Pedestrian accidents are more common than you might think, especially in busy cities like Chicago. While you will hopefully avoid being involved in a pedestrian accident in your lifetime, it’s important to know what to do if you are victimized in this manner. With that said, here’s a seven-step guide to navigating the aftermath of a pedestrian accident.
1. Hire a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Being in contact with a pre-existing lawyer that you have a strong relationship with is crucial for protecting yourself from the legal fallout of unexpected and preventable accidents. Pedestrian accident lawyers, in particular, will help you navigate your legal options post-accident in a professional, knowledgeable way. Looking for the right pedestrian accident lawyer in Chicago will help you gain the restitution you deserve. As you navigate the steps we’ll be covering below, you must contact your lawyer for assistance when necessary. After all, you need to focus on healing post-accident.
2. Determine If You (or Others) are Injured
Pedestrian accidents are often messy. Because they typically involve pedestrians and heavy-duty vehicles or bikes, injuries from pedestrian accidents can be severe. Thankfully, some accidents lead to simple, if painful, injuries which will not affect the victims long-term. In the tragic scenario that you find yourself injured in a pedestrian accident, you must determine whether or not you’re injured. If you’re able to, checking on anyone else involved in the accident is highly recommended as well. The more vigilant you are, the more likely it will be that any sustained injuries can be stabilized. At this point, you should seek any medical attention that you may need.
3. Contact the Police to File a Report
Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents often lead to lawsuits or criminal charges. Due to this, the police need to get involved post-accident, especially if someone was injured. The police report will be a key piece of evidence if you end up taking the party that’s responsible for your injury to the court. Be direct with the police, but do not give them any unnecessary information about your accident. Call your legal rep if at all possible, and try to have them on the scene with you as you talk to the police. Doing so can help your overall case significantly.
4. Gather the Information of All Involved Parties
The police report is far from the only piece of documentation you’ll need post-accident. Even if you’re just filing an insurance claim, and not seeking a full-on lawsuit, you’ll need all the information you can get. By gathering evidence from every person involved in the accident, you can make sure you’re ready to begin the legal journey ahead of you. Once again, this is an area where having a lawyer present to help you can be extremely beneficial.
5. Begin the Evidence Gathering Process
Now that the accident is over, it’s time to begin gathering as much evidence as humanly possible. First, you’ll need to document the accident scene with tons of photos, witness interviews, and any reports involving the accident. Then, your lawyer can help you determine whether or not the person who injured you was intoxicated, was acting recklessly, or if they had a record of similar misconduct. Additionally, they can help pinpoint any laws that the person who injured you committed. All of this information will be critical if you go to trial, or seek a settlement for the damages you’ve suffered.
6. Contact Relevant Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are a pain to deal with. That being said, it’s crucial that you share information and cooperate with them to get the payouts you’re entitled to. Unfortunately, when it comes to pedestrian accidents, the person who injured you’s insurance reps will likely try to contact you as well. Due to this, you’ll want to hand off these tasks to your lawyer directly. Not only can this help alleviate the burden of dealing with rude agents post-accident, but it will ensure a knowledgeable professional is fighting for you behind the scenes. The more you keep in contact with your lawyer during this process, the better. This will allow you time to heal. Speaking of which..
7. Prepare to Heal Post-Accident
Lastly, and most importantly, you must give yourself time to heal after being involved in a pedestrian accident. They are tragic, painful, and often sudden. Those with severe injuries will often need help getting their life back together. In some cases, these accidents will leave victims with the psychological damage that they will have to process. All of this information will be relevant to any pedestrian lawsuit accident that you file.