Pedestrian Car Accident Attorneys Serving Spring Hill
Pedestrians are susceptible to severe injuries when they are struck by a careless driver. The North Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC can help you if you were hurt in a Florida car crash. Our attorneys bring more than 50 years of substantial legal experience to help you effectively assert your right to compensation for a pedestrian accident injury. Contact our office today if you were injured in a car crash.
Pedestrians and Car Crashes
Thousands of pedestrians are struck by drivers each year. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 4,400 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2011. A majority of fatal crashes take place at night, between 6:00 P.M. and midnight, which is when the lack of light and drunk driving are more likely to play a factor in a crash. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that 6,194 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes in 2011, and almost 500 were involved in a fatal car wreck.
Florida motorists are required to purchase at least $10,000 in insurance to cover car crash injuries. While this amount can cover minor injuries, pedestrians are likely to sustain catastrophic injuries in an auto accident. A victim may be able to recover damages for these injuries by initiating a personal injury lawsuit.
Liability for Pedestrian Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries
Pedestrians injured in a car accident may file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the crash. The claim allows an injured pedestrian to establish liability against the driver and possibly recover damages. Pedestrians can use the theory of negligence to show that the driver was at fault for the crash.
Negligence requires that a plaintiff establish:
- The driver had a duty of care (usually that of a reasonable driver under similar circumstances);
- The driver breached the duty of care; and
- The driver’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries and damages.
Drivers must exercise care on the road, which includes avoiding collisions with pedestrians and taking measures to warn pedestrians, such as by honking. A distracted driver or a driver who fails to yield, for example, can hit a pedestrian and cause injuries as a result. If the pedestrian can prove that the driver’s action or failure to act caused the injuries, then the pedestrian can hold the driver liable for the injuries and get damages.
The driver may argue that you are actually at fault for your injuries. For example, if a pedestrian suddenly leaves a curb and runs into the path of a car, it may not be possible for the car to stop in time for the driver to yield. When this happens, Florida will determine each party’s percentage. If you are partly at fault, you still can recover damages proportionate to your degree of fault.
Thousands of pedestrian accidents occur every year in Florida. According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, over 7,400 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes in 2012. Some of these crashes occur at crosswalks, which are designated pedestrian crossing areas on our roads. Under Florida’s traffic rules, drivers are required to stop at crosswalks to allow pedestrians to cross the road safely. Many drivers, however, fail to yield and cause serious injuries as a result.
When an injury is minor, the driver’s personal insurance protection (PIP) coverage may be enough to cover any related damages. In many cases, however, a crosswalk accident will leave a victim with significant physical harm, including fractures and head trauma. Florida only requires drivers to have $10,000 in PIP coverage, which does not begin to cover the long-term medical costs associated with serious injuries.
Injured Pedestrians Can File Negligence Lawsuits
Many pedestrian accidents are the result of driver negligence. You can hold a driver liable for your injuries if you can demonstrate that the driver’s careless behavior caused the harm.
A person is negligent when he or she fails to use the care that a reasonable person would use under the circumstances. If your crosswalk accident claim is based on negligence, you have the burden of establishing the defendant’s duty of care, breach of this duty, causation of your injuries, and damages.
Drivers usually cause crosswalk accidents because they fail to exercise reasonable care. In Florida, drivers have a duty to act with reasonable care whenever they are on the road. This includes obeying traffic signals and yield signs as well as stopping for pedestrians at crosswalks. Many collisions thus are caused by a driver’s breach of the duty of care, such as distracted driving or speeding. If a motorist’s breach caused your injuries, you can hold that person liable for damages you incurred in a crash.
A driver may be negligent as a matter of law if he or she was drunk at the time of the accident. This doctrine applies when someone breaks a law meant to protect a certain group of people against a particular type of harm. Florida makes it a crime to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If the motorist in your case struck you because he or she was intoxicated, you can base your injury claim on this theory of liability.
Although drivers cause many crosswalk accidents, some blame the accident on the victim. For example, a defendant might argue that a pedestrian darted into the crosswalk after the driver had yielded and was attempting a turn. If your own actions contributed to your injuries, you may still recover damages. In Florida, a court will decide each party’s percentage of fault. You can get damages even if a court determines that your injuries were mostly caused by your own carelessness, although the amount will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault.
If you successfully prove the elements of a negligence claim, you may be awarded compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages. You must file your claim within four years from when the accident happened. If you do not, you probably will be barred from holding the careless driver accountable.
Compensation and Damages
Pedestrian car crash victims may recover damages from the driver if liability is established. These can include lost wages, medical and hospital expenses, and pain and suffering. Relatives of a fatal car accident may file a wrongful death action and potentially receive compensation for their loved one’s medical and funeral expenses, pain and suffering before death, and other damages based on their relationship to the victim. You must file a Florida personal injury claim within four years of the car crash to preserve your rights, while you must file a wrongful death claim within two years.
Experienced Legal Counseling
At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, we can offer you experienced legal counseling if you were injured in a pedestrian car crash. Our North Tampa personal injury attorneys are prepared to help you pursue a pedestrian accident claim. We have extensive experience advising car accident victims and handling complex car crash cases. We are effective litigators who can advocate for you in settlement talks or at trial. We counsel clients in New Tampa, Brooksville, and the surrounding counties. Call us today at (866) 597-0009 or complete our online form to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys.