Everyone should be able to cross the street and walk on the sidewalk without fear of getting hit by a negligent driver or struck by a piece of falling construction equipment. No one expects that a quick stroll or lunchtime walk will put your life in danger. When walking on foot, you have no protection against the force and weight of a motor vehicle. Consequently, the resulting injuries of a pedestrian accident can be severe or even fatal.
In most traffic scenarios, pedestrians have the right of way, so you may have the opportunity to hold the responsible person accountable for their actions. Many times pedestrian accidents happen when a driver turns at an intersection and they are only look in one direction for foot traffic.
Unfortunately, due to the severity, pedestrian accidents are likely to leave their victims in unrelenting pain, facing rising medical expenses, and under the overwhelming stress of not knowing what to do next. It can take a large amount of time and money to recover from an accident like this, and some, unfortunately, do not recover fully from their injuries. It takes a lot of will power and strength to go through the treatment for these types of injuries. With so much to worry about, you don’t need the added stress of wondering how you will pay for this treatment and dealing with dozens of calls from the insurance company
If a careless motorist has injured you or an immediate family member, consult a Tampa pedestrian accident lawyer for assistance. A compassionate personal injury lawyer could assist you and your family with seeking compensation for your losses, and help you get back on your feet.
Negligence in Pedestrian Accident Claims
All drivers are legally responsible for following traffic laws and driving safely to protect everyone on the roadways, including other motorists, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Drivers who violate this legal duty or drive with wanton disregard for the safety of others may be liable for any injuries they cause you.
Various actions that could result in legal negligence under state law include:
- Failing to obey traffic signals and signs
- Driving while distracted by cell phones or other electronic devices
- Eating while driving
- Improper passing or failing to use turn signals
- Failing to yield
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Speeding or driving too fast for the weather conditions
If you believe the at-fault driver was engaging in these behaviors, it would be in your best interest to contacting a local injury attorney familiar with pedestrian cases.
What Legal Responsibilities Do Pedestrians Have in Tampa?
State traffic laws concerning pedestrians can be found in § 316.130 of the Florida Statutes. For your safety and the safety, please be aware of the following regulations:
- Where sidewalks are available, no pedestrian is permitted to walk on the part of the road specified for motor vehicles
- Where sidewalks are not provided, pedestrians should walk along the left shoulder of the road, facing the approaching traffic
- At intersections with traffic signals, drivers must stop before entering the crosswalk and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the street
- Jaywalking is not permitted, meaning when traffic signals are in operation, pedestrians may only cross at the crosswalk.
If you are accused of violating any of these laws, you could be barred from collecting compensation or have your damages award reduced. Whether or not you broke a traffic law at the time of the accident, you should retain a skilled lawyer who could help you contest partial fault accusations in a pedestrian collision case.
How Are Damages Calculated in Tampa Crosswalk Collisions?
If you have been injured due to the negligence of other parties, you must prove that you suffered damages to recover any compensation. Damages can consist of both economic and non-economic losses. Financial losses could include:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Surgical costs
- Prescription co-pays
- Costs of medical assistive devices and equipment
- Lost wages
Typical kinds of non-economic damages include compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
If you developed a permanent impairment after a collision at a crosswalk, you might also seek damages for future medical expenses and necessary care. In some instances, you and your family could seek compensation if your loved one lost their life in an accident.
Reduced Compensation for Partial Fault
Even if you were not using a crosswalk, you could still make a claim against the driver for negligence. However, because the state follows comparative fault doctrine, the jury may apportion a share of the fault for your damages to you, reducing your recovery by the amount of your comparative fault. If a jury awards you $10,000 in damages, but that jury also finds that you were 25 percent at fault for the accident, you would only receive $7,500.
Preserving your right to seek damages following a pedestrian accident is crucial. Under state law, injured parties generally have four years from the date of their accident to file their claims. An attorney in Tampa knows that failure to meet this deadline can significantly harm a pedestrian accident case, so it is crucial to hire a lawyer who could keep up with important deadlines.
Call a Tampa Pedestrian Accident Attorney for Legal Advice
The aftermath of being hit as a pedestrian can be a challenging time for you and your family. You may be at a loss with how to proceed. Our Tampa pedestrian accident attorneys can help. We can give you the advice and counsel you need to move forward.
Working with a Tampa pedestrian accident lawyer may be the most effective way to protect your right to pursue damages for your injuries. Holding negligent parties accountable may also prevent them from inflicting similar injuries to others in the future.
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