As of July of 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are over two million people living in Miami-Dade County, not counting tourists, and if you have ever been driving on Beach Boulevard on a Friday night, it might not come as a surprise that Miami has a serious problem with car accidents involving pedestrians. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 5,987 pedestrians killed in car accidents nationwide in 2016. That means that roughly 16 pedestrians were killed per day or one pedestrian fatality every hour and a half.
In Florida, there were an estimated 9,420 pedestrian crashes in 2017. These crashes resulted in 8,126 pedestrian injuries and 659 pedestrian fatalities, according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Moreover, there were 1,546 pedestrian crashes in Miami-Dade County, during the same time period, that resulted in 1,357 pedestrian injuries and 58 pedestrian fatalities. In other words, pedestrian accidents occur almost every day in Miami, Florida, and the rest of the United States. Unfortunately, most of these accidents result in the pedestrian, not the driver, being catastrophically injured, which is why accident victims should always speak with a pedestrian accident attorney after being involved in an accident.
What to do after being Involved in a Pedestrian Accident
1. Call the Police and the Paramedics Immediately
Pedestrian accidents are not the same as normal car accidents, because pedestrians are 1.5 time more likely to be killed every time they travel than vehicle occupants. Moreover, pedestrians are injured at a much higher rate than vehicle occupants. As such, you should always call the police and paramedics to the accident scene. This will allow you to make sure that you haven’t been seriously injured, and it will also allow you to document how the accident occurred, the extent of your injuries, and the description of the accident from any witnesses. Moreover, all of this information can be used by your pedestrian accident attorney to detail how the accident occurred during the litigation process.
2. Take Pictures and Document Everything
If you are physically able, try to take pictures and document the surrounding area as much as possible. Take pictures of the car, the road or intersection where the accident occurred, and the extent of your injuries. Moreover, you should try to gather:
- The names and phone numbers of any witnesses
- The driver’s insurance information and tag number
- Any evidence indicating what time the accident actually occurred
While you might initially think that this is too much information, you would be surprised how many pedestrian accident attorneys will later use this information to both build your case and break through any defenses the driver and their insurance company might try to raise during the litigation process.
3. Get Evaluated by a Doctor
Every accident is different, and every accident victim sustains different types of injuries. So, there may be times where you think that going to the hospital is not necessary, but you should always get evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible after being involved in a pedestrian accident. Often, you can contact a pedestrian accident attorney or a medical referral service that can recommend some physicians that specialize in providing medical care to pedestrian accident victims. Moreover, medical records documenting the extent of your injuries are used by pedestrian accident attorneys to project and calculate the amount of damages you have incurred as a result of the accident.
4. Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Miami
As soon as a driver reports an accident involving a pedestrian to their insurance company, the insurance adjuster will immediately begin trying to diminish the value of your claim. As such, it’s important for you to contact a pedestrian accident attorney that can explain your legal rights and build a great case against the driver’s insurance company. Most pedestrian accident attorneys have years of experience handling both minor and major pedestrian accident claims, and the legal advice and expertise a pedestrian accident attorney can provide you with throughout the life of your claim can prove to be a valuable investment in the long-run.
Common Questions after being Involved in a Pedestrian Accident
How Long do I have to File a Claim?
Under Florida law, there is a four-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims. Thus, you have four years from the date your accident occurred to initiate your claim, but as any pedestrian accident attorney will tell you, you should always initiate your claim as soon as possible after being involved in an accident. The reason most pedestrian accident attorneys have this opinion is, pedestrian accident claims generally become more and more difficult to prove as more time passes from the day the accident occurred.
What kind of Damages can I seek Compensation for?
The amount of damages you can seek compensation for is different in every pedestrian accident case, and should only be calculated with the assistance of a pedestrian accident attorney. However, there are certain things such as medical bills, future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering that are common types of damages that most pedestrian accident victims can seek compensation for.
How Do I Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Miami?
The easiest and most efficient way to contact a pedestrian accident attorney is to call 1800-Injured, which is a medical and lawyer referral service that connects accident victims like you with pedestrian accident attorneys in the Miami area. Don’t let an insurance company try to undercut the value of your claim. Call 1800-Injured today to be connected with a pedestrian accident attorney near you.