Liability in pedestrian accidents is ultimately determined by a jury. Although a police officer may issue a traffic citation to the person they believe is at fault for the accident, it is up to the jury to decide liability. For a jury to find a party liable, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff under the circumstances. They must also prove the defendant breached that legal duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way and that it was the defendant’s action or inaction that caused the plaintiff’s injury. Therefore, it is essential that an injured individual seeks the services of a seasoned lawyer at Kogan & DiSalvo who is experienced determining liability in Boca Raton pedestrian accidents.
Plaintiffs and Defendants Each Have the Opportunity to Make Arguments
Before a lawsuit and during one, the plaintiff and defendant are both given the opportunities to make arguments regarding liability throughout the case. Before a lawsuit is filed, it is usually the plaintiff’s lawyer communicating with the defendant’s insurance company regarding liability. The plaintiff’s lawyer may send a demand letter to the insurance company outlining the plaintiff’s case and arguing why the defendant is at fault.
If the insurance company disagrees with the plaintiff’s version of facts and the parties are unable to reach an amicable settlement, then a lawsuit could be filed. Once a lawsuit is filed, the plaintiff’s attorney will communicate and discuss the case with the defendant’s lawyer. The attorney’s for both sides can make arguments regarding liability at mediation and to a judge and jury at the eventual trial.
Elements of Negligence in Pedestrian Accident Cases
Determining liability in Boca Raton pedestrian accidents is no different from other personal injury cases such as car collisions. The elements of negligence are the same in both situations and there are four elements of negligence, which are:
- The defendant owed a legal duty to the plaintiff under the circumstances
- The defendant breached that legal duty by acting or failing to act in a certain way
- The defendant’s action or inaction caused the plaintiff’s injury
- The plaintiff suffered damages or injuries due to the defendant’s action
In Florida, the doctrine of comparative negligence applies to pedestrians as well as drivers. This means that a pedestrian’s action in an accident can be scrutinized the same way as the driver’s action. For example, if the evidence shows that the pedestrian was not following the traffic regulations or was not paying attention to where they were walking, a jury could find that the pedestrian was comparatively negligent or even 100 percent liable. When a plaintiff is found to be partially at fault, their injury award will be reduced by the percentage that the jury found the individual to be negligent. This is why it is imperative for an injured person to obtain the services of a lawyer who is capable of determining liability in Boca Raton pedestrian accidents.
An Attorney Could Help With Determining Liability in Boca Raton Pedestrian Accidents
The dedicated lawyers at Kogan & DiSalvo work to build a case determining liability in Boca Raton pedestrian accidents as soon as they are hired. To build a case, they work to gather any evidence necessary to prove negligence. Usually, one of the first pieces of evidence the attorney acquires is the police report. This immediately provides the lawyer with the officer’s theory of liability, the names and contact information of the people involved in the accident, the names and contact information of any witnesses, the witnesses’ version of how the accident happened. When a lawsuit is filed, the lawyer gathers further evidence to establish liability through discovery. The discovery process includes requesting documents, photographs, and videos from the defendant and subpoenaing records from third parties, if necessary.