There are several situations in which you’ll need a lawyer after a pedestrian accident, such as when there are catastrophic injuries or disputes over fault. However, to ensure claims are handled fairly and expediently, it’s always a good idea to at least run your case by an attorney and determine your legal options and whether you could benefit from legal help.
Types of Pedestrian Accidents that Necessitate a Lawyer
An estimated 69,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic accidents in 2011, reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Cases where no one was injured (or injuries are very minor) or there are zero disputes over fault may not require a lawyer.
However, there are several types of cases for which you’ll always want to secure an attorney, including those in which:
- there are severe, catastrophic, or disabling injuries;
- the injuries are complex, had delayed onset symptoms, or require extensive future treatments;
- the parties or the insurance companies disagree over who was at fault;
- the damages create a significant financial burden; or
- there were a lot of intangible damages, such as pain and suffering.
How an Attorney Can Assist Your Case
While some cases can be settled without an attorney, having counsel to represent you means that your rights will be protected, you’ll have a better chance of a fair settlement, and you can rest easier knowing someone is actually looking out for your best interests.
There are several ways an attorney can benefit your case, a lawyer can:
- help you collect evidence to support your claim;
- look into the local laws to determine if the other party was in violation;
- speak to witnesses to obtain testimonies;
- consult with field experts for you;
- help prepare paperwork, explain the fine print, and file documents with the proper agencies;
- negotiate with insurance companies and make sure they aren’t trying to lowball you;
- be there to answer any legal questions or concerns you have along the way; and
- help you calculate your damages and ensure your claim accounts for them.
Additionally, an attorney can help you avoid making some of the common mistakes people make after an accident. For instance, saying too much during a phone call with an insurance adjuster (they might try to twist your words and pin you with undue fault) or settling too soon (rushing settlement could mean a lower award) can hurt your case.
When you work side-by-side with an attorney, he or she will provide you with counsel so you don’t inadvertently wreck your claim.
Collecting Evidence: Preparedness Goes a Long Way
The best thing you can do after any auto pedestrian accident is be prepared. This means securing a lawyer who specifically handles local pedestrian accidents, and collecting all the evidence you can. Start an accident file to keep any pertinent information regarding the accident, just in case you need it later to prove your case.
Collect things such as:
- medical bills;
- records of lost wages from time away from work;
- the police report;
- photos or video of the accident scene;
- witness contact information; and
- doctors’ prognoses of your condition.
Lawyer Julie Johnson Helps Accident Victims in Dallas
To speak with attorney Julie Johnson, call (214) 290-8001. She has over 23 years in the field and will be happy to provide you with a free consultation. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.