Heavy traffic and negligent drivers put pedestrians and cyclists at risk of getting hit by a car every single day. If you have recently suffered injuries after a driver hit you, Personal injury law entitles you to take action to receive compensation for your injuries. However, you need to take certain steps to protect the value of your claim and ensure you have the best chances of recovering the maximum damages for your situation.
Immediately after a car hits you, it’s likely that an ambulance transported you to the nearest emergency room for treatment, and local law enforcement came to the scene to investigate. The following tips provide guidance in the hours, weeks, and months after your accident:
Seek Medical Treatment After You Were Hit by a Car
If you were fortunate enough to remain conscious and walk away from an accident after a car hit you, you still need to let a doctor check you out. Your medical record serves as evidence that your injuries occurred because a car hit you, giving you leverage for your pedestrian accident case. Some choose to avoid medical treatment because they have a high pain tolerance and do not want to go to the hospital. Pain and soreness sometimes indicate hidden injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, broken ribs, and internal organ damage, which can be fatal when left untreated. Your health and well-being are the top priority.
Keep Records of Economic Loss
After being hit by a car, the value of your pedestrian accident injury claim heavily depends on the amount of economic loss you suffer because of your injuries. This includes medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. Whether filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove every penny of your economic loss. Save every bill and receipt and make a digital file with copies of them to ensure you have the evidence you need to recover your losses. Common documents that serve as records of economic loss include:
- Ambulance bill
- Hospital/Doctor bills
- Rehabilitation bills
- Pay stubs to prove lost wages and benefits
- Gas receipts for travel costs to and from doctor/hospital
- Receipts for items/labor needed to make a home more accessible after injury
- Receipts for replacement services, such as lawn care, childcare, and handyman services
It’s best to save everything. Your car accident lawyer can help you edit and advise you on which items you can get money for.
Keep a Daily Journal
The law also permits you to seek compensation for non-economic damages after you’ve been hit by a car. Non-economic damages include things that are difficult to quantify, such as pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, and loss of consortium. Your attorney will use their experience and your medical records to place a value on this portion of your claim, but you can ensure those involved understand the full impact of your injuries on your life by recording your physical and emotional feelings in a daily journal. Your journal entries should include things like:
- A description of your physical pain in comparison to the previous day or week
- Discussions of things you cannot do, e.g., raise your arm, walk, turn your head
- Discussions of things you missed out on because of your injuries, e.g., child’s birthday celebration, work, yearly family vacation
- Negative emotions you are feeling because of your injuries, such as anger, sadness, depression, and humiliation
Consult an Experienced Accident Injury Lawyer
Suffering severe injuries after getting hit by a car comes with emotional and financial stress on top of the physical pain of injury and healing. In the aftermath of your injuries, let an experienced car accident lawyer help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Your attorney can investigate the accident and uncover facts to support your claim. Skilled lawyers also help their clients by handling communication with the other driver’s insurance company, negotiating a settlement, and presenting your case to a court when settlement is not an option.