Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney is a law firm with professionals who have a deep understanding of Florida's personal injury laws due to our many years of experience in this practice. To avoid the hassle of dealing with insurance companies after an accident, you need to find a reliable personal injury attorney because different laws are applicable in an injury case, and we are here to help you.
What You Need to Know When Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Pedestrian Accident
Insurance givers are typically profit-making companies whose goal is to extract the most from any case. After being involved in a pedestrian accident, dealing with insurance companies can be very overwhelming. All insurance companies will always try to negotiate little or no compensation at all, even in a situation where you deserve full payment for negligent acts of another party. It’s therefore advisable to hire a personal injury attorney if you’re involved in a pedestrian accident. Your injury attorney will help you gather enough information about the accident to identify the at-fault party.
Before you think of seeking compensation from an insurance company, you need to have enough evidence beyond reasonable doubt to prove you deserve a certain amount of payment in a civil court. After getting involved in a pedestrian accident, there are a few crucial things you need to do to be in an advantageous position when seeking compensation for the damages and injuries caused. Below are essential actions pedestrians are supposed to undertake after getting involved in an accident:
- Do not leave the accident scene unless if the accident was severe
- Ask at least one eye witness his/her personal contact information
- Report the case to the police
- Use your smartphone to take pictures and videos of the accident scene and injuries caused
- Beware of every word you speak out to any other party involved in the accident
- When involved in a pedestrian accident in traffic, you must ask the other driver of his/her personal information and type of insurance cover they possess
- Speak to your injury attorney for legal guidance
Occasionally, some reckless drivers might still want to threaten you so that you can admit the accident fault and get less compensation for the injury sustained. Although pedestrians ought to observe specific regulations while in traffic, most of the time, it’s the motorist’s fault in a pedestrian accident. Insist on speaking to your injury lawyer before you say or sign any kind of document that admits liability.
The basis for any legal suit in a personal injury case lies in proving negligence of the party at fault in the accident. Speak to a reliable personal injury lawyer such as the experts at Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney law firm to know your rights in a pedestrian accident and how you can extract your deserved benefits from insurance companies for damages and injuries caused in an accident.
Types of Insurance Involved in a Pedestrian Accident Case in Florida
The amount of compensation remedies an injured pedestrian receives after an accident depends on the type of insurance both parties have, assets, and the extent of the injuries the pedestrian sustained in the incident. Below are examples of insurance types involved in a pedestrian accident:
Every owner of an automobile in Florida should have a valid auto insurance coverage policy as per the requirement of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). A pedestrian's most likely source of remedy after an accident is from the driver’s auto insurance. There is always a minimum car insurance coverage requirement in almost all states, including Florida hence drivers can choose whichever type of insurance policy they want. Below are minimum car insurance coverages required by the state of Florida:
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP)—This is an auto insurance coverage meant to protect the victims of any type of accident the driver gets in. The personal injury protection coverage pays the accident victim his/her medical treatment for sustained injuries, lost wages, and other expenses related to the accident regardless of who is liable for the accident. In Florida, the Personal Injury Protection money, the plaintiff receives amounts to $10,000
- Uninsured Motorist Coverage—This type of coverage comes into play in situations where the driver or motorist who caused the accident is underinsured or not insured at all. In some states, it also covers damages and injuries of an unidentified driver. This type of insurance coverage is subject to the terms, conditions, and limits of the auto policy contract. The amount paid in Florida in this coverage type is $10,000 per accident victim and $20,000 per accident
- Property Damage Coverage— This is an auto insurance coverage type that pays for property damage resulting from an accident where the driver is at fault. The amount to be paid per accident is $10,000. This insurance coverage can also offer legal defense against the claimant to dismiss the compensation claims or to reduce the amount of the said damage compensation claim. In such a situation, a claimant will need services of a reliable personal injury attorney for legal representation to accrue the deserved benefits from the insurance company
- Bodily Injury Coverage—If an accident victim such as a pedestrian sustained physical injuries as a result of the accident, the bodily injury coverage would pay for all the damages the victim incurred, such as medical and treatment expenses. If the accident victim did not survive, the surviving family could also accrue death benefits from the defendant’s auto policy through bodily injury liability coverage
MedPay Coverage is a particular type of insurance coverage the car owners buy at their own will to protect themselves and the victims of an accident they get involved in terms of medical attention. Unlike the auto insurance policy, this type of coverage is not mandatory in Florida. This type of insurance coverage comes into play when the driver’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage is not enough to pay for the accident victim's medical costs.
