Pedestrian accidents are some of the most devastating kinds of car crashes because of the lack of a barrier between the vehicle and person. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there is one crash-related pedestrian death every two hours in America. Those who suffer pedestrian accidents need emergency medical treatment to address their injuries.
Like car accident cases, when a pedestrian is injured in a car crash, they can seek compensation from the negligent driver of an automobile, bicycle, bus, truck, or another vehicle. A Boca Raton pedestrian accident lawyer helps injured pedestrians recover compensation for injuries suffered and property damage sustained because of someone else’s negligence. Contact an experienced injury attorney today to begin your case for compensation.
Impaired driving due to alcohol consumption is the leading cause of death for pedestrians in collisions with vehicles. Almost half of all alcohol-related car crashes with pedestrians in Florida resulted in the death of the pedestrian. Excessive speeding is the second most common cause of pedestrian death following a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian.
For the first time in two decades, pedestrian deaths are increasing at a higher rate than motorist deaths following car accidents, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Last year close to 6,000 people died in pedestrian accidents. There are several common causes of pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents. Some of the reasons for this uptick include increased driving by motorists because of lower fuel prices and more walking or running for exercise purposes. Another overlooked factor is distracted walking – people walking and using mobile devices.
Sometimes pedestrians contribute to their injuries sustained in a crash with a vehicle because of their own behavior. It is possible for both parties to a pedestrian accident to share the fault. There are factors that lead to drivers causing the collision, while there are also situations where a pedestrian shares in the blame.
When pedestrian accidents happen, the driver of the vehicle involved in the collision is often to blame. Motorists have a duty to watch for pedestrians, but they do not always exercise caution. Some of the ways a driver could be at fault for a pedestrian accident include:
While many pedestrian accidents occur as the result of driver error, it is possible for pedestrians to share in the fault as well. Some of the ways a pedestrian could be liable for an accident include:
Florida is a pure comparative fault state. That means that any award of damages is reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to the pedestrian.
Not all pedestrian injuries result in death. Nonetheless, serious injuries are possible. Common injuries following a collision with a vehicle that Boca Raton pedestrian accident lawyers see include:
While driver negligence is frequently the cause of pedestrian accidents, there are important steps that a pedestrian can take to avoid a collision. Often, the law requires pedestrians to take careful steps to avoid an accident with a motor vehicle. Pedestrians have the following duties:
Motorists must also take steps to ensure that pedestrians are not at risk of an injury. These steps are required under the law, and the failure to adhere to them could have serious consequences if an accident occurs. These responsibilities include yielding when:
There are generally two ways to successfully pursue a pedestrian accident case and recover the monetary damages you deserve. Some pedestrian accident injury claims are resolved through a negotiated settlement. Others only conclude by filing a lawsuit and taking the case to trial.
Settlements occur frequently in pedestrian accident cases. Often, there is little doubt who was at fault. In those cases, negotiations with the other side often focus on what fair compensation might be. Even though negotiated settlements are common, that does not mean the first offer you get from the at-fault party is worth taking. More often than not, attorneys and insurance companies will make unreasonably low offers in the hope that you will accept. This is especially common for injury victims who have not yet hired an attorney.
An attorney can use their experience dealing with insurance companies to help you get the most out of your settlement offer. By rejecting unreasonable offers and aggressively pushing for the true value of your case, your attorney could help you secure the outcome you deserve.
Although settlements are common in pedestrian accidents, there is no guarantee the other side will make a reasonable offer. In some cases, the driver responsible for your accident will refuse to accept fault. In other cases, the insurance company might fail to make a reasonable attempt to settle. When this happens, your attorney can take your case to trial.
Trials are uncommon in pedestrian accident cases, but your attorney could ensure you develop a winning strategy if your case moves forward. By treating every case as if it were certain to result in a trial, your attorney could also improve your chances of a favorable settlement. Insurance companies that see the plaintiff is prepared to litigate often settle instead of going to the trouble and uncertainty of having a jury render a verdict.
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, your window of time to pursue compensation is not unlimited. You must comply with something known as the statute of limitations in order to successfully pursue compensation for your injuries. The statute of limitations is the legal deadline that applies to any civil lawsuit, including cases regarding a pedestrian accident.
In Boca Raton, the statute of limitations for a pedestrian accident generally expires after four years. This four-year window begins to count down on the day of the collision. If you fail to file your lawsuit before the statutory period runs out, you could miss out on your chance for damages forever. The court will likely dismiss your case with prejudice, meaning that you will not have the ability to re-file the case ever again in the future.
There are limited exceptions that apply to the statute of limitations, including when the injured party is under the age of 18. However, it is risky to assume these exceptions might apply to your case. Our firm could evaluate your case and advise you on the amount of time you have to move forward with your lawsuit.
The ultimate goal of any pedestrian accident lawsuit is financial compensation. Your compensation could cover your physical, emotional, or financial injuries caused by the collision. It is important that you rely on experienced legal counsel when pursuing your case. Your attorney could help you understand the potential value of your settlement and assist you with pursuing the amount you deserve.
The settlement value of every pedestrian accident case is different. The amount you are entitled to recover will depend in part on how severe your injuries are and what other damages you received. Some of the types of damages that could be available include:
One of the challenging aspects of a pedestrian accident is determining what your case might be worth. Instead of guessing, an attorney could carefully evaluate the facts and advise you on a potential recovery. Reach out to learn more today.
Contact a Boca Raton personal injury attorney if you have been injured in a pedestrian accident or a loved one has died because of a pedestrian accident. In addition to filing a personal injury claim, a wrongful death claim may also apply. Seek prompt medical care and treatment for accident injuries as soon as possible.
Remember to get the name and contact information of any witnesses and the driver and passengers of the vehicle, including insurance information. Contact the police and file an accident report. Lastly, call pedestrian accident lawyers in Boca Raton today to schedule a free initial case consultation to review your case.