Every year, tens of thousands of pedestrians suffer injuries in automobile accidents, and roughly 5,000 die each year as a result of those injuries. Anyone involved in a motor vehicle crash faces potentially serious injuries, but pedestrians are especially at risk since they have no defense against a vehicle. If you were injured by a vehicle while walking, it’s vital to know the law and understand your rights and options for legal recourse against a negligent driver.
Proving Fault in Pedestrian Accidents
The success of any personal injury lawsuit depends on the plaintiff’s (the party filing the lawsuit) ability to prove the defendant’s (the party being sued) negligence. If you file a lawsuit for a pedestrian accident, your attorney must show a judge that:
- The defendant owed you a duty to act with reasonable care. When it comes to pedestrian accidents, drivers must always yield to pedestrians, even if the pedestrian is crossing a road outside a designated crosswalk location.
- The defendant breached this duty in some way. This could mean that the driver was speeding and could not stop in time to avoid hitting the pedestrian or that the driver ignored a stop sign and hit a pedestrian crossing the street.
- The defendant’s breach of duty directly resulted in injury to the plaintiff.
The state of Florida operates under comparative negligence law, so the injured party in a personal injury lawsuit may be assigned a fault percentage if the court finds him or her partially responsible for the incident. For example, pedestrians are not permitted to cross highways and should only cross regular streets and roads at designated crosswalks. If a judge decides that the pedestrian did not cross the street safely and is 25% at fault for the injury, the damages will be reduced by 25%.
If you are successful in your lawsuit, you may collect compensation for:
- Medical expenses. These include emergency services at the time of the incident, the costs of any required ongoing treatments or subsequent surgeries, medications, medical devices, and any other health-related costs directly associated with the accident.
- Property damage. You may receive compensation if any of your possessions were damaged or destroyed by the incident.
- Pain and suffering. Injuries like broken bones can be incredibly painful, and a judge will assess an appropriate amount to compensate you for your physical and mental anguish.
- Lost wages. If an accident forces you to take time away from your job, you can claim compensation for the wages that you would have earned had you been able to work.
- Lost future earning capacity. Some injuries can permanently disable you or otherwise prevent you from returning to work.
- Permanent disabilities. The defendant may be required to compensate you for any permanent damage resulting from the accident.
A pedestrian hit by a car often suffers serious wounds, including broken bones, internal organ damage, friction burns from sliding on pavement, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord damage. After you address your immediate medical concerns, it’s important to connect with a reliable attorney as soon as possible so you can begin the legal process and secure compensation.
SteinLaw is committed to securing the most compensation possible for every client to maximize recovery. We enlist the help of the best experts and investigators to ensure no aspect of your pedestrian accident case is forgotten and that all your needs are addressed. We believe in holding negligent drivers accountable for the damage they cause, so reach out to our team of legal professionals in Florida to schedule a free case evaluation. We will examine the details of your case and your injuries and help determine the best course of action.