Finding yourself the victim of a pedestrian accident is something most people wish to go their whole lives without experiencing. It’s a scary experience and almost always results in injury, and in the worst cases, death. A pedestrian wreck lawyer is someone who can help you navigate the claims process so you can file a compensation claim to cover any medical expenses, lost wages, or pain and suffering you have had to endure as a result of the accident. If you’ve been in an accident as a pedestrian, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer in McDonough, Georgia, as your first step towards recovering any damages that you may have incurred.
For all practical purposes, drivers on the roads are expected to exercise caution when driving and should drive without endangering anyone else, including other drivers and pedestrians. Drivers are expected to use extra caution at intersections and at blind spots to make sure that everyone is safe. Unfortunately, not all drivers follow the proper safety laws, putting many Georgia pedestrians at risk of getting injured in an accident. If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, then now is a good time to call a pedestrian wreck lawyer who can help you file a claim against the negligent driver.
Do I Need to Hire a McDonough, Georgia Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
No matter what type of accident you have been in if you suffered injuries or damages, it is a good idea to hire a lawyer to represent your interests. The driver and their insurance company will be looking out for themselves. This means they are less likely to accept any blame for the accident and may attempt to claim that you caused it. In most cases, the drivers in pedestrian accidents are generally held responsible for injuries or deaths incurred because of their negligence. However, if they attempt to put the blame on you, it could muddy the waters enough to make it difficult for you to receive the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Because of the degree of damage that is usually associated with pedestrian accidents, contacting pedestrian accident lawyers is nearly always necessary. Insurance companies will work hard to ensure that they aren’t paying out any more than absolutely necessary. But, with damages, lost wages, and medical expenses, sometimes what an insurance company is willing to pay just isn’t enough. That is where McDonough pedestrian accident lawyers come into action.
A good Georgia pedestrian accident attorney will work to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve to make up for your financial losses. Insurance companies, however, will often do everything they can to deny your claim or severely reduce any compensation you were anticipating. This is usually because the insurance company you’re working with is still representing their client. On the other hand, a pedestrian wreck lawyer puts their focus on you because they are representing you.
The standard instruction from an insurance company in an accident like this is that you don’t need an attorney. This is because they don’t want you contacting a pedestrian accident lawyer or pedestrian accident attorney who will work to represent you fairly. To create a fair playing field, it’s in your best interest to speak with pedestrian accident lawyers to understand your situation. They can review your questions, provide guidance and inform you of your rights.
Negligence is usually a primary factor in the large majority of pedestrian accident cases. When you file for compensation, an investigation will be conducted. This investigation will enable a jury, judge or the attorneys to determine negligence and fault-based on evidence and witnesses. Negligence can include texting, distracted driving, driving under the influence, and failing to follow rules of the road such as yielding. Hiring pedestrian accident lawyers can be quite helpful because they familiarize themselves with each case individually and will be in a better position to fight for your rights.
Texting while driving is a problem that is becoming increasingly common on our roads today. Drivers who text and drive generally fail to adhere to standard safety laws. They can easily miss seeing a pedestrian crossing the road or may hit a pedestrian while taking a turn because they are distracted by their phone.
If you were hit by a driver who was texting, you need to inform your pedestrian accident lawyers about this as this will help them establish negligence.
Drivers are expected to demonstrate a basic “duty of care.” This means that they are expected to conduct themselves safely and responsibly whenever they’re behind the wheel. An intoxicated driver is violating this standard of conduct and is clearly negligent.
However, the burden of proving this negligence falls on you. This is another reason to contact a car accident lawyer. Your pedestrian accident attorney can help prove the driver was intoxicated and clearly negligent. By doing so, they will help you get the compensation you deserve.
What Are My Legal Rights?
Your rights as a pedestrian in a motor vehicle accident fall under the same category of law as any other accidental injury.
Most pedestrian accidents are a result of the driver’s negligence because pedestrians have the right-of-way. If this right is violated, and a pedestrian gets hurt, they can file for compensation. A pedestrian can file a claim to recover the following expenditures:
- Medical bills
- Foreseeable future medical expenses associated with the accident
- Lost wages
- Necessary home or vehicle modifications such as wheelchair ramps
- Pain and suffering
Together these areas cover nearly all aspects of what is usually recovered through a pedestrian accident claim. Punitive damages are also a possibility. Punitive damages include fines set by the court as an attempt to dissuade the driver from making similar mistakes in the future. These are often seen in negligence cases such as drunk driving, and more recently, texting or being on the phone while driving.
