Let’s say you just went grocery shopping and as you’re walking
through the parking lot to your car, a driver pulls out of a parking spot
and strikes you. You get knocked to the ground and the at-fault driver
gets scared and speeds away. Fortunately, you weren’t alone. You
were shopping with your friend, who saw the whole thing. She quickly took
note of the driver’s license plate number and wrote it down on a
slip of paper.
At first, you didn’t feel any pain. You were shocked, but you didn’t
think you were hurt. Of course, your adrenaline was pumping; adrenaline
can mask pain for hours, if not days after something scary happens. The
next morning, you try to get out of bed and suddenly, you’re in
a lot of pain. Now you’re wondering, “I didn’t call
the police, do I still have a claim?”
Take Action Right Away
The best thing for you to do is take action right away. Do you see a doctor
first? Do you file a police report first? Do you contact an attorney first?
If possible, your first call should be to a personal injury lawyer. He
or she may be able to refer you to a doctor who won’t charge you
You need to see a doctor and you need to file a police report – both
asap. Give the police the other driver’s license plate number and
tell them what happened in the parking lot.
“But I don’t have the at-fault driver’s name or insurance
information!” That’s okay, the attorney should be able to
locate it for you. Once a case is opened, the insurance company will probably
contact you and ask for a recorded statement. The insurance company’s
goal is to get you to say something that can weaken your case. Don’t
talk to the insurance company until
after you’ve hired a personal injury attorney.
Getting Started on Your Case
If you were hit by a negligent driver while walking, bicycling, driving,
you don’t want to ignore the situation or wait another minute. Your
lawyer will need to gather evidence to corroborate your story, and to help you.
The most important things:
- Who is at-fault?
- How bad are your injuries?
- What are the limits on the at-fault driver’s policy?
- Do you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage?
If you were just in a
contact our firm right away. Our
Columbia personal injury lawyers can answer your questions, explain your rights and help you seek the medical
care and compensation you need and deserve.