Imagine that you’re walking down the sidewalk next to the A1A when a commercial truck hops the curb and runs you over. You are rushed to a nearby hospital and treated for multiple serious injuries. It takes weeks for you to be released from the hospital and recover at home. Meanwhile, you are missing work, and your family is unsure how to make ends meet. Being hurt in a North Miami Beach pedestrian accident is a serious matter. While the driver may or may not be convicted of a crime for the incident, Florida law still permits you to seek compensation for personal injuries, pain and suffering, and other economic losses. It’s important to determine early on if you want to hire an experienced North Miami Beach pedestrian accident attorney.
Give Yourself a Chance to Recover From Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Before you hire an attorney, it is important to deal with the emotional impact of such a tragic event. You may experience periods of depression or anxiety related to the accident, and it may take time to heal. We understand these struggles at Sibley Dolman. While you focus on your recovery, let us track down the accident report, investigate the crash, obtain witness accounts, and assess related property damage. Contact Sibley Dolman today for a free consultation with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney at (954) 302-7068, or online.
We Understand the Legal Process
At Sibley Dolman, we understand the complexities of personal injury law. If you are the victim in a pedestrian accident, it is important to hire an attorney as soon as possible, before any relevant evidence is lost or destroyed. Furthermore, your expenses and potential damages may continue to climb, as you seek further treatment and learn to cope with any injuries that you may have suffered.
While you address feelings of loss, shock, grief, anxiety, pain, anger, and disappointment, your attorney can focus on collecting medical records and other evidence to establish how the defendant’s negligence caused your injuries. Having your life altered by a serious accident is not something most people are able to process quickly, and hoping these feelings will go away over time won’t help you find justice—but hiring an experienced attorney might.
Types of Pedestrian Accident Injuries
- Head injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Shoulder/neck injury
- Spinal cord damage
- Broken bone(s)
- Nerve damage
- Soft tissue injury
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents tend to have a couple of common factors that contribute to their occurrence.
Low Light Conditions
Perhaps one of the most common factors in pedestrian accidents is low light conditions. Typically, this means that the accident occurred at night. It isn’t surprising to hear that most pedestrian accidents occur during this time considering how visibility is significantly decreased but low light visibility conditions can occur during inclement weather and in certain locations like tunnels, underpasses, etc.
Driving under the influence is a major problem that afflicts pedestrians and other drivers alike. The lowered driving abilities that come with drug use or alcohol consumption are a major factor in many pedestrian accidents. What many do not know is that this goes both ways and many pedestrian accidents involve the influence of certain substances on the pedestrian’s end which can lead them being involved in collisions with motor vehicles.
An overwhelming amount of pedestrian accidents occur when the pedestrian fails to utilize designated street crossing areas. Jaywalking is very common in pedestrian accidents and this failure to utilize the crosswalk can not only lead to pedestrian accidents but also have a negative impact on a potential claim since it can be seen as contributing negligence.
Understand the Statute of Limitations on Pedestrian Accident Claims
In general, Florida law provides pedestrian accident victims with four (4) years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Some claims, like those against a public entity (i.e. the State of Florida, a county, a city, a water district, etc.), may have a different statute of limitations. If you sit down with an attorney for a free consultation, you should ask about any relevant statute of limitations for your claim. Remember, only an attorney licensed to practice law in Florida can provide you with legal advice.
Where to Begin With Your Pedestrian Accident Claim
At Sibley Dolman, we have significant experience negotiating settlements and litigating cases for pedestrian accident victims. Your attorney must identify all potential defendants and claims, and then determine the best strategy for recovery based on the specific circumstances of your case. We understand that no amount of money can fully compensate you for your suffering, but we will work to achieve the best possible outcome. Florida law permits claims for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, prescription medicine, transportation costs, and future lost wages and medical expenses; and a jury can award punitive damages if the defendant’s insurance company failed to make a reasonable offer prior to trial. Unfortunately, pedestrian accident claims can sometimes take multiple years to resolve, and insurance companies have the resources to aggressively litigate for the duration of the case. Contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney at Sibley Dolman today for your best chance at recovery.
