If someone has been injured in a pedestrian accident, they should call 911 and make sure they are safe. Once they ensure that they are not in any immediate danger, they should reach out to an experienced attorney. A legal professional could guide an individual through the Glastonbury pedestrian accident case process and work to protect their right to damages after getting hit by a car.
Investigation and Collecting Evidence
If a pedestrian suffers injuries in an accident and the driver flees the scene, this person should first seek medical treatment, then report the incident to the police and their insurance company. Police have the ability to obtain some information that a lawyer cannot get on their own.
For instance, law enforcement may be able to acquire cellphone and medical records through court warrants.
Once retained, a Glastonbury injury law firm could help a claimant in a pedestrian accident case collect evidence by getting an accident reconstruction and obtaining litigation hold letters before moving forward with a claim.
In these cases, any videos or images can be crucial to the strength of a claim. Property damage also could be used as evidentiary support for determining how an accident happened. This evidence could include damage to the defendant’s vehicle or the plaintiff’s belongings.
Individuals who are not attorneys may overlook evidence that is recorded on a vehicle’s black boxes. This information may include the speed the vehicle was going at the time of the collision and what was happening with the mechanics of the car. This is why retaining legal counsel is important because it increases the chances of collecting all important evidence.
How to Handle Insurance Companies
An injured party should never talk to the defendant’s insurance company without a lawyer. Once an attorney sends a letter of representation to the insurance company, a claimant could disclose some information, but they should still consult with their attorney first. It is important to note that an injured party has no obligation to speak to the insurance provider.
Filing a Pedestrian Accident Claim
In Glastonbury, one of the first steps involved in filing a pedestrian accident case is to ensure that the police investigate the incident. Either the injured party or their lawyer should acquire statements and obtain the police report. An attorney also may try to get any footage or available dashcam video.
To be fully prepared to file a lawsuit against the defendant, a lawyer must collect all relevant information. Additionally, to ensure that a claimant may be able to receive compensation for all of their losses, an attorney reviews this person’s medical records to understand the extent of their injuries.
Most claimants file lawsuits with the Connecticut State Court, which is the superior court. The only exception may be if one party lives out-of-state and the amount of the controversy is more than $75,000. In these situations, an individual may bring their case to the federal court in the state.
One of the biggest considerations in deciding whether to file a case is the likelihood of success. Sometimes it is difficult to get discovery in a case, and as a result, a lawyer cannot depose people. Additionally, if the injuries are not severe, it may not be worth the cost of bringing the case. There also is the question of insurance and whether the defendant has adequate coverage.
An important step a lawyer takes before filing a case is ensuring that they understand the injured person’s story. They should know who the claimant is as a person, what they have gone through, and what happened.
Statute of Limitations
Generally, the statute of limitations in Connecticut is two years from the date of the accident. Sometimes though, there could be a notice provision if the accident involves a municipality or a state agency. In this situation, the injured party may have to give notice as soon as 90 days or six months after the accident, depending on the circumstances. If the plaintiff does not comply with the notice, they may not be able to bring their case.
What Happens After a Claimant Files a Case?
Once a plaintiff files their case with the court, there will be pleadings to be resolved. Then the discovery stage begins, which is the transfer of information between the parties. Next, during the pretrial stage, there may be a status conference between the lawyers to try to negotiate a settlement and avoid going to trial. If the parties cannot resolve the case, there may be a jury selection and ultimately a trial.
Contact a Glastonbury Attorney for Help Navigating the Pedestrian Accident Claims Process
The Glastonbury pedestrian accident case process can be extremely complex and daunting to handle without a seasoned lawyer. Our dedicated attorneys could support you and your case every step of the way. To get started on your claim, call today.