Being a pedestrian can be an enjoyable and convenient way to get around. Unfortunately, it also leaves you vulnerable to accidents and injuries. If you’re ever unlucky enough to suffer an injury while walking or jogging on the street, it pays to know your rights as a pedestrian. It’s important to understand the legal system and how it can protect you if you get hurt. Here are 8 important facts about your rights if you get hurt as a pedestrian. Knowing these facts can help you protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
1. Contact an attorney
One of the first things you should do if injured as a pedestrian is to contact an attorney who specializes in personal injury law. An experienced lawyer can help you understand your rights and ensure that they are protected throughout the legal process. According to Hamparyan pedestrian accident attorneys, an experienced attorney will be able to guide you through the process and help you get maximum compensation for your injury. They can also advise you on the best course of action, such as filing a claim against the at-fault party, which may get you compensation for your medical bills and other losses.
2. Know the law
Pedestrians must follow traffic lights and signs—just like drivers do. This means you have the right of way when indicated by a “walk” signal or a stop sign, or when crossing in a crosswalk with the light. But it also means that you need to obey traffic laws such as not jaywalking across busy streets or intersections without proper signals. Knowing and following these laws can help protect your rights in case of an accident. If you are found to have disobeyed the law, your legal rights may be limited.
3. Preemptive action is key
Taking steps to ensure your safety ahead of time is just as important as knowing what legal rights you have if you’re injured while walking. Choose well-lit streets and sidewalks when possible, be aware of your surroundings, and wear bright or reflective clothing when it’s dark out – these are all great ways to keep yourself safe. When crossing the street, always look both ways before stepping into traffic, and make sure the driver has seen you by making eye contact if possible. It may also be wise to carry a form of identification with you in case of an emergency.
4. Document the accident and your injuries
After a pedestrian accident, it’s important to document everything that happened and the condition of any visible injuries. Take pictures if possible, so you have evidence of what happened. Make sure to keep records of all medical bills associated with treatment for those injuries as well. Also, be sure to write down the contact information of any witnesses who may have seen the accident. While it may be difficult to think clearly after an accident, it’s important that you take the time to document all of this information so you have it for your legal case.
5. Consider filing a claim or lawsuit
If you’ve been injured in an accident involving a car, and you believe the driver was at fault, filing a claim or lawsuit could help protect your rights. Seek legal guidance from an experienced attorney who can explain your legal options and ensure that you receive the true compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Additionally, the court may require that the defendant pays for your legal fees. This way, you have nothing to lose in pursuing your case.
6. Speak to your insurance company before taking legal action
Even if you weren’t at fault in the accident, your insurance company may have a policy that provides financial assistance for medical costs and lost wages. The terms of this coverage are likely to vary depending on your individual policy and state laws, so it is important to speak with an agent about what exactly you are entitled to. While this might not be a substitute for legal action against the driver responsible for the accident, it can provide financial relief in the meantime. It’s also important to note that insurance companies may try to minimize their liability, so it’s best to have an experienced attorney review the conditions of your policy before you accept any settlement offer.
7. Be mindful of the statute of limitations for your state
Each state sets a limit on how much time you have to file a pedestrian injury lawsuit. This timeline is designed to protect the defendant from being held liable for an accident that happened too long ago for them to remember all of the details. In most states, this limit varies significantly between two and four years. If you do not file your lawsuit within the time allotted by your state, you will likely be barred from pursuing legal action. This is why it is important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after the accident.
8. Know when it’s time to move on
In most cases, if you’re injured in an accident as a pedestrian, the responsible driver’s insurance company will be willing to negotiate and offer you a settlement for your injury claim. If that doesn’t happen, or if the terms of the settlement are not acceptable to you, it may be time to move on and file a lawsuit against the responsible driver. It’s important that you understand when this option is available so that you can get the compensation you deserve. Additionally, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to accept the first settlement offer you receive.
The well-being of pedestrians is important, and it is essential that drivers be aware of the risks posed to them. By understanding your rights as a pedestrian, you can better protect yourself against negligent drivers. In cases where an accident does occur, documenting the incident thoroughly and seeking legal guidance from an experienced attorney are both important steps toward ensuring that you get the compensation you deserve. With these tips in mind, pedestrians can feel more confident and secure when out on the roads.