Pedestrian Accidents in Tallahassee, Florida
Tallahassee isn’t just the capital city of Florida but also a college town with more than 70,000 students attending Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and Tallahassee Community College. These factors, combined with the year-round mild weather, make Tallahassee a vibrant city for pedestrians. Unfortunately, vulnerable pedestrians must share space near heavy traffic, making pedestrian accidents far too common.
If a pedestrian accident injured you or killed a loved one, a Tallahassee pedestrian accident lawyer from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA. In that case, Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can evaluate your case for free and explain the process of seeking compensation for your injuries or loss.
Many law firms are merely settlement mills where attorneys churn out a high volume of low-value cases and avoid the expense and hard work of litigation. Our legal team is devoted to fighting for the maximum compensation available for your claim whether that involves settlement negotiations or litigation.
Table of Contents
- Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
- Types of Injuries Caused by Pedestrian Accidents
- Pedestrian Accident Injuries Can Affect Every Facet of Your Life
- Seeking Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident
- Contact a Tallahassee Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
- Frequently Asked Questions
Tallahassee Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Near Me 833-552-7274
The Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Tallahassee
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there are more than 150 pedestrian accidents each year in Leon County, resulting in more than 100 injuries and several deaths.
Between tourism and business brought to the capital, university students and others who take advantage of the relative ease and affordability of walking to nearby locations even during nighttime hours, the increase in alcohol-impaired driving that often accompanies college towns and sporting events, and the overall increase in traffic on the roadways, Tallahassee is among the most dangerous cities in the state for pedestrians.
Some of the areas of the city that the Tallahassee Police Department has identified as dangerous to pedestrians include:
- Monroe Street from Balsam Terrace to Callaway Road
- West Pensacola Street from Appleyard Drive to Flamingo Way
- West Tennessee Street from Tennessee Capital Boulevard to Anole Drive
- S. 90 from Macomb Street to Meridian Street
For a free legal consultation with a pedestrian accidents lawyer serving Tallahassee, call 833-552-7274
Motorist Actions that Result in Pedestrian Accidents
Many pedestrian accidents in Tallahassee occur as a result of careless or reckless actions of motorists, such as:
- Distracted driving. Driver distractions include anything that causes the driver to look away from the road (known as visual distractions), take their hands from the wheel (known as manual distractions), or draw their thoughts from the task of safe driving (known as cognitive distractions. One of the most dangerous driving distractions of all is texting and other use of a handheld device, as it is simultaneously a visual, manual, and cognitive distraction. In the seconds it takes for a driver to read or reply to a text, they can travel the length of a football field without looking at the road—plenty of time for a group to step off a sidewalk after a Seminoles game.
- Alcohol impairment. One of the unfortunate aspects of a town heavily inhabited by university students is the amount of alcohol-impaired driving in neighborhoods close to campus. Alcohol impairment creates significant deficits in drivers’ skills to operate their motor vehicles safely, including tracking moving targets such as pedestrians, signal detection, speed and lane control, and the ability to make good driving decisions.
- Speeding. Speeding vehicles create several hazards for pedestrians. It not only offers less time for the driver to see a hazard such as a pedestrian crossing the roadway but also can increase the distance that the vehicle will travel after braking as the brakes will have to work harder to pull it to a complete stop. Additionally, it is harder for pedestrians to judge a safe gap in traffic to cross intersections that do not feature crosswalk signals if the vehicle is going faster than expected.
- Failure to yield. Florida law requires a driver approaching a pedestrian legally crossing an intersection to stop and allow the pedestrian to cross. All sides of an intersection are crosswalks, whether marked or not, unless the local government has posted signs prohibiting crossing. It is also illegal for drivers to pass other vehicles stopped at crosswalks. Also worth noting, however, is that pedestrians do not always have the right-of-way in Florida. They must yield if they face a red light and a steady DON’T WALK signal. If the sign is flashing, DON’T WALK, drivers must allow pedestrians to cross.
- Inattentional blindness. This term does not refer to a condition but rather how the brain prioritizes chaotic scenes such as busy intersections. A driver in a situation like that will generally focus on the most significant hazards around—such as large trucks or buses—while overlooking other roadway users such as pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorcyclists who are also present in the intersection. This can result in a driver turning into the path of a pedestrian crossing the road.
- Lack of visibility at night. Not all of the streets and intersections in Tallahassee have ample lighting for drivers to see pedestrians walking on the roadside or attempting to cross a roadway outside an intersection.
