Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Serving Pembroke Pines
Pedestrian accidents are one of the most dangerous types of mishaps that occur on the road. This is because they often leave the victims with severe or fatal injuries. In addition, there’s a significant disparity in the injury level amongst pedestrians and vehicle occupants.
Drivers and vehicle passengers often experience little to no injuries. However, pedestrians are likelier to lose valuable property and be severely injured. That’s why seeking compensation after a Pembroke Pines pedestrian accident is vital.
Fortunately, you have a chance to recover financial compensation from the at-fault party after a pedestrian accident. First, however, you should consider contacting an excellent personal injury attorney. At Frank Kolminsky Injury Lawyers, our legal team has spent several years helping accident victims. Therefore, you can call our Pembroke Pines pedestrian accident lawyers for help (by appointment only).What Are Pedestrian Accidents?
A pedestrian is anyone who walks along the road and isn’t in a motor vehicle, motorcycle, or bicycle. Therefore, a pedestrian accident occurs when a car hits anyone who is not in another vehicle. The collision could be on a public or private roadway.
A pedestrian could be involved in different activities, including:
- Sitting on or along the road
Furthermore, pedestrians include people:
- Skating on the street,
- Moving around with scooters, and
- Patients in wheelchairs.
Yes, pedestrian accidents are prevalent in America. For example, during the pandemic in 2020, 6,516 pedestrians died in various accidents.
Furthermore, 55,000 other pedestrians suffered multiple injuries. This means that pedestrians and drivers should be careful as collisions are frequent.Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Different elements are responsible for the high rate of pedestrian accidents in Pembroke Pines. These include natural and human factors. We explain some of them below.Impaired Vision
Many pedestrian accidents occur between 6 p.m. and midnight. The lack of daylight prevents drivers and pedestrians from seeing the road. Furthermore, these collisions are more likely to happen if there are no street lights or if the driver doesn’t have functioning headlights.Driving or Walking Under the Influence of Alcohol
About 40% of pedestrian fatalities involve drunk pedestrians. Similarly, 18% of fatal pedestrian crashes involve intoxicated drivers. Therefore, intoxication is a significant cause of pedestrian accidents.
When a pedestrian is drunk, they can mistakenly step onto the main road. Conversely, intoxicated drivers may not see pedestrians at road crossings. They may also lose control of their vehicle and swerve off the road.Age
Age also contributes to pedestrian accidents. For instance, children often playfully run into the road. Older pedestrians also suffer limitations in hearing, vision, and flexibility.
They can also stumble off the pedestrian path. In both scenarios, any speeding vehicles can knock them down.Distractions
Drivers and pedestrians can equally be distracted on the road. For example, suppose a driver takes their eyes off the road for a minute. They can mistakenly hit someone near the car. Similarly, pedestrians may stumble into traffic if they lose focus while walking.Other Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Several other factors contribute to the high rate of pedestrian accidents. Some of them include:
- Poor weather conditions
- Bad roads
- Rolling stops
- Driver inexperience
- Disobeying traffic rules and laws
- Defective traffic lights
- Defective vehicle brakes and other parts
- Faulty design of crosswalks
- Driver fatigue
Suppose you are involved in a pedestrian accident and sustain injuries. Your wounds will most likely include one or more of the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones and fractures
- Scrapes and cuts
- Burns and bruises
- Head and neck injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Internal organ wounds
Wrongful death can also occur following a pedestrian accident. This kind of death can happen immediately or while the pedestrian receives medical attention. It’s best to seek medical care after a pedestrian crash. This increases your chances of making a full recovery. In addition, it can also help your financial compensation claim.How Can I Stay Safe on the Road?
Pedestrians can take some steps to improve their safety while using the road. Some vital tips include:
- Wearing bright clothes while walking at night
- Using flashlights at night
- Crossing the road at designated crosswalks or intersections
- Using sidewalks and pathways
- Facing traffic while walking
- Avoiding all forms of distractions, especially mobile phones
- Don’t walk home when drunk; call a cab instead
Suppose you’re walking down the street and seeing a pedestrian transported to the hospital following an accident. Your first thought will likely be to look for the reckless driver. This is because there is a presumption that vehicle drivers are responsible for pedestrian collisions.
