I Was a Pedestrian Hit by a Driver in Iowa. What Should I Do?

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Posted by Ben Long

Being hit by a car as a pedestrian in Iowa is a traumatic experience that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what steps to take next. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, it is crucial to know what your rights and responsibilities are to ensure your safety and secure any compensation you might be entitled to.

Immediate Steps to Take After Being Hit by a Vehicle

1.    Ensure Your Safety

Your first priority should be to get to a safe location. If you are able to move, try to get out of the road to avoid further injury. If you are seriously injured, try to stay as still as possible until medical help arrives.

2.    Call 911

Even if you think your injuries are minor, it’s essential to call 911. Reporting the accident will ensure that police and medical personnel are dispatched to the scene. The police report will also be an important document if you need to file an insurance claim or pursue legal action.

3.    Seek Medical Attention

It is critical to seek medical attention immediately, even if you do not feel seriously injured. Some injuries, such as concussions or internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent. A medical professional can assess your condition and provide necessary treatment. Additionally, having medical records will be vital for any subsequent legal or insurance claims.

4.    Gather Information

If you are able, try to gather as much information as possible at the scene:

  • Driver Information: Obtain the driver’s name, contact information, driver’s license number, vehicle registration, and insurance details.
  • Witness Information: Get contact details from any witnesses who saw the accident. Their statements could be crucial for your case.
  • Accident Details: Take photos of the accident scene, your injuries, the vehicle involved, and any other relevant factors, such as traffic signals or road conditions.

5.    Document Everything

Keep a detailed record of everything related to the accident. This includes your medical treatments, interactions with insurance companies, any time off work, and how the injuries have affected your daily life. This documentation will support your case if you seek compensation.

Understanding Fault After a Pedestrian Accident

Iowa follows a modified comparative fault rule, which means that fault is apportioned among the parties involved in an accident. Under Iowa law, you can recover damages if you are found to be less than 51% at fault for the accident.

If you are 50% or less at fault, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. If you are 51% or more at fault, you will not be able to recover any damages.

How to Deal With the Insurance Company After You’ve Been Hit by a Car

After the accident, you will likely need to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. Here’s the steps you should take to make sure you do this right:

  1. Notify the Insurance Company: Report the accident to the at-fault driver’s insurance company as soon as possible.
  2. Provide Documentation: Submit all relevant documentation, including medical records, the police report, witness statements, and any other evidence you have gathered.
  3. Communicate Carefully: Be cautious when speaking with insurance adjusters. Provide factual information, but avoid giving detailed statements about your injuries or the accident without consulting an attorney.

Types of Compensation You Could Receive After an Accident

As a pedestrian hit by a vehicle, you may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Compensation for current and future medical bills related to the accident.
  • Lost Wages: Reimbursement for any income lost due to your injuries.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation for physical pain and emotional distress caused by the accident.
  • Property Damage: If any of your personal property was damaged in the accident, such as a phone or clothing, you might be entitled to compensation for repairs or replacement.

Why You Should Hire an Attorney if You Were a Pedestrian Hit by a Car

Given the complexities of personal injury law, it is often beneficial to consult with a personal injury attorney, especially if you have sustained significant injuries.

An attorney can help you:

  • Evaluate Your Case: Determine the strength of your case and the potential compensation you might receive.
  • Notify You of Deadlines for Your Claim: Iowa law has a statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including car accidents. You generally have two years from the date of the accident to settle your case or file a lawsuit. If there are extenuating circumstances, an attorney may be able to tell you what those are and if your claim qualifies.
  • Negotiate with Insurance Companies: Handle communications and negotiations with the insurance company to ensure you receive a fair settlement.
  • Represent You in Court: If necessary, your attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf and represent you in court.

RSH Legal offers free, no-obligation case evaluations for Iowa pedestrians injured in accidents. To schedule yours, call 1-800-433-0283 today.

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