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Frequently Asked Questions About Pedestrian Accidents

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There are few things in life scarier than being hit by a car. A pedestrian accident can leave you with massive medical bills and weeks or months away from work while you recover from your injuries. You may have even lost a loved one in a fatal accident.

Dealing with the insurance company after an accident can be almost as frightening as the crash itself. That's why we're here. The experienced pedestrian accident lawyers at Ardalan & Associates have prepared this list of questions and answers to help guide you through the process.

Remember, every case is unique. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a pedestrian accident, we encourage you to meet with us for a free consultation.

What do I need to do right after I'm hit by a car?

Your health and safety should be your first priority. Make sure you are in a safe location and seek emergency medical help if necessary. Call the police - they need to investigate the accident, and the report they fill out will help to protect your legal rights.

To the extent you are able, get contact and insurance information for the driver who hit you and contact information for anyone who witnessed the accident. If you have visible injuries, take pictures of them as well as the accident scene. When discussing the accident, stick to the facts of what happened and don't say anything that could be construed as admitting fault. Take note if anyone else does.

See a doctor right away, even if you feel fine. Your health needs to be your first priority. Follow your doctor's instructions and make sure you document every medical appointment and procedure.

Finally, contact us as soon as possible after the crash. A Woodland Hills pedestrian accident lawyer can help to protect your legal rights and fight to make sure you are made whole again.

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I'm just a little sore. Do I really need to see a doctor?

Absolutely. When a car hits a pedestrian's unprotected body, it can cause serious damage, and that damage isn't always visible. You may have a brain injury or internal organ damage with delayed onset symptoms. Seeing a doctor right away is critical for your health.

Make sure you document your initial doctor's visit and all subsequent medical appointments, including mileage to and from those appointments. If you can show the insurance company that you sought medical help right away, you'll have an easier time recovering the compensation you need.

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Why do I need an attorney on my side?

If you have been hit by a car, you need someone on your side who knows what comes next, who understands how to negotiate with the insurance company to get you the care and compensation you need. You need an advocate who knows the particulars of your case and is willing to fight for you to make you whole again.
That's why you need the dedicated attorneys from Ardalan & Associates. We will investigate every aspect of your case and take on the insurance company. We will do what it takes to make you whole again. Contact us today. Call (888) 259-5861

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What compensation can I recover after being hit by a car?

Every case is different, and the amount of damages (financial compensation) you recover depends on the facts of your case. Here are some types of damages that are often awarded after crashes involving pedestrians:

  • Medical expenses. This includes both treatment you have already undergone for your injuries and the expected cost of future procedures. It also covers ancillary expenses related to your treatment such as mileage to and from your appointments.
  • Lost wages. If you had to take time off from work while recovering from your injuries, you can be compensated for that lost income. This applies even if you were able to use sick time or other paid time off from your employer.
  • Lost earning potential. Your injuries may mean you need to take a "light duty" position for less pay or miss a promotion or raise while you are away from work. You may be able to recover compensation for those lost future earnings.
  • Modifications to your home or vehicle. If you are permanently disabled, you can be compensated for reasonable accommodations.
  • Pain and suffering. This includes both physical and emotional pain. If your injuries leave you with chronic pain, your award for pain and suffering could be quite substantial.

There are many other types of compensation as well. In essence, if your attorney can prove that you suffered a real loss due to the actions of the driver who hurt you, you should be compensated fairly for that loss. It's also important to note that because your award is intended to make you whole again, not as income, it is usually tax-exempt.

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I wasn't in a crosswalk. Do I still have a case?

You may. Even if you were illegally crossing the street at the time of the crash, the driver who hit you still had a duty of care to be appropriately vigilant for pedestrians. There may be other circumstances that contributed to your crash, such as the driver being distracted or fatigued. That's why you need an attorney to conduct a thorough investigation and determine who was responsible.

California uses the legal principle of pure comparative negligence, which means that even if you are found to be partially at fault for your injuries because you weren't using a crosswalk, you can still recover damages (financial compensation) proportional to the driver's percentage of fault. For instance, if you were 50 percent at fault and the driver was also 50 percent at fault, you could be awarded $100,000 for your injuries, which would then be reduced by 50 percent for a final award of $50,000.

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How can I get my medical bills paid?

Ultimately, if the driver who hit you was at fault for the accident, his or her insurance should pay your medical bills. However, it can take months or years to resolve that insurance claim, and your medical providers will want to be paid right away.

If you have medical payments coverage on your own car insurance, it may provide coverage for injuries you sustained as a pedestrian, depending on your policy. If not, the next option is your health insurance. When another insurance company pays for your medical bills, that company will expect to be reimbursed by the at-fault driver's insurance once you reach a settlement; this is called subrogation.

If you don't have any applicable insurance coverage, or if your insurance won't pay for all of the treatment you need, we may be able to help you get treatment with an attorney's lien. This is an agreement between your healthcare provider and your attorney to provide you with treatment at no up-front cost. Your medical provider will be paid later, after we reach a settlement or verdict in your favor.

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How long will my case take to resolve?

That depends on the extent of your injuries, the circumstances of your accident and the at-fault driver's insurance company. We'll generally start negotiating with the insurance once you've completed your medical treatment. From that point, most cases settle within three to nine months. If your case goes to trial, it may be one or two years before we actually go before a judge and jury, although the claim can still settle at any point prior to the verdict.

While most cases do settle out of court, we prepare every case for trial. That allows us to negotiate with the insurance companies from a position of strength and find the evidence that will prove the extent of your injuries and help make you whole again. When a case does go to trial, we're always prepared to fight for you in court. We don't shy away from trials. We'll help you prepare thoroughly, and we know how to win.

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