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If you are involved in a car accident in Brownsville either as the pedestrian or as the driver, there are still things you need to follow to protect yourself financially and legally:
1. Take photos.
After you have made sure the scene is safe and verified that you are not critically injured, it is essential to take photos. If you have anyone else with you, have them lend a hand so to speak. You will need to document as much as you possibly can. You should include injuries sustained by everyone, damage to any personal property, damage to the immediate area, driver and insurance information, and the area where the accident took place.
2. Call the Brownsville Police Department.
You must contact the police immediately so they can create an official police report and help you gather all the necessary information. If your phone was damaged, you might be unable to take pictures of the accident. There might be someone nearby who can help and contribute evidence to the official police report. Your Brownsville pedestrian accident attorney can get copies of later.
If you have sustained severe injuries at the scene of the crime, it’s crucial to call for medical services as necessary, such as an ambulance. Once the police reach the scene, they will typically have such services on hand.
3. Get medical attention.
If you receive treatment from any medical personnel on staff that should be documented in a report that they or the police create. As a pedestrian, it’s essential to get as much information as possible. This information should include which EMTs arrived at the scene with the ambulance. Your Brownsville pedestrian accident attorneys can reach out to the local hospitals down the line to gather evidence of your injuries. If you are not treated at the scene, you still need to visit a local hospital such as Valley Regional Medical Center or the Brownsville Valley Baptist Medical Center to get a check-up.
You need to seek medical attention immediately after being involved in a car accident whether you were in the vehicle or you were the pedestrian. If you are given any instructions for treatment, you need to follow those and regularly check back in with your doctor to chart the progress of your treatment.
4. Contact an attorney.
The sooner you speak with an attorney, the sooner you can determine where to seek medical care, what information to collect if you haven’t already, and who you should speak with about your accident.
Even if the injuries don’t seem too severe at present or you think you know the ins-and-outs of the process enough to handle the case yourself, there are many benefits to using an attorney.
Insurance companies are well-known for trying to find ways to reduce or eliminate settlements. This is not something you should have to do on your own. Experienced attorneys know how to handle each step in the claims process. They know what to present as part of the compensation demand, what the deadlines are, and if a settlement is not reached how to file a lawsuit as necessary.
Attorneys are better able to prove if the other party was liable for your injuries. If you were involved in a pedestrian accident because the other driver was negligent, that negligence could mean they are responsible for things like your medical bills that resulted from the crash.
Negligence can come from many things. Perhaps they weren’t paying attention, they ran a red light or a stop sign, or they made a right-hand turn without looking at the crosswalk. If the other party or parties involved were negligent, they might be liable. Texas is a fault state, which means it will be determined what percentage at fault both parties were, and that determines the level of liability and potential settlement or compensation.
For example: If a pedestrian was crossing at an intersection, properly using the crosswalk when they were signal to do so, and a driver making a right-hand turn failed to check the crosswalk and hit the pedestrian, that driver may be liable for compensation, especially if they are found 100% at fault.
By comparison if that same driver was making a right-hand turn and failed to check the crosswalk, but the pedestrian was not adhering to the crosswalk signals and was jaywalking, the pedestrian might be found at fault to some degree as well in which case they might only receive 80% of a settlement because the driver is found 80% at fault and the pedestrian 20% at fault.
Attorneys can access things that might be very difficult for everyday citizens to access, such as traffic cameras, police reports, and phone records. This evidence might be instrumental in proving negligence and subsequent liability.
Determining the value of your injuries plays a very vital role in your settlement, and it’s something that has to be done before you submit a claim. The damages you may qualify for are based upon the severity of the injuries you received and the impact those injuries have on your quality of life.
Example: A broken arm can be painful, but a lecturer who doesn’t need that arm to work will not receive as much compensation as a carpenter who relies upon that arm to work.
Experienced attorneys can negotiate with all involved parties on your behalf. The majority of car accident cases get settled outside of court, which is in large part thanks to negotiations involving attorneys and insurance companies.
If a settlement cannot be reached, attorneys can file lawsuits on your behalf and take your case to trial to fight for compensation proportionate to your suffering.