When a car hits a person who is on foot, the pedestrian can suffer severe injuries as he has no physical barrier protecting his body from harm when the massive weight of the vehicle strikes him.
If you were hit by a car as a pedestrian, you are not alone: the Miami Herald reports that Florida is one of the most deadly states for pedestrians. When in this situation, you should take steps to preserve your health and protect your right to money damages for your losses. Also, you need to avoid some of the situations that can decrease the value of your claim for compensation.
Getting Medical Attention After a Pedestrian Accident
You need to get your injuries treated immediately after a car hits you. You might not realize the extent or severity of your injuries at first. Trauma teams at emergency rooms have training in how to detect problems like internal bleeding before symptoms appear.
It is not unusual for head trauma, broken bones, and neck or back injuries to take days to develop signs that someone who is not a medical professional would notice. During that time, your injuries could become worse, and you could experience a medical crisis. As a rule of thumb, whenever a vehicle strikes a person who was on foot, the pedestrian should get a professional medical trauma examination.
The Value of Your Medical Records
Your personal injury lawyer will use your medical records to link the pedestrian accident to your injuries. Your medical records will show the extent and severity of your injuries and what caused them. If you delay in getting medical treatment or an examination, there might not be as strong a link between your injuries and the accident.
When a person waits a day or two or longer to seek medical attention, the defense will argue that something other than the pedestrian accident caused the injuries. It can be harder to prove the cause of the harm you suffered without prompt medical attention.
How a Lawyer Can Protect Your Right to Compensation
If you try to handle the insurance company on your own without a lawyer, you are taking a lot of risks. The people at the insurance company know all the deadlines and other rules that apply to your injury claim. The claims adjuster can drag out the evaluation of your claim just long enough for the deadline to pass, knowing that you will then have no legal right to go after money damages.
Another trick that some insurers use is the recorded statement. If the adjuster asks you to provide a recorded statement, tell him to talk to your lawyer. These statements only help the insurance company – they do not help you. The insurer can twist your words into something that you did not intend and use that to pay you less money than you deserve.
Your lawyer can negotiate directly with the insurer so that you do not have to do so. If the insurance carrier refuses to pay a fair amount to settle the case, your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf.
If you’ve been hit by a car as a pedestrian, you may be wondering what to do to file a claim, particularly if you know that the state of Florida imposes a four-year statute of limitations (VIII.95.11) for personal injury claims. When you work with a pedestrian accident lawyer, we can take care of your legal matters so that you can focus your attention and energy on getting well. Call the Montero Law Center today at (954) 767-6500 for a free consultation.