Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Serving Pompano Beach
A recent report found Florida to be one of the most dangerous states in the country for pedestrian fatalities. Pedestrians are vulnerable as they are completely exposed when hit by a vehicle. In addition, the lack of physical protection during a crash often leads to life-altering injuries. Our pedestrian accident lawyers can help victims seek justice and compensation for their wounds and losses.
Sadly, crossing the street in the city of Pompano can be risky. On average, a pedestrian is killed every 85 minutes in a traffic crash. According to Florida Highway Safety Motor Vehicles, there were 8,117 pedestrian crashes in 2020, with 715 fatalities in Florida. Thankfully, this number has decreased since 2019 from 9,736 crashes.
Motorists are responsible for driving safely for other road users and themselves. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Like other traffic collisions, pedestrian accidents are often caused by the negligence of others. The victim is entitled to seek compensation for their injuries and accident expenses when this occurs.Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Pompano, FL
A pedestrian is defined as anyone “afoot.” This includes walkers, runners, skateboarders, those on roller skates, etc. Pedestrians are usually the minority on the road.
Motorists can sometimes not be careful enough to avoid pedestrians. In 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that more than 7,000 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes.
Pedestrians and motorists are to comply with lawful orders, as everyone is responsible for ensuring safety on the roadways. The negligence of drivers, pedestrians, and other road users can play a role in causing road accidents.
Some of the common causes of pedestrian accidents we’ve identified in our years of practice include:
- Failure to comply with traffic laws at intersections
- Poor intersection design and maintenance
- Driving while impaired by drug or alcohol
- Fatigued driving
- Excessive speeding
- Distracted driving
- Violation of traffic laws
- Pedestrian negligence, etc.
Pedestrian accidents are one of the worst types of traffic accidents. Unlike vehicle owners, pedestrians have no safety protections to cushion the effect of crashes. As a result, a victim’s body takes the full force of the impacts, which can lead to life-altering injuries.
Accident victims need a pedestrian accident attorney to handle their accident claims. That way, they maximize their chances of seeking a fair settlement for the damages. Unfortunately, money may not restore a victim's life before the accident. However, it can be incredibly helpful during the recovery process.
Some common types of injuries associated with pedestrian accidents are:
- Head injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord and neck injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
- Internal bleeding
- Soft tissue injuries
- Nerve damage
- Bone fracture
- Road rash
- Whiplash, etc.
Under Florida pedestrian law, everyone must exercise reasonable care and caution. We believe understanding one’s rights as a pedestrian is essential in ensuring safety while walking or running near traffic. In addition, we understand how severe injuries can be even in a low-speed crash. Therefore, it is recommended for victims to protect their rights and secure legal representation immediately after a collision.What Should I Do After Being Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?
Being involved in an accident while walking or running can be shocking. The key is to gather as much evidence if one decides to sue or seek compensation. Below are steps to protect your rights if you’re ever involved in a pedestrian accident.Call 911
We advise accident victims to call the police immediately after a crash. They will investigate the accident scene and prepare a traffic crash report.Seek Immediate Medical Treatment
You should receive immediate medical care for the injuries suffered, whether the accident is minor or severe. This step ensures that the wounds suffered in the crash are documented and taken care of.Collect Evidence
Obtain the at-fault driver's information, the investigating officer's name, other victims, and available witnesses. In addition, take photos and videos of the vehicle damage, visible injuries, skid marks, etc.Notify the Insurance Company
To secure compensation for damages, accident victims should inform their insurer and the at-fault driver. The insurance adjuster will investigate the accident and assess the injury claim. Note to never admit fault or guess about the facts.Speak With a Pompano Beach Accident Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer is important in protecting one’s right to seek compensation. Your lawyer will fight on your behalf while you can focus on recovering.How To File a Pedestrian Accident Claim in Pompano Beach, FL
Victims of pedestrian accidents can file an accident claim in three ways. They can file:
- A compensation claim with their insurance company under personal injury protection (PIP) coverage
- An insurance claim against the at-fault party's insurance company, or
- A fault-based personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party
An aggrieved party can decide to settle with the insurance company or file a lawsuit if a settlement fails. Again, it’s best to involve an attorney who understands the rules applicable to legal action.
In addition, there is limited time to file an injury claim under the Statute of Limitations in Pompano, FL. Survivors of pedestrian accidents have a limit of two years from the date of the injury to file their claim.
Failure to file within time amounts to losing your right to compensation. Unfortunately, most injured victims are unaware of this limitation period. This means they could commence a lawsuit out of time, and their case will be barred.Is Florida a No-Fault State?
Florida is a no-fault state. Under Florida no-fault auto insurance laws, every vehicle owner must carry a personal injury protection (PIP) policy. They must have at least $10,000 in medical and disability benefits and $5,000 in death benefits. This policy should pay out regardless of fault after an accident.
As a pedestrian accident victim, the at-fault driver’s no-fault coverage may pay your medical expenses and other financial losses if you suffered a debilitating injury. However, the limit may not always be enough to cover the damages. Furthermore, PIP insurance does not offer coverage for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
We advise hiring a lawyer before filing a PIP insurance claim. If the benefits are exhausted, a lawsuit can be instituted against the at-fault party. Alternatively, a lawyer can determine the best course of action depending on the facts.
In addition, the State of Florida follows the pure comparative negligence rule. This means a victim can be held partially responsible for the crash. The implication is that the percentage of fault reduces the amount awarded as compensation. For example, if you suffered $100,000 in damages but were 60% at fault in causing the crash, you can recover $40,000.