The Types of Injuries Caused by Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accident injuries are often severe due to the size discrepancy between a vehicle and a person and the speed at which the car is moving when the collision occurs. In recent years, traffic safety experts have seen a more significant number of pedestrians killed by SUVs and full-sized trucks as the hoods on these modern vehicle types are 24 percent taller than in 2000.
A taller hood not only places the point of impact on the pedestrian higher—increasing the risk of dangerous head and chest injuries—but also creates a frontal blind spot that makes it difficult for the driver to see pedestrians crossing directly in front of them quickly.
The most severe injuries to be sustained in pedestrian accidents are traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries. Both of these are considered catastrophic injuries due to the high likelihood that the sufferer will incur permanent disabilities that will impair their ability to earn an income.
The brain and the spinal cord make up the body’s central nervous system, controlling voluntary movements and involuntary responses. Unfortunately, these parts of the body only have a limited ability to heal from damage.
Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries are often secondary injuries in pedestrian accidents. This means they don’t result from the impact itself but from what happens after impact, when the pedestrian is either thrown onto or against the vehicle’s hood or thrown through the air and onto the ground.
Other types of pedestrian accident injuries that can be considered catastrophic include traumatic limb amputations, severe damage to the spinal vertebrae or discs that can result in instability in the spine, and the loss of vision or hearing resulting from the accident. Catastrophic injuries require a higher level of compensation to account for the loss of future earning capacity experienced as a result of physical disabilities.
Broken bones are extremely common in pedestrian accidents, mainly where the vehicle or ground struck the body. In sedan-type vehicles, the point of contact with an adult is generally in the legs, and broken bones in the lower extremity—including the legs, hips, and pelvis—are common. Additionally, many pedestrians suffer broken bones in the arms and hands due to the body’s instinctive urge to outstretch the arms to “catch itself” when falling.
If the point of impact between the vehicle and the pedestrian is in the abdomen area—where it would likely be for a child or an adult struck by a higher profile vehicle—there is an extreme risk of damage to the internal organs. Internal injuries are hazardous, as they can result in dangerous blood loss that you cannot see without diagnostic imaging at the hospital.
Road rash refers to a deep skin abrasion caused by contact between the skin and a rough surface, such as asphalt. While this condition often heals with minimal treatment or scarring, the injury carries a risk of infection.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries Can Affect Every Facet of Your Life
A pedestrian accident can affect every facet of the sufferer’s life, resulting in medical expenses, missed work, loss of future earning capacity, loss of the ability to enjoy activities and hobbies, and even the relationships the sufferer has with their family members.
When an individual dies in a pedestrian accident, it can leave a family deprived of the services and support that the deceased provided them, resulting in unpaid medical expenses along with the costs of funeral services and burial or cremation. It can also leave loved ones emotionally distressed and without the guidance and companionship the deceased provided to them.
While compensation will not take away a permanent injury or bring back the life of a lost loved one, it may help those injured and the family members of those killed attempt to move forward with their lives.
Seeking Compensation After a Tallahassee Pedestrian Accident
Most personal injury protection (PIP) policies that Florida requires upon registering a vehicle will also provide partial coverage of wage loss and medical expenses associated with pedestrian accidents resulting in injuries to the policyholder or other household members. Additionally, the policy provides a death benefit. This can provide early financial relief for the sufferer or family as they seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s liability insurance policy through Florida’s personal injury claims process.
The Personal Injury Claims Process
Most personal injury claims begin when the claimant’s attorney submits a demand to the at-fault party’s insurance provider. The insurance provider will generally assign a claims adjuster to the claim.
The adjuster’s job is to protect the insurance company’s bottom line by evaluating the claim details and determining the compensation owed to the claimant. It bears repeating: the adjuster works for the insurance company. Their job is to cut costs for the company by finding ways to reduce or eliminate payouts on claims. They have an interest in keeping the payout as low as possible.
Upon receiving the demand, the insurance provider can choose to pay the claim, deny the claim, or settle the claim. Out-of-court settlements are the most common resolution for personal injury claims. However, the initial settlement offer from the insurance company will not cover the claim’s value. The claimant’s attorney can negotiate with the claims adjuster to get them to increase their offer.
