Regardless of the low population of Las Vegas compared to other major cities, pedestrian accidents are common. These accidents occur when a person walking on the sidewalk gets hit by a vehicle or motorcycle. If you get injured in a pedestrian accident in Las Vegas, you are entitled to compensation for the injuries. After the accident, insurance companies will work quickly to contact you, take your statement, and make a settlement. Most insurance providers want to settle your case quickly and make a lower compensation than you deserve. Therefore, you will require guidance from a competent personal injury attorney when navigating this process. At Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm, we work hard to ensure that insurance companies don’t exploit you and receive maximum benefits for your injuries.
Overview of Pedestrian Accident accidents
In Nevada, pedestrian accidents are common, and they occur when a vehicle or motorcycle hits a pedestrian on the sidewalk or while crossing the road. You can also get involved in an accident when vehicles collide, and parts from the vehicles hit you. These types of accidents are often very serious. This is because the pedestrians lack a shield for the impact caused by heavy vehicles. If you survive the accident, you are likely to suffer serious bodily injuries.
Immediately after an accident, you should get to a position of safety and call the emergency responders. Even though there are numerous things to think about following an accident, you should focus on your recovery. You should ensure to keep the other involved parties at the scene. Also, you should call the police and file a report with them when they arrive. The police report will be a crucial piece of evidence in your compensation claim.
It is crucial to collect as much information as you can about the driver who hit you. This will include their contact names and details of their vehicles. You could also take photos or a video of the accident scene that indicates the occurrences. Photographic evidence could be of great importance to you when proving liability and claiming damages after a pedestrian accident.
Role of Insurance Companies after a Pedestrian Accident
In Nevada, all car owners are required to obtain general liability insurance. This is aimed at ensuring that car accident victims get some compensation for the injuries suffered. The terms of the insurance require the company to defend the driver against any claims that accident victims file. When a driver is found liable for the injuries, their insurer is expected to compensate you for the damages awarded in the personal injury claim.
After a pedestrian accident where you are injured, the liable driver’s insurance company will take defense on their behalf. Usually, a claim adjuster from the insurance company will start to make decisions on behalf of the defendant. The insurance company representing the driver at fault for your accident is likely to contact you immediately after the accident.
In most cases, these insurance providers want to minimize their liability and the amount they spend to compensate for injuries. For this reason, they will attempt to disregard the evidence to have against the defendant. Also, they will seek to pass the blame to you or other parties. Even when you have agreed for a settlement, they could delay payments to avoid paying your damages. Therefore, it is crucial to have the guidance of a competent attorney when dealing with insurance companies.
Insurance providers often have protocols when defending your settlement claim against the defendant. Before you get compensation, you will be required to present sufficient proof to the insurance company suggesting that the driver was at fault for your injuries. When the insurance company contacts, you should avoid speaking anything concerning the accident.
Tips to Consider When Dealing With Insurance Companies after a Pedestrian Accident
When speaking with an insurance company after a pedestrian accident, you should stick to the following tips:
Consider Postponing the Conversation
Getting involved in a pedestrian accident could be quite devastating. Sometimes you are in a state of shock and disbelief. Therefore, you have a right to decide when you want to talk to the insurance adjusters. Also, it is crucial to have guidance from an attorney when dealing with the insurance company. If you haven’t contacted your attorney, you could postpone the conversation until you are ready.
Know the Person who is talking to you
In most cases, the insurance company representing the fault party in a pedestrian accident will call you after the accident. Before saying anything to someone who calls you about the accident, you should know them. This could be done by inquiring about their names, telephone number, address, and the party they represent. If they are not willing to provide this information, you should avoid talking to them.
Avoid Accepting Liability for the Accident
When insurance companies contact you after an accident where you were injured, they aim to pass the liability for the accident to you or other people. This is done in an attempt to minimize the amount of compensation they will pay. When talking to claim adjusters, always avoid accepting fault for the accident. Regardless of the occurrences, you should give your account of the accident without adding personal opinions.
Many factors play a part in pedestrian accidents, including faulty vehicle parts, distracted driving, or recklessness. Therefore, even when the fault points to you, do not accept the fault since the statement could be used to deny you compensation benefits.
