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Legal Options for Pedestrians After Getting Hit by a Car

About 225 pedestrians die or suffer severe injuries in Minnesota each year. Pedestrian accidents where someone is hit by a car result in serious injuries and legal complexities. Understanding your legal rights and options is crucial to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Here’s a look at the steps to take after being hit by a car, who might be responsible for your medical bills, and the legal options available. You’ll also learn about the damages you can recover and how legal representation, like that provided by Sand Law, can help you navigate the legal process.

Our team of attorneys has helped many clients who were the victims of pedestrian accidents obtain maximum compensation. We’d like the chance to do the same for you. Please contact us online or call 651-291-7263 for a free consultation.

Steps to Take After Being Hit By a Car

Taking the following steps after a pedestrian accident will help ensure your health. It will also help improve your chances of winning your case.

Seek Medical Attention

Even if your injuries appear minor or you don’t feel immediate pain, seeking medical help is crucial. Some injuries, such as internal damage or soft tissue injuries, may not manifest symptoms right away. Delaying medical attention could exacerbate these injuries or hinder your ability to prove that they resulted from the accident.

Report the Accident

The police will compile an accident report that documents essential details, including the date, time, location, weather conditions, and the parties involved. This report can be valuable evidence when filing insurance claims or pursuing legal action.

Gather Information

Obtain the driver’s contact information, including their name, phone number, and address. Also, request their auto insurance details, including the insurance company’s name and policy number. Additionally, gather contact information from any witnesses who observed the accident. Their testimonies might provide valuable insights into what transpired.

Document the Scene

Capture images of the location, any traffic signs or signals, vehicle positions, and any visible injuries you sustained. Photograph property damage to the car and any personal items, like clothing or bags. These visual records can be instrumental in illustrating the circumstances of the accident when dealing with insurance companies or legal proceedings.

Never Admit Fault

It’s natural to feel a sense of shock and confusion after an accident, but don’t discuss fault or admit any responsibility. Determining liability requires a thorough investigation. The driver’s insurance company will use any statements against you later.

Who Will Pay My Medical Bills?

In the aftermath of being hit by a car, determining who is responsible for covering your medical bills is a valid concern. Typically, the driver’s auto insurance should cover your medical expenses. However, complications can arise if the driver is uninsured or underinsured.

In such cases, your auto insurance policy may come to your aid through uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. This coverage is designed to provide compensation when the at-fault driver’s insurance can’t cover your medical costs and other damages.

Legal Options After Getting Hit By a Car

When a negligent driver hits you, understanding your legal options is crucial to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, there are several avenues you can explore, including the following:

Make a Claim Against Your Own Insurance

When the driver responsible for the accident is uninsured or underinsured, exploring your insurance policy’s uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is wise. As stated earlier, this coverage is designed to step in and compensate you when the at-fault driver lacks sufficient insurance to cover your expenses. In such cases, you make a claim against your insurance company to compensate you for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.

It’s important to note that even though you’re dealing with your insurer, their interests may not fully align with yours. Enlisting legal help as soon as possible can ensure you receive the rightful compensation you’re entitled to from your policy.

Make a Claim Against the Driver

If the driver’s negligence is clear and they’re at fault for the accident, you can file a claim against their auto insurance. This process involves collecting evidence, such as accident reports, witness statements, photographs, and medical records, to substantiate your claim.

Communicating with the driver’s insurance company to present your case, negotiate, and demand appropriate compensation is crucial. However, dealing with insurance adjusters can be complex and challenging. Their goal is to minimize payouts, which could leave you under-compensated. Having legal representation can level the playing field.

Make a Claim Against a Third-Party

Factors beyond the driver’s immediate actions could contribute to the accident in certain scenarios. For instance, a malfunctioning traffic light, poorly designed crosswalk, or inadequate road maintenance might have played a role.

Suppose you believe a third party contributed to the accident, such as a government entity responsible for road maintenance or traffic signal operation. In that case, you may have grounds to file a claim against them under the Minnesota Tort Claims Act.

But this avenue can involve complex legal proceedings and the need to prove negligence by the third party. Your legal representation will be crucial in investigating the accident, gathering evidence, and building a case to demonstrate the third party’s liability.

Navigating these legal options can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with injuries, medical bills, and the emotional aftermath of the accident. Having an experienced personal injury attorney by your side can provide valuable guidance and support.

Remember, the aftermath of a pedestrian-car accident is a critical time. Seeking legal help as quickly as you can could lead to a smoother and more favorable resolution for your case.

What Types of Damages Can I Recover After Getting Hit By a Car?

When you’re struck by a car, you can pursue compensation for various damages you incurred due to the accident. These are just a few.

  • Medical expenses: These encompass all costs related to your injuries, including hospital bills, surgeries, doctor’s fees, medication, therapy, and rehabilitation expenses. Severe pedestrian accidents, such as spinal cord damage, can cost nearly $1 million during the first year alone.
  • Lost wages: If your injuries prevent you from working during your recovery period, you can seek compensation for the income you lost due to missed workdays.
  • Pain and suffering: This category addresses both physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident. It also accounts for the impact on your overall quality of life, such as your ability to engage in activities you previously enjoyed.

How Can Sand Law Help Me?

Navigating the legal aftermath of a pedestrian-car accident can be overwhelming, especially when dealing with injuries and recovery. Sand Law understands the complexities of personal injury cases and can provide the necessary legal guidance and representation. Our experienced attorneys will protect your rights, assess the value of your claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight for every dollar you deserve.

Schedule a free case evaluation by calling 651-291-7263 or using our online form.