When it’s not too hot out, nothing beats going for a walk on a Texas afternoon. It’s great for saving money on gas and getting your exercise in. But an enjoyable afternoon can quickly become a nightmare when you’re unexpectedly struck by a car. Now everything is turned upside down and you’re left unsure of what to do next.
There are steps that you should take immediately following an accident of this nature. These aren’t always possible to do, so don’t feel bad if you have to return to them at a later time. We’ll see what steps you should take following an accident, as well as the evidence that is important. An attorney may be a valuable ally in gathering this information, as well as looking out for your best interests. However, some accidents may not require the services of an attorney, so we’ll lay out some guidelines for when you would want to contact a lawyer.
What Should You Do At the Scene of an Accident?
This is the most disorientating part of the experience, so right away it is important to understand that it is okay if you are not able to get to some of the steps recommended at this point. However, there is one step that you cannot skip.
The most important thing you can do after being hit by a car while walking in Texas, or any other state, is to get medical attention. Getting medical attention should be your first and primary focus. For many people, they have no choice but to get medical treatment because they are unconscious following such an accident. These individuals are still able to win compensation, despite not being able to document the accident immediately.
Medical care is important for your health, but it is also a critical component for winning a personal injury case.
If at all possible, have a friend take photos of the scene of the accident. Don’t just take close-up photos of the damage to the car and injuries, but also get some wide shots of the area as these can help to give a better idea of the conditions at the time.
Get contact information of the people involved in the accident and any witnesses you can. Speak with law enforcement officers when they arrive at the scene if you have remained there. You’ll be using that accident report later on.
What Steps and Evidence are Important Following an Accident?
Following an accident, it is important that you stick to whatever orders your doctor gave you. Seeing a medical professional is vital because it establishes that you suffered an injury from the accident. This is a great start, but you must stick to the orders the doctor has given.
The reason for this is due to the fact that another important piece of evidence is to keep a log of your pain and symptoms. This is best done with a combination of written and photographic documentation. This is the best way of giving an honest view of how the accident and injury have affected you on a day-by-day basis. However, if you fail to follow your doctor’s orders then the opposition can argue that you are at fault for any worsening of the injury or for the fact that it has impacted you for so long.
Gathering evidence is also important, more on that in the next section. For now, also remember that it is incredibly important not to speak to an insurance company without representation. These companies are going to try their best to pay you as little as possible and that is just unacceptable.
How Can an Attorney Help You When You’ve Been Hit by a Car?
First, a lawyer can represent your interests when speaking with an insurance company. This is true when speaking about getting hit by a car when walking in Texas, but it’s also true any time you have to speak with an insurance company regarding an accident in any state. As a rule of life, don’t speak with an insurance company following an accident unless you have a lawyer.
But an attorney can also help you gather together all the research you need. This can be especially helpful should you not have been able to gather any information at the scene due to your injuries. An attorney can help you to gather the police report, medical reports, medical bills, documentation of the wages you are losing due to the injury, and anything else that will be necessary to prove the full scope of the damage you have suffered.
With this information, your attorney and you will be able to prove to the courts that you suffered real damages. We’ll link those damages to the injuries and we’ll link the injuries to the accident. By showing this chain of connections, we tie everything together by proving that negligence caused the accident. With the blame identified, the compensation you are due follows.
When Is the Right Time to Speak to an Attorney?
In most cases, you are going to want to speak to an attorney as soon as possible following the accident because the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code only gives you two years from the day of the accident to take legal action. The more time you and your attorney have to work on a case, the better. Some cases may be simple, others may be complicated and require more time.
However, there are some cases where you may not want to speak to an attorney, or you may speak to one and learn you don’t need their services.
The first is when you don’t suffer any injuries. This is rare in these types of accidents, but if you walk away from the accident without suffering any kind of injury then you don’t have a case. These are personal injury cases, so you can see why an injury is important to move forward with one.
The other is when symptoms don’t present themselves right away. Injuries you suffered in the accident may only present themselves as problems down the road. In this case, it’s always better to contact an attorney when they start to show. You’ll have less time to work on the case but there still may be plenty of time to put together a compelling case.