The Florida Pedestrian Accident Guide was created by Paul Boone Law to help residents who have been injured in a pedestrian accident obtain maximum compensation for their claim.
How a Pedestrian Accident Claim Works
There are a lot of factors to consider when you’re bringing a claim. This is probably all foreign to you and you are looking for as much information as possible before you take the leap and call a lawyers. Of course, that’s understandable. Getting hurt in a pedestrian accident is extremely stressful. Having a lawyers by your side is only going to help you. Here is how a claim works typically from start to finish:
An example of a case would be if someone was walking across an intersection in a crosswalk during a red light where they should reasonably be safe from harm. A driver on a cell phone doesn’t see the red light and crashes into the pedestrian, seriously hurting them. That pedestrian gets medical care, needs surgery and therapy, and doesn’t return to work for six months.
This pedestrian can bring a claim against the driver who was on their cell phone. The driver is not going to be paying for the pedestrian’s damages out of their own pocket. The insurance company who represents the liable party will be. The pedestrian is going to be represented by Jacksonville pedestrian accident lawyers to get the help they deserve and justice they’re entitled to.
When you are considering bringing a pedestrian accident claim, please act as fast as you can. You need to bring a claim within four years, as per Florida statute of limitations. Now, that does not mean that you should wait until three years and 300 days to call a lawyers to see what they can do for you. At that point, your witnesses probably forgot all the key details about the accident. Your evidence is long gone by then and your lawyers will be crunched for time trying to get your claim brought before that deadline. Do your lawyers and yourself a favor and jump into action as soon as you possibly can.
Steps to Take for the Best Possible Result
Any personal injury case is going to be challenging. Pedestrian accident cases are not unique in being notoriously hard for the victims to get the justice that they deserve. With the help of Jacksonville pedestrian accident lawyers, however, your odds of getting the justice you are entitled to is far greater than if you go this alone.
That being said, the first thing that you need to do regarding your case is hire a lawyers. Lawyers have a job to protect your rights. That requires them to be knowledgeable in
state and federal law pertaining to pedestrian accidents. When a lawyers takes on your case, not only are they going to be a useful source of information, they are also going to be fierce defenders. They have handled the ups and downs of cases like this many times before.
Odds are you’ve never litigated a pedestrian accident case before in your life. We would never want you to feel like you have to become some sort of expert in the field in order to defend your own rights and get the results you deserve. Make your life easier by hiring a lawyers.
Your first step for a successful claim is going to be hiring a lawyers. The first physical thing that you should do immediately following your pedestrian accident is get medical attention. Medical attention should be your number one priority. Calling a lawyers can happen the next day or so. When you get immediate medical attention, you are ensuring that your health is number one.
The consequences of not seeking immediate medical attention are far greater than one might expect. Of course, you’re physically not going to get better until you treat your pain. A lot of injuries can get worse and cause permanent damage if they are left untreated. A lesser known fact about delaying medical attention is that it could ruin your case.
Insurance companies that are meant to be compensating you for your damages will be looking carefully at your medical records. If they notice a delay in medical attention, they will likely say that you lied about how badly you were hurt or that you lied about how you got hurt. Either way, this can ruin your claim. They could either throw it away because they don’t think your injuries were from this pedestrian accident or they could decrease the value of your case because they think that, if you were as hurt as you say you were, you would’ve sought immediate medical attention.
Damages in a Pedestrian Accident Claim
There are two types of damages for pedestrian accident claims that victims can recover from the liable party’s insurance company. The first is economic damages and the second is non-economic damages.
Economic damages pertain to the amount of money that the pedestrian accident cost you. If you missed a lot of time at work and lost out on wages, you can be compensated for that. All of your hospital bills and subsequent medical bills and any medical care that you’re going to need in the future are covered under your economic damages. That could include physical therapy, medication, and sometimes even travel costs to get to the treatment that you require.