Suppose the insurance company fails to fairly compensate the claim either through paying its total value or making an offer that the claimant believes fairly reimburses them for the expenses and impacts of their injury or loss. In that case, you may file the claim can be filed in Tallahassee as a lawsuit.
Settlement negotiations usually continue even after you file the case. If you can’t settle before the court date arrives, the claim goes to a judge or jury to determine. In Florida, you must file claims in court within four years of the accident.
Wrongful Death Claims
When an individual dies in a Tallahassee pedestrian accident, their family members can seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of the loss through a wrongful death claim. This claim—filed by a personal estate representative on behalf of surviving family members—is similar to a personal injury claim. However, claimants only have two years after the date of the deceased’s death to file the claim in court.
Contact a Tallahassee Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Let an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, help you understand the claims process in greater detail and answer your questions about your case for free by contacting us online or calling (866) 467-0943.
2707 Killarney Way, Suite 205
Tallahassee, FL 32309
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What compensation can my pedestrian accident claim recover?
Individuals injured in a Tallahassee pedestrian accident can seek compensation for the expenses and the quality-of-life impacts they incurred because of their injury. These are commonly called economic and non-economic damages.
The costs and impacts you can claim include:
- All expenses associated with the medical treatment of the injuries sustained in the accident, including treatment of related complications and estimated future medical expenses in claims involving permanent injuries.
- The loss of income, benefits, and other earnings when injuries prevented the claimant from working.
- The loss of future earning capacity is due to disabling injuries that prevent the claimant from working.
- Property damage sustained in the accident.
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering.
- Loss of the enjoyment of life resulting from the inability to participate in activities and hobbies due to the injury.
What kind of compensation can I seek through a wrongful death claim?
Tallahassee wrongful death claimants can seek to recover economic and non-economic damages for both the family members of the deceased and the estate.
Some of the types of expenses and impacts included in a wrongful death claim are:
- A family member or the estate paid medical expenses to treat the deceased’s final injury.
- Reasonable costs are associated with a funeral service and the expense of burial or cremation.
- The loss of support and services the deceased provided for their family members.
- The loss of parental instruction, guidance, companionship, and protection provided by the deceased to loved ones.
- The loss of wages, benefits, and other income between the time of the accident and the time of the decedent’s death.
- The loss of income the deceased would have likely earned if they had survived long enough to complete their career.
How do I prove who was liable for my pedestrian accident?
One of the most critical factors in the success of a pedestrian accident claim is the claimant’s ability to prove that someone else—usually a negligent motorist—caused the accident.
We demonstrate this by showing:
- The at-fault driver owed a duty of care to other roadway users, which required them to take specific actions to avoid causing injury to others. The primary responsibility that motorists have is to operate their vehicles legally and safely.
- A breach in the duty of care occurred. Some careless and reckless actions that a motorist can take that can result in pedestrian accidents include driving while distracted or impaired, speeding, or failure to yield the right-of-way.
- The breach resulted in an accident with the claimant, who was a pedestrian. This caused the claimant to suffer psychological impacts and out-of-pocket expenses.
What evidence can prove pedestrian accident claims?
Often proving a pedestrian accident relies on the testimony of eyewitnesses, surveillance footage from neighboring businesses or home security systems, and citations issued to the driver by law enforcement personnel who investigated the accident.
Depending on the circumstances of the crash, other evidence can include the results of blood alcohol content testing on the driver that show impairment, damage to the vehicle that can indicate whether the accident occurred at high speed, and other evidence from the scene such as skid marks on the road or photographs of obstacles or lighting issues that could have factored into the crash.
Not only is a claimant required to prove liability when seeking compensation for expenses and impacts of their injury or loss, but they are also required to justify the compensation they seek.
The evidence used to prove damages includes medical bills, pay stubs, statements from the physician regarding the claimant’s ability to perform job-related tasks, statements from expert witnesses such as physicians about the claimant’s prognosis, and testimony from family members and friends about how the accident affected the claimant’s life.
What happens if I don’t file my pedestrian accident claim in court before the statute of limitations expires?
In Florida, personal injury claimants have four years from the accident date to file their claim as a lawsuit in court, and wrongful death claimants have two years from the date of death to do so. This is called the statute of limitations, which is the most critical deadline for your claim. Failing to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations has expired will generally result in losing the claimant’s right to use the court system when seeking compensation.
