You've Been in an Accident: What Now? - Part One

Pedestrian Accident Statistics

pedestrian accident attorney seattle

An injury accident is a traumatic experience. If you're a pedestrian, a moment of inattention by a motorist can result in a severe injury. Each year in the U.S., almost 5000 pedestrians are killed in collisions with automobiles. Because pedestrians are often difficult to see and lack protection, those who survive a collision may suffer severe injuries and permanent disability that can require years of expensive treatment and rehabilitation. Despite every reasonable precaution, accidents still occur too frequently. When they do, it's important to take the right steps to ensure that you preserve your claim and increase the likelihood of achieving a successful outcome. That's why in many cases hiring an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to represent your interests is one of the smartest moves you can make.

After the Pedestrian Accident: The First Step

The first thing to do is to STAY CALM. Right after an accident, your body is filled with adrenalin. You may be very frightened or angry or both, and you may want to confront the driver of the vehicle. This is natural and perfectly understandable--but don't. If the injuries are not too severe, the best thing that you can do is to keep your temper and stay calm. You need to get information from the driver of the vehicle, witnesses, other parties that may be involved, and the accident scene itself. If you waste your energy with anger, you will not be able to focus properly on what you have to do, and it will be difficult to get the people at the accident scene to cooperate with you. If you are injured, getting upset may make you unaware of how severe your injuries are and cause you to neglect them or fail to seek professional medical attention.

If your injuries were serious enough to cause major injury, then you may not be physically and/or mentally able to gather information at the scene. If this is the case, then you may have to rely on the investigation performed by the police. You should note however that in many instances the police investigation will be incomplete or narrowly focused (e.g., determining whether a crime was convicted as opposed to whether any other civil traffic violations occurred). This means that you may be wise to perform additional investigation following the police investigation. Sometimes it is prudent to re-interview witnesses, or conduct more extensive interviews with witnesses to help protect your interests and prove fault in a subsequent civil claim for damages against the driver.

Gathering complete information is important because even though insurance companies are legally obligated to compensate the victim, they will often go to great lengths to deny the claim or minimize the amount of compensation they have to pay. Most people who enter the claims process are surprised to learn how far insurance companies will go to delay, deny or minimize a claim. As a result, you need to make sure that you have as much reliable information about the accident and your injuries as possible. This will strengthen your claim and increase the odds of a favorable outcome.

You've Been in an Accident: What Now? - Part Two

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