If you are familiar with Orlando, then you already know that Orlando is not a pedestrian-friendly city, whether or not you are aware of the statistics that back this claim. It may come as no surprise that our city is repeatedly found to be the most deadly city in the country for pedestrian fatalities, with 656 deaths between 2008 and 2017 as found by Smart Growth America. However, a poorly designed pedestrian infrastructure does not mean that people will not need to travel on foot, and if you find that you are walking around the city it is essential that you know your rights and options in the event that you are in an accident – especially a pedestrian accident that someone else causes.
How To Easily Find a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
During the first days and weeks after an accident, it can seem impossible to take on the stress and difficulty of seeking out an attorney who can help you through your case, and it can feel like the best option is to simply file a claim, accept the insurance company’s offer, and try to move on with your life. However, with the help of an attorney you have a much better chance of getting the money that you truly deserve, all while giving yourself additional space to focus on your own recovery without added stress.
1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service. Instead of choosing not to hire legal counsel, or taking on the burden of finding an attorney on your own, you can use our simple referral service to connect with a personal injury attorney in your area who is ready and willing to take your case. The sooner you contact us, the sooner you will be able to have an initial consultation with an attorney who can help you make sense of your situation, and explain how you can move forward as a team towards a fair and reasonable settlement.
Calculating Damages After a Pedestrian Accident
When you file an insurance claim, the insurance company will assign a claims adjuster to your case, and they will spend the next few weeks investigating all of the relevant details before returning to you with a settlement offer. DON’T TAKE IT! Insurance companies focus on paying as little as possible for a claim in order to protect their own financial interests, not to provide victims with the money that they rightfully deserve.
When you work with an attorney, they will spend this time performing their own investigation of your situation, doing their own calculations of the damages that you are entitled to so that they can negotiate aggressively one the initial offer has been made. The following is a general overview of the damages that they will be fighting for, but since no two accidents are alike, your damages will certainly look different.
Economic damages are the foundation of your personal injury case, and they include all of the financially-measurable impacts on your life. They include the most obvious, such as your medical bills and any impacts on your earnings. Earnings include your wages, as well as any paid time off or vacation days that you may use in order to cover missed days due to medical issues, and any short- or long-term disability that you may be eligible for.
In certain instances, an injury may be such that you are unable to return to work, either at all or in your former capacity, meaning that you will suffer long-term or permanently diminished earnings. Your attorney will work with experts in order to calculate the amount that you are entitled to for this impact, as well.
Non-economic damages are just as important to a personal injury claim, but they are more complicated to calculate, and therefore more likely that the insurance company will put up significant resistance to paying out for them. They include things like the actual pain and suffering of your injuries, as well as the other emotional, psychological, and physical injuries that you suffer following your accident. However, since these impacts do not have dollar values associated with them, your attorney will need to take additional steps to reach a fair and accurate figure.
There are a variety of methods that an attorney will use to calculate non-economic damages, each with their own pros and cons that will determine which is the preferred method for your unique situation. Since the insurance company will be far more aggressive with pushing back on these parts of your claim, it is important that the amounts calculated are fair and reasonable, since unreasonably high amounts can lead to failed negotiations.
In certain trials, a judge or jury may award a victim with punitive damages in addition to the compensatory damages listed above. These damages are reserved for accidents where the responsible party acted in a particularly egregious manner, and they are intended to act as a deterrent for similar future behavior. However, since these are awarded by a judge or jury, your attorney will not attempt to include these in out-of-court settlement negotiations, and will not seek them as part of your damages during a potential trial.
Frequently Asked Questions About Orlando Pedestrian Accidents
The following are just a few examples of the many different questions that pedestrian accident victims have for their personal injury attorneys. Keep in mind that the answers we have provided are intended to give you a general overview of the situation, and are in no way meant to be taken as legal advice. Your situation is unique, and your attorney will help you arrive at unique answers depending on the many factors that go into your claim and your legal journey.
Is a driver automatically at fault in a vehicle-pedestrian accident?
Very few, if any, personal injury accidents are as cut and dry as stating that “person A is always at fault for a certain type of accident.” If a pedestrian is struck by a driver on a sidewalk or while legally crossing the road, then it is very likely that the driver is at fault. However, pedestrians can cause accidents as well, by jumping in front of oncoming traffic, violating traffic laws, or making other dangerous maneuvers that can result in an accident. The details will need to be reviewed in order to determine fault.
Fortunately, Florida uses a rule known as pure comparative negligence, which allows for a victim to be partially at-fault for an injury, but still is entitled to compensation. When the victim is partially at fault, their final settlement is reduced by the percentage that they are responsible for the accident.
Should I accept the insurance company’s first settlement offer?
Under no circumstances should you accept any offers or sign any paperwork with the insurance company without first speaking with an attorney. Rarely will an insurance company make a fair initial offer, and often a victim will realize after waiving their rights to future legal action or additional compensation that they should have fought for more. When you speak with an attorney, even during a free initial consultation, you will be able to get a better sense of your situation and what they suggest you should do to move forward towards the money you rightfully deserve.
Do I need a lawyer to file an insurance claim after a pedestrian accident?
Legally, you do not need a lawyer to represent you for any legal process in the United States. However, attempting to represent yourself in most, if any, context is strongly dissuaded. In criminal cases, defendants are provided a public defender if they are unable to afford their own personal legal counsel, but this is not the same in a personal injury case. However, since your lawyer will be fighting to get you more money, personal injury attorneys often pay for themselves.