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What to Do If You're Involved in a Pedestrian Accident: Legal Advice

By ReshLawJanuary 29, 2024
What to do if you're involved in a pedestrian accident

If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, knowing how to react is crucial. The moments after the accident are critical for your safety and legal rights. Understanding the steps to take can help protect those rights and improve your chances of getting fair compensation. Pedestrian accidents can be overwhelming, but staying informed can make a considerable difference in addressing the situation.

At ReshLaw Accident & Injury, our pedestrian accident attorney can help you initiate an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit for your serious injuries. If you are an injured pedestrian at an accident scene, be sure to call 911 as soon as possible to get medical care. Then, contact our experienced pedestrian accident lawyer for help with medical or disability claims related to the accident.

Understanding Your Rights as a Pedestrian

As a pedestrian involved in an accident, you can seek compensation for injuries and damages. This right is protected under Utah's personal injury laws. You can claim compensation for healthcare expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. It's important to know these rights to ensure you receive what you're entitled to.

Furthermore, Utah law mandates that drivers must yield to pedestrians in most situations. If a driver fails to yield, they may be responsible for the resulting harm. Understanding these laws helps you and your lawyer establish fault in the accident. Seek medical assistance immediately after a pedestrian or car accident. Then, contact our qualified personal injury attorney to schedule a free case consultation.

The Process of Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim

The process of filing a pedestrian accident claim

Filing a pedestrian or car accident claim involves several important steps. Knowing these steps helps ensure that you handle your claim properly. The process includes reporting the accident, gathering evidence, and filing a claim with insurance companies. Following these steps increases your chances of a successful claim.

Initial Steps to Take After an Accident

  1. Check for Injuries: Immediately assess if you or anyone else is injured. If so, call 911 for medical assistance. Some pedestrian accidents could lead to a wrongful death.
  2. Move to Safety: If possible, move to a safe area away from traffic. This will prevent further harm.
  3. Report the Accident: Contact the police so they can file a report. This report is vital for your claim.
  4. Exchange Information: Get the driver's contact and insurance information. Also, note their vehicle details.
  5. Gather Witnesses: If there are any witnesses, collect their contact information. They might provide crucial statements later.
  6. Document the Scene: Take pictures and record videos of the incident location, your injuries, and any damage. Visual evidence is powerful.
  7. Seek Medical Attention: Even if you feel okay, see a doctor. Some injuries are not immediately apparent. Then, seek professional legal assistance to discuss your personal injury lawsuit.

Gathering Evidence for Your Claim

When it becomes necessary to submit a pedestrian accident claim, collecting strong evidence is crucial. This evidence includes the police report, medical records, and any photos of the scene. It also involves statements from witnesses and documentation of your injuries and expenses.

Next, organize this evidence to tell a clear story of the accident. This story should show how the accident happened and who is at fault. It also should detail the extent of your injuries and their impact on your life. A well-documented claim is more likely to result in fair compensation.

Filing the Claim: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Contact Your Insurance Company: Inform your car insurance company about the accident. Be clear, but do not admit fault.
  2. Gather Documentation: Collect all your evidence, including the police report, medical records, and any expense receipts.
  3. Submit a Claim: Submit a claim with the driver's insurance company. Include all your evidence to support your claim.
  4. Negotiate a Settlement: Be ready to negotiate with the insurance company. They may offer less than you deserve. In most cases, using a skilled personal injury attorney will result in a 3-4 times better outcome, and they will be able to guide you through a complex and frustrating process. 

Key Laws Impacting Pedestrian Accident Cases

Understanding Utah's pedestrian laws is crucial when dealing with an accident case. These laws dictate how fault is determined and how pedestrians should behave on the road. For example, pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks, but they must also obey traffic signals.

In addition to these laws, Utah's comparative negligence rule affects pedestrian accident cases. If you, as a pedestrian, are partially at fault, your compensation can be reduced accordingly. For example, if you were jaywalking when the accident occurred, this could impact your claim. If you’re found to be 30% at fault, your compensation would be cut by that percentage. Furthermore, you cannot receive compensation if you are equal or more at fault than the driver (50% or more). This makes it crucial to establish the facts of the accident accurately. 

