s always that one driver who is busy on their phone while driving. You are never really safe on the sidewalk when such drivers exist.
The first few moments after an accident can be overwhelming. There are lots of things to do. However, the important thing that you, as a victim, must do is search for a pedestrian accident lawyer in your area. Especially in bustling US cityscapes like Dayton, Cincinnati, Ohio, finding a local pedestrian accident lawyer should be your priority, as they will be familiar with the state’s traffic laws and local legal procedures. Pedestrian accident lawyers will have the negotiation skills to ensure you receive fair compensation, whereas insurance adjusters are trained to protect their company’s bottom line. For example, a pedestrian accident lawyer based in Cincinnati will also have a better grasp of the Ohio court system and may even know the tendencies of local judges and insurers. Their local experience is invaluable; they can navigate the complexities of your case with the advantage of home-field knowledge.
Hiring a lawyer comes with a host of benefits. Their expertise in law is second to none, and they will be beside you throughout the process.
The concept of a lawyer aside, every individual must know what to do immediately after an accident. That is what this article focuses on.
Step 1: Check for Injuries
This is the first step, for obvious reasons. Once you’ve been involved in an accident, you must check for injuries. Some injuries are so serious that your ability to move might be restricted. If that’s the case, try to move away from the road to a safer spot.
Even if you didn’t suffer any visible injuries, it helps to visit a doctor or healthcare practitioner. Some injuries, like whiplash or concussions, don’t exhibit symptoms immediately. The condition would have worsened by the time symptoms appeared. To avoid this horrible situation, it’s recommended to get a medical check-up as soon as possible after an accident.
Step 2: Call 911
The police and other emergency services have an important role to play in pedestrian accidents. There’s a possibility that those around may have called 911 after witnessing the accident. If they haven’t, calling 911 should be your priority.
This has two benefits. One. You get a chance to receive medical attention. Two, the police get information about the accident.
The officer who arrives at the scene has the responsibility of drafting a police report. You can find the following information in a police report:
- Identifying information about all the people involved in the accident (Names, addresses, and contact information)
- Date of the accident
- Exact location of the accident
- Name and badge number of the officer who drafted the report
- Names of other officers who helped in the investigation
- Diagrams from the scene of the accident
- Eyewitness names and their statements
- Police report reference number
The police report is a goldmine of information when it comes to seeking legal recourse after a pedestrian accident. It acts as a statement from an official that the accident happened. Police reports are often used by lawyers and insurance companies as evidence.
Step 3: Collect Evidence
If possible, try to collect evidence from the scene of the accident. You don’t have to turn into Sherlock Holmes to sniff out evidence. Just take pictures related to your accident using your smartphone. You can snap pictures of
- Your injuries
- Damage to your property
- Tire marks
- License plate number of the vehicle that hit you
- Your surroundings
Additionally, you can record eyewitness statements as well. All this evidence will come in handy during the investigation stage of the accident.
Step 4: Stick to Your Treatment Plan
This step is important if you suffer injuries that require hospitalization or extensive treatment. Sticking to your treatment plan is important, not just for recovery but also for legal purposes.
Not following up on injuries gives insurance companies ammunition to counter your compensation claim. They may reduce or outright deny your compensation, saying that your injuries aren’t serious enough.
Step 5: Hire a Lawyer
The importance of this step isn’t stressed enough. You must get in touch with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. They have the expertise to find the parties responsible for your injuries and prove their role in the accident.
Not hiring a lawyer makes you a sitting duck for the insurance adjusters. They’ll downplay your injuries, make you believe that you were responsible for your injuries, and convince you to settle for lower compensation. This compensation won’t be remotely close to the sum you deserve.
Your lawyer will handle all the legal aspects of proving the role of the at-fault party in the pedestrian accident. If negotiations fail, they’ll even represent you in court.
Being involved in an accident is a nightmare. You will be subjected to sudden expenses. Your injuries may force you to stay at home, leading to a loss of income.
If you’re involved in a pedestrian accident, it’s best to be proactive. Minor mistakes or slip-ups can have serious ramifications down the line.