If you were hit by a car while you were walking in Kirkland, first tend to your injuries, then make sure you complete all the necessary steps required to ensure you are compensated for your lost finances, both current and future. To get the process started, review these critical steps:
- see a doctor to diagnose and treat your injuries;
- collect your own copies of evidence related to the accident;
- give statements to the insurance companies; and
- accept the company’s offer OR hire an attorney to negotiate and/or litigate for your rights.
See a Doctor to Diagnose and Treat Your Injuries
If you weren’t rushed to the hospital at the scene of the accident, go to a doctor as soon as possible. Besides beginning treatment as soon as possible, any lag time between the accident and when you see a doctor will be looked at with skepticism by insurance adjusters and the courts, if your case makes it that far.
Collect Your Own Copies of Evidence Related to the Accident
Arm yourself with all information related to the accident. Collect evidence like:
- photos of the accident scene;
- photos of your injuries;
- contact information from any witnesses;
- the police report;
- a pain diary that outlines your physical and emotional changes;
- receipts relating to the accident (prescriptions, copayments, medical supplies);
- bills from the doctor and hospital; and
- a log or spreadsheet of missed income, such as missed work payments, freelance work and virtually any sources of income that have halted because of your physical limitations as a result of the accident.
Give Statements to the Insurance Companies
Contact your insurance company, as well as that of the driver. Washington is an at-fault insurance state, so you can file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer to recover your damages. The most advantageous way for you to deal with the adjusters is to stay as close-mouthed as possible and only offer facts that can be corroborated.
Things like the time of the accident and what you were doing immediately prior to the accident are two examples of hard facts. No matter how many times you have to repeat your story to different people, retain the same polite but obstinate demeanor in regard to your story.
Accept the Company’s Offer or Hire a Lawyer
If the insurance company offers you a check that will cover your expenses adequately – both those that you have already covered yourself and those that may need to be covered in the future – then you can accept and be done with the whole thing. If you’re not sure if the offer is fair, talk to a lawyer.
If you feel that the insurance adjuster is low-balling you, ask to speak to his or her supervisor and appeal the offer. If you discover that the company as a whole treats you unfairly, then you can file a complaint with the Washington Department of Insurance. At this point, to force the issue and get just compensation to which you’re entitled, your best bet may be to secure the services of a law firm.
Max Meyers Law, PLLC helps clients in Kirkland who were hit by a car as pedestrians evaluate and pursue their legal options for financial recovery. Call us at 425-399-7000 to set up your free initial consultation.