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For Florida residents, the simple act of walking across the street can lead to severe injury or even death. Along with an improved economy and lower gas prices, the number of pedestrian deaths also surged by 10 percent nationwide in 2015. Of the country’s automobile-related pedestrian deaths, New Mexico, California, Florida, and Delaware accounted for 42 percent of all cases. Florida was ranked second overall in the number of annual pedestrian deaths.
Because pedestrian accidents are not uncommon, Florida residents should learn the proper actions to take if they find themselves injured in a pedestrian accident or if they are present when an accident takes place.
Accidents are naturally high-stress events. However, victims and onlookers should do their best to remain calm and move away from the road to avoid further injury. Remaining calm allows all parties to communicate more effectively until the police arrive and are able to take over the scene. If the pedestrian is severely injured, minimizing the noise and stress level can help the person avoid additional emotional distress while waiting to receive medical treatment.
Call the police
Many pedestrians mistakenly believe they can simply go home and call the police to file a report at a later date if they deem a report necessary. Calling the police at the scene of the accident will ensure that the accident is documented, offering the advantage of recording the details when they are fresh in the victim’s, driver’s, and witnesses’ minds. In addition to calling the police, the victim should be sure to give his or her account of the accident, if possible. In some instances, the police may interview witnesses and the driver while failing to take a statement from the pedestrian.
Keep the driver at the accident scene
Even if the pedestrian does not appear to be injured, the driver and pedestrian should remain at the scene as injuries may become apparent after the effects of adrenaline have subsided. Keeping the driver and witnesses at the scene until after the police have arrived and taken the appropriate info to file a report generally makes it easier for the injured party to file subsequent insurance claims should the need arise at a later date. While at the scene of the accident, the pedestrian and/or witnesses who are attempting to offer assistance should record the driver’s contact information and take as many photos of the scene, the driver’s vehicle, and any other damaged property as possible. If the driver has fled the accident scene, taking a snapshot of the driver’s car and license plate may also prove very helpful when attempting to track him or her down.
Don’t wait to speak with an attorney
After contacting the police at the scene and receiving medical attention, the injured pedestrian should contact a lawyer for assistance in receiving compensation to cover personal property damage and medical expenses. In Florida, the pedestrian will typically be required to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company. When filing a claim, the injured party will be required to present medical records as evidence of expenses.
Prior to communicating with the insurance company, it is highly advisable for the injury victim to contact an experienced Florida pedestrian accident attorney. We can help you obtain and present the proper documentation to prove injury and related expenses in addition to negotiating on the injured pedestrian’s behalf while ensuring his or her rights are adequately protected. Call our personal injury law firm today at (321) 733-5703 to schedule a no-obligation consultation. An attorney from Couture Law P.A. can meet you at our Melbourne office or in the hospital if need be.
How much does a personal injury attorney cost?
At Couture Law P.A. in Melbourne, you won’t pay a penny unless our personal injury lawyers prevail at trial, or procure a settlement on your behalf. This arrangement is commonly referred to as payment “on a contingency basis.” Suffice to say, we’ll help you fight for every dollar for your pain and suffering.
How much time do I have to file an injury lawsuit?
The period of time from the date of the accident until you no longer can file a claim is known as the “statute of limitations.” In Florida, the amount of time in which statutes expire varies by case type. The statute of limitations for most injury cases is four (4) years. For medical malpractice and wrongful death cases, it’s two (2) years. Always err on the side of caution by consulting with your Melbourne personal injury attorney.
Do I have a case?
Because no two cases are alike, Melbourne injury attorneys should gather and analyze all of the facts regarding your case before addressing this question. After tracking down and speaking with witnesses, we’ll give you a fair, honest assessment of your unique situation – and how we can help.