Pedestrian Accident Cases Require Compelling Evidence
Many pedestrian accident attorneys offer a free, no obligations consultation. When you contact Sibley Dolman, we will be able to determine if we can represent you and/or your family. During your consultation, we will review the facts of your case, and help you to understand our contingency fee structure. Beyond acquiring your medical records and other essential evidence, we must construct an argument to show that your injuries were caused by the defendant in your case. Conducting a thorough investigation and submitting a reasonable demand to the insurance company is a complex process, and the company will only consider the offer if the evidence is well-organized and supports the victim’s claims. Our attorneys, who have represented pedestrian accident victims in personal injury cases many times before, have the experience that you need to convince the insurance company, or the court, that you deserve compensation.
Understanding Your Legal Rights
At Sibley Dolman, we help personal injury victims understand complex legal questions, such as:
- What are the effects of the accident on the victim’s health, mental state, and emotional well-being?
- How did the victim suffer as a result of the defendant’s negligence?
- How should the defendant have acted differently to prevent the victim’s injuries?
- How much of an economic impact could the accident have on the victim’s future, especially regarding future earnings and treatment for injuries?
We want to help pedestrian accident victims determine whether they have a valid claim. A trial is expensive, and litigating a personal injury case can cost both the victim and the defendant a great deal in court costs and attorney fees. Speak to an experienced attorney today to determine whether going to trial would be a good decision in your case, and to discuss the opportunity for settlement.
North Miami Beach Pedestrian Accident FAQ
Pedestrians who chose to walk for exercise, for convenience, or to save money face the risk of encountering a dangerous driver. The lack of protection against a car or truck can result in multiple life-threatening injuries; if you suffered serious harm due to the reckless actions of someone else, you may want to contact a North Miami Beach pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible.
A traumatic pedestrian accident can leave you with more questions than answers. However, the following frequently asked questions can help guide you as you plan your next steps:
Why Do Pedestrian Accident Numbers Continue To Rise?
Florida residents and visitors bear a responsibility to share the road with other road users, such as pedestrians and bicyclists. North Miami Beach pedestrian accidents often occur when a driver fails to obey traffic laws, rules, and regulations. Below, we discuss some of the most common causes for the rise in pedestrian accidents.
Distracted Driving – The issue of distracted driving constitutes one of the primary factors contributing to the rise in pedestrian accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 5 distracted driving accidents involve victims outside a vehicle, such as pedestrians.
The CDC lists three main types of distraction:
- Visual: taking eyes off the road.
- Manual: removing the hands from the wheel.
- Cognitive: taking the mind off driving.
Texting constitutes a specific form of distraction that involves all three types. Any form of distraction by a North Miami Beach driver can cause danger for pedestrians. If a distracted driver bears responsibility for your serious injuries, you may want to contact a pedestrian accident law firm for a free case evaluation today.
Speeding – A driver behind schedule or who engages in aggressive driving may drive above the posted speed limit. In addition, a speeding driver may make other unwise decisions, like that of running a red light.
A pedestrian crossing an intersection may never see the speeding driver. However, the point of impact can result in devastating and catastrophic injuries. A lawyer can help you hold the responsible driver accountable for negligent actions that caused an accident.
A North Miami Beach pedestrian accident may constitute a life-changing event for accident victims. If your injuries resulted from a speeding and careless driver, consider seeking legal help to file a personal injury claim and lawsuit.
Drunk or Drugged Driving – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is not only dangerous but also illegal. Yet, despite most drivers’ awareness of laws and warnings regarding such behavior, many choose to drive rather than seek alternative transportation.
The Florida Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) lists 5 signs of impairment:
- Delayed reaction times
- Impaired hand and eye coordination
- Inability to concentrate
- Reduced short-term memory function
- Difficulty judging time and distance
A drunk or drugged driver may face criminal charges for the pedestrian accident. A criminal case differs from civil action, making it possible for you to pursue compensation for your damages—regardless of the criminal case’s outcome.