How Compensation is Calculated in Pedestrian Accidents

How compensation is calculated in pedestrian accidents

Calculating compensation in pedestrian accidents involves several factors. These include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The goal is to cover all your expenses and compensate for any long-term effects of the accident.

Furthermore, compensation may include future expenses, like ongoing medical treatment or lost earning capacity. The severity of your injuries and their impact on your lifestyle also plays a crucial role in determining the amount. An experienced lawyer can help accurately calculate your total damages.

Common Challenges in Pedestrian Accident Lawsuits

Pedestrian accident lawsuits can be complex, with several potential challenges. One of the biggest challenges is proving the driver's fault. You need strong evidence to show that the driver's negligence caused the accident.

Another challenge is dealing with the driver's insurance company. They often try to minimize the payout or deny the claim altogether. This is where having an experienced attorney becomes essential. They can help you navigate these challenges and advocate for your best interests.

Disputing Fault in Pedestrian Accidents

In pedestrian accident cases, disputing fault is a common issue. The driver may claim that you, as the pedestrian, were at fault. For example, they might argue that you crossed the street carelessly or “darted” into the road.

In such cases, evidence like traffic camera footage or witness statements can be crucial. They can help establish the true sequence of events and who was at fault. An attorney can help you collect and present this evidence effectively.

Dealing with Insurance Companies

Dealing with insurance companies can be exhausting. They often aim to settle claims quickly and for as little money as possible. It is important not to accept the first offer without considering if it covers all your needs.

Your attorney can negotiate with the insurance provider on your behalf. They understand how to counter lowball offers and fight for fair compensation, and their expertise can make a significant difference in the outcome of your claim.

Statute of Limitations and Its Impact

The statute of limitations is a law that sets a deadline for filing a lawsuit. In Utah, you have four years from the date of the pedestrian accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you miss this deadline, you might lose your right to sue.

It's important to start the legal process as soon as possible. This ensures you have enough time to build a strong case and file within the legal time frame.

The Role of a Personal Injury Lawyer in Your Case

The role of a personal injury lawyer in your case

A personal injury lawyer is the cornerstone of your pedestrian accident case. They guide you through the legal process and ensure your rights are protected. An attorney also helps gather and present evidence to support your claim.

In addition, an attorney can negotiate with insurers and handle all legal communications. With their expertise, you increase your chances of a successful outcome.

Safety Tips to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents

  • Stay Visible: Wear bright or reflective clothing at night. Before you cross the street, try to establish eye contact with drivers.
  • Use Crosswalks: Always cross the street at marked crosswalks and follow pedestrian signals.
  • Stay Alert: Stay away from distractions like texting or wearing headphones while you cross the street.
  • Walk on Sidewalks: Whenever you can, walk on sidewalks. If there's no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
  • Don't Assume: Never assume a driver sees you. Make sure they stop before you cross.
  • Avoid Alcohol: Alcohol impairs your ability to walk safely. Avoid walking in traffic if you've been drinking.
  • Look Both Ways: Always look both ways before crossing, even if you have the right of way.

Legal Differences Between Adult and Child Pedestrian Accidents

Pedestrian accidents involving children are treated differently in Utah. Drivers are expected to exercise greater caution when children are present. For example, in school zones, drivers must be especially vigilant.

Children are also less aware of the dangers of traffic. This means drivers must keep their eyes open for kids on the road. If a child pedestrian accident occurs, the driver's liability might be greater compared to an accident involving an adult.

How Our Utah Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help You

  • Legal Expertise: Our lawyers understand Utah's pedestrian laws and can build a strong case for you.
  • Negotiating Settlements: We negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you receive fair compensation.
  • Handling Paperwork: We manage all the legal paperwork and communications related to your case.
  • Court Representation: If your case goes to court, we provide expert legal representation.
  • Personalized Support: Our team offers personalized support and guidance throughout your case.

Call ReshLaw Accident & Injury for Your Utah Pedestrian Accident Lawyer

Call ReshLaw Accident & Injury for your Utah pedestrian accident lawyer

If you've been in a pedestrian accident, ReshLaw Accident & Injury is here to help. Our experienced Utah pedestrian accident lawyers have the skills and knowledge to handle your case. We understand the challenges you face and are committed to fighting for your rights.

We offer a free initial consultation as a way to learn more about your story. Call us today to take the first step towards justice and recovery.

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