Getting involved in a car accident in Florida can be the most unnerving experience one could ever have. Besides the fatal injuries you might sustain, the trauma, which may last for years, can prevent you from leading a normal life. If you’ve been hit by a negligent driver while walking, jogging, or crossing the street, there are steps you can take to ensure you get the compensation you need to cover your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Florida’s definition of negligent driving
According to Florida Statutes, a driver is considered negligent if they fail to operate their vehicle in a reasonable manner, taking into account the traffic, road and weather conditions. This can include speeding, running red lights, making illegal turns and more. If a driver’s negligence results in an accident that injures another person, they can be held liable for the victim’s damages.
What to do when hit by a negligent driver
If a negligent driver hits you in Florida, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention, even if you don’t think you’re seriously injured. It’s important to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible because some injuries, such as internal bleeding or concussions, may not present themselves until days or even weeks after the accident.
Once released from the hospital, you should take steps that may help you recover the money you’ve spent or will spend until your full recovery. If you are insured, consider filing a claim with your insurance company as soon as possible. If the other driver was at fault, their insurance company should cover your damages. However, if they are uninsured or underinsured, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver.
Since most victims of pedestrian accidents suffer from trauma that can alter their lives for a long time, a lawsuit may also help get the compensation needed for therapy or long-term care. In some cases, the court may award punitive damages if the driver’s actions were particularly egregious.
It’s important to note that Florida law requires victims of pedestrian accidents to file a personal injury lawsuit within four years of the date of the accident. If you wait longer than that, you would be barred from recovering any damages.