These constitute just three examples of how a driver may cause a tragic pedestrian accident. However, if the driver responsible for your accident injuries acted negligently, a North Miami Beach Lawyer can fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.
What Injuries Result From Pedestrian Accidents?
Colliding with a vehicle, a hard road surface, or a sidewalk can result in the following types of injuries:
- Severe road rash: a painful skin abrasion that can expose a bone and develop an infection.
- Spinal cord injury: a catastrophic injury that results in partial or complete paralysis.
- Traumatic brain injury: a bump or blow to the head that disrupts normal brain function.
- Broken bones: multiple bone fractures may require numerous surgeries and a long recovery.
These and other types of serious injuries involve medical expenses that quickly accumulate into an unaffordable amount. Therefore, you may want to carefully consider contacting a personal injury lawyer to learn your options for pursuing compensation.
It is impossible to foresee the outcome of your case; however, fighting for compensation will prove much easier with an experienced North Miami Beach lawyer by your side.
Who Bears Liability for My Damages?
The driver who struck you usually bears liability for your damages. However, the personal injury lawyer you hire can investigate your accident to determine from what parties to pursue compensation for your damages. Oftentimes, these types of cases will involve multiple at-fault parties.
Personal injury lawyers must prove negligence to pursue compensation for clients.
This requires a careful review of accident evidence, including:
- Accident scene photographs
- A police report
- Eye-witness statements
- Your medical reports and expenses
- Proof of lost wages
The trauma that you’ve suffered as a result of your pedestrian accident likely seems unfair, so you should assume that any initial settlement offer by an insurance company is also unfair. Hiring a lawyer provides you peace of mind during this time of major life changes, as an attorney can prevent you from accepting an unfair settlement.
If an insurance company offers you a settlement, and you have yet to contact a lawyer, do not accept it. Accepting a settlement offer without legal representation places you at risk of no future options for compensation. This can prove particularly risky should you develop complications from your pedestrian accident injuries.
How Can a North Miami Beach Lawyer Help Me?
Negotiating with an insurance company for a fair settlement can prove difficult, especially for an untrained accident victim. Insurance companies know how to defend against claims, making it imperative that you secure a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf.
Protecting your best interests against aggressive insurance adjusters will prove crucial for ensuring access to the future medical care that you need. Unfortunately, the amount the insurance company initially offers accident victims rarely reflects the true value of their claims.
Your serious injuries demand your full attention and focus. Unfortunately, multiple medical procedures, treatments, and physical pain can leave you without any time to make phone calls and complete all necessary paperwork.
The lawyer you hire can manage the details of your case and protect your best interests. You shouldn’t give in to the high-pressure tactics of insurance companies. While accepting a settlement offer may result in the insurance company finally leaving you alone, it also leaves you without the compensation that you need to cover the full cost of your injuries.
Most personal injury cases settle without going to court. However, if your lawyer deems it necessary to proceed to trial, he or she will keep you informed throughout the process.
Can I Sue for a Loved One’s Pedestrian Death?
Yes. You likely qualify to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit if you had a close relationship with the victim. Surviving spouses, parents, and children constitute just a few examples of the types of relationships that generally qualify for wrongful death action.
The pursuit of compensation can never replace the loss of your loved one. If successful, however, your case may result in compensation that helps you with unexpected expenses and a loss of income.
If your spouse contributed to your monthly household expenses, your spouse’s death can cause you financial stress.
While never promised, possible compensation can help pay:
- Final medical costs for your loved one
- Funeral expenses and burial costs
- Compensation for the lost wages and the loss of potential future earnings
Losing your loved one in a tragic pedestrian accident will change your life forever. Your attorney will expect you to feel anger and frustration regarding the responsible driver’s careless actions.
During this highly emotional time, consider allowing a North Miami Beach wrongful death lawyer to help you. By placing your case in the qualified hands of an attorney, you can remember and mourn your loss with friends and family instead of dealing with your civil case.
