Pedestrian accidents happen every day. It may be a jogger, someone walking to an office building, or a partygoer who had too much to drink. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents can cause serious or even fatal injuries. If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the driver of the vehicle that struck you.
Determining Who Was at Fault in Pedestrian Accidents
If you are a pedestrian and a car hits you, the driver of the car is not automatically at fault. The driver, you, both the driver and you, or a third party may be at fault.
What a Pedestrian Must Prove to Recover Compensation from a Driver
The pedestrian must prove four things in a pedestrian accident to recover compensation from the driver:
- The driver owed the pedestrian a duty.
- The driver did not perform that duty.
- The driver’s action caused the accident.
- The pedestrian sustained injury due to the driver’s action.
How to Show the Driver Was at Fault for a Pedestrian Accident
There are several ways to show that the driver was at fault:
- The driver was distracted. For example, the driver was on their cell phone.
- The driver was on drugs or under the influence of alcohol.
- The driver was exceeding the speed limit.
- The driver failed to obey a traffic light or stop sign.
- The driver ignored a pedestrian cross-walk.
How to Show the Pedestrian Was at Fault for a Pedestrian Accident
There are several ways a pedestrian can be partially or totally at fault:
- The pedestrian walked or ran in front of a car.
- The pedestrian crossed the street when a flashing signal told them not to.
- The pedestrian jaywalked (crossed the street outside a cross-walk).
- The pedestrian wore dark clothing or walked with their back to the traffic while walking along a road.
- The pedestrian crossed a street while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
Both the Driver and Pedestrian Can Be at Fault
Under Florida’s comparative negligence law, if the pedestrian is partially at fault for an accident, the amount of compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to the pedestrian. For example, it the pedestrian is 20 percent at fault, they can only recover 80 percent of their compensation.
Special Rule When Children are Pedestrians
Florida law imposes a higher duty of care on drivers when operating their vehicles in areas where they know or should know children may be present. Examples include in a park, a residential neighborhood, or a school zone.
What You Should Do If You Are Walking or Jogging and Are Struck by a Vehicle
You can take actions after a pedestrian accident that may help your case later:
- Get medical assistance if needed.
- Try to get a look at the vehicle that struck you in case the vehicle does not stop.
- Call the police.
- Get names and contact information from any witnesses.
- Get the driver’s insurance information.
- Write down what you remember about the accident and what witnesses said while the events are fresh in your mind.
- Contact a lawyer. The initial consultation is free. If you hire the lawyer, you do not owe the lawyer anything unless you recover compensation for your injuries.
Filing a Suit to Recover for Injuries Caused by a Pedestrian Accident
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit to get compensation for your injuries.
When Your Pedestrian Accident Injury Suit Must be Filed
Florida law requires a suit for injuries in a pedestrian accident to be filed within four years of the injury. You need to see a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. As soon as you hire a pedestrian accident lawyer at The Law Offices at Anidjar & Levine, our attorneys can start to work on getting you reasonable compensation for your injuries.
Getting Compensation for Your Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident, you may receive the following damages:
- Medical expenses: This includes present and future medical expenses, the cost of any medication or medical equipment, and the cost of any rehabilitation you need due to your injuries.
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity: In addition to any money you lost from missing work, you can receive the difference in what you could have earned if you had not been injured and what you are now able to earn.
- Pain and suffering: Keep a diary of the duration and extent of your pain. Make a note of things, like household chores or sports, that you can no longer do because of your pain.
- Mental anguish: You may have anxiety attacks due to the accident.
- Punitive damages: In extreme cases, you can recover punitive damages, or damages designed to punish the driver for his or her conduct.
If your spouse, child, or other relative is killed in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. You can recover the damages the deceased person would have recovered. You can also recover your loss of companionship of the deceased person.
Insurance Available in a Pedestrian Accident
In Florida, the first $10,000 for your injuries in a pedestrian accident is paid by your own personal injury protection (PIP) automobile insurance, regardless of who is at fault. However, PIP does not compensate you for all possible damages.
Once that coverage is exhausted, your next recourse is the driver’s insurance policy. If the driver has no insurance or the insurance does not fully cover your damages, you can make a claim under your uninsured or underinsured coverage if your policy covers injuries in a pedestrian accident.
How a Lawyer Can Help
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident in Florida, contact a lawyer at The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-(800) 747-3733 for a free consultation. Our lawyers will work with the insurance companies and fight for appropriate compensation for your injuries. If our lawyers cannot reach a fair settlement with the insurance companies, our attorneys are willing to take the matter to court.