Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Tampa
Despite several years of action and investment, Florida consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians. The Tampa Bay area is often one of the most pedestrian-unfriendly areas in the state.
Pedestrian accidents are a major source of traffic-related fatalities in Tampa, as well as a source of serious and disabling injuries. The Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers from Holliday Karatinos Law Firm can help you seek compensation for your pedestrian accident injuries. We provide many services to assist you as you navigate the often complex personal injury claims process.
Why Choose Holliday Karatinos Law Firm?
The attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm have more than 65 years of collective experience helping the injured in Florida obtain the compensation they need after being injured in accidents. We are well-versed in the legal process of pursuing compensation after an injury and can ensure to account for clients’ various losses. We offer the attention of a small firm with the financial means to take on the most complex cases.
What Causes Pedestrian Accidents in Tampa?
Despite the work of county and city officials throughout the region, including the city of Tampa and Hillsborough County, new roadway designs intended to enhance pedestrian safety often get overshadowed by the negligence of drivers of motor vehicles on the roadway.
Many of the current area roadways are designed to move traffic quickly, not to ensure the safety of all roadway users. This tendency is particularly common in lower-income areas, such as portions of Busch Boulevard, Hillsborough Avenue, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, where residents are more likely to walk.
According to Smart Growth America, “while it makes sense not to see dramatic improvements immediately, progress should be evident at some point. But Florida has continued to grow more dangerous for people walking.”
Speeding vehicles are one of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents in Tampa. Speed is also one of the main determining factors in the severity of the injuries suffered by the pedestrian. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 20 miles per hour will survive the crash 95 percent of the time. However, those odds drop to 50 percent when the vehicle’s speed increases to 30 miles per hour, and 85 percent of pedestrians struck by a vehicle traveling at a speed of at least 40 miles per hour will die from injuries sustained in the crash.
Other common causes of pedestrian accidents in Tampa include:
- Distracted drivers. There are three types of driving distractions: manual, which causes a driver takes their hands from the wheel; visual, which causes the driver looks away from the road; and cognitive, which causes the driver’s mind to wander from the task of driving safely. Texting and other smartphone use are particularly concerning, as it features all three types of driver distractions at the same time. In the time it takes a driver to read or respond to a text while traveling 55mph, their car will travel the length of a football field. They will not be watching the road, with one hand off the steering wheel and their mind on the message more than driving. This distraction provides plenty of time for a pedestrian to enter a crosswalk unseen by the driver.
- Alcohol-impaired drivers. Alcohol impairment causes deficits in drivers’ skills to operate their motor vehicle safely, making it more difficult for them to maintain a single lane of travel, brake effectively, or respond in emergency driving situations such as swerving to avoid a pedestrian. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol contributes to around 46 percent of all pedestrian crashes.
- Failure to check blind spots. Every vehicle has a blind spot, an area around the vehicle that the driver cannot see by looking in their rear or side view mirrors. Instead, they must twist in their seat to inspect the area visually. For smaller vehicles, this area is likely around the rear tires. The larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot. Pedestrian accidents often involve an individual being struck by a vehicle as it backs up when the driver has failed to check blind spots to ensure it is clear.
- Failing to yield the right-of-way. Florida’s driver yield law requires vehicles approaching pedestrians legally crossing the street to stop and allow them to cross if they are at the driver’s side of the road or within one lane of entering the driver’s side of the road. Florida considers all four sides of an intersection a crosswalk, even if unmarked, unless the state or local government has closed the crosswalk and placed signage stating that pedestrians are not allowed to cross.
The Types of Injuries Commonly Sustained in Pedestrian Accidents
The average weight of a car is slightly more than 2 tons. An ambulance commonly weighs around 5 tons, and a delivery truck about 6 tons. A fully loaded school bus runs around 17 tons, while a loaded tractor-trailer weighs up to 40 tons. Each of these vehicles regularly uses Tampa roads, traveling in proximity to much smaller and slower-moving pedestrians. The substantial size difference between vehicles and pedestrians causes serious or even catastrophic injuries.
