6 Steps Florida Pedestrians Should Take After Being Hit & Injured By A Negligent Driver
Florida is one of the most dangerous states in the nation to be a pedestrian. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association reported that Florida is one of five states (including Arizona, California, Georgia, and Texas) that account for 47% of all pedestrian deaths in the U.S.; in 2019, 368 people died in a pedestrian crash in our state alone. You are likely reading this article because you have been injured as a pedestrian and are wondering what you need to do in order to get justice. If that’s the case, we’re sorry that you’ve been injured, and we’re here to help. The Florida Law Group has been fighting for justice for injured pedestrians since 1984. To date, we’ve recovered over $1 billion dollars for our clients! Here are the steps Florida pedestrians should take after being hit & injured by a negligent driver:
If you haven’t already, get a full medical exam as soon as possible.
It’s important to be seen by a medical professional about your injuries immediately following your accident. Because pedestrians are completely unprotected during a collision with another vehicle, most people do end up being hurt so badly that they have to leave the scene in an ambulance, but other injuries can take days or weeks to present themselves. Adrenaline can keep you from really feeling the extent of your injuries. Even if you’re not hurting badly after the crash somehow, you need to visit a doctor, urgent care, or emergency room as soon as you can. Getting an examination can not only save your life, but it can also be important for future legal purposes.
Document your injuries privately – store them in a safe place.
Another one of the steps Florida pedestrians should take after being hit & injured by a negligent driver is to obtain copies of the police report and of any medical records related to their accident – MRIs, X-rays, bills, doctor’s notes, treatment plans, bloodwork, etc.. You should keep a personal journal or note on your phone, if that’s easiest, tracking how your injury progresses. Write down how you feel each day and how the injury is impacting your everyday life. Not only can this help you process the accident and your healing, but it can also help you explain what you are going through to your doctor, a lawyer, or a jury, if it comes to that. Keeping copies of workdays or life events missed can also be helpful if you decide to file a lawsuit for compensation. Just make sure that these records are backed up or in a safe location so they won’t be easily lost or deleted accidentally!
Keep any pictures or records of the accident scene that you have – store them in a safe place.
If you are physically able to after the accident, and were in enough presence of mind to think to take pictures of the scene or of your injuries, or if photos were taken by the police who arrived on the scene, keep those photos and store them, as they could help your case later on!
Contact your insurance company when you are in a calm state of mind and only give them the facts.
Many injured pedestrians make the mistake of calling their insurance company immediately following the accident, when they are still shaken up by the crash, being propelled by adrenaline, and don’t have all the facts of the accident yet. A full investigation has not been made, and while the insurance adjuster may seem to be on your side, they are not. You may accidentally make statements that suggest you were at fault or that you are not badly injured, even if that is not true. It’s better to wait until you are calm and prepared to call your insurance company, although you do need to notify them within a few days following the accident. You are under no obligation, however, to submit a written or recorded statement to the insurance company – you only have to give them the facts about the accident that you know, such as where and when the crash occured, what vehicle was involved, the other driver’s information, and the identity of any witnesses. You should avoid telling them anything else until you have spoken with an attorney.
Stay off of social media.
Many injured pedestrians don’t realize that anything they post after their accident can be used against them by the insurance company. Even a simple, innocent picture with friends at dinner or a fun event can be evidence your insurance company uses to prove that your injuries haven’t significantly impacted your social life or ability to be independent. Even if you know that you were in pain and just trying to be a good sport for those photos, or if you know that you took them on one of your few “good” days you try to take advantage of, a jury or judge may not see it that way. It’s best to stay off of social media for a while until your case is resolved.
Contact a local personal injury attorney before making a claim
Arguably one of the most important steps Florida pedestrians should take after being hit & injured by a negligent driver is to schedule a free consultation with a local personal injury lawyer. A lawyer can help you understand how they can help you make a claim for the full amount of compensation you deserve, and can take the burden of paperwork and contacting the insurance company off of you! They can explain your rights and options and advocate for your best interests when an accident has derailed your life.
Call The Florida Law Group today to request your free consultation! Our law firm is one of the oldest and most prestigious firms in the state; our lead attorney, Chris Limberopoulos, is a board certified civil trial specialist, making him an expert on pedestrian accidents and other types of accident cases. You can trust us to guide you every step of the way and relentlessly pursue a fair settlement! We have 11 locations in the state of Florida to better serve you, and you never have to pay our legal fees unless and until we recover damages.