Non-economic damages have to do with all of the ways being hurt in a pedestrian accident has changed your life. We are going to look at all the details of what your normal day-to-day life used to look like before the accident and what your day-to-day life looks like now. For example, let’s say before the accident you would wake up every morning, walk your dog, feed your kid, drive a carpool to school, perform work where you do some physical labor, come home to make dinner for your family, etc. Now, after the accident, your day looks a lot like rest and recovery. No working, no driving, and no walking your dog, especially when the trauma of being in a pedestrian accident has left you feeling unsafe on the street walking. Being unable to enjoy life and having sustained trauma and the pain and suffering of being involved in an accident are all non-economic damages.
While you can calculate exactly how much pay from work you missed out on, you can’t calculate the cost of not being able to take your kids to school every morning or enjoy physical activity anymore. These are some of the most devastating effects of having been involved in a pedestrian accident and our Jacksonville pedestrian accident lawyers will fight tirelessly to ensure that the liable party is held responsible for causing you all this grief. We fight for those who lost normalcy in their life.
A Word of Warning
Certain things can ruin your case. The biggest mistake you can make might be talking to the liable party’s insurance company about what happened to you. They are looking for ways for you to ruin your own claim. In Florida, if you get pinned for a percentage of the blame for causing the accident, then you can get your compensation award reduced. We don’t want that for you. Your Jacksonville pedestrian accident lawyerss want full and fair compensation. If you accidentally say something during a recorded statement with the insurance company, they could say that you were 50% at fault and any award you get should be reduced by half. The best thing that you can do for the success of your case is allow a Jacksonville pedestrian accident lawyers to handle communication with the insurance company so that your rights to full and fair compensation are protected and you don’t accidentally say something that could lessen the value of your claim, leaving you with justice that’s not served.
After a Pedestrian Accident
Sometimes, we get asked what to do after a pedestrian-automobile accident has occurred and a client’s been hit by a car. Ironically, the answer to that question is get medical care. That is head and shoulders the first thing you should do.
This case will be over at some point and time. It will be done. Everyone will go on with their lives. You are left with your injury. If you don’t get medical care and get it early on, you jeopardize your ability to maximize your recovery.
No one wants to be seriously hurt. No one wants to walk around with a permanent injury. You can help your circumstances by getting medical care. Get it early on. Then follow up with what your doctor tells you to do.
Typically, the first trip is to the emergency room. The emergency room refers you to secondary care, whether it’s an orthopedist, whether it’s your primary care doctor or other healthcare practitioner. They recommend that. You should go get treated, maximize your ability to recover. The longer you wait, the smaller your chances are of maximizing your recovery.
Then do what the doctors tell you to. One of the worst things you can do to your lawyer is when he gets your medical records, he sees the word non-compliant. That means you’re not doing what the doctor’s telling you to do. That is deadly to your case.
You don’t want to do that in the first place, but as far as your case is concerned, it throws a dagger into it. Do what the doctors tell you to do. There is every good reason for that. That’s the very first thing you should do is get medical care, follow up, do what the doctors tell you to do.
Secondly, get a lawyer involved early on so he can help navigate you through this process, which quite likely is the first time you’ve ever been involved in this situation. Our practice is virtually exclusively personal injury work. We know what needs to be done. Get us involved in the process early.
If you’ve been hit by a car as a pedestrian in Nassau County, Duval County, or outlying areas, call us. We’ll sit down; we’ll go over things. We’ll get you on the right track in the road to recovery and figure out a roadmap to best help your case.
Common Mistakes in a Pedestrian Accident Case
In looking over cases where pedestrians have been hit by cars, we often see mistakes that they’ve made— unintentionally, most of the time. One of them is they don’t get treated. There’s a saying that there’s no such thing as a minor pedestrian-automobile accident. Sometimes, every so often, someone will get hit, and they don’t think they’re hurt as badly as they are, so they don’t get treated.
