If you were hit by a car as a pedestrian, the steps you take and the mistakes you avoid can have a significant impact on your health and your claim for money damages.
Three Things to Do After You Were Hit by a Car as a Pedestrian
When a large metal object moving at high speed and weighing three or four thousand pounds collides with an unprotected human body, the pedestrian often sustains significant, even catastrophic injury. After such an event, you should:
- Get professional medical attention. You might not detect all of your injuries immediately, and you do not want to wait until you suddenly find yourself in critical condition. Go to the emergency room right away and have a full trauma work-up. Even broken bones sometimes take days to show symptoms. You need to have medical professionals examine you for undiscovered injuries and treat your known harm.
- Make sure that the people treating you for the injuries know that you got hurt when a car struck you as you were on foot. Your medical records will be vital evidence that connects your injuries to the crash. Any delay in seeking treatment or omission of the cause of your injuries will give the defendant an argument that you got hurt from some other incident and not the pedestrian accident.
- Talk to a lawyer. The insurance company of the car driver will likely contact you soon after the accident. You should be able to focus on healing from the physical and emotional trauma of getting hit by a car as a pedestrian. When a personal injury lawyer takes care of your legal matters, you can devote your attention to your health, knowing that we are watching out for you. We can help you avoid the tricks that some insurance adjusters play on unsuspecting people who get injured in car accidents.
Every situation is different, and you will need to do what makes sense in your circumstances. Pedestrians have rights under the law, as the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety details. A lawyer can fight to protect these rights on your behalf.
Avoid These Insurance Company Tactics That Can Hurt Your Compensation Claim
Insurance adjusters work 40 hours a week for years on end, practicing how to pay people as little money as possible for their injuries. Here are some of their favorite strategies:
The “Quick Cash” Tactic
The insurance company dangles a settlement check in front of your nose soon after the accident, hoping you will grab the “quick cash.” They do not tell you that you will have to pay all of your medical bills out of that one check, because once you accept a settlement, the insurer does not have to pay you any more money.
Let’s say that you take the offer and later find out that you will need surgery to repair your injuries. You might have to pay tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket in medical bills and get nothing for your pain and suffering. Some people have had to file for bankruptcy because of medical bills from a car accident.
Settling Before You Finish Your Medical Treatment
Even though your medical treatment and recuperation might be going smoothly so far, you never know when the situation can take a u-turn. You might be tempted to settle with the insurance company when you see the medical bills piling up, and you are struggling to pay your other bills.
If you settle your claim before you complete your medical treatment, you do not know if you will heal fully to your state before the accident. Also, you do not know if you will have to live with life-long impairment from the injuries.
Until you know exactly what you will be facing after you complete your medical treatment and the doctors do all they can for you, you should not settle your injury case. When you have a permanent disability from an accident, you should get compensation for that loss. If you have already settled with the insurer before you discover that you will not get restored to full health, the insurance company will not pay you more money for the impairment.
Sometimes people think that they can save money by handling their injury claim themselves instead of working with a lawyer, but it can cost you big time to do so. Unless you work in the personal injury field, you will have to guess at how much money you should get as a fair settlement for your losses. We can calculate a fair settlement range for your case after considering the many variables that can affect the outcome.
You do not have to pay a personal injury pedestrian accident lawyer upfront. Our fees come out of the settlement or award at the end. Many people who try to handle their own claim as a DIY project find out later that they should have gotten much more money.
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer at S. Burke Law
At S. Burke Law, we care about what happens to our clients. We fight tirelessly for you to get all the compensation you deserve. When we are on the case, you can take care of yourself and your family, knowing that we are taking care of the rest. Call us today at (404) 842-7838 to get started before the statute of limitations under GA § 9-3-31 to pursue justice for your injuries expires. The consultation is free.