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If you’re injured by a vehicle, the period immediately afterward can be difficult and stressful. What are the most important steps to take? Should you seek legal recourse? Read on to learn more.
Before you leave the location where the accident happened, there are a couple of things you’ll want to do to strengthen your argument should you decide to pursue legal action: take photos of the scene of the accident and the vehicle, and take down the names of any witnesses.
You should only do the above if you’re not in any medical danger after the accident. Otherwise, you will want to seek medical attention immediately. Even if you are not feeling like you were severely injured, it is a good idea to visit a doctor to be sure there are no injuries of which you’re unaware. If the accident occurred in a no-fault state, your insurance will likely cover some of the medical expense. If it did not occur in a no-fault state, it’s possible the driver’s medical insurer will handle some of the costs.
How can you assess whether you want to file a personal injury claim against the driver of the vehicle? To answer that, you will need to determine how likely it is that the driver could be considered negligent – that is, that your injuries will legally be considered the result of their inattention or mistake.
In most cases, when a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, the driver is considered to be at fault. It is seen as their responsibility to avoid hitting pedestrians, and failing to do so is most often deemed negligent. If you were crossing with the walk light at a crosswalk, for example, the driver will almost certainly be found negligent. However, if you were distracted – say reading your phone – and you crossed the street illegally in busy traffic, the case may not be so cut and dried.
The driver isn’t the only one who may hold responsibility. In some cases, the argument can be made that the city is at fault due to the way the streets, traffic lights and signs are laid out and functioning. Examples might include broken or malfunctioning traffic lights, or crosswalks placed in locations that are difficult for drivers to see. It is considered the responsibility of the government to maintain roadways, so in these situations, a claim may be filed against the local municipality.
If you’ve been injured by a vehicle and you’d like advice on filing a personal injury claim, contact us anytime at 877-526-3457, and one of our representatives will be happy to speak with you. Or if you’d prefer to contact us online, please fill out this form and we will respond right away.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law