Pedestrian accidents in Florida are unexpected and normally have devastating consequences. With our great weather and walkable destinations, these accidents are frighteningly common. It is shocking just how common these accidents are and how many people are killed while simply walking or jogging. Our attorneys have handled every type of pedestrian accident-from those involving death, to broken bones, brain injuries, or simply strain, sprains, or contusions.
Sean McQuaid and Jonathon Douglas are experienced personal injury attorneys who will always put your needs first. We have helped countless injured pedestrians recover compensation for their losses. If you or a loved one has been the victim of an accident, please contact us for a free consultation. You will find that we are different from any other lawyer you’ve met.
Who Pays For Your Medical Bills?
Your medical bills up to $10,000 will be covered like in any other auto accident. This is because all Florida drivers are required to carry PIP insurance. There are several ways that you can qualify for PIP insurance. If you have your own car insurance, you will get the bills paid through your policy. If you don’t own a car, then you can qualify for PIP through a relative who you live with who carries car insurance. If neither of those apply, then you can get PIP from the insurance of the vehicle that hit you. Therefore, in virtually every case, there will be PIP coverage to cover your bills- so get treatment for your injuries.
How Does a Pedestrian Recover Compensation?
A pedestrian can recover just like anyone else injured in an auto accident. There are several sources that we look to in order to find insurance coverage to pay for your damages. We first look at the at-fault vehicle to find coverage. If the driver who struck you or your loved one carried Bodily Injury (BI) insurance, then we make a claim on that first. If that coverage was enough to pay your claim, then the analysis ends. But, if the party did not have BI, or not enough BI, we then look for other forms of coverage like Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist (UM). We look toward your own car insurance policy or to a family member who you live with. If either of you (or both) carry UM, then you can make a claim against those policies. Thus, there are often multiple pools of money to pursue for damages.
What Should You Do If You Have Been Struck by a Car?
Step 1 Contact Law Enforcement
After every accident, you must call the police. This applies even if you believe you might have been at fault or only just got knocked down. If you have been so seriously injured that you were not able to report the incident (or taken to the hospital), you must make sure it is reported as soon as possible. It has been our experience that many pedestrian accidents involve hit and run drivers, so the help of the police is vital to track these people down. Regardless, having the police respond and document what happened is very important to a successful claim. The insurance companies look at the accident reports and it will serve as a resource for the rest of the case.
Step 2 Document the Scene
Although this step might not be easy if you are seriously injured, it is always helpful to take pictures of what just happened. I recommend that everyone takes pictures of the vehicle, the driver and any witnesses. If a family member or friend arrives at the scene, they should take pictures of you in whatever condition you may be in. These pictures will be helpful to demonstrate the story of the accident and what happened.
Step 3 Get Witness Information
If any witnesses to the incident are present, get their information. Do not rely on the police to get the information for you. The police are notorious for omitting or incorrectly documenting contact information for witnesses. So, protect yourself if you can.
Step 4 Seek Medical Treatment
The most important part of any pedestrian injury claim is the medical treatment. Regardless of your injuries, if you do not see a doctor or treat regularly, your claim will suffer. If you need emergency medical care, go to the hospital or an urgent care center. If your injuries are not that severe, then you will need to see a doctor who specializes in injury claims as soon as possible. If you do not know a specialist, your pedestrian accident attorney can recommend someone to you. The bottom line is that you must follow your doctor’s advice until the claim is over.
Step 5 Speak to a Lawyer
While not the most immediate step, it is always better to speak to a lawyer sooner rather than later. Once the insurance company finds out who you are, they will try to contact you. Once you have a lawyer involved, he or she will handle the contact with the insurance company. Your lawyer will set up your claim and make sure you are treated by the proper doctors. The lawyer will serve as the quarterback of your case, so don’t wait too long to get one.
How Much Does an Attorney Charge?
All attorneys charge the same for cases involving pedestrians. The fee arrangement is called a contingency. This means that the lawyer charges a percentage out of the money that is recovered for you. If no money is recovered, then you don’t owe the lawyer anything. This makes the hiring of an attorney zero risk. It also means that you never have to put any money down, never make a payment plan, or pay a retainer. The percentages charged are also the same from lawyer to lawyer. For most cases, the fee is 33%. If the case is against a state or government agency, then the fee is 25%.
Contact an Attorney for a Pedestrian Accident
We understand how difficult a pedestrian accident can be. You might be crossing the street one minute or jogging on the side of the road when your life is changed forever. Because the body is no match for the impact from a car, people are either maimed or killed. We have met with many families to discuss the steps that need to be taken after the loss of a loved one. It is always a tragic scenario. While we hope that you or your family never have to experience a pedestrian accident, if you find yourself in that scenario, we can help. Give us a call or contact us on our website as soon as possible as time is of the essence. Please be safe out there.
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