The Florida Pedestrian Accident Guide was created by McKenzie Law Firm to help residents obtain the financial compensation they deserve after suffering from another’s negligence.
When you have been injured by a moving vehicle while walking, you may be eligible for compensation. It is extremely frustrating and scary to get seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness. We want to say that we are here for you every step along the way to getting the best possible result for your case. You are a priority to us and we will treat you as such. It is important that you educate yourself about your pedestrian accident case so that you come into your first meeting prepared for the road that is ahead. Our Florida pedestrian accident attorney will sit down with you for a free initial case review to go over the details about how you were injured. After you read a bit below about what to do in pedestrian accident cases, please do not hesitate to give us a call.
Common Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident
We commonly see some pretty severe injuries from pedestrian accidents due to the nature of these events. You are not protected by anything when a vehicle impacts you, which can lead to some permanent injuries in some people. The most common injuries that are a result of a pedestrian accident include traumatic brain injury (which could result in coma), broken or fractured bones, spinal cord damage, internal organ damage, bruising, road rash, scarring, and neck injuries. What you need to do, if you have not already, is get medical attention immediately. This is not a scenario in which you should try to wait to see if the pain goes away. You want to see a doctor, go to an emergency room, or visit an urgent care facility. If you do not, your injuries will get worse. You will also have the insurance company on your back trying to reduce the compensation that they owe you. They will try to say that you were not actually injured as badly as you say you were or that you lied about how your injuries happened. If you get to a doctor right away, we can use those medical records as evidence to show the insurance company that you need compensation.
How to Get Pedestrian Accident Compensation
Florida state is a lenient state when it comes to providing compensation for people who have been deemed to be at fault for the accident either partially or mostly. The only way to be barred from getting a compensation award is if you were deemed entirely at fault. The way it works is that you will have a percent from zero to one hundred that will represent your fault in the accident. Obviously, if you are zero percent at fault, you will not have your award reduced, but if you bear fault from one to ninety-nine percent, your award will be reduced by that amount. For example, if you were deemed twenty percent at fault, and your award was for $100,000, you will be able to collect $80,000 of the award for your injuries and damages. We work hard to fight against the insurance company and protect your right to full compensation.
Do Not Talk to the Liable Party’s Insurance Company
We have mentioned that the insurance company that represents the liable party will try to reduce what they owe you and that is true. They have their tactics, but something you can almost expect to happen to you is getting a phone call from them. Very shortly after you are hurt in your pedestrian accident, you are going to be contacted by an adjuster from the liable party’s insurance company. They will ask you for a recorded statement which you should not under any condition provide. They are trained to ask you questions in a way that you might answer in an unfavorable way. If you give them any answers that make you sound like you were at fault for the accident, they will use that against you and try to reduce what they owe you. Once you give them this recorded statement and give them answers that hurt your case, you cannot reverse that damage. Our best advice is to have your Florida pedestrian accident attorney take over all communication between you and the insurance company. They will protect you from ruining your case.
Frequently Asked Pedestrian Accident Questions
How Do I Pick the Right Attorney?
There are a few things to keep in mind when hiring an attorney. Number one is experience, number two is a focus on pedestrian accident cases, and number three is that they’re a trial attorney.
As an attorney, in order to make a recovery for someone, we have to determine what kind of insurance coverage exists out there. There are also important things that we need to keep in mind like road design, lighting, certain shrubbery, different things like that that may be obstructing or prohibiting view that someone else other than the operator of the vehicle may also be responsible for and may have coverage for. In certain circumstances if there are properties not kept in the correct manner, then there’s potential homeowner’s insurance cases that can come out of that where you can get coverage from a homeowner for having dangerous conditions that caused the accident to occur. You may have coverage that you can get from other places.
Sometimes there may be coverage from a city or from another entity who has put something dangerous in the road so that the accident was more likely to happen. That’s why it’s important that you find an attorney who has experience in those areas and also has a particular focus on those areas. If they have a focus on those areas, it’s likely they’ll know different circumstances and different ways in which to look for different kinds of coverage that may exist.
The third most important thing you need to keep in mind when selecting a pedestrian accident attorney is whether that attorney is a trial attorney. What that means is an attorney who will take your case from inception of when the injury has occurred until the time at which it is done. Whether it’s a settlement, trial, or appeal, you want an attorney who will take it the distance.
