The first thing to do after a pedestrian accident is to get immediate medical attention. Even if you think you suffered only a few bruises, you might have broken bones, internal bleeding, or soft tissue damage that has not yet developed noticeable symptoms.
Whenever a vehicle hits a person, trauma specialists at an emergency room or urgent care center should examine the person to check for masked injuries. Sometimes the shock or adrenaline of a crash can keep you from feeling the pain of an injury.
The Top Five Things to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
After you get medical help, here are five things you should do after a pedestrian crash:
- Contact a lawyer. A lawyer can help protect you from possible tactics the negligent party’s insurance company may use to deny your claim.
- Keep a journal of your doctor and therapy appointments, your pain level, and how you are feeling. The judge and the insurance company will have a right to read your journal, so be sure to write only things that are relevant to the case and that you would be comfortable having other people read.
- If an insurance adjuster contacts you after you get a lawyer, tell them to talk to your lawyer. Send us any papers or forms the insurance company sends to you.
- Do your best to get well and heal as much as possible. Having to go to multiple physical therapy appointments a week can be extremely inconvenient, but if you do not follow your doctor’s orders, the insurance company can try to blame you if you do not achieve a full recovery of function and strength.
- Work with your lawyer to gather your medical and employer records and other evidence to prove your case.
What Not to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
Knowing what you should not do after a crash can be just as important as knowing what to do. Here are some of the top tips on what you should avoid doing:
- Do not take the blame for the wreck, even when talking to your doctor or your friends.
- Do not post photos or comments about the accident on social media.
- Other than notifying your insurance company about the collision, do not talk with an insurance company. Go through your lawyer if the insurance company wants a written or recorded statement from you.
- Do not agree to a settlement or to receive any money without going through your lawyer. People can get tricked into signing away all of their rights to more money by accepting what they thought was a partial settlement.
What Will Happen if You Are Partly at Fault
You can still recover part of your damages even if you were partly at fault in the accident, as long as someone else was also negligent and caused your injuries.
The Florida rule of comparative negligence will reduce your settlement proportionally to account for your fault. In other words, if your damages were $100,000 and you were 20 percent at fault, the other negligent person will not have to pay 20 percent of your damages. You will get $80,000 after the 20 percent reduction for your negligence.
How to Get Legal Help After a Pedestrian Accident
The Montero Law Center is devoted to helping people who have suffered harm at the hands of others. We do not charge legal fees until you get compensation. Call us today for a free consultation. We will look into your claim and let you know if you might be eligible for a settlement or an award of damages. You can reach us at 954-767-6500.