Attorney in Tampa
According to research from Smart Growth America, Florida leads the nation in fatal pedestrian accidents. In fact, in the Dangerous by Design report, out of the top 20 major metro areas they ranked, 9 of them were in Florida. This is a startling statistic and grim reminder that you need to be on your guard and watching for dangerous drivers at all times.
If you sustained a life-altering personal injury or the loss of a loved one in an accident, Darrigo & Diaz is here to provide the legal representation you need. With more than 100 collective years of experience behind us, we are qualified to take on any case and pursue the compensation our clients deserve. Additionally, our legal team includes Nadine Diaz, a board-certified plaintiffs’ attorney in Tampa.
What are Common Causes of Car vs Pedestrian Accidents?
Car vs pedestrian accidents can stem from a wide range of circumstances, including:
- Distracted driving (texting, talking on the phone, etc.)
- Drunk driving or drug impairment
- Fatigued driving (especially in low visibility)
- Poorly maintained cars (faulty brakes, etc.)
- Reckless driving, such as speeding
- Driver doesn’t see a pedestrian due to poor weather or lighting conditions.
What Compensatory Relief Can I Seek in a Pedestrian Accident Case?
There are many factors that will affect the amount of compensation you can seek for damages resulting from a pedestrian vs car accident. However, the most common relief south in these types of personal injury cases include:
- Payment of past, present, and future medical bills
- Compensation for pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Compensation for past, present, and future lost wages due to disability or disfigurement
- Loss of love from disfigurement
- Damage to property
There are other areas your attorney may wish to explore to get you the compensation you need to move on with your life. That is why it is extremely important to keep documents and other evidence of both economic and non-economic related damages.
As a Pedestrian, Can I be Held Liable in My Pedestrian Car Accident Injury Case?
Although there are standards of reasonable care to which pedestrians are held, drivers will always be held to a higher standard of care. Pedestrians are obligated to observe clear signage, such as stop signs, traffic lights, and indications of high-volume traffic.
Even in the event that you did not observe and conform to the rules of existing signage, you may still be entitled to argue negligence, as a pedestrian, by the motorist responsible for your accident. Unless, say, you suddenly run into a crosswalk despite a clear visible warning from a motorist, it is highly likely that the motorist will be held to a stricter standard and will be more credibly accused of negligence by the plaintiff’s attorney.
However, Florida uses the pure comparative negligence rule. What this means is that if you are found to be partially liable for a pedestrian vs car accident, the court may reduce your award by the percentage of liability you are responsible for. For example, if you are deemed to be 20% at fault, and you are suing for $100,000, your compensation would be reduced by $20,000.
Can I Still Sue if I Wasn’t in a Crosswalk?
Even if you were not in a crosswalk when you were injured, you may still be able to seek compensation for injuries. The driver may argue that you had a responsibility to be aware of traffic, and this is true. However, the driver also had a duty of care to avoid hazards on the road. As explained above, you may be deemed partially liable, but that will not necessarily negate your ability to seek compensation.
How Much is my Pedestrian vs Car Accident Case Worth?
The amount of compensation you can seek to recover depends on the details of your case. In order to get an accurate sense of the worth of your case, you must also make a case for the damages personally suffered after your accident. These damages can include medical costs, time spent in the hospital, physical and emotional trauma, time off of work, and any other ongoing difficulties.
Once you have given as much clarifying detail as can be provided, your attorney can assess how much you may be entitled to in compensation. If you choose to pursue legal recovery, settlement out of court is the likeliest option; in the event that your case moves to trial, it is still likelier than not that the case will settle at some point in the process of trial.
I was Injured in a Pedestrian Accident. What Should I do?
You should always seek appropriate medical attention immediately. Make sure to give the doctor accurate information about your injury and the events surrounding it; these documents will be useful should you choose to pursue options in court, as they can be used as proof of injury.
Whenever possible, you should attempt to capture photos or video of the time and location of your injury, and you should examine the area for witnesses and get their information or statements from them on what they saw. This will be very helpful for your insurance company to determine who is liable and for your attorney to argue that your settlement must match the gravity of your injuries suffered. The more tangible evidence of negligence or wrongdoing that you can produce, the better case an attorney can make for the worth of your legal claim.
Once you have accessed appropriate medical treatment, you should reach out to an attorney to assess your claim and determine if a legal route is available to you. In many instances, the insurance company involved will work hard to ensure you agree to a settlement on their terms; you should not consider even their best offer without first consulting an attorney.
The Injuries I Suffered Were Minor, Can I Still Sue for a Car vs Pedestrian Accident?
The odds are pretty high that you will not be able to sue if you only suffered minor injuries. The reason for this is because compensation is based on the severity of the injuries you received. Most lawyers will not be able to take a case that is less than a certain dollar amount due to the comprehensive evidence-gathering involved.
Therefore, if your injuries were minor, you may be able to sue the driver yourself in small claims court. You may be able to find some legal assistance from law clinics in your area that can guide you on filling out the paperwork, as well.
Should I Accept a Settlement Offer from the Insurance Company?
No. Insurance companies are notorious for low-balling victims of pedestrian accidents and trying to get them to settle for much less than they are entitled to. They may try to convince you to sign the paperwork, discourage you from seeking legal counsel, or other tactics to dissuade you from pursuing the full amount you are entitled to.
When you get your own attorney involved, not only can it help boost the potential for a larger settlement, but it can also give you peace of mind as the insurance company must stop pursuing you. You can focus more on healing and tell the insurance company to contact your lawyer from now on.
How Long Will it Take for My Case to Settle?
The amount of time it takes for your case to work its way through the process and come to an end will depend on numerous factors. It may take a few months or it may take much longer. If you’re seeking compensation for potentially long-term debilitating injuries, you will need to go through the recovery process to determine just how severe your long-term injuries are. This could mean years of recovery before you see a penny.
You only get one opportunity to prove your case. That is why it is important that you don’t try to rush through the process. If you develop disabilities later down the line after you settled your case, you can’t reopen the case. It’s important you have an experienced pedestrian accident attorney on your side to maximize your recovery efforts.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
We offer free initial consultations; we also work on a contingency basis, meaning that you will not incur any legal fees unless and until we are able to secure a legal victory for your case. These terms will appear in writing in a contract signed by you and your attorney. In the event that a settlement is reached, your legal fees will be folded into your recovery.
Should I Hire a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Tampa?
If you’ve been hurt by a negligent driver, you deserve compensation for your damages. But you don’t have to face this challenge alone; Darrigo & Diaz can help. After an accident, you probably feel overwhelmed by unmanageable medical bills, missed wages, and other financial damages.
We can provide a legal strategy to help you seek full and fair compensation, so you can focus on recovering instead of dealing with the insurance company. For a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your case, contact us 24/7 by calling (813) 774-3341 to discuss your legal options right over the phone.
A pedestrian accident can be a traumatic experience, almost guaranteeing far-reaching, life-altering damages. If you or a loved one was a victim of a pedestrian accident, we hope you consider and assess your available routes of legal remedy. At Darrigo & Diaz, we have successfully litigated personal injury cases that resulted in millions of dollars in recoveries. Members of the Darrigo & Diaz legal team have earned their place in the Million-Dollar Advocates Forum™, an exclusive organization that recognizes lawyers who have obtained at least one million-dollar settlement for clients. Settle for nothing less.