Do not Mention the Nature of your Injuries
Pedestrian accidents result in serious bodily injuries or even death. Sometimes after the accident, you may be too shaken to notice that you have suffered injuries. Especially when you have suffered brain or internal organ damage, you may not notice the injuries unless you get a medical checkup. Therefore, when an insurance company contacts you, avoid making declarations that you are not sure are true. Also, avoid discussing the nature and severity of your injuries or signing a medical release without your attorney’s presence.
Avoid Giving an Official Statement
An insurance company that contacts you after an accident will attempt to record anything you say and use it against you when it comes to compensation. Unless you have some legal guidance, avoid making any official statement. You are not obligated to give a recorded statement to the insurance company. There are several ways in which a recorded statement can work against you:
- A recorded statement could contradict the evidence you discover later. This will be the case, especially when you say that you aren’t injured, but after a few days, you experience pain. Such a statement will deny you the compensation you deserve for the injuries.
- The statement you give may be incomplete. In the days following your accident, your brain could be traumatized, and you may have inaccurate memories. If the incomplete statements end up in the records, they could hurt your chances in the compensation claim.
- When making a statement after the accident, insurance companies may lead you to say things you don’t mean or aren’t true. Official statements that downplay the occurrences could undermine your compensation claim.
- Recorded statements often take more importance in a car accident claim that they deserve. If you make a statement and it gets in the records, you might have a difficult time changing it. Therefore, you will end up stuck with what you initially said to the claim adjusters.
Do not give Unnecessary Information to the Insurance Company
When speaking to insurance adjusters, you need to ensure that your conversations are short, also, stick to the necessary and basic information on the accident. Even though you may disclose your name address and where you work, you don’t need to discuss your employment details. If you do not have an answer to a question they ask, you don’t have to answer. Guessing things could put you at risk of giving wrong information that could be used against you.
Avoid mentioning the names of family members or doctors when claim adjusters contact you. In case you end up in litigation, you may be asked to provide the contact information of the people you mentioned.
Take Notes when Talking to the Insurance Adjuster
If your attorney is not present when you speak with insurance adjusters, you should ensure to take notes. Any questions you are asked and the discussions you made need to be noted down. These notes will help enlighten your attorney on what you discussed and help them protect your rights in the claim. When you seek legal guidance, your attorney could deal with future contacts from insurance companies and understand what to say. Insurance companies have lawyers on their side, and you deserve the same experience for a better chance of getting fair compensation.
Do Not Accept Initial Settlements
Sometimes the insurance company attempts to make a settlement less than what you deserve for the injuries. The adjusters could contact you even before you seek medical care and understand the nature of your injuries and their likely effect on your life. Even when your medical bills are piling up, and you have lost earnings as a result of the injuries, do not accept offers that don’t compensate for all your losses. You should also consider consulting with a personal injury attorney before taking any settlement so they can negotiate a fair settlement for you.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents are some of the most catastrophic collisions. In most cases, these accidents are a result of negligence from pedestrian or road users. Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Drunk driving — Most pedestrian accidents result when a driver is operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is because drunk drivers may not have their physical and mental attention on the road; thus could hit pedestrians on the road. In most cases, drunk driving is detected when the police arrive at the accident scene, and in their report, they could indicate that the driver was intoxicated.
- Distracted driving — A driver is distracted when their physical or mental attention is not on the road. This could occur when you are texting or talking on the phone while on the wheel. When a driver reaches out to get something, and their eyes get off the road, they could cause a pedestrian accident. If you get injured in a pedestrian accident that resulted from distracted driving, you can sue the liable party for compensation.
- Over Speeding — When a driver is over speeding, it may be difficult to control the vehicle in case of an emergency. Therefore, it is common for over-speeding drivers to hit pedestrians while on the sidewalks or to cross the road.
- Failure to yield the right of way — In Nevada, all road users are required to respect each other’s rights. When a driver fails to stop for pedestrians to cross the road, they could cause an accident. When evidence is clear that the driver failed to yield the right way, you can file a claim against them for compensation.
What Damages Can I Collect in a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
Involvement in a pedestrian accident can be quite devastating. This is as a result of the serious injuries that are likely to result from this type of collision. Immediately after an accident, you should not be quick to discuss the occurrences with anybody other than the police. In an attempt to minimize expenditure, the insurance companies will try to make you accept a little settlement that may not cover all your losses. Therefore, it is crucial to have the guidance of an attorney before saying anything.
