Legal Tips from a Pedestrian Injury Lawyer in Columbus
Have you been injured as a pedestrian in the Columbus, Ohio area?
We wanted to share tips our clients have found useful over the years. We’ve helped countless victims of pedestrian injuries in the State of Ohio. Our goal is to help educate victims and assist them in gathering the appropriate information.
We sincerely hope that these suggestions are helpful. If you have any questions, please contact our office in Columbus, Ohio.
Document the Incident
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, the most important thing you can do is to keep detailed records about all of the facts involved in the incident. You’ll also want to document information about your injuries and any limitations or restrictions caused by them. Be sure to keep records related to any activities that you previously enjoyed that have been affected by the pedestrian injury.
In the event of a pedestrian injury, make sure you file an accident report. It’s very important to share all details related to how the accident occurred and all of the factors that impacted your safety. Document contact information for all witnesses, including names, addresses, and telephone numbers.
Take photographs of the scene of the accident. You’ll want to include photos that show vehicles, unsafe conditions, animals, or other individuals involved in the pedestrian injury depending upon the circumstances.
You should also take photos of your injuries. This is especially true if you have visible bruising, cuts, broken bones, or other injuries. If there are skid marks from a driver, be sure to photograph them. Don’t forget to take photos of your surroundings that show show conditions related to the pedestrian injury. Include any traffic lights, safety signs, nearby buildings, weather conditions, and any environmental factors related to your injury.
Keep a Detailed Account
Always record all of the unsafe actions taken by the negligent driver. For example, if the driver neglected to pay attention to their surroundings or observe safety signs, it’s important to document those actions. If the driver did anything to avoid collision, including: applying brakes, honking the horn, or swerving, be sure to detail those actions as well. Listen to what the driver says to you and pay close attention to mannerisms, demeanor, and gestures. These actions could indicate whether or not the driver was intoxicated or distracted at the time of the collision.
Write down the narrative of what the driver did that caused you harm as a pedestrian. This includes the story of the events that occurred prior to the accident, what happened to you when impact occurred, and what happened when the vehicle and your body came to resting positions after the impact. Make a note of any conversations you had with the drive, eyewitnesses, the police, EMS squad attendants, and any other witnesses at the scene.
Get Evaluated By Your Doctor
If you are injured, it’s important to see a medical doctor for an evaluation. Talk to your doctor about all of the harm caused by the pedestrian injury. The more detail you can share with your doctor, the better. Discuss the pain that each of your injuries is causing and use descriptive words to help explain how the injuries feel. For example, do you have an aching pain? Does the pain come and go in waves or is it constant? When the pain begins, how long does it typically last?
Talk to your doctor about how your injuries are restricting you from the activities that you enjoy. Provide a list of all of your favorite activities and how those activities were affected by the accident. You’ll also want to share information about any anxiety or stress that the accident has caused you, and whether or not that stress has impacted the activities you enjoy most. Talk about how long the pain has lasted, being as detailed as possible.
The greatest harm in your pedestrian injury case is the harm to you. The medical costs and that harm to you are the factors that will be taken into account for determining the amount of money that will be equivalent to the amount of harm the driver caused you.
Keep Your Lips Locked
You should only share the details of your accident with your doctor and attorney. We find that the insurance company for the negligent driver often approaches our client very early in a claim in order to get a recorded statement of the accident and any injuries sustained. The company may request that our client sign a broadly-based medical authorization form that allows the insurance company to access records of all medical treatment both before and after the accident. Do not sign any paperwork or agree to an interview with the insurance company until you have discussed your claim with an experienced attorney.
Talk to Your Insurance Provider
When you are involved in an accident, report the claim to your insurance immediately. One of the major issues we have witnessed over the past several years is that negligent drivers often do not have any insurance, meaning we have to resort to filing claims on behalf of our client with their own insurance company. When you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you need to file an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance provider as soon as possible.
Another reason you’ll want to be sure to file a claim with your insurance provider is that the negligent driver may not have sufficient insurance coverage to cover all of your losses and harm. If that’s the case, you’ll want to file an underinsured motorist claim, which covers you if the negligent driver doesn’t have adequate insurance coverage.
It’s important to have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage for this reason. Without this type of coverage, you have no way to recover all of the losses and harm caused by a negligent driver who doesn’t have adequate insurance coverage. Your insurance company is not required to provide you with this coverage under Ohio law, so it’s important to discuss it with your agent when reviewing your policy.
Be Aware of How You Feel
Keep in mind that the money to pay for your medical treatment is different from money that makes up for you having to suffer pain and anxiety due to injuries. This is what attorneys refer to as “pain and suffering.” It includes all losses due to the harm caused by the pedestrian injury. There is no formula for calculating pain and suffering. Remember that insurance companies do not typically pay two or three times the amount of your total medical bills.
Several factors determine the value of pain and suffering:
- How much does it hurt?
- On the scale of intensity from minor to extremely bad, where does each injury lie?
- How long does the pain last? A few moments? Permanently? Where does each harm lie on a scale of time?
- How much does the harm interfere with your life?
- Does the injury prevent you from participating in activities that you enjoy?
- On a scale of disability, where does each harm lie?
- Does the disability affect your abilities? Is the disability at a low, medium, or high level? Does it cause total incapacitation?
The amount of money for pain is derived by how bad, how long, and how interfering your pain is.
If you have been involved in an accident, we hope that following these steps will help you to be as proactive as you can be. Please don’t hesitate to contact my law firm if you have questions or concerns. We are happy to help you.