Pedestrian accidents can be devastating and fatal. Simple activities like walking in a park, through a parking lot, or down a busy street can become disastrous in an instant, leaving you or a loved one with serious, potentially life-threatening injuries.
When a car accident involving a pedestrian occurs, the victim or his or her surviving loved ones have a right to take legal action and pursue a claim for damages.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian crash, speaking to a pedestrian accident lawyer is essential. At Sunshine State Law Firm, our primary focus is on helping injury victims fight for their rights and receive due compensation.
Why Should You Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
Drivers are required to exercise “ordinary, reasonable, or due care” regarding pedestrians, mostly due to the level of damage they can inflict with a 1-ton vehicle. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries due to a driver’s carelessness, a pedestrian accident lawyer is crucial to receiving the justice and compensation you deserve.
At Sunshine State Law Firm, we understand the uncertainty, pain, and devastation that can arise after an auto injury. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident as a pedestrian, you could be entitled to financial compensation. We’ve helped both English and Spanish speaking clients, as well as Florida and non-Florida residents.
For more information or to assess your case, contact Sunshine State Law Firm at 407.627.1414 or by email at Simon@SunshineFirm.com.
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Florida’s Right-of-Way Laws
In Florida, both adult pedestrians and vehicle drivers have equal rights concerning roadway use. Both are legally obligated to respect the other’s rights on and near the roadways, and are expected to exercise reasonable care when walking or driving.
There are specific laws regarding pedestrians walking alongside vehicles, depending on the time of the incident, how the pedestrian was moving, and whether the pedestrian is a child or an adult.
The law also takes into account something known as “tort threshold” when determining damages. Essentially, the injury suffered by the pedestrian must cause:
- significant and permanent loss of a bodily function, or
- permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability that is not scarring or disfigurement, or
- significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, or
Furthermore, according to Florida Statute 316.130, any accident that involves a pedestrian being hit by a car in Florida will be reviewed by the police department, insurance adjusters, investigators, and attorneys.
Adult pedestrians must abide by certain laws, including:
- Obeying traffic signals, stop signs, and street markings, with the exception of officer direction;
- Using the sidewalks, if available;
- If no sidewalks are available, walking on the shoulder of the road, facing traffic on the left.
In some cases, the laws do not apply to visitors from other states. If you are visiting Florida, you could be eligible for compensation for pain and suffering if you are struck by a vehicle while walking, even if a Florida resident would not be entitled to the same compensation.
Despite the state’s requirement that pedestrians be held to a certain standard, drivers can face harsh criminal and civil penalties if they are found negligent in a pedestrian accident.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Accidents involving a vehicle and a pedestrian can be devastating. The pedestrian is at an obvious disadvantage; even a minor accident (that would have caused little damage to a vehicle) can result in serious injuries for a pedestrian.
Some of the most common injuries that occur as a result of pedestrian accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Bruises and contusions
- Injuries caused by falling
- Dragging injuries
- Crushing injuries
Regardless of how serious your injuries seem at the scene of the accident, it’s important to seek medical attention. Not only does this allow a doctor to assess whether there are any hidden injuries, it begins building a case which will eventually make a legal claim easier.