Paying Medical Bills and Expenses
One of the biggest and the most immediate expenses that a pedestrian might face if injured by a vehicle are medical expenses. Obviously, the health of the victim in all such cases should always be the top priority, but the fact is that most people find it difficult to come up with large sums of money for hospital admission costs, prescription medicines, and consultation. This can thus become a source of stress. It is important to discuss this element with your pedestrian accident lawyer so that you can get some peace of mind as to how you will be able to recover the cost of medical treatment.
Using a pedestrian accident lawyer, you can explore your options of subrogation or an attorney lien. Subrogation is a process that’s available when you have health insurance that will cover part or most of your medical bills currently. When explaining your situation to your health insurance, they may offer subrogation immediately.
If you don’t have health insurance, the stress of handling medical bills is substantially larger. In such a case, there is the option of an attorney lien. A pedestrian accident lawyer will be able to explain this to you in detail, but in essence, this means that you make an agreement with your healthcare provider that you will pay your medical bills once you receive compensation for your injuries. Many people pursue this as an option because it allows them to focus on recovery rather than the stress of outstanding bills.
The bottom line is that medical expenditure could be one of your biggest expenses after a pedestrian accident. If that is the case, speak to a pedestrian accident lawyer to find out how you can recover existing as well as any expected future medical costs. A personal injury attorney will be able to tell you what you could potentially claim based on the specifics of your accident and the severity of your injuries. Your healthcare provider’s diagnosis and recommended treatment can also help in strengthening your claim.
Even if you end up paying your medical bills because you really need immediate treatment and there is no way you can recover your amount in such a short time, it is recommended that you keep close track of every medical expense you incur. Closely keep a record of any co-pays or out-of-pocket expenses that you make to your health care insurance or any health care provider. You will definitely need proof of these throughout the case.
In most situations with a pedestrian accident, the driver’s insurance company will work diligently to show that you are partially liable. But that is where your pedestrian accident lawyer can play an important role. If you’ve been harmed or have accrued medical bills because of an accident you should contact pedestrian accident lawyers shortly after your accident to learn more about your options. Having your case evaluated by a lawyer can answer a number of outstanding questions you probably have. This is especially true if the insurance company is being excessively difficult or if your injuries are quite severe. Having the confidence to pursue your case without having an insurance company on your back is made easy with a good pedestrian accident attorney.
How to Handle Insurance Companies
Insurance companies often attempt to show that the pedestrian was partially at fault. Typically, insurance companies will instruct you not to contact a lawyer and to wait for any claim filed to complete its course.
Keep in mind you are not required to speak with the driver’s insurance company at any point in time. Your only obligation is to file a police report, answer any questions they ask and then speak to your lawyer. You are not obligated to listen to the insurance company, be intimidated by them or offer any clarification. The only person you need to talk to is your pedestrian accident lawyer.
Never accept a settlement offer for an accident or any type of personal injury without consulting a pedestrian accident attorney first. A pedestrian accident attorney can help you evaluate whether the settlement is fair. If it isn’t and you accept the offer you give up the right to continue to pursue recovery for other damages. Usually, insurance companies give a low offer initially because they want to settle quickly before you decide to pursue a larger amount of compensation. This is a common strategy but once that any pedestrian accident lawyer will discourage. You should never accept or sign any settlement offer without consulting your pedestrian accident lawyer. Similarly, you should never waive any rights nor accept any responsibility. The only person you share any details with should be your pedestrian accident lawyer.
Contacting a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in McDonough, GA
These cases are best started as early as possible after an accident. However, keep in mind that your recovery should always remain your top priority. That is why if you hire a pedestrian accident attorney, they can focus on the legal aspects of your case while you can focus on getting better.
If your case is strong and if the insurance company still denies your claim, going to court is an option, and a jury may award greater compensation than what you would see from a settlement. However, the settlement is not a bad thing. Many cases are settled out of court by using solid evidence and medical bills. However, you need to be sure that the settlement you accept is sufficient enough to cover your expenses. Don’t rush into a settlement simply because you want to avoid the legal hassle or because you want to settle your expenses quickly. Let your pedestrian accident attorney do their job because if they do it right, they will be able to get the compensation you deserve.
Calling a McDonough accident attorney is the place to start if you are the victim of an accident. These pedestrian accident lawyers can help you understand your options, the typical process, and how your case is special. Contact our offices with The Weinstein Firm for assistance with your case and speak to our pedestrian accident lawyer. Receive advice, pursue your claim and handle insurance companies with ease.