As a pedestrian, you should have the right to walk on sidewalks, in crosswalks, and in other public areas without having to worry about being hit by a negligent driver. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and when they do, you may be left with serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment. If you were hit by a car while walking in Florida, you may have legal recourse.
Why You Should Hire GOLDLAW For Your Pedestrian Accident Claim
If you’ve been hit by a car while walking in Florida, it’s important to speak with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney about your next steps. The dedicated team at GOLDLAW can help.
- We have been representing pedestrians throughout the state of Florida for years.
- We value our clients’ time, respond to their needs, and diligently pursue their cases.
- Personal injury law is all we do, so we have experience handling all types of cases. We know how to win.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries in West Palm Beach
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles collects information related to vehicle crashes around the state, including pedestrian accidents. During the most recent reporting year of data on file, we can see that there were 9,569 total pedestrian collisions across the entire state. Out of these incidents, there were 835 fatalities and more than 1,400 injuries.
Unfortunately, the injuries sustained as a result of these incidents are often severe. Pedestrians lack any protection from the force of a vehicle or a collision with a fixed object. In many cases, pedestrians incur more than one impact as a result of an incident with another vehicle – usually one impact with the vehicle and then a secondary impact with the ground or a fixed object. Some of the most common injuries associated with pedestrian incidents in West Palm Beach include the following:
- Fractured bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries with paralysis
- Puncture wounds or lacerations
- Road rash
- Internal bleeding or internal organ damage
Aside from traumatic injuries that often occur in these incidents, it is important for us to examine the psychological and emotional impact the victim will incur. Often, the injuries, the recovery, and any disabilities can lead to a victim incurring feelings of loss, anxiety, fear, stress, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
It is vital for us to recognize these less visible injuries because individuals deserve compensation that will make them whole. Making someone “whole” means providing compensation for the physical injuries as well as unseen pain and suffering a person may endure.
How Will an Attorney Help Your Claim?
It is imperative to have a skilled attorney by your side after a pedestrian accident in West Palm Beach. These claims can become very challenging, particularly when insurance carriers and even other attorneys get involved. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by the negligence of another driver, your personal injury attorney will handle every aspect of the claim on your behalf. They will:
- Handle the entire investigation into the incident
- Communicate with other parties involved
- Take care of any negotiations with the insurance carriers
- Ensure you are evaluated by a trusted medical professional
- Work with economic and financial experts to calculate your losses
- Fully prepare your case for trial if one becomes necessary
When you sustain an injury, you need to focus on recovering. Let a lawyer handle the hard work so you can get better.
Steps to Take After a Pedestrian Accident
There are various steps that individuals can take after a pedestrian accident occurs in West Palm Beach. We know that the time frame immediately following an incident can be confusing, but these steps can help move you in the right direction for your health and well-being as well as compensation:
Ensure Your Safety and Seek Medical Attention
Your well-being is paramount. Move to a secure location away from vehicle traffic, if possible, and immediately call for medical assistance. Even if you feel fine, it’s crucial to get a thorough medical evaluation to identify any hidden injuries and establish a medical record of your condition.
Gather Information and Document the Scene
Gather as much information and evidence as possible about the accident. This includes obtaining the driver’s contact and insurance details, gathering witness statements, taking photographs of the scene, and noting any relevant road or weather conditions. These details will be invaluable when building your case.
Report the Accident to Authorities
Contact the local law enforcement agency, typically the West Palm Beach Police Department, and file an accident report. Ensure that the police document your account of the incident accurately. This official report will serve as crucial evidence when seeking compensation for your injuries.
Preserve Evidence and Document Injuries
Preserve any evidence related to the incident. This can include damaged clothing, personal belongings, or the vehicle involved. Additionally, photograph your injuries, keep copies of medical records, and maintain a journal documenting your pain, emotional distress, and impact on your daily life.
Consult with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Contact a skilled personal injury attorney with expertise in pedestrian accidents in West Palm Beach. They will assess the circumstances, guide you through the legal and insurance process, and fight for your rights. Time is of the essence, as there are specific statutes of limitations that govern when you can file a claim.
How Long do You Have to File a Claim?
It is important to understand that you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit in civil court against an alleged negligent driver or other party after a pedestrian accident in West Palm Beach. The personal injury statute of limitations in Florida recently changed with new tort reform laws signed in March of 2023. Previously, the personal injury statute of limitations in Florida was four years from the date an injury occurred, but this has been changed to two years. We strongly encourage you to reach out to a skilled personal injury lawyer as soon as possible, who can guide you toward the path of recovering the compensation you need and filing every claim on time.
In addition to the civil personal injury statute of limitations, please understand that the insurance carriers will have their own reporting deadlines that you need to be aware of. Please file a claim with your insurance carrier or the insurance carrier of the at-fault party as promptly as possible. We encourage you to let your attorney speak to the insurance carrier so that you can avoid saying anything that could jeopardize your claim.
Recoverable Compensation in a Pedestrian Accident in Florida
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to recover several types of compensation, including:
- Medical expenses: You can recover monetary compensation for past and future medical treatment related to your pedestrian accident injuries, including hospitalization, surgery, doctor’s appointments, medication, and assistive devices such as crutches or a wheelchair.
- Lost income: If you have to take time off work because of your injuries, you are entitled to lost wages as well as any future lost earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering: If you are successful in your claim, you will be able to obtain compensation for physical pain and emotional suffering caused by your injuries.
- Loss of companionship: If your spouse is killed in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to recover compensation for the loss of their companionship.
What To Do If You Were Involved in a Hit-and-Run Pedestrian Accident in Florida
If you were injured in a hit-and-run accident or do not know who was driving the car that hit you (as can often be the case in pedestrian accidents), you may be concerned that you won’t be able to recover any compensation to help with your medical expenses and lost wages. Fortunately, this isn’t always the case.
In Florida, you may be able to recover compensation in the following ways after being injured in a pedestrian hit-and-run accident:
1. Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage
If you have PIP insurance coverage as part of your automobile insurance policy (which is required in the state of Florida), you can make a claim against your own insurance company up to the limits of your policy, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. Your PIP coverage will pay for 80% of your medical expenses and 60% of your lost wages, up to the limits of your policy or a maximum of $10,000.
2. Uninsured Motorist Coverage
If you have uninsured motorist (UM) coverage as part of your automobile insurance policy, you can make a claim against your own insurance company up to the limits of your policy if the driver who hit you does not have car insurance.
3. The Crimes Compensation Trust Fund
The Crimes Compensation Trust Fund is a state program that provides compensation to victims of violent crimes who cooperate with law enforcement in the arrest and prosecution of the offender(s). If you are the victim of a hit-and-run where the driver cannot be identified and prosecuted, you may be eligible for compensation from this fund.
Just remember, your auto insurance can help you even though you weren’t driving at the time of the accident.
Call a West Palm Beach Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
If you or somebody you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident caused by the negligence of another driver or individual in West Palm Beach, please reach out to the team at GOLDLAW as soon as possible. We understand the challenges individuals face when working through these claims, and we want to make sure that you have the best chance of recovering compensation for your losses.
If you were involved in a pedestrian accident and need help, contact us to schedule a free consultation.