One of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents is a driver’s lack of concentration or attention to the roadway. In most cases, this stems from distractions, such as programming a GPS, talking or texting on a mobile phone, eating while driving, putting on make-up, etc. Unfortunately, statistics show that pedestrian accidents are on the rise. Being hit by a car can be a traumatic, and even fatal, experience for anyone involved. Let’s address some of the key issues involved when it comes to seeking damages for injuries or death caused by pedestrian accidents.
Who Is Responsible?
Determining who is responsible is crucial when it comes to pedestrian accidents. There is a need to verify who is at fault. Several key questions need to be addressed. Was the driver using excessive speed? Was the driver impaired by drugs or alcohol? Did the driver stop at a traffic light or stop sign? Similarly, the pedestrian’s conduct must be assessed. Was the pedestrian in a lawful crosswalk or was he or she jaywalking? Was the pedestrian distracted with cell phone use? Was the pedestrian impaired? Is it a situation where both the driver and pedestrian contributed to the crash?
Damages In Pedestrian Accidents
Damages in personal injury lawsuits are meant to compensate the injured individual and to attempt to make the injured person or his/her loved ones “whole again.” Sometimes, it can be confusing to equate injuries with just compensation. There are several damages that are recoverable in Florida for these types of accidents and the resulting injuries:
• Medical expenses in the past and medical bills the person is reasonably certain to incur in the future;
• Lost wages or loss of earning capacity in the future;
• Pain and Suffering, both physical, as well as mental or emotional;
• Scarring or disfigurement;
• Loss of Enjoyment of life; and
• If a death case, there are other types of damages available including funeral expenses and damages for certain legal survivors.
What are the Time Limitations
The injured individual would have four (4) years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. However, it is wise if you are involved in such an accident to contact an Jupiter personal injury or auto accident attorney right away to investigate your legal rights and protect your interests.
Applicable Florida Right of Way Laws for Pedestrians
According to Florida pedestrian laws, pedestrians must obey official traffic control devices unless otherwise instructed by a police official. Devices include traffic signs, pavement striping or signals.
Also, if a sidewalk is readily available, do not use the roadways. If sidewalks are not available, they should utilize the shoulder on the left side of the roadway so as to face the traffic. More specifically, when crossing the roadway, pedestrians should also be mindful of the following:
• Walk in designated crosswalks when available;
• Keep to the right of crosswalks;
• Do not leave the curb until the traffic signal tells you to;
• Obey Traffic Signals;
• Do not cross a roadway intersection diagonally unless authorized by an official traffic control device; and
• Do not cross between two adjacent intersections, except when in a marked crosswalk.
The Role Of An Accident Lawyer In Pedestrian Accident Cases
You may want to ask, do I really need a lawyer? If you or a loved one has been injured, it is smart to talk to a Jupiter or Palm Beach Gardens personal injury attorney to find out about your legal options. Consultations are free. Contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of Hughes & Ball, P.A, (561) 296-9400. Offices in Jupiter and Port St. Lucie, as well as offices available for consultation in Boca Raton and Orlando.