How Can I Afford A Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
Many North Miami personal injury and wrongful death lawyers collect legal fees only if they win your case. If they do not win your case, you won’t owe them anything.
Attorneys who represent accident victims understand that financial concerns lead many to fear legal costs. However, personal injury and wrongful death lawyers work to serve those harmed by the negligence of others. The fear of legal costs should not prevent you from contacting a North Miami Beach lawyer today.
A free case evaluation and the knowledge that you won’t have to pay any deposit or retainer fee can help guide your decision. You have nothing to lose by fighting for compensation and justice, either for yourself or your loved one.
Can I Wait to File My Civil Lawsuit?
We don’t recommend waiting to file your civil lawsuit due to the Florida statute of limitations. An important set of laws, the statute of limitations places deadlines for pursuing civil action on accident victims. Unfortunately, once the deadline expires, you generally lose the opportunity to seek compensation for your damages.
Personal injury lawsuits must reach the court within four years from the date of the accident. Four years may sound like a long time; however, this time can pass before you know it when you suffer life-altering injuries.
Most wrongful death lawsuits involve a shorter deadline of just two years. The stressful time following the unexpected news of your loved one’s death can cause you to lose track of time. If you do not file your lawsuit within the two-year requirement, you will likely miss out on your opportunity to seek justice and compensation.
The faster you take action following your pedestrian accident, the better. First, turn down offers from insurance companies, and refer them to your lawyer. Your lawyer can easily spot tactics by an insurance company to delay, deny, or underpay your claim.
We expect you to feel overwhelmed following your pedestrian accident or loss. A North Miami Beach personal injury or wrongful death attorney can help. Think about taking the first step toward your pursuit of compensation by contacting a North Miami Beach pedestrian accident attorney today.
How Long Does a Civil Case Take?
Both personal injury cases and wrongful death cases take time and involve complexities. While you only have a limited time to pursue compensation through a civil lawsuit, you certainly don’t want to rush the personal injury or wrongful death claim process.
Your attorney will work hard to secure a favorable, prompt outcome. However, your attorney will never accept a settlement amount without consulting with you first.
Most insurance companies do not want the time and costs involved with a trial. If all of the parties can reach an agreement without a trial, insurance companies generally prefer that approach rather than to face off in court.
From your free case evaluation to the conclusion of your case, your attorney will keep you informed and updated on developments. The personal injury or wrongful death lawyer that you hire will treat you with care and compassion. At the same time, your lawyer will stand firm against insurance companies and counter any tactics they may attempt to use to pay less than the true value of your case.
Consider Seeking Help From a North Miami Beach Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
No one goes for a walk expecting to suffer serious injuries or death due to a reckless driver. Pedestrians focus on their destination, and many may not realize when an out-of-control vehicle approaches quickly. For those pedestrians that do, they may not have any time to escape the crash.
Serious injuries result in serious medical costs. Depending upon the severity of your injury, these costs may continue throughout your lifetime. Additionally, the emotional and psychological costs of a pedestrian accident can forever impact your quality of life.
A North Miami Beach pedestrian accident lawyer can help you through this difficult time. Insurance companies want to protect their best interests, making it vital that you have someone protecting yours. Consider getting the help you need by reaching out to a North Miami personal injury or wrongful death lawyer today.
Dangerous drivers must face accountability when they abuse their Florida driving privileges. By pursuing compensation for your damages, you hold the driver accountable for any negligent actions.
Don’t Try to Settle Your Pedestrian Accident Case Alone
Contact a North Miami Beach personal injury attorney today to determine if you have a valid pedestrian accident claim. Don’t expect the defendant’s insurance company to assist you during settlement, and even your own insurance company may not be working entirely in your best interest. To set up a free consultation with an experienced attorney, call Sibley Dolman at (305) 676-8154, or contact us online.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
1820 NE 163rd St #306,
North Miami Beach, FL 33162