According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every seven minutes in traffic crashes in 2013. Pedestrian accidents have become a prominent issue in the realm of traffic safety recently, as it has become clear that pedestrian fatalities are on the rise.
If you have been injured by a motor vehicle while crossing the street, walking on the sidewalk, or acting in any other pedestrian setting, it is important that you contact an experienced Tampa pedestrian accident lawyer for assistance in filing a claim and seeking the compensation you deserve. An experienced injury attorney in Tampa can help by compiling the evidence necessary and by negotiating with insurance to reach a proper settlement amount. To learn more or discuss your case, call and schedule a consultation today.
Tampa Pedestrian Accident Laws
Florida Statute 316.130 outlines how the state deals with how pedestrians and motor vehicles must act on the road so as not to cause accidents, including a person’s legal duties while acting as a pedestrian on Florida streets and sidewalks. This means that a pedestrian could also be found at fault for the injuries they sustained, which the driver’s lawyers and insurance company will most likely attempt to argue.
If it is proven that the pedestrian was at fault at least in part for the accident – illegally crossing the street, for example – Florida operates on pure comparative negligence, which means that the measure of fault is apportioned, and the victim gets the portion of the damages that were considered the fault of the driver.
In the State of Florida, an owner or operator of a motor vehicle can only be held liable for the victim’s damages if it can be proven that he or she was acting in a negligent way that caused the accident to occur. If a driver is deemed to have acted negligently, he or she is responsible for not only medical expenses and lost wages, but also “non-economic damages” such as disability, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
An experienced Tampa pedestrian accident attorney understands how to navigate the legal system so that you are fairly compensated for all types of damages you have sustained.
Benefits of a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Recovering from injuries sustained by a motor vehicle while they were acting as a pedestrian can be difficult and emotionally taxing. A person may have large medical bills hanging over their head from a potential hospital visit or stay, doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, and more. A person may also be forced to take leave from work due to their injuries, which means they could be missing out on some much-needed paychecks. The insurance company of the driver who hit the pedestrian may be calling them attempting to reach a fast settlement that may not be in the injured person’s best interests. Pedestrian accident attorneys in Tampa understand these complications and they are important advocates to have on your side as you recover.
A lawyer experienced in pedestrian accidents will help fight for you by communicating with insurance companies, preparing all of the necessary paperwork, making sure your claim is filed correctly, and keeping you updated about the status of your claim as the process unfolds.