Fort Lauderdale boasts some incredible weather, access to beaches and nightlife, and all sorts of other great reasons to get outdoors. Unfortunately, Fort Lauderdale is not as pedestrian-friendly as it could be, meaning that every time you head out the door and plan to walk around the city and the surrounding areas, you are at risk of being hurt in an accident. While there are many pedestrian-centric laws, regulations, and traffic signs throughout the city, as well as sidewalks, crosswalks, and pedestrian refuge islands, there is essentially no way to guarantee pedestrian safety in every situation, as long as there are those who will act negligently or recklessly on the roads.
The good news is that if you have been hurt in an accident as a pedestrian, there are attorneys out there who are ready to take on your case and help you get the compensation that you deserve as the victim of a pedestrian accident in Fort Lauderdale. However, finding an attorney who focuses on pedestrian accidents, is in your area, and is available and willing to take your case can be an arduous process in itself, which is why working through 1-800-Injured can be a great option. 1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service.
Read more below to get a better idea of your rights and options as a pedestrian after an accident, and contact us as soon as possible so that you can connect with an attorney today and get started on the path towards a fair settlement or lawsuit award following your personal injury.
What To Do After a Pedestrian Accident
The following are just a few of the most important steps you will need to take after a pedestrian accident, starting from the moment the accident occurs. Your situation will be unique, meaning that these steps may vary in the realistic order, as well as a number of other variables, but keep these steps in mind.
Prioritize Your Own Health and Wellbeing
After an accident, it can be almost reflexive to try to “shake it off,” or downplay your injuries. This can be easy to do when your body is numbed with adrenaline and confusion, but it is important that you fight these urges and make sure that you are doing what is necessary to keep yourself safe and not complicate any injuries. If you are in a safe area to do so (or if you are unable to move), stay put. Broken bones, soft tissue injuries, spinal damage, and many other injuries are worsened when the victim tries to move around.
The sooner that 911 is alerted to the accident, the sooner the operator will be able to dispatch Fort Lauderdale’s police, firefighters, and EMTs to the scene. Once they are on the scene, they will be able to secure the area, administer emergency care, and begin to gather evidence and information that will go into the accident report. If you are unable to call 911 yourself, it is important that someone else does. If you are able to speak with the 911 operator, inform them of any injuries that you know you have suffered so that they can relay this information to the EMTs.
Get Medical Attention
The EMTs will be able to provide you with some medical care at the scene of the accident, but this is hardly enough to ensure that you will be able to make a full recovery and move forward with your life. Whether you need to take an ambulance to the emergency room or you are able to leave the accident on your own, it is important that you follow up with a doctor for a few reasons. First, and most obviously, is that you should be getting as much care as is necessary to facilitate a full recovery. Second is that each time a medical professional reviews your injuries, it adds to the legal documentation that will help to support your insurance claim.
Hire an Attorney
Whether or not you think that your insurance claim will be complicated, speaking to an attorney before you even initiate your claim is extremely important. When you are working with an insurance company on your own, the claims adjuster assigned to your case will be taking aggressive steps to identify all of the different ways that your final settlement will be as low as possible. This includes using your own statements against you, often using legal technicalities to weaponize an innocuous statement as a reason to pin blame on you to save themselves money. When you have an attorney representing you, they can handle all correspondences through their own understanding of these processes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Fort Lauderdale Pedestrian Accidents
The following are just a few of the many questions that you will get specific answers to while you are working with an attorney. Keep in mind that the answers provided below are simply meant to give you a general sense of the situation – the only way to get a legal answer is to work with a lawyer as soon as possible.
Why hire an attorney through 1-800-Injured?
After any personal injury, the coming days and weeks will be extremely overwhelming whether or not you are trying to find law firms, requesting free initial consultations, and handling back and forth emails with lawyers. Instead of needing to take this all on by yourself, 1-800-Injured can connect you with an available attorney as soon as possible.
How much is my pedestrian accident worth?
Once you are working with your Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyer, they will be able to go through all of the damages that you have suffered in order to calculate what you are actually owed. They will go through your economic and non-economic damages, which each seek to compensate you for losses and impacts, but in different ways. Economic damages seek repayment for financial impacts like medical bills and lost wages, while non-economic damages seek compensation for “intangibles” like your pain and suffering – each of which is equally important and deserved.
Should I accept the offer from the insurance company?
Many personal injury insurance claims are settled before going to court, but this does not mean that you will get the money you deserve without a lot of work. The initial offer from an insurance company is never the amount that you actually deserve, and likely misses a significant portion of what you actually deserve. In order to get a settlement that adequately compensates you, you and your attorney (mostly your attorney) will need to go through a series of aggressive negotiations with extensive documentation and proof, none of which the insurance company will accept without a fight. Before you sign anything with an insurance company, review your case with an attorney so that you know exactly what you deserve, and how they can help you get it.