The reason you want an attorney who will take it the distance is because the insurance companies know who the attorneys are that are real trial attorneys. As a result of knowing that, they treat the attorneys who do not go that distance differently than the attorneys who do. Usually what that means is the people who are trial attorneys get more reasonable offers from insurance companies and other entities. When choosing a pedestrian or bicycle accident attorney, what you should be checking for is experience, a focus in that area, as well as the fact that they’re a trial attorney.
What Mistakes Can I Avoid Making?
If you are hit by a car near a store, those businesses usually have some kind of surveillance cameras which can record events but oftentimes are on loops that get deleted quickly. If you do not contact an attorney quick enough, you may not know that there are certain key pieces of evidence that may exist at the time the accident happened shortly thereafter that a lawyer may be able to get for you. Additionally, there are sometimes witnesses who disappear if you don’t act quickly. One of the most common mistakes we see is people not acting quickly enough and hiring an attorney who is experienced in that area who knows what pieces of evidence need to be collected.
Another thing that we see commonly is that our clients unfortunately don’t get medical treatment that they’re prescribed. They’ll get injured and they get busy with their life and say they don’t have time even though they are suffering. They will suck it up and deal with it, and keep getting through daily life even though it’s inhibited now based on their injuries. What we tell them is you’re harming your future self by doing that. You’ve got to follow through with the treatment that your doctors prescribed
The third most common thing we see is that people will oftentimes talk to the at-fault person who has hit them or to their insurance company and say things they shouldn’t say. You should always try and get an attorney before speaking to the other side or any of their insurance adjusters or anyone involved with them.
How Much is My Case Worth?
In order to determine the value of a client’s case, we need to know what their entire injuries are and what the course of treatment that they’ve received is and what the course of treatment they receive will be. We need to know what the past, present, and future is going to hold as far as medical damages is concerned. We will not know that for some time after an accident has happened because even some injuries themselves don’t pop up until a little while after an accident has occurred.
Then there are also various restrictions on activities that we need to know. In the state of Florida there are a host of damages that are recognized for various activities of a person’s life; humiliation, embarrassment, pain and suffering. There are all sorts of different issues that are outlined in the law that your attorney knows exists and that they can ask you questions about as time goes on for a certain period of time to determine when they will end. It requires us interviewing and getting to know our clients on a deep level to try and find what the value of their claims are.
Only once we’ve discovered all this information and only once our clients have reached a certain point with their medical treatment can we then determine what an actual value of the case is. At that point, we’ll sit down with our client and discuss what the value of the case is, and we’ll move forward from that point.
Do I Need to Give a Recorded Statement?
There are certain circumstances in which maybe you should talk to the other party’s insurance company. Only a lawyer with the experience and knowledge necessary with your pedestrian accident is looking out for your best interest and not the interest of the insurance company.
The people calling your phone that are from the insurance company are not looking out for your interests. They are looking out for their interests and for their bottom line.
That’s why it is imperative that you have an attorney who is on your side. They are there to act in your best interest on your behalf with the knowledge and experience necessary to know when and under what circumstances you should speak with an insurance company.
How Long Will It Take to Settle the Case?
The reason we can’t know how long your case will take right away is because resolution of a case depends on a whole host of certain circumstances. Number one, each person is an individual with unique injuries and has certain needs that are different than other people’s needs.
Also, the circumstances of the accident itself are unique. That can cause a host of issues to occur that will determine when the case gets resolved. There are also a host of people involved who have a hand in whether a case gets resolved. Those people are oftentimes defendants, insurance adjusters, sometimes judges, and juries, depending on where a case goes.
There are just too many people involved in the process for us to be able to give you a simple answer as to when your case is going to get resolved. What we can tell you here at McKenzie Law Firm is that we will move your case along as efficiently and as quickly as possible in order to maximize the best recovery we can make for you, given your particular needs and the particular circumstances of your case.
Call Our Florida Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
If you were seriously injured in a pedestrian accident and you are looking for a dedicated, supportive, and skilled Florida pedestrian accident attorney, please do not hesitate to call our office to set up a free initial consultation. It is so important that you find an attorney you are comfortable working with; this may be a long journey you are on together and you want to be able to trust who is representing you. We will be there for you every step of the way and make sure you are on the right track to getting the best possible result. Call us today and let us be your champion.