Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye, and being hit by a car as a pedestrian can be a traumatic and disorienting experience. In 2021 alone, almost 9,000 pedestrian deaths were estimated in the United States. In a distressing situation like this, it’s crucial to know what to do next. Bachus & Schanker guides you through the process, providing essential information on what to do and how to navigate the legal side. Understanding your rights and taking the appropriate actions can help protect your interests and get you on the path to recovery.
Steps to take after a pedestrian accident
A pedestrian is usually defined as someone traveling afoot or in a wheelchair. Anyone riding a bicycle or electric bike also has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian. This could also apply to a person using skates, skateboards, scooters, etc.
If any of these apply to you, you may want answers to the question: I was hit by a car as a pedestrian, what do I do?
At the accident scene:
- Call 911: Call 911 immediately, even if you’re not sure of your injuries. The emergency operator will ask you the appropriate questions to determine the type of help you need. An officer will likely respond, along with emergency medical services (EMS). The officer will assess the situation and make an accident report, which you will need if you decide to take legal action later.
- If possible, document the scene: Any evidence you can gather at the scene will be helpful for both insurance companies and attorneys. Try to get the full name, contact, and insurance information of any drivers or witnesses involved. Take photos of the vehicle that struck you and of the surrounding area, and note any roadway conditions or obstructions.
The days following the accident:
- Get medical attention: Many symptoms of injuries take time to show up in your body, so it’s important to seek medical attention regardless of how you feel. Emergency services will likely assess you on the scene and instruct you to follow up with a physician. Following their advice fully will ensure that you have the appropriate records on hand.
- Consult with an attorney: Contact an attorney as soon as you can after your accident. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may contact you directly, and an attorney can advise you of your rights. They can also deal with the insurance company for you to relieve you of the burden and ensure that you are protected.
How long do I have to file a claim?
If you are planning to file a claim after a pedestrian accident, it’s important that you do so quickly. Memories of facts can change over time, making it difficult for the parties involved, including witnesses, to recall the events.
Also, bear in mind that Colorado’s statute of limitations for car accidents is three years. If the accident resulted in a death, the limit is just two years. Gathering your documentation and consulting an attorney is something you don’t want to put off.
How can an attorney help me after I was hit by a car?
An experienced lawyer can help you navigate your complex legal situation and make sure you get fair compensation. Your pedestrian accident attorney can help with the following:
- Help protect your rights by gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and reconstructing the accident scene to determine who was responsible
- Handle all communication and negotiations with insurance companies so you are not taken advantage of or offered unfair settlements
- Assess the extent of your injuries, both immediate and long-term, and work with medical professionals to determine the full scope of your damages
- Fight for your rights to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other applicable damages
By enlisting the help of a skilled attorney, you can focus on your recovery while having the peace of mind that your legal interests are in good hands.
What damages can I seek?
When you have been injured in an accident, there are various types of damages you can seek. The specific damages you’ll receive will depend on your individual case and the laws in your jurisdiction. The common categories of damages that you may be able to seek include financial and non-monetary compensation.
- Medical expenses: You can seek compensation for all past, present, and future medical expenses related to your injuries. This includes costs for hospitalization, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and any necessary medical equipment.
- Lost wages: If your injuries caused you to miss work or resulted in decreased earnings, you can seek compensation for that income
- Loss of future earnings: You can also seek compensation for income you will lose in the future due to your injuries
- Property damage: If your personal property was damaged in the accident, you can seek compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing those items
- Pain and suffering: You may be able to seek compensation for physical and emotional pain, suffering, and distress caused by the accident and/or injuries. This includes both the immediate and long-term effects on your quality of life.
- Emotional distress/trauma: In certain cases, you may be able to seek damages for the psychological impact of the accident, including anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc.
- Permanent injury or disfigurement: Permanent situations like these can cause a lifetime of financial and emotional hardship. If you sustained this type of injury, you will be able to seek compensation for present and future medical bills and distress.
- Loss of consortium: This refers to injuries that significantly impair your relationship with your spouse or family members, resulting in the loss of companionship, affection, or support
How long does a car accident settlement take?
Every situation is different, but some car accident settlements can be completed in a matter of weeks. However, it’s more likely that your case will take several months, if not longer. It depends on whether the case goes to trial or is settled out of court. Each situation involves different factors.
Going to trial: If your case goes to trial, it usually takes longer to reach a resolution. The duration of a trial can vary significantly based on factors such as court availability, case complexity, and number of witnesses involved. It’s not uncommon for a trial to take several months or even years to wrap up.
Settling out of court: Settling out of court is usually much faster than going to trial because negotiations can begin almost immediately after the accident. Of course, the timeframe for reaching a settlement depends on the willingness of both parties to come to an agreement.
How much money can I expect from a car accident settlement?
On average, you can expect to receive about one and a half times your financial losses in a car accident settlement. If you’re seeking compensation for an accident involving injury, the typical settlement is $15,400. If it was an accident involving property damage, that amount is usually $3,000. This can, of course, vary a great deal depending on the amount and types of damage.
Contact Colorado’s best pedestrian accident attorneys today
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident in Colorado, getting the assistance of the state’s best pedestrian accident attorneys is the most important step you can take. We will protect your rights and pursue fair compensation for your injuries and damages. Our team of experienced legal professionals can guide you through the complex legal process, making sure you receive the support you need.
From gathering evidence and negotiating with insurance companies to advocating for your rights in court, we will work tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome. Don’t delay in seeking the help you need. Contact Bachus & Schanker today and take the first step toward getting the justice and compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, don’t wait to seek the legal help you need. Contact our pedestrian injury lawyers today!