The most recent data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) reveal that almost 5,700 pedestrians were involved in accidents in the first eight months of 2018. Of those accidents, 406 resulted in a fatality. These numbers are consistent with pedestrian accident statistics from previous years. In fact, Florida was fifth in the nation for pedestrian accidents in 2017 and second for fatalities in 2017.
Pedestrians may cause accidents, but more often than not it is the negligence of a motor vehicle driver that injures a pedestrian. If you or someone that you love has been injured while walking in South Florida, you need to call an experienced pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible; time is of the essence in personal injury cases. Contact the skilled lawyers at Sibley Dolman in Boca Raton at (561) 220-4963 to discuss the merits of your case.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrians that are in an accident are more likely to suffer life-changing injuries because, unlike drivers of automobiles, there is no protection for their bodies. Here are some of the most common pedestrian accident injuries:
- Cuts, scrapes, bruises, and road rash
- Internal bleeding
- Broken bones
- Head traumas that may result in concussions or traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and spinal cord injuries that may result in paralysis
- Scarring and disfigurement
Liable Parties in Boca Raton Pedestrian Accidents
Many different scenarios may result in a pedestrian getting injured, but often pedestrian accidents occur because of a negligent driver. Florida law requires that drivers “shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian…” Here are some of the most common examples of drivers not exercising due care that may cause a pedestrian accident:
- Driver fails to use turn signal, or signals incorrectly
- Driver fails to yield at crosswalk
- Driver is fatigued
- Driver is going too fast for conditions
- Driver is under the influence of prescription medications, drugs, or alcohol
- Driver is texting or using phone
- Driver runs a red light or stop sign
In some cases, your lawyer may advise you to file suit against the city and/or their engineers because of a poor street layout, missing stop signs, or the failure to fix broken traffic lights. Pedestrians may also be at fault for accidents—jaywalking may create unavoidable accidents, and depending on the specific details of the case, a judge may find the pedestrian at fault for the accident.
Recoverable Damages in Boca Raton Pedestrian Accidents
Florida law states that victims who have been injured in a pedestrian accident may be compensated for damages for multiple expenses that are directly related to their injury, including:
- Ambulance rides and emergency services
- Hospitalization and other medical expenses such as surgery, radiology, and medical prescriptions
- Rehabilitation, recovery, and physical therapy
- Assistive devices such as canes, walkers, or wheelchairs
- Lost wages for work missed because of the injury
- Lost future wages if a victim must change careers or cannot return to work because of their injury
- Pain and suffering
- Surviving family members may file a wrongful death suit in the case of a fatality
How Do Responsible Parties Avoid Liability?
Florida applies the pure comparative negligence rule when awarding damages to a victim in a personal injury case. Comparative negligence is the notion that the injured party may carry some of the blame for their injury in certain cases. Once the court decides in your favor, they may also assign a percentage blame to each party. For example, a pedestrian jaywalks while a driver is texting on his phone and hits the pedestrian. The court may say the driver is 80 percent at fault and the pedestrian is 20 percent at fault. If the court awards $100,000 they will reduce that award by 20 percent and the victim will only receive $80,000.
With pure comparative negligence in play, liable parties will go out of their away to minimize liability. Insurance companies will deny claims and downplay injuries. If a case goes to trial, the defense will claim that the plaintiff broke Florida pedestrian laws, was inattentive, or a host of other defenses. A skilled pedestrian accident attorney knows these tricks and will defend you against these type of attacks, should you have to endure them during trial. When walking around in South Florida, you should know the pedestrian laws that include:
- Pedestrians must obey all traffic devices.
- Pedestrian must walk on sidewalks where they are available.
- Pedestrians cannot run into the path of a moving vehicle so yielding is impossible.
How Much Will a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Charge Me?
Most personal injury law firms offer a free consultation to discuss your case and determine if you are eligible to potentially recover damages in a lawsuit. Once a lawyer reviews your case and decides to represent you, you generally do not have to pay attorney fees up front. Instead, your attorney fees will be handled on a contingent fee basis, which means your lawyer will recover fees from any settlement or court-awarded damages.
If you have sustained an injury in a pedestrian accident, you might be in pain and medical bills might be piling up. You need to focus on your recovery and let an experienced lawyer worry about the details of your case, such as contacting witnesses and investigating the accident. The State of Florida has a four-year statute of limitations on personal injury cases like pedestrian accidents, so it’s vital to contact an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the skilled attorneys at Sibley Dolman online, or call our Boca Raton office at (561) 220-4963 for a free consultation about your pedestrian accident case.
Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP
2101 NW Corporate Boulevard, Suite 410
Boca Raton, Florida 33431
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