Pedestrian Accident FAQ
Your questions answered by an attorney Atlanta trusts
Some of the scariest accidents on the road involve a car hitting a pedestrian's unprotected body. Whether you're a victim or are helping a loved one injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be lost and confused. We've helped thousands of families with such cases since 1993, and we'll be proud to help you.
- Why should I retain an attorney after a pedestrian accident?
- What are my legal rights if I've been hit by a car?
- How can I get my medical bills paid after a pedestrian accident?
- I think the driver who hit me was texting. Do I have a case?
- Do I have to talk to the driver's insurance company?
- The insurance company offered me a settlement. Should I take it?
Remember, every pedestrian accident is unique, and every one requires serious representation. Reach out to Gary Martin Hays & Associates today. We'll be happy to discuss your case, free of charge. Call 1-800-898-HAYS.
Why should I retain an attorney after a pedestrian accident?
Pedestrian accidents almost always involve serious injuries, which means insurance companies are looking at potentially paying out tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. With so much at stake, they're going to do everything in their power to reduce or deny your claim. Moreover, you'll be dealing with an insurance company representing another driver; their interest is in protecting their client, not you.
The insurance company may tell you that you don't need to hire a lawyer - but we guarantee that they're going to pick up the phone and call their lawyer as soon as they're done talking to you. You need your own attorney to even the odds, field their questions and protect your rights. That's why you need to contact us immediately after an accident.
What are my legal rights if I've been hit by a car?
A pedestrian accident, like any other type of accident, falls under the legal field of personal injury law, which means that a person who is injured due to another person's negligence has the right to make a claim, and if necessary, sue that person for damages (financial compensation). Some of the damages typically awarded in a pedestrian accident case may include:
- Medical bills and future medical expenses
- Lost wages (for time away from work while recovering from your injuries)
- Pain and suffering
- Modifications to your home or vehicle (if you are permanently disabled)
- Emotional distress
If the driver who hit you acted especially egregiously - for instance, if he or she was driving drunk - we may also be able to sue for punitive damages. These are additional damages above and beyond the cost of the accident itself intended to punish the negligent party and deter similar conduct in the future.
In order to recover, you and your attorney need to prove that the driver who hit you was negligent. Motorists owe a "duty of care" to others on the road to drive their vehicles safely and responsibly. A motorist who breached that care by hitting you is said to be negligent and liable for your injuries.
How can I get my medical bills paid after a pedestrian accident?
The insurance company for the driver who hit you won't pay your bills until after you have completed your medical treatment. If you have health insurance, you can use that to pay for your medical bills; if you later recover compensation for those medical bills, your health insurance company may ask to be paid back through a process called subrogation.
If you don't have health insurance, we can help you get your bills paid through an attorney's lien. Essentially, this is an agreement between a healthcare provider and your attorney. The healthcare provider agrees to treat you at no charge now, and they will be paid out of your award when your attorney is able to negotiate a settlement or win a verdict for you at trial.
I think the driver who hit me was texting. Do I have a case?
Texting while driving definitely constitutes a form of negligence that could allow you to recover damages from the driver who hurt you. Our attorneys will interview witnesses and may examine cell phone records to prove that he or she was, in fact, texting while driving.
Do I have to talk to the driver's insurance company?
No! You are under no obligation to speak with the insurance company, and you shouldn't - they will use anything you say against you. Instead, contact us as soon as possible after the accident and let us know which insurance company is representing the driver who hit you. We will then contact the insurance company and let them know that you have retained an attorney. From that point forward, we will handle the insurance on your behalf and protect your legal rights.
The insurance company offered me a settlement. Should I take it?
Always consult an attorney before accepting a settlement offer. Once you've accepted a settlement, you have given up your right to pursue other damages. Often, that initial offer will not be enough to pay for the full cost of the accident, and you will be stuck paying for injuries that someone else caused without any legal recourse.