Tampa Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Reckless drivers can easily cause catastrophic injury to pedestrians. Pedestrian accidents are far too common and— sadly— easily preventable.
If you’re reading this, you may have been a pedestrian hit by a car. You may be in pain and still dealing with medical treatments in the aftermath of the accident. You most likely have missed work, causing you financial worry. You’re probably overwhelmed looking for someone to help you with a pedestrian accident claim.
We are here to help with free legal advice. Contact our Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers today.
Don’t worry about having the money to pay us upfront. Call us as soon as you’re able, to schedule a free legal consultation.
The information on this page will give you a good general understanding of your pedestrian accident claim. First, we will show you the most common mistakes we see people in Tampa make in their pedestrian accident claims. Then, we’ll share a story that illustrates many additional aspects of your claim. Be sure to read to the end.
Common Pedestrian Accident Claim Mistakes
It’s unfortunately true that there are numerous mistakes that can derail your pedestrian accident claim. Please go over the errors below to help prevent you from making the same mistakes.
Not Getting Medical Attention
It’s not uncommon for people to think they are less injured than they actually are after an accident because they are experiencing an adrenaline rush.
Though this stress hormone can make it harder to register pain, it’s important to show up and get checked out. Doing so protects not only your body, but your pedestrian accident claim.
When you get a medical check, a record is generated of your visit and your injuries. The closer to the accident you create this record by seeking medical attention, the stronger your case.
Waiting a few days or more gives the insurance company for the liable party room to maneuver. They can claim you could have been injured in a different place at a different time.
Having an official record of the date and time of your injuries that coincide closely with the accident is a strong piece of evidence that the insurance company won’t be able to minimize.
Not Completing Your Doctor’s Treatment Instructions
It’s a mistake to skip your doctor’s follow-up instructions, as well. Many people just let them go by the wayside or start out well but then taper off before completing the plan. Whether it involves occupational therapy appointments or medication that should be taken on a schedule, being lax with your treatment plan hurts your recovery and your case.
The insurance provider can use your failure to adhere to the doctor’s instructions as leverage in getting your case value lowered. They may try to claim that you did not take care of yourself, so any complications that occur during your recovery are your fault.
There’s another way failing to adhere to doctor’s orders hurts your case. If you don’t rest when you need to or return to your former activities too soon, this can also jeopardize your claim.
Take for example the person who runs a 5k after suffering a back injury. Even if you registered and paid for the race before the accident, it’s best to skip it, if running is against your doctor’s recommendations.
Even though it’s not common for insurance companies to check up on the activities of claimants, if they find out, your claim is at risk.
Consider that your claim could end up in court. Most claims get settled first but, if yours goes to court, you could face questioning about your post-accident activities.
One of the best ways to keep your case strong is to be conscientious about following your doctor’s treatment plan after the accident.
Don’t Give the Insurance Company a Recorded Statement
A lot of people think the insurance company is an authority figure they have to speak with as part of the official record of their case. This is not true. You are not required to speak with the insurance company. In fact, it is it in your best interest not to speak with them.
The insurance adjuster’s call is not to find out how you are doing, it’s to try to get information that can be used to devalue your claim. These people are trained for this, and the longer you are on the phone, the higher the chances are that you will say something they can use.
You probably won’t even realize it. Did you mention you were running late to work that day, for instance? Maybe you were in a rush and distracted and you stepped in front of the car before the driver could react…
Once you are aware of this tactic, it’s easy to think of examples like this in which something said in innocence can be turned against you. Speaking with the insurance company is a great item to hand off to your Tampa pedestrian accident lawyer.
Waiting to Call a Lawyer
No matter how long the statute of limitations is for filing your pedestrian accident claim, it’s a mistake to wait too long to contact a lawyer.
Evidence can easily disappear as time goes by. Witnesses become harder to find, and their memories less reliable.
Give your case the strongest possible foundation by calling an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as you are able.
Selecting a Lawyer Who Is Not a Good Fit
While it’s true that all lawyers need to be intelligent and capable, it’s a mistake to believe that all lawyers have experience in all practice areas.
It’s the same way with doctors. An orthopedic surgeon and a neurologist will each be very skilled within their particular practice areas. This does not mean you would want to go to one for the services that should be handled by the other.
Your friend’s tax lawyer is not the best person to handle your pedestrian accident claim. Neither is a lawyer that focuses on wills and trusts, or family law. Your pedestrian accident case needs a personal injury attorney who has experience with pedestrian accident claims.
To take it further, it’s important to choose a trial lawyer, as well. While many pedestrian accident claims are settled, some do go to trial. If it comes to that, you will need to know your lawyer is ready to take your case before a jury.
Ironically, when you hire a personal injury trial lawyer, your case may have a better chance of settling. Insurance companies usually have a good idea of who the skilled trial lawyers are, and they are not eager to come up against them in a courtroom.
