Kirkland's city planners designed crosswalks as a designated safe spot for pedestrians to cross the street. Your proper use of these crosswalks should keep you from harm. Unfortunately, negligent drivers can jeopardize the safety of these pedestrian-friendly areas and cause serious accidents. Before you talk to the insurance company, make sure you know your rights if you were hit in a crosswalk in Kirkland.
Read the following to protect your rights to injury compensation.
Evidence to Collect Before You Leave the Scene
Part of proving your claim for damages is first proving the driver was mostly at fault for the accident. Your lawyer can do this by collecting and analyzing evidence you collected from the scene and from eyewitnesses. Once you have moved to a safe area, you should collect and keep the following information for your lawyer:
- Photographs or video of the accident scene
- Notes about the weather and traffic conditions
- Contact information from eyewitnesses
- Contact and insurance information from the driver
- Any personal items damaged in the accident
- Contact information for the responding police officer
- Police report
This evidence will help your lawyer determine the following:
- Whether you had the right of way to cross
- What the driver was doing before hitting you in the crosswalk
- If any external factors (e.g., weather, third parties) contributed to the accident
What should I do after the accident?
There are quite a few small things you can do after a pedestrian accident to jeopardize your claim. Follow these tips to help prevent damage:
1. Do Not Neglect Your Medical Care
The insurance company will require proof that your injuries are severe and that you are doing everything in your power to recover from them. If you delay seeing a doctor or ignore your doctor's orders and advice, the insurance company could claim:
- Your injuries are unrelated to the accident
- You contributed to your injuries
If the insurer believes you caused/contributed to your injuries or that they are unrelated, it might deny your claim entirely.
2. Talk to a Kirkland Pedestrian Lawyer
A lawyer knows how the insurance companies handle these claims, and will know how to protect your right to a settlement.
One thing your lawyer will caution you against is giving a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster. If you do this, it gives the insurance company information that it could use against your claim. Your lawyer will instruct you on how to approach this request or handle all communication with the insurer on his own.
3. Have Your Lawyer Review All Claim Documents
Before you sign off on a medical release form or settlement agreement, make sure your lawyer approves of the action you are taking.
Medical release forms can give the insurance company the ability to blame your injuries on pre-existing conditions. Your lawyer can ensure that you are only releasing records related to your accident.
Your lawyer can also ensure that your settlement offer is adequate. Insurers often lowball settlements in hopes that injured victims will accept whatever they can get.
4. Be Patient
The insurance company will want to settle quickly, but it is well worth the wait to have your lawyer review your claim and estimate your full damages.
To help move your case along, make sure you respond to your lawyer's requests immediately. The quicker you respond, the faster he will be able to file your claim and push it to a settlement or, when necessary, trial.
How can I improve my chances of getting a fair settlement?
The insurance companies are in the business of making money, not making the lives of accident victims easier. To get the full value of your claim, you need to know the full extent of your damages and the impact your injuries will have on your life.
The Kirkland pedestrian accident legal team at Max Meyers Law knows the injury claims process inside and out. Max Meyers has handled dozens of pedestrian accident claims, and he knows when a settlement offer requires some extra persuasion from a lawyer.
To learn more about how a Kirkland pedestrian accident lawyer can help you after an accident in a crosswalk, contact Max Meyers to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation: 425-399-7000.