If you regularly walk around the Wesley Chapel area, maybe while you are at The Grove, exercising in your neighborhood or shopping at Wiregrass, you probably do not anticipate that you will get hit by a car. Given the speed and size of most motor vehicles, it is expected that drivers take caution when traveling near people on crosswalks and sidewalks. However, motorists can still rollup over the curb and strike a pedestrian on the sidewalk or run through a stop sign, hitting a person in the crosswalk.
In 2020, Pasco County had 160% more pedestrian fatalities than the Florida county average and had a 42.5% higher rate of pedestrian crashes that the Florida county average. These numbers are eye-opening and show that Pasco county can be a dangerous place for pedestrians (FLHSMV).
When a vehicle and a pedestrian collide, the person on foot is far more likely to sustain injuries than the motorist. This is not surprising; drivers are protected by their cars’ outer shells, while pedestrians have virtually no protection. If you are struggling emotionally and financially due to an accident, do not hesitate to call an experienced personal injury attorney. Our Wesley Chapel pedestrian accident lawyers can review your case and guide you through all your legal options. You should not have to pay for medical expenses for an accident that was not your fault.
What Needs to be Proven in a Wesley Chapel Pedestrian Accident Case?
Drivers owe what is called a “duty of care” to pedestrians. Pedestrians have the right of way in most traffic situations, and a driver’s failure to yield can constitute negligence. Most people know that drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing in legal crosswalks with a signal. However, there are many other situations in which a driver must allow a pedestrian the right of way.
Drivers must yield to pedestrians crossing anywhere on the driver’s side of the road or crossing toward the driver on the other side of the road within one lane of the driver. Motorists entering or emerging from driveways or parking lots must also yield to people on foot. Drivers may not make left or right turns when a pedestrian is in the intersection. If the person who hit you violated one of these laws, speak with a Wesley Chapel personal injury lawyer about the possibility of pursuing a pedestrian accident case.
Who Are the Potentially Negligent Parties in an Accident Claim?
Aside from the driver, many other parties can be held liable for a pedestrian accident. If a vehicle’s mechanical failure led to the accident, the manufacturer of the defective part could be responsible.
Alternatively, if poor roadway maintenance, confusing or absent signage, or impassable sidewalks or crosswalks contributed to an accident, the local government could be considered negligent. Municipalities might also be liable if a city employee was involved in the accident.
Determining the right person or entity to pursue in your claim can be difficult. If you choose the wrong party, you may have more difficulty getting the compensation you need. Thus, it is essential to work with a dedicated crosswalk accident lawyer.
The Legal Responsibilities of Pedestrians
Pedestrians also owe a duty of care to motorists. You may not cross outside a legal crosswalk on a block with traffic signals at each end. However, you may cross in the middle of a block and outside a sidewalk if there are no traffic signals or if only one end of the block has a signal. In situations such as these, you must allow drivers enough time to react and stop before entering the roadway. If you have any questions about your responsibilities as a pedestrian, get in touch with a knowledgeable accident attorney.
How Does Partial Fault Affect a Claim?
If you are partially responsible for the collision, you can still file a legal claim, but it does impact the amount of compensation you could receive. For example, if you were 20 percent responsible for the pedestrian accident, you may still collect 80 percent of the damages award.
How Much Time Does A Plaintiff Have to Bring a Lawsuit in Wesley Chapel?
Florida Statute §95.11 allows injured parties four years to bring lawsuits seeking damages for personal injuries. In most cases, the clock begins ticking at the moment of the accident.
However, if a local government or the State of Florida is a potential defendant in the lawsuit, you have much less time to file. The law requires that government defendants receive a formal notice of claim within one year of the incident that caused the injury. A seasoned attorney can file any required notices for your pedestrian injury claim promptly.
Pursue Your Case With a Wesley Chapel Pedestrian Accident Attorney
After an accident, you probably are not focusing on how to recover compensation for your financial losses. You are likely more concerned with healing and getting back to your normal activities. We can make sure you do not get left with large bills and seek damages for losses such as:
- Hospital Stays
- Physical Therapy
- Lost Wages
- Co-payments or deductibles
- Pain and Suffering
The person or people who caused your suffering should be held accountable, and you should get the compensation you deserve. A Wesley Chapel pedestrian accident lawyer can assume the burden of pursuing your claim for damages. Call Hancock Injury Attorneys today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.