They don’t go to the emergency room. They don’t go to their primary care doctor until later. Many times, the injuries don’t manifest themselves or you don’t feel them for several days or weeks later. In these kinds of cases, pedestrians are prone to receiving traumatic brain injuries. Those signs and symptoms don’t surface for weeks and weeks sometimes. If you don’t get a full range of treatment early on, that can be missed. Medical evidence is gone.
It’s just a mistake; unintentional, but it’s a mistake. Another is not getting a lawyer involved in the process early on. Preserving evidence is another reason to get the lawyer involved early. Cars typically are not seriously damaged when they hit a pedestrian. They’re repaired and typically repaired pretty quickly. If a lawyer is not involved early on, that’s a piece of evidence which will be gone because no pictures were taken.
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian-auto accident where you’ve been hit by a car in Nassau County or Duval County, call us. We’ll sit down and we’ll talk about your case and figure out how best to approach it and move forward with it.
Differences Between Pedestrian And Car Accident Cases
What are the differences between an injury case involving a pedestrian versus and one with two automobiles? For one, pedestrian cases are typically more serious cases. There’s a saying that there’s no such thing as a minor pedestrian-automobile accident case.
One of the things that is different medically is that so many times, there is a traumatic brain injury that does not manifest itself immediately. We haven’t found a case yet where a pedestrian’s been wearing a helmet. If they get hit, they can strike everything imaginable, including their head.
Traumatic brain injuries can manifest themselves later. That’s why it’s important to get treated completely immediately after the accident. That’s one of the major differences. There are differences connected with insurance as well.
If you’ve got that situation where you’ve been hit by a car as a pedestrian, call us. Get us involved early on so that we can help navigate you through those different waters. We’ve been in practice in the Northeast area for 38 years.
If you have been hurt in Nassau or Duval County or the surrounding areas, call us. We’ll sit down; we’ll go over all those things. We’ll map out a plan to help you.
Pedestrian Accident Case Value
There are several factors involved in putting a value or a value range on a case such as a pedestrian-automobile accident case. They can include the nature and extent of the injury, whether the injury is permanent, whether it impairs your ability to get on your normal course of life, whether you’ve lost time from work, whether you have unpaid bills, and whether the liability on the case is strong or it’s weak.
All of those things factor into assessing the value of the case. It’s not done quickly. Sometimes, we get asked in the very first conference how much a case is worth. We tell them we don’t know. That’s a true statement.
It takes time. We gather evidence. We do lots of things that involve assessing the value of the case. Generally, it comes much later in the case.
If you’ve been hurt, if you’ve been hit by a car as a pedestrian in Nassau County, in Duval County, or the surrounding areas, call us. We’ll sit down; we’ll go over your case. We’ll go over the strength and weaknesses. We’ll figure out a plan to help you best with your case.
Pedestrian Accident Case Timeline
Resolving a pedestrian-automobile accident case can typically take 9 to 14 months. If we get involved and we have to file a lawsuit, you can add a year to that estimate. If it gets complicated in the litigation, more time. The court systems have gotten clogged up again with cases. It’s taken us a long time to get to trial on cases.
The takeaway is that it’s not going to be over in a couple of weeks or four to six weeks. It’s going to take time. There are lots of things involved in preparing a case. It all takes time.
You heard a saying that there’s no minor pedestrian-automobile accident. That is true. Getting back to as close to normal as you were before, that’s your goal; that’s your job. Let the lawyers do what they do; let us do what we do best.
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian-automobile accident, if you’ve been hit by a car in Northeast Florida, Duval County, Nassau County, or surrounding areas, call us. We’ll get together and we’ll go over things. We’ll map out a plan to help you with your case.
Pedestrian Accident Insurance Investigation
We get asked a lot whether clients should talk with insurance companies. There are two answers: yes and no. The yes has to do with your own insurance company. If you have insurance that will cover your injuries, contact them immediately and cooperate with them.
