Chances are that if you’ve spent much time as a pedestrian, you’ve experienced many close calls while walking from one location to the next. We all know how it feels to stand in the middle of a crosswalk or road with a reckless driver hurtling towards you out of turn, but what happens when disaster actually strikes? What can pedestrians do when they’re involved in injurious accidents?
These questions are more pressing than you may expect. NHTSA data indicates that pedestrian fatalities linked to motor vehicle accidents are on the rise. In fact, the number of pedestrians killed by accidents increased by over 3 percent between two recent years. More than 6,000 American pedestrians died in the most recent year for which the NHTSA has published statistics.
Pedestrians must understand their rights both on the road and within the Florida legal system. Those who have been negatively impacted by pedestrians may be eligible to pursue financial compensation for physical, mental, and emotional damages.
What Are Pedestrian Accidents?
Some individuals involved in pedestrian accidents may not even know that their experiences qualify, legally, as such. Any person walking (or jogging, or running) who is injured by a negligent driver is involved in a pedestrian accident. The concept includes a wide variety of circumstances:
- A pedestrian struck by a vehicle in a crosswalk
- A pedestrian sideswiped by a motor vehicle
- A pedestrian hit by a vehicle in a parking lot
- A pedestrian struck by a vehicle whilst exiting another vehicle
This list is by no means all-encompassing. Remember: ANY event where a pedestrian is injured or killed by a driver who was at fault for the accident qualifies as a pedestrian accident.
Legal Assistance: A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
The legal process often proves lengthy and confusing. Rather than struggling to navigate the complex waters of personal injury on their own, pedestrian accident victims should contact a seasoned legal professional for assistance. Boohoff Law maintains a well-rounded team of experienced, empathetic attorneys at the ready to assist our clients in their pursuit of compensation.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact us today. Our offices offer free initial consultations to determine whether a Boohoff attorney will be the ideal teammate in your case.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Many of the injuries that pedestrians sustain during accidents bear similarities to those that may occur during a car crash. High speed and blunt force don’t tend to mix well—and that’s true regardless of where you’re located when things go wrong.
There’s no denying, however, that pedestrians face additional risks in these scenarios. A two or more vehicle collision could prove injurious or deadly to anybody involved. Pedestrian accidents often only place one person in true danger: the person innocently standing on a street corner or attempting to cross a crosswalk.
Numerous pedestrian victims experience significant injuries as a result of their experiences. These often include:
- Broken bones | Broken bones may range from hairline fractures to open and/or compound injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal bleeding
- Nerve damage
Remember: Pedestrians face an immense disadvantage in the event of a vehicle accident. Vehicle occupants can reap the rewards of the automotive industry’s emphasis on improved safety features. Pedestrians cannot rely on anything around them to keep them safe—in fact, the objects near them may even become additional points of danger.
Liability: When Florida Law Is on Your Side
Fortunately, Florida maintains a healthy range of right-of-way laws designed to keep pedestrians safe. These laws center around pedestrian protection and tend to be most favorable towards pedestrians.
When pedestrians are injured in motor vehicle accidents, it’s almost always the result of a driver’s negligence.
This, however, may not create an issue in Florida because of the state’s personal injury protection insurance requirements. If you have PIP insurance, your first step is to file a claim with your own insurance company. Your insurance carrier may not want to pay out on the claim any more than any other insurance company—so you should hire a pedestrian accident lawyer to help prepare and file your claim, then pursue the compensation you need should the insurance company balk.
If your PIP insurance won’t cover your costs—or if you don’t have PIP insurance (because maybe you don’t own a car), you may need to pursue a negligence claim agains the other driver’s insurance company.
While you and your legal representative will still be held responsible for proving the driver’s negligence, there’s a high likelihood that the task won’t prove difficult. Some examples of qualifying negligent behavior include:
- Driving in excess of posted speed limits
- Driving while fatigued
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Reckless or aggressive driving behaviors
- Distracted driving (i.e. utilizing cell phones or other devices while driving)
How Long Will It Take for My Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit to Conclude?
Nobody can tell you with certainty the length of your lawsuit. This depends heavily on factors that are totally unique to your case. The nature of the accident, the damages you sustained, your lawyer’s experience, and countless factors concerning the motor vehicle driver all play into the equation.
In some cases—especially those in which the pedestrian was very severely injured—the defendant’s insurance company may push to settle the case before trial. This is often because the insurance company believes that the amount of compensation a judge or jury would award to the victim would be very high. For some victims, these settlements prove satisfactory.
Other victims may elect to pursue greater compensation. This lengthens the legal process. Cases that go to trial last longer than cases that settle, but it’s impossible to predict how long your individual case my last. For some victims, the process lasts years.
Injured in a North Port Pedestrian Accident? Contact Boohoff Law Today
At Boohoff Law, our lawyers seek to achieve more than just legal success. Each of our team members strives to partner closely with clients and assist them in rebuilding their lives. Whether you hope to achieve compensation for pricy medical bills, your emotional pain, or as a form of warning to other potentially negligent drivers, you deserve the best support available.
Get in touch with our North Port law firm today or call us at (877) 999-9999 to find out more about our legal services. Our North Port pedestrian accident attorneys maintain a thorough understanding of the legalities that could allow you to win your case and achieve the peace of mind that you deserve.
Boohoff Law North Port
14900 Tamiami Trail
North Port, FL 34287