The biggest mistakes pedestrians make after being injured an accident
SPONSORED — Data from the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) shows that the city’s substantial population growth has produced a significant increase in serious and fatal collisions, particularly involving pedestrians. Many pedestrians find themselves in a difficult situation after an accident when it comes to getting the medical treatment they need, forcing many to neglect their own medical care.
According to SDOT’s 2017 Traffic Report, the rate of pedestrian-involved collisions per capita in Seattle increased from 2014-2016 following years of decline. Considering that the average cost of an auto liability injury claim is well over $15,000 per person, it’s inevitable that more and more people throughout Western Washington are entering into the intensive legal battles with insurance companies for fair compensation for their injuries and medical bills.
Why Medical Treatment Is So Important
When a person has suffered any form of bodily injury from a pedestrian accident, the first step to protecting their legal interests is to seek the expert medical opinion of a qualified physician. A doctor’s professional diagnosis of the accident victim’s injuries and a projection of the recovery process are essential pieces of evidence in any personal injury claim. This evidence is typically captured in the form of a doctor’s medical records and chart notes that are then submitted to the insurance company as proof of the person’s injury and how it was caused.
On the contrary, the absence or lack of medical treatment and corresponding records provides the insurance companies with an opportunity to take advantage of claimants and potentially deny perfectly valid claims altogether. The insurance companies’ legal teams know that your only other option is to file a lawsuit against them, which is unlikely to lead to a successful outcome if you do not have solid medical evidence to back up your case.
According to attorney Chris Davis of Davis Law Group in Seattle, the real key to establishing a complete collection of medical evidence is consulting with a physician as soon as possible after the accident to determine the extent of your injuries, as well as following through with any follow-up appointments and consultations with specialists that your physician recommends.
“When we take on any personal injury case, our first goal is to build an indisputable timeline of what our client’s life has been like since the accident occurred,” says Mr. Davis, who has represented injured pedestrians involved in serious and high-profile collisions throughout Washington state. “Once we have a complete picture of the victim’s injuries, medical treatment, and recovery process, we present that package as evidence to the insurance companies, pressuring them to honor their financial obligations to our clients.”
Paying For Medical Treatment After An Accident
Of course, getting medical treatment paid for is one of the most significant issues facing the average pedestrian accident victim. Medical costs add up quickly, and it can be difficult for working Americans to afford the unplanned expenses that often result from a serious accident. And being caught in in the dilemma of needing medical treatment but not having a way to pay for it can cause injured victims to neglect treatment altogether, which has a negative impact on the chances of a successful personal injury claim.
First, many people are unaware that they may already have existing insurance coverage that will pay for their medical treatment. Most auto insurance policies include Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage, which will cover immediate costs like a trip to the ER, ambulance ride, or urgent care visits. Employer-provided or privately-purchased health insurance can also provide immediate coverage for these costs.
In some cases, medical providers will also work on a lien basis when it comes to third-party personal injury claims. This means that the medical provider is informed of an ongoing personal injury claim and that they can expect to be paid for their services after the case has been concluded. Medical providers may be more likely to work on these terms if an attorney is involved, which is just another reason why it can beneficial to consult with an attorney if you have been injured in a pedestrian accident.
Free Book Helps Explain Pedestrian Accident Laws
As an attorney with experience handling serious pedestrian accident cases, Mr. Davis knows that the complexities of the legal system and the insurance companies’ aggressive settlement tactics can make it difficult for accident victims to navigate the insurance claims process.
To help accident victims better understand their legal rights and better determine when they might want to consult with a lawyer, Davis has authored and published a free legal guide on pedestrian accidents called, “Right Of Way: The Essential Guide To Pedestrian Accident Law.”
You can order your free copy of Right Of Way, or any of the other books in the Washington Accident Books series, by visiting WashingtonAccidentBooks.com or calling Davis Law Group’s office in Seattle at (206) 727-4000.