If you or someone you love is injured while walking as a pedestrian in Anaheim, the first steps you take following the incident are crucial. What you do after an Anaheim pedestrian accident has a major impact on your ability to recover and pursue legal action against the driver responsible for the accident. Consider the following tips and remember these things if you are ever in such a position.
Seek Medical Care
Your first priority should be medical care for the injured. Call 911 and report the accident right away if you are able. If you were injured, wait as calmly as possible for the paramedics to arrive. Even if you believe you only suffered minor injuries, you should still seek medical attention as soon as possible. You might have injuries you haven’t noticed yet. You need to have proof that you sought immediate medical care if you have any intention of taking legal action for the incident.
Once you have been treated, you should receive a report from your attending physician that outlines the full extent of your injuries. This document will be incredibly important if you decide to pursue a lawsuit, so make sure you save it carefully.
Obtain the Police Report
If you were the one injured in a pedestrian accident, you might have been taken to the hospital before the police had a chance to interview you about the incident. When the police investigate all types of accidents, including those involving pedestrians, they want to speak with everyone involved and anyone who saw the accident happen. Once you ascertain that there is a police report regarding your pedestrian accident in Anaheim, secure a copy of this as well for use in your future legal proceedings.
Talk to an Attorney
California provides a two-year statute of limitations on civil claims, including personal injury claims filed for pedestrian accidents. This may seem like a generous window, but it can go much faster than you might expect, especially if the full extent of your damages remains uncertain for now. Speaking with an attorney sooner rather than later means you have a stronger foundation for your personal injury case, especially when physical evidence is a factor.
It’s a good idea to secure copies of any and all available pieces of evidence to help you build your case. Your attorney can potentially track down traffic camera footage or subpoena footage from nearby private CCTV systems that may have captured your accident. Your attorney may wish to obtain the alleged defendant’s cell phone records if they suspect distracted driving contributed to your accident.
Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
Once you have been treated for your injuries, you must follow your doctor’s orders to the letter for their entire recommended duration. If you fail to adhere to your doctor’s orders and make one of your injuries worse or acquire a new injury as a result, you will not be able to claim the associated losses from this new condition in your lawsuit since it occurred due to your own negligence.
Determine Your Liability, if Any
Drivers have an important duty of care to prevent accidents with pedestrians at all times. When a driver strikes a pedestrian, liability for the pedestrian’s damages almost always falls entirely on the driver. However, California follows a pure comparative negligence statute, so a plaintiff can be partially at fault for their claimed damages and still succeed with their personal injury claim. For example, if a pedestrian crossed the street illegally and was hit by a car, a judge may deem the plaintiff partially at fault for failing to cross safely and reduce the plaintiff’s case award accordingly. However, the defendant who was driving had a higher duty of care and would still likely absorb the lion’s share of liability for the plaintiff’s damages.
Stay in Touch With Your Attorney
It may take time to build your personal injury case. Your attorney may need to wait for a bit to accurately evaluate your claim and your damages. Find an Anaheim personal injury attorney who can provide comprehensive and responsive legal counsel for your pedestrian accident case. Ask them for regular updates about your case proceedings, and be sure to make all appointments you have regarding your case.
A good attorney can provide valuable legal guidance for the early stages of any personal injury claim, including complex ones like pedestrian accident claims. The legal professionals at Easton & Easton have provided successful and reliable personal injury representation throughout Southern California for more than 30 years, so contact us today if you need to speak with an Anaheim personal injury lawyer about a pedestrian accident claim.