Catastrophic injuries refer to injuries that, simply due to the part of the body where they occurred, have a high likelihood of causing permanent disabilities that hinder the sufferer’s ability to earn an income or complete daily living tasks independently. The two most common types of catastrophic injuries are traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, among the most serious injuries in pedestrian accidents.
Other injuries associated with pedestrian accidents include:
- Broken bones, particularly in the area of initial impact with the vehicle. In sedan-type vehicles, the impact is commonly to the lower extremities. The impact of SUVs and larger vehicles can occur to the chest, neck, or head. Broken bones also commonly occur due to the pedestrian’s body colliding with the vehicle’s hood, the roadway, or other obstacles at the scene.
- Soft tissue injuries, such as damage to the tendons and ligaments in the knees, ankles, wrists, or shoulders.
- Internal injuries resulting from impact to the pedestrian’s body and broken ribs creating injuries to organs.
The Type of Compensation You Can Seek
Individuals injured in pedestrian accidents in Tampa can seek compensation for the expenses they incurred as a result of their injury. This type of compensation, known as economic damages, includes current and future medical bills, wage loss, and loss of future earning capacity if the victim’s injuries prevent them from working.
Claimants can also seek compensation for the psychological impacts of the injury. This type of compensation is commonly referred to as non-economic damages and can include physical pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
How to Prove a Driver’s Liability for the Accident
One of the most important factors in a successful outcome to a Tampa pedestrian accident claim is the ability of the claimant and their attorney to prove that someone else’s negligence was the cause of the accident.
To prove liability, your attorney will show:
- The at-fault driver owed a duty of care, which means they were required to take reasonable actions in a specific circumstance to avoid causing injury to others. Reasonable actions for drivers include following state and local traffic laws and safely operating their vehicles.
- A breach in the duty of care occurred when the at-fault driver took actions that were unreasonable or contrary to the avoidance of harm. Examples of driver behaviors that can breach the driver’s duty of care include distracted or impaired driving, speeding, or failure to yield.
- The breach in the driver’s duty of care caused a pedestrian accident in which the claimant sustained an injury and incurred expenses and impacts.
The Services a Tampa Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Provide
A Tampa pedestrian accident lawyer plays a crucial role in protecting the right of an individual injured in this type of accident to seek compensation for their injury and helping them navigate the process to obtain the compensation they need. One of the most important qualities the attorney brings to the claim is experience with the process and the laws designed to protect pedestrians in Florida.
The services an attorney can provide include:
- Determining the source of liability (the at-fault driver) and the insurance policy they have that can be accessed to compensate the claimant.
- Valuing the claim properly, including both the monetary and psychological costs of the injury to the claimant and considering additional compensation they will need for future injury-related medical expenses and income loss.
- Gathering the evidence and witness testimony needed to prove the claim.
- Managing communication with the at-fault party’s insurance provider to negotiate a settlement.
- Managing the timeline of the claim to ensure time to file a lawsuit within Florida’s four-year statute of limitations that governs actions based on negligence.
- Representing the claim through the court process by filing motions, responding to motions, preparing evidence exhibits, assisting in jury selection, delivering opening and closing arguments, and examining witnesses.
- Assistance with collecting the proceeds from a court order or settlement agreement at the conclusion of the case.
Pedestrian accident lawyers work on a contingent fee basis, requiring no upfront investment and only receiving payment for their services if they successfully recover compensation for the claim.
Injured in a Tampa Pedestrian Accident? Contact Us
With decades of experience assisting Florida accident victims to obtain the compensation they need and more than $125,000,000 in settlements and awards for claimants, the experienced Tampa personal injury lawyers from Holliday Karatinos Law Firm are ready to help. We will explore your legal options with you and help you learn more about the process of seeking compensation for your injury’s financial and psychological distress.
“Attorney James Holliday is the best attorney I have ever worked with. I went to him after an auto accident and I was impressed with his knowledge of the situation and judgement on how to proceed. In the end, Mr. Holliday was able to obtain full compensation. He was also a pleasure to work with.”
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Barb C.
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