If you have suffered severe injuries and cannot get the compensation you deserve out of court, you can file a personal injury claim. In a compensation lawsuit, several factors are considered when determining the amount of compensation you receive. Some of the common key factors that are involved include:
- The degree and severity of injuries you suffered from a pedestrian accident — In most cases, insurance companies may even call you before you visit a medical facility. In this case, you may not have known the extent of the injuries you have suffered. The compensation you get out of court may not be enough to cover all your losses. However, when you file a lawsuit in court, the severity of your injuries, which is indicated in your medical records is considered.
- The long term impact of the injuries on your life — The duration that your injuries are likely to take to resolve is crucial when awarding compensation in an accident lawsuit. If the accident injuries take longer to heal or require you to spend a long time in the hospital, you will likely receive more compensation.
- Whether or not the injuries you suffer were permanent — Individuals who suffer permanent injuries are more likely to receive more compensation. This is because some of the permanent injuries like spinal cord and brain injury, make you dependent on other people throughout your lifetime. Also, permanent injuries from an accident may cause psychological trauma.
- The impact of the injuries on your personal and professional life — Some of the injuries that result from serious pedestrian accidents may leave you incapable of leading a normal life. Also, you may not be in a position to go back to work. The losses you suffer from the incapacitation are considered when awarding damages.
- Before the pedestrian accidents, your age and health status are considered when determining your settlement in a pedestrian accident claim. For this reason, you may be required to provide past medical records.
A successful personal injury claim can get you to receive the following damages for pedestrian accident injuries:
Under Nevada law, a person who causes an accident in which you are injured is responsible for your medical expenses. After the accident, the liable party’s insurance company will be required to compensate you for the medical bills. Insurance companies always aim at spending as little as possible for compensation. Therefore, it is likely that they will deny liability for the accident. Sometimes, they may delay the settlement and attempt to make you accept less.
Before the lawsuit is determined, you may have to cover your medical bills. There are several options through which you can cover these bills. If you have medical coverage, this would be the best method to cover your medical bills after an accident. If you do not have a medical cover, the government mandates that you receive a discount on your bills.
Alternatively, you could seek medical care from doctors who operate on a lien basis. These providers are often willing to delay payments until your claim is settled. Regardless of where you seek medical care, you need to ensure that all records are properly kept to receive all the benefits you deserve for the injuries.
Under the insurer’s subrogation right in Nevada, all medical insurance companies have the right to be compensated when you win a compensation lawsuit. However, they can only recover the money if you receive compensation from the fault parties’ insurance company.
Before compensation for medical bills in Nevada, the fault party's insurance providers will want to take a look at your medical records. Also, the diagnosis and expenditure for treatment will be of concern to them. Sometimes you are asked to provide medical records dating back five years. However, it is crucial to understand that even when you have a preexisting injury that was worsened by accident, you can still recover compensation. In order to increase your chances of getting maximum compensation from a pedestrian accident injury lawsuit, it would be wise to enlist the help of a competent attorney.
In Nevada, lost wages are the number of earnings you lost as a result of your injuries. If you are successful in a personal, the insurance company will reimburse you for the lost wages. Before you get compensation, you will be required to show the amount you lost due to injuries.
A lost wages letter from your employer is the best proof you can show to claim lost wages after a pedestrian accident in Nevada. The letter from your employer indicates your job title and the date of confirmation that you are an employee. The number of hours you work and your regular pay could be indicated in this document. If you do not have regular employment or your employer refuses to write the letter, you can use past pay stubs and income tax returns to claim compensation.
Self-employed individuals are also entitled to compensation for lost wages. To prove these losses, you will need to produce billing statements for months preceding the injury. If your income is complex, you can seek the services of a forensic accounting expert.
After a pedestrian accident, you have up to two years to file a claim for lost wages after the claim is invalid. If your injuries from a pedestrian accident have prevented you from going back to work for some time, you can file a claim for lost wages.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
Pedestrian accidents are a common occurrence in the streets of Las Vegas. And being involved in this type of crash could be quite devastating to your life. This is due to the severity of the injuries that result from these accidents. If you or your loved one gets hit by a vehicle while on the sidewalk or when crossing the road, you can file a personal injury claim against the parties liable for the accident. Most insurance companies want to spend as little as possible to compensate you for the injuries. Therefore, they will try to get your statement and make a quick compensation out of court. In order to increase your chances of maximum compensation from a pedestrian accident, it would be wise to seek legal guidance from Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney Law Firm. Contact us today from any location in Las Vegas, at 702-996-1224.