Don’t jeopardize your claim by choosing a lawyer who is not a good fit for your case. Give yourself the best result possible by hiring a personal injury trial lawyer who has successfully taken pedestrian accident claims to court.
Tampa Pedestrian Accident Client Story
The story below is intended to teach you more about your pedestrian accident claim. Make sure you read it through. Names and details have been changed to protect our clients’ privacy, but the value remains. When you’re done, please take us up on our offer of free legal advice and get specific information about your case.
In late September a few years ago, Kathy Volkert walked to the park three blocks from her office for her daily lunch break with her best friend, Donna.
The women had been friends since Donna covered Kathy’s maternity leave when they both worked at the airport. Eighteen months later, Kathy returned the favor when Donna had her first child. Fifteen years and five companies later, their careers had taken different paths but their friendship never wavered. They even remained within walking distance of the park.
After 45 minutes of talking and laughing, the two parted ways. Kathy headed southwest to walk back to the gift shop she managed and Donna headed east to the office where she and her husband ran a fishing charter company.
Kathy was crossing the street when a local food delivery driver ran a stop sign and struck her. She spent two weeks in the hospital with a spinal cord injury, a traumatic brain injury, and numerous torn ligaments, lacerations, and bruises.
Upon leaving the hospital, Kathy was transferred to a rehabilitation hospital to monitor her recovery and begin physical therapy.
Donna continued to spend her lunch breaks with her best friend, sitting by her side in her room at the facility. It was during one such lunch that Donna recommended us to Kathy.
Kathy called us that afternoon. She said she wanted to know how much it would cost to hire us, how much her case was worth, and how long it would take.
We met Kathy and her husband Brent the next morning in her room at the facility.
How Much Does a Lawyer Cost?
Kathy and Brent’s broad, welcoming smiles greeted us as we entered the room. Despite the uncertainty of Kathy’s injuries, kindness and concern for others flowed from these two like a warm breeze. It was clear they were very close and supportive of each other, as well.
As we sat, Kathy said, “Okay, so how much would it cost to hire you?”
We told her there would be no upfront cost, as we work on a contingency basis.
“That means we’d cover all the expenses of your case from start to finish. In the end, we only get paid if we bring your claim to a successful conclusion.
The couple smiled again, relieved.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
A nurse hurried into the room and took Kathy’s vitals and her lunch request. After she left, Kathy moved on to her next question.
“How long does a case like this take?”
Our lawyer explained that this is tough to gauge at the start of a case.
“First we’ll need to conduct an accident investigation. After that, we’ll need to have a solid understanding of your damages.
“The investigation could begin right away and would involve getting witness testimony and collecting evidence.
“Understanding your damages is going to depend on your reaching maximum medical improvement. This means recovering to the level that your doctor considers you ‘back to normal.’ If your injuries prevent you from reaching this point, then you’ll need to recover to the highest level of health you can now reach, given your injuries.
“You can help this along, Kathy, by taking your rest very seriously and following your doctor’s recovery plan as closely as possible.
“Brent, you can help Kathy by encouraging her to stick to her treatment plan, and by just plain encouraging her.”
“He’s already got that down,” Kathy said her wide smile reaching her soft, brown eyes. Her husband’s hazel eyes welled with tears as he kissed her hand.
Our lawyer continued, “Once you reach maximum medical improvement, you’re finished with surgeries, and we know what your future medical care will look like, we’ll know your economic and non-economic damages. Then we’ll truly know what your case is worth.”
“Fair enough,” Kathy said. There were a few moments of thoughtful silence as Kathy looked out the window. It would be some time before she knew if she’d be able to walk again. The doctors also had yet to rule out any delayed damage from her traumatic brain injury.
How Long Will My Case Take?
Kathy closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and turned back to us.
“How long does a case like this usually take?”
We explained that every case is different, but her case would again depend upon two main factors.
The first factor would be how long it took Kathy to reach maximum medical improvement.
“When you reach it, we’ll know your damages, and will send a demand letter to the insurance company.
“From there, the timeline will depend on how willing the insurance company is to work with us toward a settlement. If they are cooperative, things will move smoothly toward a conclusion.
“If not, we’ll need to take them to court. This needn’t worry you, though. We have a long and successful track record of bringing pedestrian accident cases to juries. In fact, the insurance company knows that, so they may be willing to talk when they see who they’d be up against in the courtroom.
“Either way, we will be ready, so please don’t be concerned. All you need to do is focus on your recovery.”
Kathy and Brent were content with the answers we gave them and retained us. Today, we can happily say we got Kathy nine times more than what the insurance company initially offered her.
Call Our Tampa Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
We hope this story has given you some perspective about your pedestrian accident claim. Of course, every case is different. Please call us for a free legal consultation to discuss the specifics of your case. Don’t worry about handling your injury claim all alone. Let us help you. Call for free legal claim advice today.