Pedestrian car accidents involve a motor vehicle (car, truck or motorcycle) hitting a person while they are walking in or around a road or highway.
If you are the injured pedestrian there three things you need to know:
- You Need to Get the Driver’s Insurance Information
First, you need to get the name, license plate number and insurance information from the driver that hit you. If you didn’t get the insurance information at the scene of the accident, then you can get it from the police if they attended the scene.
The driver’s insurance information is important because the driver’s car insurance will cover your Section B: Accident Benefits Claim and your Personal Injury Claim — normally, your own car insurance would cover your Section B: Accident Benefits, but this is not so in pedestrian accidents.
Do not wait for the driver’s insurance to get in touch with you, take the initiative and call them to report the accident and ask that they “open a Section B Claim for you”. They will assign an insurance adjuster and will send you the forms you will need to fill out.
You want to get the names and contact information of any witnesses who saw the accident. This is extremely important in pedestrian accidents, because there is often a dispute over who was at fault for the accident.
Even if you were hit in a crosswalk, it is possible for you to be held partially at fault. If you are partially at fault, then your compensation would be reduced in direct proportion to the percent you were at fault. For example, if you were 25% at-fault, then your compensation would be reduced by 25%.
Many people don’t bother to contact witnesses because of a mistaken belief that the driver will accept fault for the accident. I can tell you that the insurance company never accepts 100% fault, no mater what they tell you. Think about it. It’s in the insurance companies interests to lead you to believe that they might accept fault because the longer you wait to speak with witnesses the more their memory will fade. Their home address can change so you will have no way of finding them.
- Be very cautious about giving “statements” to the insurance company
The more serious your injuries, the more the insurance company will go into damage control to try and limit the amount of money that they will have to pay you. Please understand that proving fault in pedestrian accidents is very technical. Insurance companies will want to get statements from you before you speak with a lawyer. The do this because you are more likely to say things that will later hurt your case. In addition, before making your final decisions or making a statement, always make sure that you consulted with your lawyer. Oakwood legal lawyers are the best ones that you can hire. Hence, always consider important factors before hiring a lawyer.
It is fairly easy for an experienced insurance adjuster to skew your version of what happened based on the questions they ask (and don’t ask). This can result in you giving an incomplete version of events. When you later try to correct things, they will argue that you are “now making things up to try and help your case”.
Even if you are honest and well meaning, you can mess up your case by giving an incomplete “statement” to the insurance company before you really know what you are doing.