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Being struck by a vehicle as a pedestrian is an awful experience, both physically and emotionally. In the moments following the accident, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next, so learn now about the right steps to take to protect your health, legal rights, and potential compensation. And if you only remember one thing, remember that it’s your right to contact a Huntsville, TX personal injury lawyer if you’ve been injured by someone else.

1. Ensure Your Safety and Get Medical Attention

If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, the first and foremost priority is to ensure your safety. In the chaotic moments following an accident, protect yourself by moving to a safe area to avoid further harm, especially if you’re near moving traffic. If you’re seriously injured and unable to move, try to signal to others to get help.

Once in a safe location, assess your injuries. Even if you feel fine, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries, particularly those related to trauma or internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent, and the adrenaline rush from an accident can mask pain and injury. By getting prompt medical attention, you both safeguard your health and also create a documented record of your injuries, which will be important if you decide to pursue a legal claim.

2. Report the Accident

After ensuring your safety and seeking medical attention, the next step is to report the accident (if you’re not so badly injured that you need to go straight to the ER). In Texas, accidents like this must be reported to the police if they involve injury, death, or significant property damage. Contacting the police is a crucial step, as a legal report from law enforcement will provide an objective account of the incident that you may be able to use in a legal action.

When the police arrive, provide them with an honest and clear account of the incident. It’s important to stick to the facts and avoid speculating or placing blame. The police will gather information from everyone involved in the accident, as well as any witnesses. Make sure to get a copy of the accident report or the report number, as you will need this for insurance purposes and possibly for legal action.

3. Gather Information and Document the Scene

While waiting for the police to arrive, and only if you are able, gather as much information as possible. This includes the contact and insurance information of the driver involved in the accident. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information, as well. Witnesses can provide crucial details that might support your account of the accident.

Additionally, document the accident scene as best you can. With your smartphone, take photographs or videos of the location where the accident occurred, including any crosswalks, traffic signals, signs, and the positions of the vehicles involved. Also, photograph your injuries. Visual evidence can be a powerful tool in legal and insurance claims. The more information and documentation you have, the better prepared you will be for the steps that follow, including dealing with insurance companies and potentially pursuing legal action.

4. Notify Your Insurance Company

It’s important to notify the insurance company about the pedestrian accident as soon as possible. If the accident was the fault of the driver, their insurance should pay. However, if they don’t have insurance or can’t be identified, your own insurance may come into play. Even if the accident was not your fault and the other driver does have insurance, your insurance policy might still have provisions that can help.

Be prepared to provide the insurance company with all the relevant details of the accident, including the police report number, the other party’s insurance information, and any documentation or evidence you collected at the scene. When communicating with any insurance company, be honest and factual about the incident and your injuries, but be cautious about making any definitive statements, giving opinions, or accepting blame. Let the facts speak for themselves. If an insurance agent keeps calling you asking questions and trying to get you to give more details, politely refer them to your lawyer and hang up.

5. Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer in Huntsville, TX

You’ll want to have a personal injury attorney on your side. Personal injury attorneys who specialize in pedestrian accidents will know how these cases go and can help you understand your rights, the potential worth of your claim, and all the details of the legal process in Texas for seeking compensation.

An attorney will also be able to effectively negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. Insurance companies often attempt to settle claims quickly and for as little as possible, hoping that you won’t realize the settlement doesn’t really cover your true losses. An experienced attorney will know how to calculate what settlement adequately covers your medical expenses, any rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and any pain and suffering.

If a fair settlement cannot be reached, your attorney can file a lawsuit for you with the Texas courts. Most personal injury attorneys in Texas work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only get paid if you receive a settlement or win a court award.

6. Follow Through with Medical Treatment

Following through with all recommended medical treatments is very important, as failing to do so could be used against you in any settlement negotiations or in court. Do everything your doctor tells you to do, attend all follow-up appointments, and complete any prescribed physical therapy or rehabilitation.

Inconsistent or incomplete medical treatment will work against your case. Insurance companies or opposing legal counsel may argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim if you don’t think it’s necessary to follow through with the recommended treatments. Detailed medical records also serve as proof of the extent of your injuries and the impact on your life, which is critical in evaluating the value of your claim.

7. Keep Detailed Records and Track Expenses

Maintaining detailed records and tracking all your expenses will help you make an accurate claim and verify the damages you’re seeking. This includes not just things like medical bills but also receipts for medications, medical devices, and transportation costs to and from medical appointments, as well as all documentation of any lost wages if the injury has impacted your ability to work. You may even have expenses like childcare or lawn maintenance if you’re unable to keep up with your normal household duties because of your injuries.

It’s also advisable to keep a journal documenting your recovery process. In this journal, note the extent of your injuries, the pain and suffering you experience, how the injuries are affecting your daily life, and any emotional or psychological impacts you notice. This can include difficulties in performing daily tasks, changes in your ability to engage in hobbies or activities you enjoyed before the accident, and the overall impact on your quality of life. This kind of personal record can be compelling evidence and give a more complete picture of the accident’s impact on your life than just receipts.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer for Help

By following these steps and understanding your rights, you can protect yourself and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. For experienced ​legal help with pedestrian accidents, contact Brian Gutierrez, Personal Injury Trial Lawyer right away for a free consultation.

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