If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian injury accident in California and do not choose to hire a personal injury lawyer, you risk not receiving the full compensation you deserve. While you do have the right to represent yourself, many things can go wrong if you are unfamiliar with California laws or the court systems. You also need experience working with insurance companies, as it takes skills to negotiate fair compensation.
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Representing Yourself in a Pedestrian Injury Claim Puts You at Risk
The laws in the State of California protect pedestrians by providing them with certain rights when using public streets. A pedestrian is anyone not using a motorized vehicle, electric scooter, hoverboard, bicycle, or motorcycle. Pedestrians include those who use non-electric scooters, ice skates, skies, skateboards, and walkers on foot.
Laws regarding pedestrian rights are not absolute. They are also required to follow standard motorist laws in adhering to safety and traffic regulations. These regulations are critical to a pedestrian injury claim when an accident happens. Representation in a pedestrian injury claim requires someone who has knowledge of these laws and how they apply to compensation owed.
An experienced lawyer at a pedestrian accident law firm understands the California court system and all laws applied to both motorists and pedestrians. If a motorist hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian could be owed a significant amount in compensation for their suffering and injuries. Representing yourself in this type of claim puts you at risk of not receiving a fair settlement.
Risks of Representing Yourself in a Pedestrian Injury Claim
1. Collection of Evidence
One of the first risks you face if attempting to represent yourself in a pedestrian injury claim is not understanding how to collect evidence. Pedestrian accident lawyers understand that evidence such as:
- Medical bills
- Other statements verifying injuries
It will be essential in verifying your claim and obtaining fair compensation. Their experienced eyes and those of their staff can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
2. Not Understanding Deadlines
Another risk of representing yourself in a pedestrian injury claim is not understanding the deadline set by California laws. California Code of Civil Procedure 335.1 only allows a pedestrian to file an injury claim within two years of the incident. If the claim is not filed within this time frame, you will no longer be eligible to seek financial compensation.
A pedestrian accident lawyer knows this time limit on filing and will ensure your case is filed appropriately. The statute of limitations for personal injury in the State of California must be followed, and you want a lawyer working with you to ensure all deadlines are met to receive a fair settlement.
3. How to Seek Fair Compensation
Knowing a fair amount to seek compensation is also a difficult task. A pedestrian accident lawyer understands the different types of damage or injuries that can happen and what compensation should be requested. There are also a variety of regulations and laws that may have been violated that could impact your case. Representing yourself in a pedestrian accident claim and not understanding these factors puts you at risk of not receiving what you deserve.
4. Not Having Negotiation Skills
Negotiation skills are also critical when dealing with insurance companies for compensation in a pedestrian accident claim. Often having the skill to deal with insurance companies can avoid a claim having to go to trial. A pedestrian accident lawyer is qualified and knowledgeable in negotiation skills.
A pedestrian accident lawyer will also know to consider these factors during negotiations:
- If your case can be won in the courts
- What past settlements have been in similar cases
- Whether or not there are loopholes in the insurance policy
Not having full knowledge of what to look for in a pedestrian accident claim puts you at risk of not receiving a fair settlement. Consult with a lawyer who knows how to fight for your rights and will protect your future.