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The Essential Dos and Don'ts for Pedestrians Involved in Crosswalk Accidents

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Every year, thousands of pedestrians are injured in crosswalk accidents across the country. These incidents often involve vehicles making left turns and failing to see pedestrians crossing the street. The consequences can be severe, ranging from minor injuries to life-altering conditions or even fatalities. Understanding the essential dos and don'ts following these types of accidents is crucial for ensuring your safety and securing your rights.

In this blog, we will review actionable advice for individuals involved in crosswalk accidents, particularly when hit by a car making a left turn, including the steps to take immediately following the accident and strategies for seeking compensation and legal recourse.

Immediate Steps to Take After the Accident

Navigating the immediate aftermath of a crosswalk accident can be overwhelming, however, the steps you take during this critical period can significantly impact your health and legal standing.

There are several essential actions and precautions you should consider immediately after an accident, such as:

  • Do prioritize your safety: Immediately following the accident, your priority should be your safety and health. If possible, move to a safe location away from traffic to prevent further harm. However, if you suspect any severe injuries, especially to your spine or neck, try to remain still to avoid worsening your condition before emergency services arrive.
  • Do not leave the scene: Unless you require immediate medical attention and are transported from the scene by emergency services, stay at the location of the accident. Leaving could complicate your ability to claim compensation later.
  • Do call emergency services: Even if your injuries seem minor, it is crucial to call 911. The police can file a report, which will be invaluable for insurance claims and potential legal action. A medical professional can also assess your injuries, some of which might not be immediately apparent.
  • Do not neglect to gather evidence: If you are able, collect evidence at the scene. This includes taking photographs of the crosswalk, any visible injuries, the vehicle involved, and surrounding areas. Get contact information from witnesses and the driver involved in the accident.

Seeking Medical Care

After ensuring your immediate safety and documenting the accident scene, the next critical step is to address any injuries you have sustained. This phase is pivotal not just for your health but also for any future claims.

  • Do seek immediate medical attention: Common injuries in crosswalk accidents include broken bones, road rash, loss of consciousness, and head injuries. It is essential to seek medical care promptly, as some injuries, like internal bleeding or concussions, might not show immediate symptoms but can have severe consequences if untreated.
  • Do not underestimate your injuries: Never assume that lack of pain means you are uninjured. Adrenaline can mask pain immediately after an accident, so submitting to a thorough medical evaluation can rule out any hidden injuries.

Legal Recourse and Compensation

Once your immediate health concerns are addressed, it is time to consider your legal options and potential compensation. Your decisions during this stage are crucial for securing the resources you need for recovery.

  • Do consult with a personal injury lawyer: Navigating the aftermath of a crosswalk accident can be complex, especially when pursuing compensation. Consulting an experienced personal injury lawyer who handles pedestrian accidents can provide you with an understanding of your rights and the best course of action to take.
  • Do not speak to insurance companies without legal advice: Insurance companies often aim to minimize payouts. Speaking to them without legal representation can jeopardize your ability to secure fair compensation. Allow your attorney to handle communications with insurance companies.
  • Do keep detailed records: Maintain a detailed record of all medical treatments, expenses related to the accident, and any lost wages due to inability to work. These documents are crucial for substantiating your compensation claim.
  • Do not delay legal action: Be mindful of the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim in your jurisdiction. Waiting too long can result in losing the right to seek compensation for your injuries.

Crosswalk accidents, particularly those involving vehicles making left turns, can be devastating to pedestrians. By following the dos and don'ts outlined above, individuals involved in such accidents can take crucial steps to ensure their safety, secure appropriate medical care, and safeguard their rights to compensation and legal recourse. Remember, the aftermath of an accident is a critical time, and your actions can significantly affect your situation's outcome. If you have been injured in a California crosswalk, call the pedestrian accident attorney at McGee, Lerer & Associates today at (310) 231-9717.

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