Fort Lauderdale Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Florida ranks high in pedestrian accidents, and the current rates are only increasing. Walking in Fort Lauderdale can be risky in many areas. Accidents can be serious because of the lack of protection a pedestrian has against a vehicle or bicycle that they come into contact with.
If you have been in a pedestrian accident and are wishing to recover damages for the injuries you have suffered, you should contact an experienced accident injury lawyer right away. A Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyer can discuss your case with you and help you move your claim forward.
Common Pedestrian Injuries
When a car, truck, or SUV strikes someone walking or jogging, the impact even at a slow speed can cause catastrophic and sometimes permanent injuries. The most serious injuries Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorneys see include:
- Amputation of an arm or leg
- Broken bones
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Shoulder injuries
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
Drivers hit pedestrians because they are inattentive or distracted, speeding, intoxicated, rolling through stop signs, running red lights, or they have poor visibility. More pedestrians are hit during after dark.
Pedestrians cause accidents, too, by failing to use a crosswalk, disobeying the green walk sign, darting into traffic, or not wearing bright clothing at night.
Florida Laws Regarding Negligence
Drivers have a duty toward pedestrians in Florida’s comparative negligence law, which assigns a percentage of blame in accident cases, so both driver and pedestrian can bear fault. Negligence has four elements and all must be proven to achieve damages:
- Duty of care: Drivers have a legal obligation not to cause harm to another person
- Breach: An act or failing to act violates the duty of care
- Causation: The breach of duty resulted in the accident
- Damages: Injury or property damage happened
In Florida, drivers have a heightened duty of care to child pedestrians. When a motorist knew or should have known that children were on or near a street near schools or other places where children gather, jurors receive a special instruction that the motorist has a higher duty of care.
Process of Claiming Damages
To recover damages, the injured person or the family of the deceased must bring a legal cause of action. A Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyer will send a letter demanding damages, and if unsuccessful, a lawsuit is filed in state court seeking damages, including medical and therapy treatments, loss of income, pain and suffering, and others that may apply.
How a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
A skilled Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyer will reconstruct the accident as part of a thorough independent investigation that also includes interviewing the other party and witnesses under oath to discover facts beneficial to the case and file necessary motions with the court.
Many civil cases are settled out of court, so the local injury lawyer will negotiate with the defendant’s insurance carrier to reach a settlement that is beneficial to the client. Legal fees are taken from the settlement. Should the lawyer not succeed in winning damages, the client is not billed for attorney fees.