How to Seek Compensation If You’ve Been Hit By A Car
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Those who have been hit by a car are often left to deal with devastating consequences, whether it be another driver, pedestrian, cyclist, or other road users. If a car has hit you, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. However, the last thing the victim of a car accident needs is to be left to deal with the consequences of their accident on their own. Having knowledgeable attorneys on your side can help you in your recovery by trying to secure you the compensation you deserve.
You May Be Entitled To Compensation
What To Do if a Car hits You
Here are a few steps you can take after being hit by a car to not only make sure you are safe but to make sure you put yourself in a position to recover the legal compensation you deserve:
1. Call the Police
It is crucial that you contact law enforcement as soon as you are able. The police play an important role in getting emergency dispatch to the scene to tend to injured parties as well as play a pivotal role in documenting the accident. The police can file an official report on the accident. This report can be very helpful later on when filing a personal injury claim.
2. Seek Medical Attention
After suffering an accident, the most important thing to do is to seek medical attention. Injuries can range from mild to severe, but even mild injuries need to be evaluated by a medical professional. A medical professional can also play an important role in documenting your injuries, which can be used as evidence in your claim.
3. Document the Scene
Preserving necessary evidence is key to prevailing on your claim. Beyond speaking with the police and getting a medical professional to evaluate your injuries, do everything you can to document the scene of the crash. This can include simple tasks such as taking pictures or making quick notes of important memorable details.
4. Call an Attorney
Those filing personal injury claims can get easily taken advantage of by opposing parties and insurance companies. If a car has hit you, the best way to make sure you are being treated fairly and to seek the compensation you deserve is to hire an experienced attorney. An attorney can investigate your case, determine liability, help you value your case and negotiate with insurance companies to seek settlement for you – leaving you to focus on your recovery and not the legal process.
Colorado is a beautiful state, which lends itself to a lot of people choosing to walk around to get to their destinations rather than drive their vehicles. This is especially true for those in the Denver area. Having an abundance of pedestrians walking close to roadways creates many different scenarios in which people are more vulnerable to being hit by a motor vehicle. Here are a few of the situations where a pedestrian may be hit by a car:
Hit on a crosswalk
In Colorado, drivers are required to yield to the right of way of pedestrians who are using crosswalks. However, distracted drivers sometimes fail to check the crosswalks while other drivers fail to yield to the right of way of pedestrians. Pedestrians have an inherent expectation that motorists will stop for them at a crosswalk, but some drivers ignore the rules, fail to stop, and cause serious accidents and injuries.
Hit while riding a scooter, bike, or skateboard
While not all cycle, scooter, or skateboard accidents are that serious, accidents of this nature are prevalent and disastrous. Cars can hit pedestrians while they are cycling, scooting, or skateboarding due to increased speeds, distraction, lack of visibility, and other hazardous road conditions.
Hit on a sidewalk
Often drivers make a choice to speed, unlawfully pass other drivers on the road shoulder, or don’t pay attention to where they are going. In these cases, drivers can end up losing sight of the marked road and can hit pedestrians who are safely traveling along sidewalks.
Child hit by a car
While all pedestrians are vulnerable when traveling on or near a roadway, children are especially vulnerable to the dangers of being hit by a car. Children often play near the street where they are more susceptible to getting hit if a driver is not paying close attention or doesn’t have time to yield. It is important to keep a close eye on your children while they are playing outside and to educate them about the importance of pedestrian safety.
Who Can You Sue?
If a car, bicycle, or another type of vehicle has hit you, you can sue the person responsible. You must prove that the person driving the motor vehicle was at fault. If a driver has failed to yield to the pedestrian, car or another vehicle right of way, is driving to fast, or participated in an additional failure to exercise reasonable care when operating their vehicle, you may be able to hold them liable for their conduct.
While you may be able to hold the driver of a motor vehicle responsible, Colorado is a contributory negligence state. This means that if you are found to be over 50% responsible for your accident, you may be precluded from recovering damages.
Both pedestrians and other roadway users can be injured when a car hits someone. The type and severity of a person’s injury depend on the circumstances surrounding the accident. Pedestrians who are hit by a car traveling 15 MPH or less are not likely to sustain fatal injuries. However, the risk of more serious injury increases in situations where a driver is speeding beyond that limit.
These are the most common injuries sustained in accidents
- Head trauma
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cuts and scrapes
How much is my case worth?
If a car has hit you, the value of your case will depend on a number of factors. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages for your claim.
Economic damages compensate you for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other financially based injuries.
Non-economic damages are more commonly referred to as damages for pain and suffering. Calculating pain and suffering is not an exact science, but often attorneys multiply your economic damages by a number that represents the severity of your suffering.
Some states also allow for the possibility of punitive damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the liable party for conduct that is particularly egregious in the hopes that it will deter others from acting similarly. However, in Colorado, a plaintiff cannot seek punitive damages initially. A plaintiff must wait until the court finds clear and convincing evidence that punitive damages are appropriate. If they are appropriate, Colorado law states that the amount of punitive damages cannot exceed the amount of actual damages described above.
How long do I have to file a claim?
Your right to recover may be affected by how long you wait to bring your claim. This is known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations sets a legal time limit in which an injured party is allowed to file a lawsuit.
Every state has a different statute of limitations for different types of claims. Personal injury claims involving a car in Colorado place a three-year statute of limitations. This means that you have three years to make a claim and any claims brought after that time may not be allowed.
Frequently Asked Questions
I was hit by a car, how much will I get?
Without knowing the details of the circumstances surrounding your accident, it is impossible to give an accurate estimate of how much compensation you can recover. However, if you have been hit, you may be entitled to damages resulting from your medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and your pain and suffering.
How much should I settle for?
You should not settle for any less than the amount of compensation you deserve. Insurance companies tend to make low-ball initial settlement offers. Do not take the first offer. Having an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side can help you negotiate and seek the compensation may be entitled to.
Can you sue if you’ve been hit by a car?
Yes. You may be able to sue the person responsible for hitting you. The best way to make sure you file a successful legal claim and seek the compensation you deserve is to hire an experienced attorney. Your attorney will work to prove that the person at fault owed you a duty of care, breached that duty of care and as a result caused the accident and your injuries.
OUR CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS CAN HELP
Zinda Law Group works with professionals in the field of accident investigation, as well as law enforcement and witnesses to collect evidence to help prove that the guilty party indeed was at fault.
We will use that information to seek fair compensation on your behalf for the injuries and emotional suffering you have had to endure. Our goal is to protect your rights and to help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.