Pedestrians face risks every time they walk near motor vehicle traffic in Hillsborough County. According to recent accident data, the Tampa area is the fourth most dangerous area in the entire state for pedestrians based on the number of accidents reported. While a lack of designated crosswalks and pedestrian crossing indicators on local roads are often cited as major contributing factors to the number of pedestrian accidents reported each year, the most common cause of pedestrian accidents in the Riverview area continues to be negligent driving.
Whenever a driver hits a pedestrian, the victim is likely to suffer extreme injuries, some of which could be permanently disabling or even life-threatening. If you or a loved one recently experienced a pedestrian accident and you believe another party is responsible, it is crucial that you consult a seasoned attorney who can help you recover as fully as possible from the incident.
Santini Law Firm has years of experience representing all types of personal injury cases in Riverview, including those pertaining to pedestrian accidents. We know how to help our client prove fault, how to identify all their claimable damages, and how to guide them through the difficult legal proceedings their case is likely to entail. The sooner you reach out to our team after an accident, the better your chances are of maximizing your recovery as much as state law allows.
Before the victim of any personal injury can recover compensation for their damages, they must prove the exact cause of the harm they experienced. Whenever a motor vehicle driver hits a pedestrian, the driver is almost always at fault. Drivers have a duty of care to always yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. However, this does not mean that a pedestrian can’t face partial liability for an accident.
Florida operates on a modified comparative fault rule, which means that a plaintiff can recover compensation for their damages even if they share liability for causing those damages. However, they must be less than 50% at fault. If they are found 50% or more at fault, they lose the right to claim compensation from the defendant. If their fault percentage is less than 50%, it is deducted from their final case award as a penalty. For example, 10% fault means losing 10% of the total compensation won from the defendant.
Jaywalking is the most common way for a pedestrian to absorb partial liability for an accident. This term applies to any instance in which a pedestrian crosses a street illegally. If a pedestrian steps in front of oncoming traffic, a driver may not have time or space to slow down or stop to avoid a collision. If you have any concerns about bearing partial liability for your pedestrian accident, your Riverview pedestrian accident attorney can help address these concerns and preserve your chance to recover compensation for your damages. Attempting to jaywalk across our busy roads like US-301, Balm Riverview Road, and Bloomingdale Avenue is a dangerous endeavor and should be avoided.
Most of the pedestrian accidents reported in the Riverview area are the result of negligence, or failure to exercise reasonable care in a given situation. Distracted driving, speeding, and traffic violations like running red lights and failure to yield are just a few examples of how negligence can cause pedestrian accidents. It is also possible for a pedestrian accident to result from illegal misconduct, such as reckless driving or driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs. If this applies to your case, your attorney can inform you as to how this could influence your final case award.
Proving liability for your recent accident is just the first challenge you will face in your recovery efforts. Next, you must prove the full extent of the damages the at-fault driver caused. Under Florida law, the driver who caused your pedestrian accident is liable for all resulting damages, and you must not only prove their full extent but also establish causation. This means proving that your damages resulted solely from the defendant’s negligence or illegal misconduct and not any other cause.
All residents are required to have personal injury protection (PIP) with their auto insurance, and the state’s no-fault rule for vehicle accidents means that drivers are expected to claim against their own insurance after having accidents, regardless of fault. This same rule applies after a pedestrian accident, meaning you can claim against your own insurance after a driver has hit you. However, your insurance is unlikely to fully cover all your damages, especially if you suffered any severe injuries. You will need to file a personal injury suit against the at-fault driver to recover compensation for damages you cannot secure through auto insurance.
The state’s personal injury laws enable an injured plaintiff to claim compensation for all economic damages inflicted by a defendant’s negligence or misconduct, and these may include:
Once you accurately calculate the full range of your immediate and future economic losses, you might be surprised to learn that you have grounds to claim much more compensation than you initially expected. However, your recovery does not end there because you also have the right to seek pain and suffering compensation with your civil suit.
When the average person hears the term “pain and suffering” in a legal sense and realizes they can claim financial compensation for these intangible losses, they may be at a loss when it comes to assigning a fair dollar value to the physical pain and emotional distress they experienced because of a defendant’s negligence or illegal misconduct. Florida does not enforce any limit on pain and suffering compensation in a pedestrian accident case, so the plaintiff has the right to seek as much as they believe to be appropriate to reflect the overall severity of their experience.
Your Riverview pedestrian accident attorney can help determine suitable pain and suffering compensation to seek with your claim based on the nature and severity of your injuries and your anticipated recovery time. If your injuries resulted in permanent harm of any kind, such as a disability that will prevent you from working and/or living independently in the future, this can form grounds to claim a substantial amount of pain and suffering compensation from the defendant.
Ultimately, every injured pedestrian in the Riverview area will encounter different opportunities and challenges when it comes to their recovery efforts. Sometimes fault is easily proven, damages are straightforward, and a defendant accepts liability for their actions. The plaintiff in this situation may only need to endure a few weeks of legal proceedings before recovering the compensation owed to them under state law. Other cases are more challenging, and it is possible for an at-fault driver to deny liability or dispute the range of damages sought by the plaintiff.
Most of the personal injury cases filed in Riverview end in private settlement negotiations, but only when defendants accept responsibility for their actions and agree to compromise on a resolution to the case. During settlement, the parties involved in a civil suit meet privately to negotiate terms for resolving the case and avoiding the stress, expense, and public attention that a civil court case would entail. However, litigation may be necessary for a number of reasons, and resolving any personal injury case in court will take much longer than settlement.
When you choose Santini Law Firm as your legal counsel for a pedestrian accident claim, our firm will work quickly to gather the evidence needed to prove fault and then assist you in determining the optimal path to recovery.
Whether you have the ability to file an insurance claim or need to proceed directly to filing a personal injury suit, we are ready to assist you with whatever your case entails. You have a limited time to act in response to your recent accident, so don’t hesitate to reach out for the help you need in this difficult situation. Contact Santini Law Firm today and schedule your free case review with a Riverview pedestrian accident attorney to learn how our team can empower your recovery efforts.
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