You have a responsibility to cooperate under your insurance policy. Tell them what they need to know. Give them what they ask for so that you can get your medical bills paid and the other things that your policy provides.
Otherwise, the answer is no. Do not talk to the insurance company for the other side for the automobile driver or owner who hit you. They are the experts; you are not.
One of the things we give clients in our first meeting is our contact information. We tell them to tell the insurance company to call us.
At that point, it is illegal for them to continue to talk to you. They know it. They will contact us. We will have the information flowing from our office in the appropriate way.
Yes and no is the answer to that. Call us if you’ve been hit by a car as a pedestrian. We can help you navigate through those mysterious issues of insurance and help you with your case. Call us and we’ll sit down and figure out a roadmap to best help you.
Partial Fault in a Pedestrian Accident Case
In Florida, we have a rule called the comparative negligence rule. What it means basically is that if you as the pedestrian are partially at fault and the driver is partially at fault, and we go to court and try your case, the jury will have the responsibility to tell us what percentage each of you are at fault.
For example, say the jury says that your case is worth $100,000, but they say that you are 50% at fault. The judge will award you $50,000, not $100,000. You can be partially at fault and you still have a case. That’s why we tell people that if they have a situation where they think maybe they’ve got some responsibility, where they stepped off the curbside and didn’t look both ways, for example, they may still have something of a case that we can help them with.
If you’ve been involved as a pedestrian, got hit by a car, where you think maybe you might bear some fault in Nassau County or Duval County, call us. We’ll sit down; we’ll talk about it. We’ll figure out a way to help you.
Hit And Run Pedestrian Accidents
There are cases that are harder than others. Getting by a hit and run driver as a pedestrian is one of those. The hit and run driver is gone. Typically, their identity is not found out. Sometimes it is later on, but if they’re hitting and running, they’re leaving the scene. Many times, they don’t get caught, so you lose your ability to make a claim against the driver and his insurance company.
You may have an ability if you’ve purchased uninsured motorist coverage with your own automobile to make a claim. If you do not own an automobile and you do not have that kind of insurance, then this is a tough conversation that we have with people who are hurt in that scenario. There may not be a practical ability to help you.
We can counsel you in terms of getting treatment and some alternative coverage issues, but you could have a very difficult time. You’re not going to know unless you call us. We handle these situations a lot when they come up in our 38 years of practice. If you’ve been hit as a pedestrian in a hit and run situation, call us. We’ll sit down. It’s not going to cost you anything.
We can guide you at a minimum. Call us and we’ll sit down. We’ll figure out something that’s best for you.
Choosing The Right Pedestrian Accident Attorney
We often get asked about selecting a lawyer in a pedestrian-automobile accident case. Our answer is this: Find someone with experience. Find a lawyer who practices virtually exclusively personally injury work.
We’ve practiced for over 38 years. Representing pedestrians is a big part of that. The rules are a little bit different. When a pedestrian gets hit by an automobile, the insurance interplays are different.
You need a lawyer who understands that so that he can navigate you through. Preferably, you want a lawyer who’s been around awhile and knows what the inside of a courtroom looks like, a lawyer who has tried cases, has litigated cases, and has the respect of the insurance companies, When the insurance companies see your lawyer’s name for example on paperwork, letters, court papers, they know that they are dealing with someone who’s been there before.
If you’ve been hurt as a pedestrian, been hit by a car in Nassau County, Duval County, or the surrounding areas, call us. We’ll sit down; we’ll go over things. We’ll see how best we can help you.
Call Our Florida Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Pedestrian accidents often leave victims with severe damages. You don’t deserve to have been hurt like this and we are going to stand by you to ensure you get the results you deserve. Our Jacksonville pedestrian accident lawyers fight fearlessly to give people the results that they are entitled to. The liable parties who caused these immense damages need to be held accountable for the wrong they committed. Please call us as soon as you can to set up your free initial consultation.
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