Florida's comparative negligence rule can be complex to understand. Therefore, we advise victims to speak with a lawyer even if they are partially at fault for causing an accident. A pedestrian accident lawyer will explain how this rule can impact the settlement amount.Proving Liability and Fault in a Pedestrian Accident Case
Again, motorists have a responsibility to drive safely for others on the road. In addition, they must ensure their actions don’t cause harm to those around them. When they fail to meet these responsibilities, they endanger the lives and property of others.
It may seem straightforward as to who the at-fault party in a pedestrian accident is. Unfortunately, injury claims are not open-and-shut cases that offer quick compensation to aggrieved parties. Instead, to be entitled to compensation, the victim must prove that someone’s negligent actions directly led to their injuries and losses.
Proving liability is a complicated legal process. Victims can lose their injury claims if they fail to establish that the injury suffered is through no or partial fault of theirs. Thus, a victim’s evidence must be compelling to place responsibility on the negligent party.
In a pedestrian accident case, a victim must legally establish four elements of negligence, which are:
- The at-fault party owed the victim a duty of care
- The at-fault party breached such duty through negligence
- The at-fault party's negligence caused the victim’s injuries
- The victim suffered actual harm as a result of the breach
While this may seem straightforward, it is not. Injury victims can be barred from recovery if they fail to prove just one of these elements. Therefore, consider hiring a lawyer in Pompano to handle the legal action.What Is My Pedestrian Accident Case Worth?
Every accident case is unique and handled with personalized attention. Thus, there is no set way to estimate the value of a case without a careful analysis of the circumstances. Typically, the more severe the injury sustained, the larger the claim. Therefore, the best way to determine the worth of a claim is to work with an attorney.
The lawyer will calculate the full scope of the victim’s damages. It is important to remember that some factors can limit the value of a case. These elements include:
- Amount of insurance coverage available
- Severity of the injury suffered
- Value of the victim’s medical expenses
- Percentage of fault the victim contributed to the accident
- Type and cost of medical treatment required in future
- Whether or not the victim suffered a permanent disability
- Emotional and psychological impacts of the accident and injury
Once an injury has occured, the insurance company will be involved. The insurance adjuster will use a formula to determine what amount to offer a victim as a settlement. Pedestrian accident survivors should be careful before accepting a settlement offer from the insurance company.
Insurance companies are not the victim’s allies and do not work in their best interest. They aim to pay out the least amount on any legal claim. They cannot profit if they pay generous sums for every accident claim reported.
Hence, they will deploy questionable tactics to deny or refuse your claim. Always be cautious when dealing with them without legal representation.What Compensation Can I Recover?
As with any personal injury, pedestrian accident victims are entitled to seek compensation. However, recovering compensation can be difficult due to Florida’s no-fault rules. Speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to determine the best course of action.
A settlement based on the driver’s insurance policy or an award won in civil court offers a wide range of damages to potentially recover. These damages compensate a victim for the accident-related expenses and losses. Damages available in Pompano, FL, are divided into three categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.Economic Damages
Economic damages compensate a victim for the financial cost of the injuries suffered. They include calculable expenses for:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity, etc.
These are damages awarded for the psychological stress arising from the injury. They include:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment, etc.
This category of damages is not available in all accident cases. They are awarded to punish responsible parties for their negligent actions. A victim can seek punitive damages if the defendant acted with malice or gross negligence.Why Should I Hire a Pompano, FL, Accident Lawyer?
Pedestrian accidents are complex matters that can leave one in a bind if not properly managed. It is in the victim’s best interest to hire a lawyer to manage the entire legal process. The right lawyer can significantly impact a victim’s case. Sadly, many pedestrians don’t know their legal rights and how to protect them.
Legal battles can be overwhelming and intimidating without any legal experience. Therefore, accident victims can benefit from a lawyer to fight on their behalf. The key to winning is to build a strong case that places fault on the negligent party.
In addition, without legal support, injured victims are at the mercy of professional insurance adjusters. They can manipulate vulnerable victims to accept fault for the accident to strip them of their rights. You should focus on recovering from your physical pain while your attorney can do the legal work on your behalf.
In addition to the above, a Pompano Beach pedestrian accident lawyer can help with the following:
- Carry out an in-depth investigation of the accident to gather evidence
- Determine each party's proportion of fault for the accident
- Work with experts to prove negligence, causation, and the value of damages
- Handle all communication, paperwork, and negotiations on a victim’s behalf
- Level the playing field with aggressive insurance adjusters
- Negotiate for an adequate settlement
- Present a victim's case to the jury if the insurance company fails to make a reasonable offer
Pedestrian accident victims are usually faced with staggering financial losses after a collision. They can have accumulated medical bills, lost wages, etc. This can make it difficult for them to consider hiring a lawyer.
Most accident victims hesitate to obtain legal help because they worry about attorney fees. However, having a lawyer is not as expensive as you may think. Thankfully, there are flexible payment solutions to make legal representation easy and accessible without the fear of additional insurmountable bills piling up.
The most prevalent form of payment for Pompano pedestrian accident lawyers is the contingency fee arrangement. This means we don't get paid until victims win their injury cases. A typical contingency fee percentage is typically between 30% to 40% of a victim’s compensation won through a settlement or court verdict.
This fee appeases clients because it can minimize their financial burdens. The exact percentage will be based on the amount of work needed and the current stage of the case. Note that other costs associated with the suit, such as filing fees, expert witness fees, etc., will not be covered by this arrangement.Contact a Pompano Pedestrian Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
There is no reason to handle the fallout of a pedestrian accident alone. At Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers, we understand how devastating an accident can be. We help accident victims seek maximum compensation while they focus on recovering.
We know how to navigate the Florida accident claim system to recover the compensation you deserve. In addition, we offer reasonable fee arrangements to our clients. Contact our firm at (561) 800-8000 to speak with our pedestrian accident lawyers today.