3 Steps to Take after a Pedestrian Accident
What is a Pedestrian Accident?
Pedestrian Accidents are “Metal on Flesh” accidents. This occurs when a motorist hits someone who is not in a vehicle. Any accident of this nature can result in serious injuries.
The general rule in motor vehicle accidents is the victim must prove that the motorist is responsible for his/her injuries. The onus is different in pedestrian cases. There is a reverse onus. The reverse onus shifts the burden of proof to the defendant. In this way, the motorist must prove that he/she is not responsible for the accident. This motorist must provide an adequate explanation to the Court to shift the blame elsewhere.
This Happened to Me, What Do I Do?
Your goal is to make what you saw as difficult to disprove as possible. The best way to do this is to collect evidence. Your account is the truth. The more evidence you have, the easier it is for the truth to shine through. The following three steps describe how to gather the best available evidence.
Step 1: Filing a Report
The first step is reporting the accident. Call 9-1-1 and ensure your accident is investigated by the police. This creates an official record of the accident. The existence of this record establishes three important facts: an accident occurred, its location and the identities of the people involved.
Have the police document as much of the accident as possible. This may include identifying and taking statements from potential witnesses, taking measurements, finding the location of debris and looking for skid marks. By gathering this evidence, it makes your story harder to disprove.
All this evidence makes the defendant unable to plausibly dispute your story. The defendant must argue their story is more likely than what really happened. Each piece of evidence in the report narrows the possible stories the defence has available to argue. Ideally, the report should have enough evidence that the only plausible story is the truth.
Step 2: Take Photographs
The next step is taking photographs. Photograph anything the insurer could challenge. Take pictures of the vehicle, the accident scene, your injuries and if they worsen, how they progress. You want to be able to show what happened and how bad it was.
Do not only take pictures that you think best show the damage, take pictures of everything. You have an advantage. You are telling the truth. The more photos you take the clearer the truth becomes.
You also want to take pictures of things that are missing. A lack of skid marks or vehicle damage can help your case. A lack of skid marks can show the driver failed to brake and you were hit at a high speed. This kind of photo can assist you. These photos will help you get the compensation you deserve.
Take pictures of everything and take more than you need. It can be a long process to get compensation. Memories fade, accident scenes are cleared and vehicles are repaired. Photographs display moments in time that allow your lawyers to prove your case before a judge or jury. The more evidence you have, the more clearly the judge or jury can visualize the accident.
Step 3: Seeing Your Doctor
The third step is seeing your family doctor right away. You must fully report your injuries from the accident. Doing this quickly is crucial for two reasons.
The first reason is it eliminates any question of causation. The more time that passes between the accident and seeing your doctor, the easier it is for the defendant to claim your injuries were not caused by the accident. You can take this opportunity away by seeing your doctor immediately after the accident.
The second reason you should report your injuries to your doctor immediately after the accident is that any delay can lower your damage award. Injuries can heal with time. You want to be compensated for the injuries you sustained. If you wait, your doctor will only have a record of your injuries as they have healed. You will not get your true damages for living in pain and going untreated if you fail to mention them to your doctor. See your doctor as soon as you can following the accident.
At your family doctor’s appointment, ensure your general practitioner includes the full extent of your injuries in your clinical notes and records. Your case is proven via medical tests (X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, and MRIs), treatments (PT, MT, Chiro, etc.), and medications, as prescribed or over the counter.
Tests, treatments and medication substantiate your injuries. Tests show your injuries via raw data. These tests cannot be faked. These tests are difficult for the defence to rebut. An MRI of a broken leg is the best record of a leg fracture. Tests are great because they show the injury exactly as it was. Your injuries may change over time; tests are proof of how they were.
Testing, treatments, and medications demonstrate the full effect of your injuries. If your doctor prescribed pain killers, the judge or jury knows you were in significant pain. Treatments and medication are evidence of the nature and extent of your injuries. The more evidence you have, the more likely your claim will be successful.
If your injuries persist, contact Littlejohn Barristers at 705-725-7355. We are a leading personal injury firm in Barrie. In 2021, we have already recovered several seven-figure injury awards. We would love to hear from you.