Tampa Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
In Florida we enjoy an outdoor lifestyle, with opportunities for socializing, relaxing and exercising outside available all year. It’s not unusual to see lots of residents and tourists taking advantage of the ideal climate and walking from place to place.
Unfortunately, this results in a significant number of pedestrian accidents each year. In fact, Florida is consistently the most dangerous state for pedestrians, with 5,433 pedestrian fatalities reported between 2008 and 2017. In the Tampa area alone, there were 640 pedestrian crashes and 57 fatalities just last year.
Many of these fatalities and other serious injuries could have been avoided had people driving motor vehicles adhered to Florida’s rules for safe driving. These negligent drivers should be held accountable for the injuries and suffering they cause.
If you or a family member has been injured in a pedestrian accident and the driver of the vehicle involved was at least partially at fault, you may be able to hold the driver accountable and receive compensation for your injuries. An experienced Tampa pedestrian accident attorney at Dennis Hernandez & Associates, PA can help you get the justice you deserve. We have helped many pedestrian accident victims and their families throughout Florida and want to help you get compensated fully and fairly for your injuries, pain and suffering.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents in the Tampa Area?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 500 pedestrians are killed and more than 7,000 others are injured each year in pedestrian accidents in Florida. While these crashes are usually called “accidents,” most of them are not really pedestrian accidents, since they are caused wholly or partially by people driving cars, trucks or buses.
Common causes of Tampa area accidents involving pedestrians include motor vehicle safety violations, such as:
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Texting while driving or other distractions
- Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk
- Failing to come to a complete stop at a traffic light or sign
Motor vehicle safety experts recommend the following guidelines to avoid hitting pedestrians:
- Always being on the look-out for pedestrians.
- Never driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
- Driving very slowly when turning or driving through a crosswalk.
- Always yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks.
- Being especially cautious when it’s hard to see your surroundings, such as during bad weather or at night.
- Always following speed limits, especially slower speed limits in school zones and in residential areas.
- Being extra cautious when driving in reverse.
Who Is at Fault in a Tampa Pedestrian Accident?
In Florida, pedestrians and motorists are responsible for following state safety laws when on the state’s roadways. That means that either or both can be held legally responsible for a pedestrian accident. 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.
In other instances, the at fault party is clear. For example, under Florida law, someone driving a motor vehicle has to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk at an intersection once the pedestrian has stepped into the roadway. This applies even when there are no crossing signals. If a motor vehicle does not yield and hits the pedestrian, the driver is at fault. In contrast, when there is no designated crosswalk at an intersection, pedestrians trying to cross the street must yield to motor vehicles, so if the pedestrian doesn’t yield and is hit, he or she is at least partially at fault.
What Are Damages in a Tampa Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit?
If you have been injured by a motor vehicle while on foot, you could be entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages provide compensation 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, on the other hand, compensate you for the emotional stress and psychological trauma caused by the accident.
In Florida, the total amount of damages you receive can be decreased if you were partially at fault for the accident. For example, if it is determined you were 20 percent at fault and the driver of the vehicle involved was 80 percent at fault, your damages would be reduced by 20 percent.
Compensation in pedestrian accident cases 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 under Florida law.
What If a Family Member Was Fatally Injured in a Tampa Pedestrian Accident?
No sum of money can replace a loved one; however, holding the person responsible for your loss liable can provide some sense of justice. 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 companionship and support.
Get Competent, Experienced Legal Help after a Tampa Pedestrian Accident Injury
If you or a family member has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contacting the experienced Tampa pedestrian accident attorneys at Dennis Hernandez & Associates as soon as possible is in your best interest. We are committed to putting our legal experience and expertise to work helping you obtain justice and fair compensation for your injuries.
Getting help from the pedestrian accident 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 develop a powerful case demonstrating you deserve full compensation for the physical, emotional, and financial damages caused by the pedestrian accident.
We won’t back down in our fight for justice. If necessary, we will put our trial experience and litigation skills to work fighting aggressively in court 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