The maximum amount of money paid by the personal injury protection coverage is $10,000, which sometimes is not enough in a situation where the accident is severe. In that case, the MedPay Coverage will be more convenient to cover the remaining balance of medical costs. MedPay coverage is crucial in settling the accident case to prevent potential lawsuits by accident victims where PIP is not enough to pay the medical bills.
Liability insurance is a type of insurance coverage carried by people in possession of a property that is not theirs legally. Liability insurance is a coverage type that covers accident liabilities resulting from a car a person has at a specific time. Whether you own a particular vehicle or not, as the vehicle driver at the moment, you ought to observe reasonable care while on the road to prevent accidents. Pedestrians involved in an accident in traffic can file a lawsuit against a negligent driver who is at fault in an accident for compensation on injuries and damages caused.
If you’ve got a medical insurance plan as a pedestrian involved in an accident, it will play a crucial role in covering your medical bills. It’s up to your medical insurance provider to collect reimbursement for the medical expenses spent on your accident injury treatment from the auto insurance company of the party responsible for your injuries.
If a pedestrian involved in an accident cannot get his/her compensation from the defendant’s auto insurance policy and MedPay coverage, he/she can also seek remedy from his/her insurer. In states like Florida, pedestrians involved in a traffic accident can seek compensation from their car auto insurance even if they were walking at the time of the accident.
After an accident involving a pedestrian, an intelligent driver will try to negotiate the case settlement means. An accident case settlement requires payment of the agreed amount of money for the injuries and damages a person sustains in the incident. After an accident case settlement, the victim cannot sue the responsible party again for compensation.
However, if the insurance providers of the party responsible for causing the accident are not cooperating in paying for the accident injuries and damages, the plaintiff insurance providers can sue the party responsible in a civil court for reimbursement of expenses you incurred after the accident. The plaintiff must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there were elements of negligence in the event of an accident when filing a compensation claim.
The Threshold for Proving Negligence in a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit
The foundation of any personal injury lawsuit lies in the ability to prove negligence in the event of an accident for the responsible party to be held liable. Negligence in a personal injury lawsuit is demonstrated by a few elements which the jury uses to determine the verdict of the case, depending on the facts, evidence, and testimonies available. For a civil lawsuit in a personal injury case, you’ll need a skilled and reliable attorney like the experts at Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney law firm. Below are elements of negligence a plaintiff can demonstrate in a personal injury lawsuit:
Duty of Care
Duty of care is an obligation that requires every driver of any type of automobile to act reasonably while on the road to prevent foreseeable accidents. A person who fails to use their property in a reasonable manner hence causing an accident should be held liable for injuries and damage caused. Duty of care is an obligation set by the federal government, state, or the local statute for establishing liability in an accident. For the plaintiff to recover reimbursement for the expenses spent on your medical costs and other damages, he/she must prove to the judge that the driver who caused the accident owed you a duty of care when the accident occurred.
Breach of the Duty of Care
After proving to the jury that the defendant owed you a duty of care, you must go ahead to demonstrate that the defendant breached his/her duty of care hence causing the accident. The defendant is guilty if he/she has failed to use a reasonable duty of care, thus creating an accident that you were a victim. With the help of your injury attorney, you should be able to demonstrate how the defendant breached the duty of care hence causing the accident that you were a victim.
Both the pedestrians and the driver must observe the rules and regulations of the traffic while acting with reasonable care to prevent accidents. In most cases, it always seems obvious who was negligent in keeping the duty of care. Still, when it comes to a lawsuit, the court will put numerous factors into consideration in determining negligence. The plaintiff might use either of the following pieces of evidence to prove that the driver was negligent in the event of an accident:
- The driver was not observing the speed limit
- The driver was distracted while driving
- Failure to obey traffic signals and signs
- The driver was under the influence of alcohol and drugs
- The driver failed to use appropriate signal while turning
- Failure to yield appropriately at the pedestrian crosswalk
- Disregarding traffic and weather conditions
With the help of your injury attorney, you should be able to demonstrate that the defendant committed either of the above actions that made him/her breach the duty of care he/she owed you at that particular moment.
Further, after proving the defendant breached the duty of care that he/she owed you, you must go ahead to demonstrate that the actions of the negligent driver caused you harm or damages. Causation means that the injuries and damages that the plaintiff sustained wouldn’t have happened if the defendant did not commit specific actions of negligence.
