Were you hit by a vehicle while walking? You need to learn what to do when injured as a pedestrian, then contact our Phoenix attorneys today.
1) Choosing the Best Attorney
Pedestrian accidents are a specific set of injury claims within the framework of all personal injury claims. The best attorney in these pedestrian-related cases here in the state of Arizona is someone that obviously has experience with pedestrian cases. These cases are distinctly different from two vehicles colliding. Pedestrians bring in another set of laws and duties of care and caution and things that have to be looked at so that all of the claims, responsible parties, and potential damages are addressed. You want someone with experience in dealing with pedestrian accidents.
The second thing that you certainly want in dealing with pedestrian accident cases is somebody that has had success in pursuing these kinds of claims. It doesn’t make good sense to have someone that has experience but does not have success because obviously you want to be successful in pursuing your pedestrian accident claims. More importantly, you need someone that is a litigator — not just a transactional lawyer but a litigator that will drive the case all the way through trial and appeal, if necessary.
2) Claim Timeline
If you’ve been an injured party of a pedestrian accident, you have to be careful and make sure that you take the time that is necessary. You may get anxious and want to know how long it’s going to take to resolve this, and the answer is always, “We don’t know.” It’s going to be dependent upon how long it takes for you to heal and get back up on your feet, and there a number of variables that could be involved in that.
It also depends on if this case is going to be settled prior to filing a case in the courts or if it’s going to happen after a lawsuit. Is it going to be settled after the suit is filed, or is this going to have to go all the way to trial? One of the things that we try to make sure we do here at Smith and Green is walk you through the process, giving you guide points and markers along the way to let you know how the case is progressing, so that there is not some imaginary date out there that keeps moving forward on you. We walk you through that process.
If there are timing concerns, always discuss those with your lawyer so that you can resolve some of the anxiety because it could settle fast or it could take a large amount of time to get it settled. You want to talk with your attorney about all of the time concerns that you have as it relates to your pedestrian incident.
3) Claim Value
There are a few things that we always consider here at Smith and Green when valuing a pedestrian-related case. One is the injuries. The injuries are always the driving force. Is this a soft tissue injury? Is this a scratch, a cut, or is this a loss of limb? Unfortunately, in some cases, there’s loss of life and we’re pursuing claims on behalf of a decedent’s estate.
We look at the treatment that has been received as a result of those injuries and the treatment that could be needed in the future as it relates to those injuries. Loss of time away from work, from family members, special and significant events that you were supposed to attend, loss of consortium and loss of enjoyment of life – we put all of these things in a big pot to try to determine what the value of your case will be. You’ll have a candid, fluid talk with your assigned attorney regarding all of these issues, and then work collaboratively with your attorney to come up with a value of the case that will be pursued early on via demand letters with the insurance company. If that’s unsuccessful, then that amount would be placed into a lawsuit and would be pursued in court of competent jurisdiction, particularly here in the state of Arizona.
4) Common Mistakes To Avoid
A common mistake that people make with regards to pedestrian accidents is they assume that it’s obvious that they’re not at fault because they’re a pedestrian, so they start saying too much, posting things on social media, and acting like it’s a slam dunk case. A lot of times, it’s not a slam dunk case.
The other side and their insurance company are going to find a million and ten ways why you, the pedestrian, is at fault or the reason why this vehicle ran into you. We see this mistake quite often in our experience in litigating these cases. Be careful not to run to social media and post too much. Be careful not to hurry your rehabilitation process. Don’t kick the can down the road, necessarily, but also take as much time as you need to heal. Talk with your attorney about your treatment process so they can keep you updated on time frames and how the case is proceeding.
Don’t rush back to everyday activities too fast. More importantly, don’t give up on your case. Don’t get frustrated along the way. Sometimes the wheels of justice turn slow, but if you have been a victim, an injured party in a pedestrian accident, you’re going to have to go through the process.
5) Speaking to Insurance Companies
Out of all of the folks that are talking to you, trying to get to your family, your loved ones, you’ll have these insurance companies jumping down your throat and trying to get recorded statements from you. They’re really not all that concerned about whether you’re healing or not. Clients often tell us, “Well, they want a recorded statement. Should I just give them a recorded statement? I mean, it was not my fault, so I just tell them what happened.”
We understand, but please understand this. When there is an accident, particularly a pedestrian accident, insurance companies don’t like to pay out money. They don’t like to be honest in a lot of cases and just give what you’re due, and they want to record your statements so that at some point they can use this statement against you. They do this to minimize the value of your case or to claim that they’re not as at-fault as you think they are. It’s never a good idea to just unwittingly give a recorded statement to an insurance company, especially before you talk to your lawyer and get some sound counsel and advice. In fact, it’s not uncommon for our lawyers to be on the phone with you during that interview so that you know what to say or what not to say.
Were you or a loved one severely injured after being hit by a vehicle in Arizona and have questions about what to do when injured as a pedestrian? Contact experienced Phoenix Pedestrian Accident Attorneys at Smith & Green today for a legal consultation.
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