I Was Hit While Crossing the Street… Now What?
Every seven minutes, a pedestrian is injured in a traffic accident, and every two hours, a pedestrian is killed in a traffic accident. California is known for its heavy traffic, and it isn’t necessarily the safest place for pedestrians. If you, or a loved one, were hit crossing the street, now you need to figure out what to do to protect yourself legally and to ensure you’re on the path of healing.
Riverside, California personal injury lawyers Heiting & Irwin have over four decades of experience assisting clients with personal injuries from pedestrian accidents. We have retrieved more than $400 million for our clients, and we’ll work hard to get you the settlement that you deserve.
Why Pedestrian Accidents Happen
Pedestrian accidents occur for a number of different reasons. Drivers do not yield the right of way, there is poor visibility and they can’t see what they’re doing, or they are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications. Additionally, they may be distracted because they are texting or talking on their phones, adjusting the radio, eating, drinking, grooming, using their GPS, or the vehicle may have an equipment failure. Pedestrians may also be at fault when they cross a roadway or intersection improperly or they run into the road when it’s not safe.
If you walk more frequently than you drive, then there are things you can do to stay safe. For instance, you should always walk on a sidewalk or path if one is available. Never assume that drivers can see you, especially at night. Make eye contact with drivers as they get closer to you so you know they’re aware of your presence. If an intersection or a crosswalk are nowhere in sight, then find a well-lit area, wait until there is a gap in traffic that gives you enough time to cross safely, and then watch for traffic as you cross the street. Never use alcohol or drugs and then walk somewhere; instead, call for a ride or ask a sober friend if they can get you where you are going.
You may have been following all necessary precautions when a driver hit you. Even if you weren’t – and the accident was partly your fault – you still should contact an attorney; and you may be able to receive at least partial compensation. The consultation will be free.
What to Do When You’re Hit Crossing the Street
If you get hit crossing the street, there are certain steps you should take. First, get to a safe place. If your injury is serious, maybe others can make your location safe by warning other cars or forming a barrier to shield you. If so, then don’t move. Instead, wait for help. The ambulance should arrive shortly to take you to the hospital. Pedestrian injuries can be quite severe since the pedestrian has no protection. Depending on how fast the driver was going, one could end up experiencing catastrophic injuries like paralysis, broken bones, even death.
If your injuries were not serious enough to incapacitate you – and if you can manage to – then make sure you get the driver’s ID and insurance information; and take photographs of their vehicle and license plate number and the scene of the accident. Take photographs of your visible injuries and any personal belongings that were damaged.
Make sure the police have been called and will file a police report so you have what happened on official record. If there were witnesses around, get their contact information and, perhaps, ask them for statements. Note the locations of traffic and surveillance cameras that may have recorded what happened on tape, which may be especially helpful. Write down what you remember occurred leading up to the accident, at your earliest opportunity.
With any injury, make sure you go to the hospital for evaluation and treatment. Request a full check-up, including X-rays. Many times, injuries will not be readily apparent to the naked eye. Whatever treatment the doctor prescribes, make sure you follow through with it. This could include going to additional appointments, getting more tests, taking medicine, using medical equipment, and seeing specialists.
If the driver’s insurance company calls you to ask you details about the accident and offer you a settlement, only refer them to your attorneys. You don’t want to give them any ammunition to turn the situation on you and blame you for it. The best thing to do is to have a personal injury lawyer on your side as soon as possible.
Why Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer?
A personal injury lawyer will represent you and work for the best recovery that you deserve. In order to get you the highest settlement or award possible, they will help you collect the evidence and prepare everything to strengthen your case. In a time when you need to focus on your health, they will fight for you to get you what is rightfully yours.
You may be on the hook for thousands of dollars in medical bills! You may have to lose out on your wages, or promotions, or other opportunities because you have been hurt or because you have to go back and forth to the doctor all the time. You continue to suffer because of this accident. The responsible party should have to pay.
You may be worried about how much a personal injury lawyer is going to cost you. The way personal injury lawyers work is you won’t pay a penny unless they can get you a settlement. Then, they will take a percentage for their hard work. The lawyer will tell you what their commission is prior to starting on your case, and you will sign an agreement that spells out everything.
If the accident was not entirely the driver’s fault, that’s OK. It is certainly worth exploring with a qualified attorney. Perhaps you think the accident was your fault, but it was actually the driver’s, or someone else’s fault. Until you call up and explore the details with a personal injury lawyer, you may not know.
If you were in a hit and run accident and the authorities cannot find the driver, you still may be able to collect compensation. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is always a good idea. You’ll need an experienced lawyer on your side who knows how to deal with these companies and help you get the proper settlement/award.
Your monetary recovery could include compensation for medical bills (past and future), loss of wages (and earning capacity, past and future), pain and suffering, emotional distress, damage to your personal belongings, loss of enjoyment of life, and more. Your lawyer will go after whichever damages apply in your case.
Get in Touch With Heiting & Irwin for Help
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, then it’s time to find a personal injury lawyer to represent you. Heiting & Irwin are here for you. We have dealt with personal injury cases for over 45 years! And we will work hard to get you the settlement or trial ward that you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 951-682-6400 to start your case now.