Pedestrians are extremely vulnerable to injury when in an accident. They are entirely without protective gear, and their bodies take the brunt of a vehicle’s impact. Often left with serious injuries requiring significant recovery time, pedestrians need to file a personal injury claim to recoup their financial losses and get justice for the other ways the accident has changed their lives.
Connecting with an Atlanta pedestrian accident attorney from John Foy & Associates as soon as possible after an accident is the best way for victims to ensure their pedestrian accident claim and all other matters concerning their case will be handled properly.
Strengthen Your Claim from the Start
While you should consult with a pedestrian accident lawyer promptly following your accident, there are steps you can take to strengthen your potential claim in the accident’s immediate aftermath.
If you can move without injuring yourself further, take photos and videos of the accident scene, as well as the vehicles of others involved and any other relevant information, such as road conditions or traffic signals and signs. Take photos of your injuries and collect contact information from witnesses and those involved in the crash. Wait for the authorities to arrive and create an official accident report.
Of course, there is a good chance you may be too injured to collect any of this evidence. In that case, wait for emergency services to arrive and provide medical care and transport to a hospital.
If your injuries do not require emergency care, you still need to see a doctor quickly. Your doctor will document your injuries and diagnose any injuries whose symptoms may not be immediately apparent. Serious, even fatal, brain injuries often take a few hours or a day to appear, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and without prompt care, you put your recovery and your life in danger.
Further, if you put off treatment only to have your condition worsen, the at-fault party can use that delay to their benefit, claiming your injuries only intensified because you did not seek care.
Get the strong arm
Partner with a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Along with getting swift medical care, it is also in your best interest to partner with a pedestrian accident lawyer right away. The sooner your lawyer starts managing your claim, the better.
Even before filing an official claim, your lawyer can issue a “preservation of evidence” letter to the party or parties at fault for your accident. This letter legally requires those parties to protect, keep, and ultimately give your attorney any evidence relevant to your potential accident claim.
The more time that passes, the more opportunity the at-fault party has to “lose” or otherwise destroy evidence that could help your case, so it is important to act quickly.
Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim on Time
Every state has a statute of limitations for filing injury claims. A statute of limitations is a legal deadline for filing your claim. If you file outside of that period, your case will be probably be dismissed.
Though an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to argue otherwise and have your claim heard, that complication is one you should work to avoid.
In Georgia, the legal deadline is two years from the date of your accident. Once again, a swift partnership with a pedestrian accident lawyer benefits you, giving your attorney ample time to investigate the accident and file against the appropriate party.
Filing Against the At-Fault Party
To secure a pedestrian accident settlement from the at-fault party, you must prove that party’s negligence. Proving negligence involves showing:
- The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. This means they have a legal obligation to avoid behavior that puts you in danger and proactively take measures to protect your safety
- The at-fault party did not fulfill their duty of care to you. They “breached” their duty
- The breach in duty caused your accident
- The accident caused you quantifiable damages
All drivers on the road owe pedestrians a duty of care. There are very few pedestrian accident cases where the pedestrian is found entirely at fault.
Your attorney will investigate your accident with care to ensure you file against the actual at-fault party. That party may be the driver who hit you. However, if that driver only failed to stop because of defective brakes, then the brake or car manufacturer may hold culpability.
Evidence Supporting Your Pedestrian Accident Claim
When attorneys investigate to determine fault, they also begin gathering evidence. The team at John Foy & Associates has access to resources and connections with experts, including accident reconstructionists, who help us compile comprehensive and critical evidence to support your claim.
Collecting a Settlement from Your Pedestrian Accident Claim
There are two ways to collect a settlement from a pedestrian accident: out of court or through a trial. Pedestrian accident claims do not come with a definite timetable for securing a settlement, as each case comes with its own set of circumstances. An out-of-court settlement can take time but still comes more quickly than a trial verdict.
Your attorney will send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s insurance company, informing them of the dollar amount of the settlement you are demanding. Most insurance companies do not settle right away, but your pedestrian accident lawyer is prepared to negotiate and fight for what you deserve. Strong legal representation is essential to a favorable negotiation outcome.
If the at-fault party plays hardball and refuses to compensate you fairly, you may need to take your case to court, and your attorney will continue to fight for you at every trial proceeding. However, most injury cases settle out of court.
Trust Your Pedestrian Accident Claim to the Strong Arm of Georgia
The personal injury attorneys at John Foy & Associates are committed to providing the highest quality representation for victims. When you sustain injuries in a pedestrian accident, we understand the extent of your damages. The accident will hurt you physically, emotionally, and financially and receiving compensation for that harm is a matter of justice.
To speak with a pedestrian accident lawyer from the Strong Arm of Georgia, simply visit our contact page. We are ready to fight for you.