If you were injured in a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent driver in California, you are entitled to be compensated for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damages, and pain and suffering. However, you must prove the motorist’s negligence and the amount of your damages.
How do you meet your burden of proof and convince the insurance company to pay you what you deserve? You must collect evidence both at the collision scene and in the days and months after it.
Evidence to Collect at the Scene of Your Accident
Your job of obtaining evidence to use against the at-fault driver begins right after your pedestrian collision. Here are the top types of evidence you need:
- Contact information. You should obtain the contact information for the driver who struck you and their insurance company. You will need this info to file your claim for compensation for your injuries.
- Police report. Call 911 right after your accident. The police officer who arrives at the scene will conduct an investigation and write a police report. It can contain helpful information, such as statements of the driver and witnesses, details on how the crash occurred, the officer’s conclusions as to who was at fault, and any traffic citations issued.
- Witnesses. You should not rely on the police to obtain the contact information for witnesses to your collision. Obtain their contact information yourself before they leave, and get their statements before they disappear or their memories fade.
- Pictures. You should take pictures and videos of the damage to the motor vehicle that hit you, your injuries, the accident scene, and anything else that could help you prove the motorist’s fault in causing your collision. Have someone do this for you if you are too hurt to do it yourself.
- Your clothes. Save your clothes in the same condition they were in at the time of your accident. They can be compelling evidence if your case is decided at a jury trial.
Other Evidence You Will Need
You could suffer very serious injuries, like traumatic brain injuries, internal organ damage, and back and spinal injuries, in your pedestrian crash. You will need to prove the seriousness of your injuries and the amount of compensation you receive as well as the driver’s liability. Evidence that you should collect includes:
- Medical records and bills. Your medical records are essential to prove the type of injuries you suffered, treatments you need, and whether you will fully recover from your injuries. Also, save all your medical bills to prove the amount of medical expenses you should be compensated for.
- Lost wages. If you had to take time off work, you should save your pay stubs and other documents regarding sick and vacation time or other perks of your job that you lost. You could also need your income tax returns if you are self-employed or do not have a full-time job.
- Insurance policies. You will need a copy of the other driver’s insurance policy to determine the amount of liability insurance they have to pay you.
- Expert witnesses. If the insurance company disputes the liability of their insured or the seriousness of your injuries, you may need to hire expert witnesses, such as medical experts, accident reconstruction experts, and economic experts, to resolve these disputes.
What Is the Best Way to Obtain the Evidence You Need?
While you should begin collecting evidence to prove your case immediately after your pedestrian collision, the best way to ensure that you obtain all the proof you need is to retain an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer. They will know exactly what you need and can obtain much of it for you. They can also file your claim with the insurance company and negotiate your settlement so that you receive all that you deserve.
At the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, my staff and I are committed to helping you every step of the way and fighting aggressively with the insurance company so that you are treated fairly. To learn about my track record of success in these cases and how I can assist you, start a live chat or call my San Diego office to schedule your free consultation.