Pedestrian accidents can cause significant injuries and result in astronomical bills and expenses. Death, paralysis, broken bones, and brain injury are just some of the potentially grievous results of pedestrian accidents.
If you or your loved one was recently involved in a pedestrian accident involving a motor vehicle in Fort Lauderdale. We can review your case, explain how to best proceed with your claim, and how to maximize your compensation.
How prevalent are pedestrian accidents?
Over 5,300 pedestrians were killed and 70,000 were injured in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). And Florida is the riskiest state in the nation when it comes to pedestrian safety, according to Smart Growth America’s Dangerous By Design 2016 report.
There are various factors that contribute to the risks of pedestrian accidents, such as:
- Lack of safe pedestrian walkways and crosswalks
- Congestion and overpopulation
- Driver and pedestrian distraction (e.g., cellphones)
What options for recovery do I have as an injured pedestrian?
One of the first steps to take after a pedestrian accident is to determine what insurance and legal options you have to pursue compensation for your injuries. Florida is a no-fault state, so the majority of the time, accident victims simply file a claim with their own insurer.
Pedestrian accidents are somewhat unique, though. You might have several avenues available:
- PIP: PIP coverage, insurance required by every registered driver in Florida that pays for a portion of your medical bills, will cover damages for injuries in pedestrian accidents, too. If you carry PIP insurance on your auto insurance policy or if someone in your house does, you can file a claim with that insurer, irrespective of fault.
- The at-fault driver: If the driver was at fault for the accident, you can file a claim and recover under his insurance policy.
- Liability lawsuit: If the at-fault party does not have sufficient insurance to cover your losses, you can file a civil suit in court to seek damages.
Determining liability and which insurer to file a claim with for a pedestrian accident can be tricky. The other party’s insurance company might try to apportion part or all of the blame onto you to deflect liability. Or it may attempt to minimize the severity of your injuries. Before taking any legal action or making any official recorded statements to the insurance adjuster, run your case by an attorney for advice. For a free case evaluation in Fort Lauderdale, call 800-747-3733.
What types of damages can I collect?
PIP will cover 80 percent of your medical bills and 60 percent of lost wages, up to the policy limits, which might be as low as $10,000. For a fuller recovery and to collect damages for pain and suffering, you would have to step outside of the no-fault system and file against the at-fault driver. Of course, you would need to be able to show the court that the other driver’s negligence caused the accident to win a verdict.
If your loved one died in a pedestrian accident, you can obtain compensation for:
- Medical expenses your loved one incurred prior to death
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Loss of financial support and services
- Loss of parental companionship, instruction, and guidance
- Loss of companionship and protection
- Mental pain and suffering
Our pedestrian accident attorneys would be happy to assess the value of your case and let you know how much you can expect to receive. When there are long-term or permanent disabilities involved, we can also talk to medical and financial experts to calculate your future damages as well so you can get the compensation you need for future care.
What if I was partly at fault for my pedestrian accident?
It is not always drivers who are totally at fault for pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians may be partly responsible, too, such as if they walk while texting, run across the street without looking carefully, or stumble into the line of a vehicle because they are intoxicated.
While drivers have a duty of care to drive safely and protect pedestrians and other road users from undue harm, pedestrians have a duty to protect themselves by staying vigilant. If you breach this duty and contribute to an accident, the insurer or court might find you liable.
If the court or insurer deems you partly responsible for the accident, your degree of fault will limit your recovery, as per Florida’s comparative negligence rule. For example, if the insurer finds you to be 40 percent at fault, you will only be able to recover 60 percent of your settlement.
Get a FREE consult with a pedestrian accident lawyer in Fort Lauderdale.
Because of all the unique legal and insurance-related considerations that can arise in a pedestrian accident, it is important to obtain legal counsel before taking any action. A lawyer can answer all of your questions about filing a claim and pursuing compensation. And most injury law firms — The Law Firm Of Anidjar & Levine included — charge legal fees on a contingency basis, which means we do not charge you unless you win your case.
Our Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorneys at Anidjar & Levine are ready to help. If you or a loved one was involved in a pedestrian accident, call our office for a free consultation at (800) 747–3733.