Florida Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
The year-around warm weather in Florida means that people are frequently outside walking for exercise as well as for pleasure. Unfortunately, that also means that Florida has a significant number of pedestrian accidents every year. In fact, our state is consistently the most dangerous state for pedestrians, with 5,433 pedestrian fatalities reported between 2008 and 2017.
The sad reality is that many of these fatalities could have been avoided had the automobile and truck drivers involved been following Florida’s rules for safe driving. Many serious, life-altering injuries resulting from pedestrians being hit by a vehicle could also have been prevented.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident and the driver of the vehicle was at least partially at fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. If you are a family member of someone who was fatally injured in a pedestrian accident, you may also be entitled to file as a claimant in a wrongful death lawsuit if a motorist caused, or contributed, to the accident. In any of these cases, it’s important to talk with an experienced Florida pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible to discuss the possibility of pursuing a pedestrian accident lawsuit.
The knowledgeable pedestrian accident attorneys at Dennis Hernandez & Associates, PA have helped many pedestrian accident victims and their families throughout Florida get the compensation they deserve. We want to hear what happened to you and help you get compensated fully and fairly for your injuries, pain and suffering.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Each year nearly 500 pedestrians are killed, and more than 7,000 others are injured in Florida pedestrian accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Although we routinely refer to pedestrian-involved collisions as “accidents,” most are not true accidents. Instead, most pedestrian “accidents” are caused, in whole or in part, by the driver of the vehicle involved in the collision.
Common reasons why pedestrian accidents occur include:
- Failing to yield to a pedestrian crosswalk
- Failing to come to a complete stop at a traffic light or sign
- Texting while driving or other distractions
- Driving while drowsy
- Failing to drive cautiously in a residential area
- Driving while under the influence
To avoid hitting a pedestrian, driver safety experts recommend the following guidelines:
- Always be on the look-out for pedestrians. That means focusing completely on your driving and your surroundings.
- Be especially cautious when it’s hard to see your surroundings, such as during bad weather or at night.
- Drive very slowly when turning or driving through a crosswalk.
- Always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Never drive while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
- Always adhere to established speed limits, paying special attention to slower speed limits in school zones and in residential areas where there are children.
- Be extra cautious when backing up. Check your rearview mirror and camera (if available) and turn around to make sure there are no pedestrians behind your vehicle or approaching the rear of your vehicle.
Who Is at Fault in a Florida Pedestrian Accident?
In the State of Florida, both pedestrians and motorists share the responsibility for maintaining safety on the state’s roadways. That means that they may both be held legally responsible when a pedestrian accident occurs.
Florida law dictates that when there is a crosswalk at an intersection, a motorist is required to yield to a pedestrian once the pedestrian has stepped into the roadway even in the absence of crossing signals. Conversely, when there is not a designated crosswalk, a pedestrian is required to yield to a vehicle when crossing the street.
Sometimes the fault in a pedestrian accident is shared by both the pedestrian and the motorist. Because Florida is a comparative fault state, an injured pedestrian may be entitled to compensation even if he/she was partially responsible for the accident.
Damages in a Florida Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit
If you were injured in a Florida pedestrian accident you could be entitled to both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are meant to compensate you for the direct, out of pocket, expenses you incurred as a result of the collision. This may include lost wages as well as medical and hospital bills. Non-economic damages compensate a victim for the emotional distress and psychological trauma caused by a pedestrian accident.
In a comparative negligence state, such as Florida, the total amount of damages a victim receives may be proportionately decreased if the victim was partially at fault. For example, if you were involved in a pedestrian accident in which the driver of the vehicle was 80 percent at fault and you were 20 percent at fault, your damages would be reduced by 20 percent.
Recoverable damages in pedestrian accidents could include:
- Medical treatment – Your existing healthcare expenses, including emergency services, hospital bills, diagnostic imaging, surgery, post-operative care, travel to and from doctors, prescriptions, and rehabilitation.
- Future healthcare costs – Future healthcare expenses, including surgeries, prescriptions, treatments, rehabilitative care, medical equipment, and assistive devices.
- Lost wages– Wages lost for time off work because of injuries from the accident.
- Diminished earning capacity – Decreased or lost earning capacity because injuries from the accident prevent returning to your job or seeking one that pays as well.
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering – Pain, stress, trauma, and emotional problems stemming from the accident.
- Diminished quality of life – Decreased ability to enjoy life.
- Loss of consortium with a spouse – Loss of companionship and support.
- Other economic and non-economic damages applicable in specific cases under Florida law
Wrongful Death Lawsuit for Loved One Fatally Injured in a Florida Pedestrian Accident
Although no amount of money will bring back a loved one, you may be able to hold the party responsible for your loss legally liable. In addition, if you lost a family member in a pedestrian accident you may be entitled to damages as the claimant in a wrongful death lawsuit. Along with actual expenses, such as medical bills that accrued prior to death and burial costs, you could be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering as well as for the loss of love, guidance, and companionship.
Get the Help You Need after a Florida Pedestrian Accident Injury
If you or a family member has been injured as a result of a pedestrian accident, please contact the experienced Florida pedestrian accident attorneys at Dennis Hernandez & Associates as soon as possible. We are committed to helping accident victims obtain justice and get compensated fully and fairly for their injuries.
Getting help from the attorneys at Dennis Hernandez & Associates, PA means you will be supported through the entire legal process – from gathering evidence, through filing a lawsuit, to going to trial, if necessary. We assure that all evidence to prove negligence is collected and forms are filed in a timely manner, and we negotiate directly with insurance companies on your behalf. We will build a strong case to demonstrate your need for compensation for physical, emotional, and financial damages resulting from the pedestrian accident.
Many injury lawyers attempt to avoid going to trial by settling early with insurance companies. We won’t. Instead, we will use our trial experience and litigation skills to fight for the compensation you deserve.
Call us at 855-LAW-DENNIS or fill in the FREE CASE EVALUATION form on our website to get started on your case.
Smart Growth American. (2020). Dangerous by design.
Smart Growth America. (2019). Dangerous by design.
U.S. Department of Transportation. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (n.d.). Pedestrian safety. https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/pedestrian-safety