Glober Law Firm
Steps to Take if You’ve Been Hit by a Car as a Pedestrian or Cyclist
It’s the worst-case scenario — you’re out walking or riding a bicycle and out of nowhere, you get hit by a car. Unfortunately, this kind of accident is all too common in both Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 44 pedestrian fatalities in Duval County due to car accidents in 2019 alone, and 11 cyclist fatalities due to car accidents that same year.
Getting injured in an accident can leave you feeling confused, scared, and anxious, about what to do next. That’s where an experienced Florida personal injury attorney can help. At Glober Law Firm, I focus on personal injury cases and have over 30 years of experience fighting for fair compensation for my clients. Contact me today to schedule a free case review.
Your Care Comes First
First and foremost, it’s important to see a health care professional as soon as possible after an accident, even if you feel fine immediately afterward. Sometimes, it may take a few days for the extent of your injuries to become clear.
Always tell your medical provider that you’ve been in an accident when you seek treatment. Here are a few other tips to consider:
- Document your diagnosis - If your medical provider diagnoses you with a condition they believe was caused by the accident, get this diagnosis in writing to pass on to the insurance company.
- Don’t wait to get medical care - It’s possible that the insurance company may deny your claims if they believe you’ve waited too long to seek treatment, claiming the injuries weren’t that bad since you didn’t immediately seek medical care.
Call the Police
Accident investigators in Jacksonville, Florida and Jacksonville Beach, Florida, are trained to see evidence that you may miss. Their account of the scene and any possible injuries will be submitted to the insurance company for review.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, making sure that you document the details of the crash will often be one of the last things on your mind, but it is crucial to collect as much information as possible. Some important details to document include all of the following:
- Driver Information - Get their insurance information, license plate number, and the location of any damage to the vehicle. If you’re able to take photos at the crash site, do it!
- Witnesses - If there were witnesses, get their contact information and share this with the insurance company and the police officer at the scene of the accident.
- Medical History - Medical appointments, procedures, prescriptions, and follow-up visits you have that are related to the accident need to be documented. If you’re not able to do this yourself, ask a family member, friend, or co-worker to help you document everything. These detailed records may affect the amount you receive in damages from a settlement.
- All Relevant Details - You’ll also want to take the time to write out, in your own words, everything that happened immediately before, during, and after the accident. You’ll be asked about the accident multiple times, and having your statement of the events in writing will help you be clear, consistent, and concise.
Notify the Insurance Company
The timing of when a person must notify his or her insurance company of an accident can vary from company to company. Some may require notification within two days of an accident.
Speak With An Attorney
As you try to navigate the complicated and often tedious insurance claims process, having an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Not only can an attorney walk you through the claims process itself, but they will be able to help investigate the claim, document your injuries, and take the case to court on your behalf if the insurance company is unwilling to work with you.
Potential Pitfalls To Be Aware Of
In a perfect world, every driver would have insurance, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. If you end up involved in an accident with a driver who is uninsured, having an attorney on your side can help ensure that you have every chance at pursuing the compensation you deserve.
You’ll need to factor in all of the costs of your accident, including lost wages, in-home caregiver expenses, bike repairs, etc. Don’t focus on only the medical expenses.
Final Medical Costs
Don’t make the mistake of only including your current medical expenses. Be sure to factor in costs for follow-up visits, long-term care, or ongoing medical treatments. This can often be tricky to calculate on your own, which is why an experienced personal injury attorney can help you account for all medical costs.
Low First Settlement Offer
The initial offer made by an insurance company may be too low to cover your actual expenses. Insurance companies will intentionally try to lowball individuals in an effort to mitigate costs and pressure individuals into settling quickly. It’s okay to negotiate for a higher amount, and an experienced attorney can help with negotiations.
Statute of Limitations
There may be a statute of limitations on when you can bring a claim or lawsuit against the driver that hit you. You’ll need to be well-versed in accident law to avoid this issue — otherwise, your claim could be thrown out as no longer valid.
How an Experienced Florida
Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Your personal injury attorney should have plenty of experience working with clients in similar situations, and understand the special considerations involved in the insurance claims process. When searching for an attorney, you’ll want to work with an attorney you feel comfortable with who also has experience in court, just in case the insurance company is unwilling to cooperate.
With over 30 years of trial experience, I compassionately serve personal injury clients in Duval, Clay, Nassau, Baker, Union, Bradford, and St. Johns Counties. If you or someone you know has been injured in a car or pedestrian accident, contact me at the Glober Law Firm today for a free case evaluation. Together we can discuss the details of your case and how I might be able to help you pursue the justice you deserve.