Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Serving Port St. Lucie
If you or a loved one have recently been involved in an accident as a pedestrian, you could be entitled to seek compensation. Pedestrians that are out and about, whether it is walking, jogging, biking, or crossing at a crosswalk, are in vulnerable situations where accidents can quickly occur that are not the pedestrian’s fault.
These types of accidents can bring about severe injuries or even death since pedestrians are completely exposed. When a person suffers from a pedestrian accident, there can be major financial and health burdens placed on the individual and their family.
If this sounds like the situation you’re in, the experts at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers want to help (by appointment). We understand how difficult these accidents can be for multiple reasons, and it is our mission to help you seek financial assistance to cover damages from the accident.
Those in the Port St. Lucie, Florida, area that have fallen victim in pedestrian accidents have the right to file a claim. Here’s what you need to know about pedestrian accidents and your legal options for your next steps to take.What Are Pedestrian Accidents?
A pedestrian accident is an incident where an individual is hit or struck by another person or vehicle. The pedestrian can be walking in a parking lot or on the side of the street, jogging, bicycling, or simply out and about outside of a vehicle.
Pedestrian accidents are typically seen with an innocent bystander and someone driving a vehicle, but this doesn’t always have to be the case to be considered a pedestrian accident. These incidents can happen with a pedestrian and another pedestrian, an animal, a motorist, or a bicyclist. The main key to an accident being deemed as a “pedestrian accident” is an outside person being struck by another individual in some way.
Locations where pedestrian accidents can occur include:
- Busy streets
- Parking lots
- Shared paths or trails
It is possible for a pedestrian to be involved in an accident, and it not be the driver’s or other pedestrian’s fault. For instance, if inclement weather plays a part in a careful driver losing control and striking the pedestrian, this accident may not be the driver’s fault if they were paying attention, driving slowly, and then hit a patch of black ice or slippery spot from rain. Because of this, the pedestrian may have to seek another avenue for compensation than by filing a claim against the driver.
Since some of these cases can be complex, such as this example, it is best to consult with an attorney to have a clear picture of your position and discover your best options for seeking monetary assistance.Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
There can be various causes for pedestrian accidents and how they unfold. Sometimes the accident unfolds from the location and elements affecting the area. Since most pedestrian accidents do occur with drivers, a lot of the fault is on the driver and how well they were paying attention to their surroundings and operating the vehicle.
Here are some of the common causes of pedestrian accidents:
- Distracted driving
- Texting while driving or talking on the phone
- Driving while intoxicated or under the influence
- Loss of vehicle control
- Inclement weather
- Road obstructions or construction
- Vehicle blind spots
- Failure to yield
- Impatient drivers
- Running a stoplight or stop sign
- Intentional criminal act
While it’s a known fact that pedestrians always have the right of way, it’s important to always pay attention to your surroundings. If you are walking on a busy street or getting ready to cross a crosswalk, always stop to look both ways and make sure there are no erratic drivers in the area that have the potential to cause an accident. To avoid causing a pedestrian accident, always pay attention to your speed and where you’re driving, especially if you notice bikers, joggers, or pedestrians on the side.Injuries That Can Arise from Pedestrian Accidents
There is no shortage of injuries a pedestrian can experience from an accident since the injuries vary depending on the circumstances. The severity of injuries can come from where the pedestrian is struck and how forcefully the other person or item collided with the pedestrian’s body.
Because pedestrian accidents tend to involve heavy and fast objects such as vehicles, most pedestrians see extensive injuries that can be very damaging to the body or take a while to heal from. Severe injuries in fragile places such as the brain or other internal areas can bring about hefty medical bills that families may not be prepared for, but luckily there are ways to seek financial compensation that can assist with this.
Here are some of the most common injuries seen as a result of pedestrian accidents:
- Broken bones
- Brain injury
- Spine injury
- Neck and chest injury
- Life-altering medical conditions
- On-going medical interventions or treatments
Pedestrians should always remember to keep a copy of all medical documents and bills pertaining to the accident, as these can serve as evidence for insurance or lawsuit purposes later on.Steps to Take If You’re Involved in an Accident
You never know when you’re going to be involved in a pedestrian accident, but it’s important to know the steps to take so you’re prepared if you ever are. Not knowing what to do can leave a person under the siege of adrenaline, which is normal, but can make the situation worse.
Depending on the extent of your injuries, you may not be able to take all of these steps. However, if you’re physically able to, here’s what you should do immediately after an accident so that you cover yourself and can seek the help you need.1. Call Law Enforcement
After the hit, make sure you are okay and remain where you are. Even if you seem fine and have no injuries, do not leave the scene of the accident. Stay in place and call law enforcement to report the accident so they can come and file an official police report. The police report will go in-depth about how the accident unfolded, who’s responsible, and you can obtain a copy of it later to use for insurance and lawsuit purposes.2. Seek Medical Attention
The same can be said about receiving medical attention. EMS will be dispatched to the scene once you notify the police, and this step is vitally important. In fact, this is where you could make or break your case. Most of your potential financial compensation will come from the proof of your injuries. Let EMS observe you and drive you to the hospital for further observation to rule out any injury possibilities. Also, obtain a copy of records that signify your injuries were a result of the accident.3. Speak to the Other Individual
If the person responsible for the accident doesn’t cause a hit-and-run by fleeing the scene, you should speak to them and collect their contact and insurance information. Their PDL coverage may assist you financially for their portion of the accident, but the only way to receive that help is to have their contact information for later usage. If the other person does flee the scene, try to capture information to give to the police such as what they were driving (vehicle make, model, and color) and what they looked like if you could get a good look.4. Hire an Attorney
Many people want to skip this step because they think it’s invaluable and they can just get help from insurance on their own. Sadly, that is not always the case. While you will be speaking to insurance for monetary assistance, insurance companies are always looking for ways to limit how much they offer to you.
