If you are a pedestrian who has been hit by a car, you certainly have had to deal with physical and emotional pain and a lot of doctor bills. You may be wondering how to begin the process of seeking compensation for the accident. Establishing fault in a pedestrian involved car accident is quite challenging. Many street corners do not have cameras and you must often depend on eyewitnesses who memories can be unreliable.
Finding a good personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles is imperative to getting the money you need when you have been injured in an accident. There are a few facts to know about accident laws in California and a few steps you can take to ensure that the experience of dealing with the insurance company goes smoothly.
Pedestrian Involved Accidents in LA
In spite of the city’s recent efforts to reduce traffic accidents in the city of Los Angeles, pedestrian involved accidents have actually increased in recent years. 134 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in 2017 and 127 in 2018. According to transportation officials, the increase is based largely on drivers being distracted by cell phones. Infrastructure may have something to do with accidents as well. Much of the city is designed around a system of highways and the major streets in Los Angeles are not very pedestrian friendly. The city has attempted to make the streets safer for pedestrians by installing more traffic lights and traffic lights that give people a longer time to cross the street.
There are a few things pedestrians can do to avoid accidents in the first place. You should never talk on the phone when you are crossing the street. Cell phones don’t only cause accidents for drivers; looking down at a device in your hand can be just as distracting when you are walking across the street. Try to avoid crossing the street at night in dark clothing and always cross right at the crosswalk. If you jaywalk, you not only increase your chances of being hit, but the blame for that accident may fall to you. If you do not drive, you probably don’t have accident insurance and if a car swerves to avoid hitting you, you may have to pay for damages.
What to do if You are Injured
When you have been in any car accident with injuries or vehicular damage, you must call the police and wait for them to arrive at the scene. Try to collect the names of any witnesses at the scene if you have a chance. Give the police a detailed account of what happened and get the driver’s insurance information. Call the driver’s insurance company as soon as you are able and answer all of their questions. Some of the questions to be prepared for are when and where the accident happened, in which direction each of you was traveling and what the weather conditions were like at the time.
If you are taken to the hospital after an accident, you will want to obtain an itemized bill for that visit. You will also want to get a receipt for the co-payment on your insurance. Get a receipt for every medical appointment that you have, and get a receipt for all the medications that you take that are related to the accident, even if they are over the counter. Be sure to get receipts for any alternative medicine treatments you receive that are related to the accident. If you have massages, acupuncture or flotation therapy, you may be able to claim the cost.
Remember that financial expenses in an accident are not limited to medical cost. Part of the expenses you incur may come from lost wages. Be sure to document every hour of work that you miss due to your injury. Your attorney will need to see proof of all the expenses you have had due to your accident.
If you were severely injured in an accident, you may not have had time or presence of mind to collect names of witnesses. The names of witnesses should be included in the accident report, but sometimes witnesses do not have the time to stick around, and police officers may miss a witness or two. Putting up flyers around the scene of the accident is a good way to get witnesses to contact you. You may also want to make a post or two on social media asking if anyone saw the accident.
You should go over your accident report carefully. It should list time, date, and weather conditions as well as statements from you and the driver who hit you. If photos or videos of the accident exist, be sure to get a copy. Even if the city does not have traffic cameras at the intersection where your accident took place, businesses in the area may have security cameras that captured the incident.
Finding a Lawyer
There are a lot of personal injury attorneys in Los Angeles and finding one can be a daunting task. Your representation should have a keen understanding of accident law and have the time and staff to devote to your case. The experienced attorneys at Bauman Law know exactly what insurance companies are looking for when they decide how much they will pay for a claim. They have a staff of over 30 attorneys and legal assistants who will work diligently to get the money you deserve.
Getting hit by a car can leave you physically injured and emotionally traumatized. Insurance money can help you heal and move on with your life.