Several drivers recklessly cause pedestrian collisions. However, pedestrians may be at fault for a crash that injured them. It’s vital to identify who’s responsible for any pedestrian collision. This fact determines who you can sue.The Legal Duty of Care
Both pedestrians and vehicle drivers have a duty of care to other road users. They must exercise reasonable care on the road. This ensures that they don’t endanger others.
Suppose either party breaches their duty of care. Then, that party will most likely be responsible for the pedestrian accident. Furthermore, this principle means that pedestrians don’t always have the right of way. Instead, a pedestrian may legally have to yield the way to vehicles in some cases.Different Classes of People Who Could Be Liable for a Pedestrian Accident
From the causes of pedestrian accidents above, several parties can be liable for a pedestrian crash. We explain how each party can be at fault below.The Driver
Vehicle drivers will be liable if they disobey traffic rules. They’ll also bear responsibility if they negligently caused or contributed to the crash.Vehicle Manufacturers
If a vehicle defect caused the pedestrian accident, the car’s manufacturer would be responsible for your losses. You could directly proceed against the manufacturer for the defect.The Government
Finally, you may also have a pedestrian accident claim against the government. This will be the case if unkept roads or defective crosswalks cause a collision. In addition, you can sue the government if poor lighting systems contributed to the crash.What If You’re Partly Responsible for Your Pedestrian Accident?
Pedestrians can be wholly responsible for an accident. In these cases, they cannot recover compensation. However, sometimes, a pedestrian merely contributes to the crash. This kind of contribution could worsen the accident or the severity of the pedestrian’s injuries.
Florida’s comparative negligence laws apply if you find yourself in this situation. Comparative negligence means that the courts will consider your contribution when awarding damages. Consequently, they’ll reduce your compensation depending on your percentage of fault.
For example, suppose you’re 20% responsible for your pedestrian accident. Now, imagine that you sustained a $10,000 loss. This means that you’ll only be entitled to 80% of your settlement which is $8,000.Do I Need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer?
If you’ve been in a Pembroke Pines pedestrian accident, you may have sustained injuries and lost or damaged property. Naturally, you will want to claim financial compensation for your losses, but you may wonder if you need a Pembroke Pines pedestrian accident attorney.
If the above description fits you, you’re not alone. Many pedestrian crash victims wonder whether they truly require the services of a legal practitioner. In addition, some don’t want to hire a lawyer because of the possible legal fees.
Some others are generally wary of attorneys because of tales they’ve heard and some bad experiences. However, hiring a pedestrian accident lawyer is an excellent decision. An attorney significantly improves your chances of a successful outcome.Merits of Working With Our Pembroke Pines Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
There are other advantages of hiring a Pembroke Pines pedestrian accident attorney. An experienced lawyer can perform several functions, including:
- Investigating the accident to determine liability.
- Tracking witnesses and other vital pieces of evidence.
- Calculating the actual value of your losses.
- Estimating how much would be fair compensation for your case.
- Protecting you from unscrupulous insurance companies.
- Ensuring that you don’t do anything that could hurt your case.
- Reminding you of the statute of limitations.
- Advising you not to accept low-ball settlements.
- Providing legal advice on the best course of action in different scenarios.
Lawyers expend a lot of time and energy in representing their clients. Legal representation also often requires significant skill and expertise. Consequently, engaging a pedestrian accident attorney may be wise.
Unfortunately, working with a lawyer immediately after an accident may be too burdensome. The good news is that our Pembroke Pines pedestrian accident lawyers work on a contingency fee arrangement.
A contingency fee arrangement is one where you only pay your lawyer if you win your case. Therefore, suppose you lose your pedestrian accident claim. Then, you wouldn’t have to pay their professional fees. Winning includes court judgments and insurance settlements.How Much Will My Lawyer Take Under the Contingency Fee Arrangement?
You may wonder how much your lawyer earns if they accept a contingency fee. You have no cause to worry because you and your attorney will agree on the arrangement before signing a contract. Furthermore, lawyers working under a contingency fee plan often charge their clients based on percentages. Usually, an attorney will earn 30 - 40% of the sum you earn from the at-fault party. However, the amount you pay depends on different factors. Some of them include:
- The complexity of the matter.
- Generally, the earlier you obtain compensation, the lower you have to pay your lawyer.
