While being hit by a car as a pedestrian can be scary, dealing with the aftermath of the accident can sometimes be just as frightening. This is because you are often on your own, at least at first, whereas the driver of the vehicle has an insurance company with its entire legal infrastructure at his or her back.
Unless you choose to hire a lawyer to represent you, you have no one to watch out for your interests but yourself. The police will write up an objective accident report, which may help you to make your case, but they will not advocate for you, nor is it their job to do so. At least in the initial stage following the accident, you need to be proactive about acting in your own interest. Here are some first steps to take in the process.
1. File a Claim With the Driver’s Insurance Company
Unfortunately, as a pedestrian, you don’t have an insurance company to act as an intermediary between you and the driver’s insurer. Worse, you can’t even be sure that the driver will contact the insurer to report the accident at all. It is up to you to act on your own behalf, which means that, though it may be difficult, you need to take the step to contact the insurance company yourself to report the accident and file a claim.
2. Give Only the Minimum Required Information
However, when you contact the insurance company to start the claim process, do not give a lengthy account of what happened. Tell them that you were a pedestrian hit by a car, give them the date and time of the accident, the city in which the accident occurred, and the name of the driver. At this time, that’s all that they require.
Keep in mind, however, they will ask for more information. However, you are under no obligation to give it to them, and you shouldn’t do so without a lawyer’s advice. The call to the insurer will be recorded, and anything you say can be used against you.
3. Hire a Lawyer
You might think to spare some expense by writing your own letter to the insurance company to ask for damages, but giving your own account to the insurer may cost you in damages that you could have claimed but the company denied. Accident lawyers have experience getting insurance companies to pay full damages to accident victims, so the small investment in legal fees you make now is more likely to pay dividends in the long run.
As an accident victim, you don’t have to go it alone. Contact a law office for more information.