An attorney can be very beneficial for your case and should be hired before you speak to insurance. They can help you review your evidence and position to give you the best legal advice on if you can file a lawsuit against the person responsible for the accident. They can also file your insurance claim on your behalf and speak to your adjuster to optimize your chances of a successful outcome through negotiations.5. File a Claim with Insurance
After hiring an attorney is when you should file a claim with your insurance. Your PIP coverage is what should pay for the vast majority of your injuries and medical bills, so it’s important that you have the help of a trustworthy attorney on your side. It is well-advised not to speak to your insurance adjuster on your own because something you say could be misconstrued to signify that you do not need as much help as you are filing for or that the accident was somewhat your fault.6. File a Claim Against the Defendant
Lastly, if your case permits it, you could file a claim against the defendant for compensation. Your attorney will help you prepare for this step and file the lawsuit for you.How to Seek Compensation for Accidents
There are two main ways a person can seek compensation for damages in pedestrian accidents. The first is through insurance, and the second is with a possible lawsuit.
Pedestrian accidents follow similar guidelines as car accidents. The first avenue a pedestrian should take when seeking monetary assistance for these claims is with their personal injury protection insurance. It’s a requirement for all Florida drivers to carry a minimum of $10,000 in this coverage, so this is where you will turn to first to help cover medical bills associated with the accident.
The second avenue is a lawsuit that can result in either a settlement between the two parties or by the court. If you file a lawsuit against the other person responsible for the accident, there will be a period in time where you may sit down with the defendant and their attorney to negotiate a settlement that will cover your damages. If no agreement can be reached or if the defendant decides not to go through with a settlement, then your case can go to trial.
If your case goes to trial, all evidence will be presented to decide if and how much compensation you merit for your damages. Your economic and non-economic damages will be reviewed in order to establish how much you deserve to recover.Can Pedestrian Accidents Be Avoided?
There are no ways pedestrian accidents can be avoided, but there certainly are ways they can be prevented. No one can control the actions of others, but pedestrians can take safety measures into their own hands to be easily seen and hopefully avoid an accident.
Here are some ways you can try to avoid an accident from occurring:
- Avoid being on your phone while you are walking or jogging
- Cross at crosswalks when it is your time to cross
- If you have headphones in, do not play music too loudly
- Look both ways before crossing a street to make sure the road is clear
- Walk, jog, or bike in the designated areas for pedestrians
- Wear bright visible clothing, especially if you are out at night
- Always pay attention to your surroundings
If you notice erratic drivers or something that isn’t right, go as far away from the road as you can immediately. It’s important for pedestrians to always pay attention to the road and their safety, as well as limit distractions when they are near a busy street.What Damages Can You Recover?
There are certain damages pedestrian accident victims can seek to recover that fall into the categories of economic and non-economic losses. Economic losses are anything that can be totaled up, while non-economic losses are the abstract damages.
Here are examples of damages you can recover in both categories.
- Hospital bills
- Lost wages from time off work
- Funeral expenses
- On-going medical interventions (physical therapy, medicine, treatments, etc.)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Mental and physical anguish
- Loss of a guardian or companion (in the case of death)
The complexity of your case will determine how quickly the case settles. Insurance claims can be filed and settled quickly, while lawsuits can take more time. If you decide to file a lawsuit against the other person, know that it can take up to a year or more since there’s a lot that goes into a case.
Pedestrian accident cases can take a while because of the following factors:
- The responsible party may hide and be difficult to find
- Collection of evidence can take a while
- The investigation period has to be thorough
- There may be several settlement disagreements
- The jury could take a while to decide who wins a case
- You have a hard time finding an attorney
- Your injuries take you time to recover from
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An attorney can assist you in many ways. Attorneys can be your best option when seeking the compensation you deserve.
Here’s what a personal injury lawyer can do for you:
- Help you file for insurance
- File a claim on your behalf
- Become your advocate
- Negotiate a fair settlement
- Help collect all necessary evidence
Are you ready to file to seek compensation for help with your injuries? If so, make it a point to contact Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers today. Our firm has extensive expertise in handling pedestrian accident claims. Over the last four decades, we’ve been helping accident victims recover for their incurred damages.
Our forty plus years in practice has led us to develop the skills, experience, and knowledge it takes to successfully build your case. We have in-depth knowledge of pedestrian laws and the state’s statute of limitations that can affect your case. When you’re looking for the right lawyer to review your position and give you your best fighting chance, consider contacting our firm.
You can start by calling (561) 800-8000 or by leaving your contact information on our online case evaluation form. Someone from our firm will reach out to you quickly about scheduling a time for you to come into our office and meet face-to-face with one of our attorneys. You will have the chance to discuss your case in greater detail and hear about our services.
When you come in for your consultation, please bring the following items so our attorneys can best assess your situation:
- Medical bills and records
- Police statement (if you have a copy)
- Insurance policy information
- The defendant’s insurance information
- Photo evidence from the accident
If you’re ready to seek compensation to help your position, call Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers today.