What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident in Maryland
Thomas Pyles | October 30, 2020
Pedestrian accidents happen more often than many people realize. Whether struck while crossing the street or hit by a car that went off the road, the results are often tragic. For the victims, the experience can be traumatizing, leaving them unsure of what to do or where to turn. Thankfully, you don’t have to face this situation alone – Laurel pedestrian accident attorney Thomas Pyles has over 25 years of experience in helping people recover compensation following their accident.
Steps to Take Immediately After the Accident
The moments following your accident can be critical if you need to pursue a claim. To the extent that you are able, you should do your best to take the following steps:
- Do your best to remain calm and, if possible, move to a safe location.
- Contact the police or ask a bystander to contact them for you. Wait for the police to arrive and ask the driver to stay.
- Obtain the driver’s name, address, contact, and insurance information.
- Obtain the name and contact information of any eyewitnesses.
- Make a mental note of the make, model, and color of the driver’s vehicle.
- Take pictures of the scene and any injuries you may have suffered.
If you are unable to take any of these steps, hopefully, someone will help you.
Seek Medical Attention Right Away
The next several days following your accident are also very important. The most important thing is to get a thorough medical exam, regardless of whether or not you were treated at the scene. Many injuries may not be immediately apparent and can get worse or become permanent if left untreated. In addition, you want to make sure that your injuries are thoroughly documented. To that end, you should make sure that your medical records reflect the cause of your injuries, the diagnosis, the expected recovery, and the recommended course of treatment.
On a related note, you want to be sure to follow your doctor’s orders to the letter. Many people jeopardize their claims by failing to follow their treatment plan. Failing to follow the recommended treatment allows the opposing party to argue that you weren’t in fact injured or that your injuries wouldn’t have been as severe had you taken the appropriate care.
Contact the Insurance Company
Another thing you should do within a day or two of the accident is to contact the driver’s insurance company. It’s not uncommon for drivers to say they will handle the claim and then fail to do so. If no one reports the accident to the driver’s insurance company, they may decline coverage due to the driver’s neglect.
This is an important step because the driver’s insurance company is the entity that is most likely to pay your claim. That said, insurance companies will not simply take you at your word and will try to pay as little of your claim as possible. As a result, you should keep the following in mind when you contact them:
- The sole purpose of your call is to notify them of a potential claim.
- You can share the date, time, and location of the accident, but do not give an opinion as to whether you are injured or what caused the accident.
- Do not provide a recorded statement.
Get a Copy of the Police Report
The officer at the scene prepared an accident report that includes basic details regarding what happened. This is an important document, but you may not get a copy unless you request one. Not only is it useful for confirming important facts, but it might also be useful in proving that the driver was negligent.
Get Statements from the Witnesses
A witness statement can be incredibly helpful in proving your claim. Because they have no stake in the outcome of your claim, they are considered neutral and independent observers. As a result, it’s a good idea to ask them to provide a written or otherwise recorded statement. This will help crystalize important details and prevent inconsistencies later on.
Speak with a Skilled Laurel Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Many victims don’t realize the value of their claim and wind up settling for far less than it is worth. Unfortunately, they later discover that the settlement does not cover all of their losses and that they have no further recourse. Even if you aren’t sure you want to pursue a claim, a Laurel pedestrian accident attorney can meet with you for free and provide you with the following:
- A candid assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your case
- A firm estimate of what your case may be worth
- Whether or not they think you could successfully pursue a claim
- Whether they think your claim will require litigation
Contact a Laurel Pedestrian Accident Attorney at the Law Offices of Thomas E. Pyles
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Laurel pedestrian accident attorney Thomas Pyles has the knowledge and experience you need to get a fair result with offices in Waldorf and Leonardtown. To discuss your case and how we can help, contact us today at 301-705-5066 to schedule a free consultation.