Are you wondering what to do during a pedestrian accident claim? Read this article for guidance, then call our Tampa Bay office for help.
Hiring a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
I often tell my clients the lawyer’s motto is hope for the best but prepare for the worst. That’s never been truer than in the state of Florida. In the Tampa Bay area, I’ve represented many people who thought that they probably weren’t hurt, and then found out later that they were. It’s particularly important because Florida has what we call no-fault. The law in Florida says that everybody’s entitled to medical coverage from their own insurance, up to $10,000, through their no-fault policy on the vehicles that they own. If you’re a pedestrian, you still have that responsibility if you own a car. You also have that responsibility if you don’t own a car because the no-fault system applies to any accident involving a motor vehicle, even if you weren’t in a motor vehicle.
The law in particular says you have to see a doctor right away— within 14 days is the outside limit, but, for me, it means you’ve got to see a doctor today. Do not wait. Only a qualified medical professional can answer that question— Are you hurt? If you’re asking the question, you’ve allowed for the possibility that you’re not okay, that you might be hurt, that those injuries might have long-term consequences for you today that you cannot feel or appreciate. If you’re asking the question, abide by the lawyer’s motto— hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
I want to help you get full compensation for any loss you have, and that includes your own insurance coverage or the insurance coverage from the other vehicle, even the insurance that is governed by our Florida no-fault law. The law means you’ve got to get an answer to that question from a qualified medical professional, and you’ve got to get it as soon as possible. Fourteen days is the outer limit before you lose your own benefits or the no-fault benefits from the other vehicle if you don’t own a car. In terms of prudence, you want to find out the answer right away. You have to see a doctor. Call me. I’m going to help you. I’m going to explain the law, and we’re going to get that question answered so you can have peace of mind and a path to healing and recovery.
Statute of Limitations
When I’m asked, “How long do I have to file a pedestrian injury claim here in the Tampa Bay area?” the first thing that I will tell you is that the statute of limitations is four years to file a lawsuit against a person who failed to use reasonable care that caused you to incur that damage and that loss. Remember, you should never wait four years. Hire an experienced lawyer right away, because you don’t want to wait until the end of that four years to file the claim. Evidence can be lost, witnesses can forget, and you want to make sure that you hire qualified legal representation right away.
As an injured pedestrian, you may be wondering what the value of your case is. It takes time to know the value of a case. The practice of law is more an art than a science. We don’t know at the outset what the absolute value of the case is going to be, but our role is to gather the evidence, preserve it, and maximize the ultimate recovery of the case. Your responsibility is to get medical treatment and to do what the doctor tells you to do.
In Florida, the timeline for resolving a pedestrian injury claim, if it’s done right, is going to take some time. The forces of impact between a motor vehicle and a pedestrian are pretty severe. That means we see a lot of pretty tragic injuries. Never under any circumstances should there be a rush to get it settled. Based on whatever available insurance there is, we’re going to make sure that we work up all the medical care, and that could take six months, or even years. I had a case not too long ago where a client held out for a couple of years from the date of the accident until they ended up having to get surgery that they were hoping to avoid, and it dramatically changed the financial complexion of their claim.
We’re going to always take our time with these cases. We’re going to be patient, not for the sake of delay, of course, but based on the medical information that the treating physicians are telling us, until they have a firm understanding of what’s in store for our client’s medical future.
Were you or a loved one hit by an automobile while walking or running in Tampa Bay and have questions about what to do during a pedestrian accident claim? Contact our experienced Tampa Bay Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at Perenich Law Injury Attorneys today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
Our law firm handles cases for victims wrongfully injured by the negligence of others. Let us fight for you and your family.