Florida Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for Help When You Need It Most
If You Were Hit By a Car While Walking or Running, Our Lawyers Can Help You
Pedestrians have clear legal rights in Florida. As a pedestrian, you have the right of way when you are crossing in a designated area (i.e. a crosswalk); and, in all circumstances, drivers owe a duty of care to avoid causing you unnecessary harm. If you were hit by a car, truck or SUV while walking or running in Florida, you may be entitled to a significant financial recovery via a personal injury claim, and you should speak with a Florida pedestrian accident lawyer about your legal rights as soon as possible.
Florida Pedestrian Accident Statistics (Updated 2022)
Each year, thousands of Florida residents and visitors suffer serious injuries in pedestrian accidents. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were 9,450 pedestrian accidents statewide in 2021—representing a 16-percent increase over 2020. Tragically, there are hundreds of fatal pedestrian accidents in Florida each year as well—with 715 pedestrians losing their lives in 2020 and 817 pedestrians losing their lives in 2021.
Pedestrian accidents are particularly common in locations with high foot traffic. This includes major cities like Tampa and West Palm Beach, smaller cities like Tallahassee, and beach towns all along Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. While drivers need to be cautious when driving in these areas, the data show that far too many drivers ignore the risks of putting pedestrians in harm’s way.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Florida
Pedestrian accidents can result from a wide range of factors. Most of these factors are driver-related. While pedestrians need to take care to protect themselves as much as possible, in many cases, there is simply nothing pedestrians can do to avoid being hit.
In addition to brake failures, crossing signal malfunctions and road-related issues, other common causes of pedestrian accidents in Florida include:
- In-car distractions such as navigating and talking to passengers
- Cell phone distractions such as sending text messages, reading emails and scrolling social media
- External distractions such as signs, accidents and other drivers
- Careless driving (i.e. turning without looking or failing to notice a stop sign)
- Reckless and aggressive driving behaviors (i.e. speeding, running stop signs, and attempting to “beat” yellow lights)
- Alcohol and drug impairment (including impairment caused by prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, marijuana and other illegal drugs)
Understanding the Relationship Between Traffic Violations and Pedestrian Injury Claims
Many pedestrian accident cases involve traffic violations. Failing to stop at crosswalks, texting behind the wheel, speeding, running red lights and stop signs, and driving while impaired are all against the law. But, even if the driver who hit you or your loved one received a ticket, this does not automatically mean that you will receive just compensation.
While your lawyer may be able to use the driver’s ticket to help prove that the driver was at fault, filing a pedestrian accident claim is an entirely separate process from the driver’s traffic court case. Your lawyer will need to file a claim with the driver’s insurance company (or another appropriate party), and your lawyer will need to use the available evidence to prove that you are entitled to coverage. Insurance companies routinely dispute pedestrian accident claims even when the driver received a ticket; and, while most successful claims settle, going to court will sometimes be necessary.
At Searcy Denney, our pedestrian accident attorneys have experience recovering just compensation for individuals and families through settlement negotiations and in court. If you have a claim, we will work quickly to collect all of the available evidence, and we will work closely with you and your doctors to ensure that we are seeking the full financial compensation you deserve.
How Can a Florida Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help You?
While you may be entitled to financial compensation, this does not mean that asserting your legal rights is going to be easy. In fact, many injured walkers and runners find it extraordinarily difficult to recover the compensation they deserve. An experienced lawyer can handle your case for you, negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf, and help you make an informed decision about how and when to resolve your claim (or claims).
Filing for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) with Your Florida Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
For most injured pedestrians, recovering their losses starts with filing a claim for personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. If you have auto insurance, then you will generally be required to file a PIP claim with your insurer. This is based on Florida’s “no-fault” auto insurance law. If you do not have auto insurance, then you can seek coverage under the driver’s PIP policy. In either case, you will want to hire a lawyer to help ensure that you receive the maximum coverage that is available.
Filing a Claim Under the At-Fault Driver’s Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) Policy
If you suffered a significant or permanent injury in the accident, then you are entitled to seek additional compensation under the driver’s bodily injury liability (BIL) policy. Not only are BIL limits generally higher than PIP limits, but BIL insurance also covers additional types of losses. While PIP covers medical expenses and lost income only, if you have a BIL claim, your personal injury attorney can seek compensation for pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and other forms of financial and non-financial harm.
Our Lawyers Can Help You File a Third-Party Claim to Recover Additional Compensation
In some cases, pedestrian accident victims will also be able to pursue “third-party” claims for damages. For example, you may have a third-party claim if:
- The driver was working at the time of the accident;
- The driver’s brakes failed;
- A stop light or crossing signal was not functioning properly; or,
- Any other issue with the road caused or contributed to your accident-related injuries.
Every Florida pedestrian accident attorney at Searcy Denney is trained to thoroughly investigate the cause (or causes) of your accident in order to identify all claims you have available, and we will fight to ensure that all appropriate parties are held accountable for your accident-related losses. To get started, schedule a free consultation today.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Florida Pedestrian Accident Lawyer at Searcy Denney
Do you need to speak with a pedestrian accident attorney about recovering your losses after an accident in Florida? To speak with one of our highly-experienced injury lawyers for free, call 800-780-8607 or contact us online today.