In causation, the accident can happen in two different ways, which is direct and indirect causation. Direct causation is linked to breach of duty of care, such as over speeding hence leading to an accident that caused injury and damages to the plaintiff. On the other hand, indirect causation in an accident happens when a breach of duty of care does not directly connect to the suffering and injuries you sustained in an accident. You’ll need your injury attorney to prove that the actions of the negligent party lead to the actual accident damages and injuries you incurred as a result of the accident.
Damages are the results of an accident that a plaintiff sustains. In a negligence case, the plaintiff must legally prove beyond no reasonable doubt that the negligent actions of the defendant caused a physical injury or property destruction to the accident victim. It’s upon your injury attorney to prove to the judge that the defendant failed to observe reasonable care of duty which he/she owed you hence leading to the actual damages that you suffered as a result of the accident. Explained below are possible accident damages a pedestrian is likely to experience:
Medical expenses that you incur as a result of the accident in the process of treatment and diagnosis should be paid later by the party found to be negligent by the court after providing concrete evidence of proving liability such as:
- Medical bills receipts for medication, counseling, and physical therapy
- Testimonials from your doctors and other medical experts
- Medical reports and records such as X-rays and MRIs
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering the pedestrian endure after an accident can only receive a non-economic type of compensation. The pain and suffering the pedestrian endure after an accident is due to the emotional damages and physical distress from scars. Disfigurement can also cause pain and suffering to an accident victim because of the mental anguish of losing a body limb or getting permanent injuries that affect your appearance.
Loss of Companionship
Under wrongful death laws, the surviving family of the deceased who is entitled to property ownership such as the deceased spouse, children or grandparents can file a lawsuit for the wrongful death of a loved one. The deceased spouse can seek compensation against the at-fault party for the loss of companionship, comfort, solace, assistance, and sexual partner. This whole process of seeking compensation is made more comfortable with a personal injury attorney who is familiar with the laws in such cases.
Lost wages in proving a negligence case is the amount of money the plaintiff would have earned if he/she was still working from the time the injury happened to the date of court judgment or settlement. An unemployed person can also recover lost wages if he/she can be able to demonstrate and prove to the jury that he/she could’ve earned a certain amount during that same period.
Finally, the most important thing you need to keep in mind is the statute of limitations in your state. In Florida, victims of a personal injury case can only file a lawsuit for a compensation claim within four years after the accident case. The statute of limitations is, however, subject to individual circumstances such as whether the party at fault was a public or private entity.
How to Find a Reliable Attorney When Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Pedestrian Accident
After involvement in a pedestrian accident due to a negligence action by another party, it’s only right that you seek compensation for the damages and injuries sustained. Unlike other types of personal injury cases, in a pedestrian accident, the outcome can be very severe in terms of injuries. It’s only with the help of a professional personal injury attorney that you can be able to recover your deserved remedy from the insurance companies involved. Below are factors to consider when searching for a reliable personal injury:
Experience and Expertise
You must take into consideration the length of experience your prospective attorney has in this line of duty, especially in handling personal injury cases involving pedestrians in Florida. The laws applied in these cases are the same hence having an experienced attorney can assure you of quick settlement/judgment of the case. The experience and expertise of attorneys at Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney law firm makes us outstanding as the most reliable personal injury law firm in Florida.
Do Online Research
Before you make any commitment to a lawyer, you ought to check out their background reviews and past client’s testimonials. Visit your prospective attorney website and social media profiles to learn about their services by reviewing their past client’s comments about their services. You might also want to check out their recent client testimonials on their website. A client will always be genuine in giving credits for services received, whether good or bad. Pay attention to any red flags that prove ineligibility with your prospective attorney. At Jacksonville personal Injury Attorney law firm, our clients are always a priority. You can schedule an appointment with us for any inquiries regarding your particular injury case.
To narrow down the many options of personal injury attorneys available in Florida, it’s always wise to seek recommendations before settling for the services of an expert. Experts with credible services will always have their reputation precede them. Talk to a few friends or colleagues who are familiar with personal injury cases and hear out their recommendations on a reliable personal injury attorney to contact for your situation. After several suggestions for a competent attorney, the expert you decide to settle with is upon you. Further, you must make sure the expert you choose is friendly and with excellent communication skills for an easy time.
Find a Personal Injury Attorney Near Me
The amount of compensation you get when dealing with insurance companies after an accident, especially if you’re a pedestrian, depends much on the skills and expertise of your attorney. Jacksonville Personal Injury Attorney is a firm with positive reviews and experience in helping victims of personal injury seek compensation. You can contact us at 904-800-7557, and our attorneys will reach out to you as soon as possible.