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.
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:
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:
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.
The best thing you can do after an auto-pedestrian accident is 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: