Pedestrian and Traffic Crashes: A Real Problem
Several kinds of personal injuries could occur when a truck, car, or motorcycle driver collides with a pedestrian. Our New Port Richey personal injury attorneys have expert knowledge of the consequences of such crashes. The implications of such pedestrian accidents could be life-threatening and are almost always life-changing.
A crash involving two cars could result in severe damages and injuries. But when an oncoming vehicle hits a pedestrian, the result could be catastrophic.
If you or a loved one got injured in a vehicle-pedestrian crash, you should take action against the negligent party. Our New Port Richey pedestrian accident attorneys in Florida have years of experience winning compensation for injured clients. Get your compensation you deserve. Contact Denmon Pearlman Law Firm today for a free consultation.
Hit By a Vehicle? What to Do Before Calling a Pedestrian Accident Attorney
A vehicle-pedestrian experience could be very traumatizing for the victim.
In the midst of the ensuing post-accident confusion, a pedestrian victim typically wants to make sure they are physically okay.
In fact, the thought of consulting a lawyer might not even cross your mind.
However, if the accident caused you severe physical injuries, you don’t want to seek compensation alone.
What to Do Immediately After the Accident
If the accident causes you physical pain, get medical attention immediately. Where there are severe injuries, go to the emergency room directly. You shouldn’t delay seeking medical attention after a pedestrian accident. Otherwise, the jury might assume that you didn’t receive serious injuries from the accident.
Getting documented medical care is necessary to maximize your medical and legal rights. It doesn’t matter that you were not the one driving, you’d still have PIP coverage.
Your Florida PIP insurance or the other driver’s PIP insurance will likely foot the medical bills.
Moreover, victims of pedestrian accidents may begin personal injury claims against a negligent driver or implicated road fixture. But as you’d expect with legal issues, you need some form of supporting evidence for your claims. Once the accident occurs, call the police to the accident scene. It’d help to do the following at the time of the accident in gathering sufficient evidence:
- Take pictures of the event scene
- Also, get snapshots of the guilty driver’s vehicle
- Know the driver’s name, and possibly other identifying information
- Get all applicable insurance information, and inform your insurance company
- If it was a hit-and-run, take pictures that depict the event’s exact location. Your lawyers would send people out to see if there are videos after the accident.
- Get a police report
- Secure the identities of witnesses to the accident
Why Pedestrian Accidents Happen
According to the 2017 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Pedestrian improper crossing of roadways or intersections
- An on-foot passer-by who’s standing, lying, working, or playing on a roadway
- Poor visibility on the road
- Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication
- Indiscriminate pedestrian running into the road
Other causes of pedestrian accidents include driving distractions, physical impairments, or car manufacturer defects. Let’s consider some of these major causes of pedestrian accidents:
Improper Pedestrian Crossing of a Roadway or Intersection
An accident may result when a person attempts to cross a road outside the designated crosswalk. When such improper walking occurs, they say the person is “jaywalking.” A jaywalking pedestrian could also attempt to cross the road just before the traffic lights changes.
When such situations occur, the driver may not have sufficient time to react because they may not anticipate the pedestrian to be in a crosswalk. As a result, the driver could hit the pedestrian, leading to severe injuries.
Poor Road User Visibility
Different situations could cause poor visibility for either motorists or pedestrians. Such factors include:
- Adverse weather conditions
- Pedestrian putting on dark-colored clothes at night
- Faulty headlights on the car
- Bright lights shining into a pedestrian’s eyes
A pedestrian, motorist or someone else could be responsible for poor visibility, leading to an accident. For instance, a road crew worker could obstruct a pedestrian’s or motorist’s view. However, the general expectation is that road users exercise appropriate caution when they can’t see clearly.
Pedestrian Standing or Lingering on the Road
Sometimes, pedestrian-vehicle accidents occur because a pedestrian was standing, lying, or working on the road. In such cases, a driver may not be liable for the accident. Even when the driver noticed the pedestrian, there might not be enough time to react adequately. And so, the pedestrian, instead, may bear partial liability for the accident.
Parking Lot Accidents
Unlikely as they may be, parking lot accidents are sometimes the cause of fatal pedestrian accidents. A driver who’s pulling into or out of a parking lot could sometimes fail to ensure a clear driveway. Unwittingly, they might end up hitting or backing over some pedestrian in their way. When in a parking lot, it’s best to be watchful to avoid fatalities from an accident.
Indiscriminate Running into the Road
Children could dart into a road, without taking note of oncoming traffic. Even in otherwise serene neighborhood drives, this could lead to a dangerous accident. When someone quickly runs onto a road, the driver may not have enough time to avoid the collision properly. This may inadvertently lead to a vehicle-pedestrian accident, leading to fatal casualties.
Failure of Traffic Lights
Here’s another potential source of pedestrian accidents. It’s the effect of a faulty traffic light or poor physical road planning. Think about a scenario where the pedestrian has a “walk” sign, and the oncoming motorist sees a green light. If the pedestrian follows the faulty crossing light, an oncoming car could collide with them. In such cases, the injured victim could file a claim against the municipality for the accident.
Moreover, some pedestrian accidents may result from negligence on behalf of private companies near the road. Business owners must make sure that public rights-of-way are free of hazards. Hazards constitute objections blocking sidewalks or roadways, or falling objects could make a business owner liable in a pedestrian accident.
Sometimes, left-hand turns could pose challenges for all road users, leading to a crash. Research reveals that more accidents result from left-hand turns than right-hand turns. Many drivers are more concerned about getting through an intersection than watching out for a pedestrian.
Moving beyond the causes of pedestrian accidents, we now turn to the serious injuries that could result from these accidents. If you survived a crash, you should take action immediately. While getting medical care, contact one of our Tampa Bay Attorneys to help file a claim and get compensation.
Types of Personal Injuries after a Pedestrian Accident
A pedestrian doesn’t have much protection against a colliding vehicle. As a result, severe injuries could (and often do) result from the crash. These injuries could keep the victim incapacitated for months or years. Some victims may even lose body parts.
Some other times, the effects of the accident might not be immediately noticeable. Even when you’re noticing a slight pain after an accident, you may still inform your lawyer. Often, back injuries do not fully manifest themselves until a few days or weeks after the accident. Here are some of the different injury types that could result from a pedestrian accident:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe brain injuries
- Bone fractures
- Internal organ damages
- Nerve disruption
- Muscle strains
- Neck injuries
- External organ damage, or
Soft Tissue Damage
Soft tissue damage refers to contusions, cuts, tears, sprains, or strains on tissues. Typically, victims of soft tissue injuries readily recover compared to other common pedestrian accident injuries. However, soft tissue damages could eventually lead to long-term scars or health problems.
Arm, leg, wrists, or shoulder fractures often occur in pedestrian accidents. In more severe situations, the broken bone could puncture through the victim’s skin. Such severe injuries could be extremely damaging and could lead to lingering health problems. And sometimes, it could eventually lead to the loss of external body parts by amputation.
Often neck injuries aren’t as visible as other forms of pedestrian accident injuries.
Therefore, it’s imperative to get the right information, and where necessary, get medical attention after an accident. Common neck injuries include whiplashes, spine compression, or herniated discs.
Even when you find the symptoms later, they may be connected to the auto crash. While getting medical care, contact an accident attorney to get your deserved compensation.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury could result from pedestrian accidents as well. Spinal cord injuries could become fatal, resulting in memory loss, paralysis, or even death. Such types of injuries are often life-threatening and often need long-term medical attention.
Traumatizing Brain Damage
Traumatic head and brain injuries could result from vehicle-pedestrian crashes. Common potential symptoms of brain injuries include loss of consciousness, nausea, or drowsiness. Brain injuries in a pedestrian accident could also be the precursor of anxiety, depression, or mood swings.
How a New Port Richey Pedestrian Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
A pedestrian accident may have more legal implications than you’d expect. In most cases, the at-fault driver’s insurance company has a team on their side. You need a pedestrian accident lawyer with long-standing experience in personal injury cases.
Here’s an overview of the different ways a pedestrian accident lawyer could help. Your lawyer will:
- help you get value for what you lost in the mishap
- secure “economic” compensation, in form of lost wages or medical bills
- get “non-economic” damages for nuanced losses, like pain and suffering damages
- handle all medical bills and expenses so you don’t have to
- hold your hand through the difficult process and
- investigate the claim
Making Personal Injury Claims with Your New Port Richey Accident Attorneys
Different states have a time limit within which any pedestrian hit by a car could make injury claims. Such limitations are called a “statute of limitations.” In Florida, the statute of limitations requires that pedestrian accident victims report their case within four years from the time of the accident. If the hit pedestrian doesn’t report to a civil court after four years, the court may not hear them afterward.
However, exceptions apply to the time limit where the victim “realizes” the effect of the accident after some time. Also, when you’re filing the claim against the government, the rules are a bit different. In such scenarios, you have a shorter time limit to file your report. Speak with an auto accident attorney or some other experienced attorney in your area for details.
Get the Just Compensation Through An Auto Insurance Policy
Pedestrian accident victims often utilize auto insurance claims in getting their deserved compensation. The driver’s PIP insurance, for instance, could foot all medical bills and give the needed compensation. And in some other situations, the case ends up in a trial. The jury would seek sufficient evidence from the victim that supports their claims. If the claims prove true enough, the jury will award damages to the victims.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages for Pedestrians Hit by a Car
Compensatory damages may include either “economic” or “non-economic” damages. Economic damages refer to compensation for the financial loss which the survivor incurred because of the incident. They range from healthcare costs to lost income or properties. For instance, you might have to stay away from work for a few months to get healed.
Non-economic damages include compensation for emotional stress, pain, and suffering. The mishap might be the reason why you were unable to attend a special event with your kids. Certainly, non-economic damages couldn’t directly match emotional pain and suffering.
Driver Negligence in New Port Richey Pedestrian Accidents
Driver negligence in a pedestrian accident means that the driver had a duty to drive reasonably and breached the duty when he acted unreasonably. Florida road traffic law demands that drivers are alert to road hazards while driving.
Meanwhile, the law regards a pedestrian as a risk to drivers on the road. What that means is that a driver has an obligation to avoid pedestrians. When the driver fails this obligation to others, they may be determined to be liable for an accident.
There are various events that could cause a pedestrian-vehicle accident where a driver was negligent. Where a driver was at fault, the pedestrian victim could claim relevant damages. Did you recently sustain a severe New Port Richey, FL, vehicle-pedestrian accident? You may need to make a free consultation from our experienced New Port Richey personal injury lawyers.
Even if you believe you were partially at fault, you can file a claim against the liable party. And that’s where you’d want the top-notch legal services that our personal injury lawyers offer. Meanwhile, how does the court ascertain that a driver was negligent in an auto-pedestrian crash? Here are some of the common factors that render a driver negligent in such situations.
Driver Negligence Due to Distracted Driving
If the investigations show that the driver’s distracted driving was the cause of the accident, then the driver was negligent. Examples of such distractions include making phone conversations, texting on the cell phone, or grooming while on the road. Other possible driving distractions include looking sideways, eating, or talking with other passengers.
In Florida, it is illegal for drivers to use their phones while driving.
Pedestrian Accident Owing to Driver’s Wrong Lane Use
Littered across the roads of New Port Richey are sidewalks and crosswalks for pedestrian usage. However, some areas may force pedestrians to walk on the driver’s right side. If a driver leaves their lane without caution, they could hit a passer-by on foot. Such an accident could result in very severe injuries for the pedestrian accident victim.
Driver’s Negligence Over Their Failure to Yield
A negligent driver could violate your right of way as a pedestrian if they disregard traffic rules. In Florida, the traffic laws demand that drivers yield to pedestrians at a crosswalk. Blind pedestrians who are led by a stick or guide dog are particular preferences under law. Where a negligent driver refuses to yield, they might collide with an innocent pedestrian.
Florida residents experience different weather situations around the year. For instance, heavy fog or rain could impair a driver’s visibility, leading to an accident. Of course, the at-fault driver may say that the weather was liable. Nevertheless, since motorists are obliged to exercise caution under adverse weather conditions. A driver could still be held liable for a pedestrian accident for failing to exercise caution.
Driver’s Negligence from Drugged or Drunk Driving
Driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is illegal throughout America. Notably, one of the most common sources of driver impairment involves alcohol. Nevertheless, DUI crimes also include intoxication from other substances that could influence a motorist wrongly. If investigations show that the driver used illegal drugs or toxic substances, the driver may be negligent. It’s important to talk to your attorney to discuss your options.
Negligence from Driving Above Speed Limit
Speed limits are meant to regulate driving to reduce the possibility of dangerous accidents. But if a driver exceeded the posted speed limit, they may lose control and collide with a pedestrian. If you are hurt in such an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the driver’s negligence.
Free Consult with a New Port Richey Pedestrian Accident Attorney
If you were recently involved in a vehicle-pedestrian accident, we’re at hand to help. Our expert team of New Port Richey accident lawyers can assist you through the difficult and lengthy process. We’re committed to guide clients and help them receive the compensation that they deserve. Schedule a free consultation with a New Port Richey pedestrian accident lawyer at Denmon Pearlman today.