Insurance companies mainly want to settle a claim rather than fight it out in court because litigation is expensive, time-consuming, and uncertain outcome. If the claimant can no longer file a lawsuit, there is no recourse if they fail to make a settlement offer.
If I file a pedestrian accident claim, will I have to go to court?
Most personal injury claims resolve before they see the inside of a courtroom, with a settlement agreement being the most common form of resolution. Because of this, few personal injury claimants must appear in court to obtain compensation.
However, using the court process to receive compensation is an important option, and the Tallahassee legal team from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, PA, is fully prepared to use that option if it means garnering the maximum amount of compensation available for our clients.
What services does an attorney provide during a pedestrian accident claim?
An experienced Tallahassee pedestrian accident lawyer is critical to a successful claim. We strive for quality over quantity, avoiding the common “settlement mill” business model used by many personal injury law firms to churn out as many settlements as possible quickly. Instead, we compassionately listen to the needs of our clients and carefully investigate their claims to find the evidence necessary to prove liability and justify the claim amount.
- Determine the sources of liability and their associated insurance resources.
- Evaluate the claim once the claimant has reached maximum medical improvement. Some of the factors considered when determining the value of a claim include the amount of available insurance coverage, the severity of the injury, and the presence of permanent disabilities that will impair the claimant’s earning capacity.
- Gather the evidence and documentation necessary to prove the claim to the claims adjuster or in court.
- Send a demand to the at-fault party’s insurance provider seeking the claim’s full value.
- Negotiate a settlement for the claimant that fairly compensates them for their injuries.
- File a personal injury lawsuit in court within the statutory deadline.
- Litigate your claim by preparing statements, evidence exhibits, and arranging for expert testimony.
- Collect the proceeds of a negotiated settlement or court award.
I think I was partially liable for the pedestrian accident that caused my injuries. What should I do?
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible and have a candid conversation with them about the accident. Be sure to mention that you think you were partially liable. One thing to remember is that individuals who are partially liable for the accident that caused their injury can still file a claim and seek compensation from other responsible parties in many cases.
Additionally, when our claimants often come to us worried that they did something to cause the accident, we can reassure them that they did not. Either way, the best way to put your mind at ease about your liability and its potential impact on the value of your claim is to ask an attorney.
However, one thing you should never do is admit to the claims adjuster that you think you were liable for the accident or agree with the adjuster when they suggest that you were liable. Suppose you have a pedestrian accident lawyer to assist you with your claim. In that case, they will manage the communications with the at-fault party’s insurance provider to protect the value of your claim from common insurance company tactics that shift liability and reduce claims.
What if the pedestrian accident was a hit and run? Is there still compensation available?
Hit and run pedestrian accidents are unfortunately common and unfortunately complex. Without the driver’s name, it is usually impossible to determine applicable insurance policies to seek compensation. In some cases, law enforcement officers find the driver and can obtain their insurance information for you.
However, in some cases, you must consider other options for compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney can explore your legal options for obtaining compensation with you.
What is the average settlement for a Tallahassee pedestrian accident claim?
The value of a claim depends on available insurance coverage and the severity of the injury. However, a settlement involves even more factors, including the willingness of the insurance provider to make a fair offer and how high the offer needs to be before the claimant is willing to accept it.
Not every client is as interested in obtaining the maximum amount of compensation or able to wait for litigation to receive it. Because of this, there is no average settlement claim.
The experienced attorneys from Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, PA, are focused on getting the money you need to compensate for your injuries. We cannot determine whether a settlement is fair, as that decision is yours alone. However, we can provide guidance and information to help you understand the type of compensation needed to cover the expenses and impacts of your injury to make a decision that reflects your best interests.
What if I can’t afford to hire an attorney to assist me with my claim?
Unlike other types of attorneys who require a retainer or bill their clients by the hour for work done on the case, personal injury attorneys use a contingent fee billing method that ensures that anyone who needs our assistance can afford it.
Here is how the contingent fee works:
- When you decide to hire an attorney to help you with your claim, you will enter into a contingent fee agreement with them. This is a legal agreement whereby they will provide legal services. In exchange for these services, you pay them a percentage of your settlement or court award. If you lose your case, you owe the attorney nothing.
- Once reaching a settlement or court award, the compensation will go directly to your attorney. They will deposit the funds in a trust account and deduct their percentage. They will also use the funds to pay off any medical liens placed upon the award and will provide a full accounting of these costs before releasing the remainder of the funds to you.