- The total amount of your financial compensation. In practice, the higher the sum, the lower the percentage.
- The lawyer's level of effort and skill in helping you seek damages.
A contingency fee plan doesn’t mean that your lawyer will foot the entire cost of your case. They don’t handle legal costs, and you will have to pay these bills yourself. Some of these costs include:
- Administrative and filing fees
- Cost of printing
- Discovery costs
- Expenses for expert witnesses
- Cost of obtaining evidence
- Overhead and incidental bills
Usually, you either pay these bills as they come up, or your attorney takes them from your settlement or judgment sum. Whichever the case, you’ll bear these expenses whether or not you win your case.What Is the Statute of Limitations for Pembroke Pines Pedestrian Accident Claims?
If you’re involved in a Pembroke Pines pedestrian accident, it is best to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Florida’s Statute of Limitations dictates the period you must file a lawsuit.
Under this law, you only have two years to file a pedestrian collision lawsuit. The time starts counting from the accident date. If you miss this deadline, you may lose your right to compensation.
This statutory period doesn’t apply to insurance claims. However, the clock keeps ticking while you negotiate with the other party. It’s therefore vital to know when to abandon negotiations and file a lawsuit.Florida’s Personal Injury Protection Insurance Policy
After a pedestrian accident in Pembroke Pines, your first resort must be a Personal Injury Protection Insurance (PIP) policy. This is because Florida is a no-fault accident state.
Florida law mandates that drivers carry:
- Personal injury protection insurance (PIP), and
- Property damage liability insurance (PDL).
These insurance policies cover medical expenses and property damage that results from an accident the driver caused. In addition, PIP insurance covers vehicle passengers and other road users, such as pedestrians involved in the collision.
The policy covers 80% of the medical expenses, up to $10,000. Therefore, you cannot go to court if your medical bills are less than $10,000. Once they exceed this limit, you can file a lawsuit.Recoverable Damages in Pembroke Pines Pedestrian Accidents
A successful pedestrian accident claim means you can seek damages from the at-fault party. Damages refer to all the financial compensation you seek for. You must specifically ask the court for any class of damages.
The court can only grant requests you officially make; it can’t act on its own in awarding damages. Therefore, it’s vital to understand all the damages you may be entitled to following a pedestrian accident. Hiring a Pembroke Pines pedestrian accident attorney is recommended to ensure you claim the compensation you deserve.
Below, we explain the different types of damages you may recover.Economic Damages
Economic damages refer to the financial losses you sustained from the pedestrian accident. These losses can occur at the crash site or be incidental to the collision. Typical examples of economic damages include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Compensation for lost opportunities
- Cost of vehicle repair
- Cost of lost or damaged property
- Cost of hiring household servants
- Bills for assisted transportation
- Medical equipment and hospitalization bills
- Pharmaceutical bills
- Funeral and burial expenses in wrongful death cases
The court doesn’t guess or make assumptions when awarding monetary damages. Instead, you must specifically prove your entitlement to this compensation. You can do this through:
- Payment stubs
- Invoices and tellers
Non-economic damages refer to intangible, non-monetary losses that arise from the accident. These losses are subjective, and assigning a definite dollar amount to them is often challenging. In Florida, you can recover non-monetary damages for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of parental guidance
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
Since these are intangible losses, the courts and lawyers use specific methods to determine how much you should claim.Punitive Damages
Finally, you can recover punitive damages from the at-fault party. This class of damages isn’t compensatory. Instead, the court awards punitive or exemplary damages to punish the defendant. In addition, courts hope to deter other people from similar conduct.
However, you must prove the defendant’s intentional misconduct or gross negligence to be awarded punitive damages. Willful misconduct means that the fault party knew that their action could hurt you but persisted. Conversely, gross negligence means that the defendant was consciously indifferent about the consequences of their actions.Talk to Our Pembroke Pines Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
If you or a relative are involved in a pedestrian collision in Pembroke Pines, you may be eligible for compensation. First, we recommended speaking with the best Pembroke Pines pedestrian accident lawyers. At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, our attorneys have spent decades helping victims of various pedestrian collisions.
We’ve gathered significant experience and won large settlements and judgments for our clients. If you’re looking for dedicated and passionate lawyers to help you seek the compensation you deserve, call us today at (561) 800-8000 to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.