I Was Hit by a Vehicle – What Are My Options?
Pedestrian accidents are far more common than you might think, and they are typically one-sided when it comes to injuries as motorists in these accidents rarely sustain any. Why so common? Distracted driving is a contributing factor in the increase of Florida pedestrian accidents, but so is the state’s increasing population and the fact that many areas lack sidewalks.
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, your options are quite limited without the help of an experienced attorney. You should first seek medical help and then file a claim with the appropriate insurer. Should you decide to seek legal help in this matter, it may help you to know a few things about pedestrian accidents and how courts make their decisions.
Proving Driver Negligence in Pedestrian Accidents
In car accident cases, the plaintiff (the victim) must show that the other person involved was negligent. There are four steps to proving negligence.
- The driver had a duty of care toward you, the pedestrian. Motorists naturally have a duty of care toward pedestrians. All drivers are to look out for pedestrians and obey signage for crosswalks.
- The driver breached their duty of care. Failing to look for pedestrians at a crosswalk or yield appropriately, is one way in which a driver breaches their duty of care toward a pedestrian.
- The breached duty of care caused your injuries. There must be a direct correlation between your injuries and the actions of the motorist.
- You sustained damages as a result of the driver’s breached duty of care. If you’re able to get out of the way in time and are not injured to the point where you need medical care, then it makes sense that you cannot make a personal injury claim.
Determining fault in pedestrian accidents is complicated, especially in light of the state’s comparative negligence laws. A car accident lawyer can explain how these laws apply in your case.
Regardless of what the other driver says at the scene of the accident about you being at-fault for the accident, you should seek legal counsel. An attorney is the person best suited to truly analyze and determine whether you have a case for a personal injury lawsuit.
Damages Pedestrian Accident Victims Can Seek
Pedestrian accidents are a type of personal injury accident. In personal injury cases, victims can pursue the following financial damages:
- Medical bills for care, including future care for ongoing ailments
- Lost wages due to missed work
- Future lost wages in situations where you cannot return to your previous work
- Lost employment benefits
- Modifications to your home to accommodate living with your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Mental issues resulting from your pedestrian accident injuries
Calculating a settlement in a personal injury case is complicated. There is no formula for such a calculation. If the other party or their insurance company is offering to settle out of court, they’re likely offering you the minimum settlement amount. You should not accept any settlements until you discuss the case with an attorney.
Why You Need a Florida Personal Injury Attorney
A personal injury attorney protects your rights throughout negotiations and court appearances. You should not try to represent yourself in an accident case because the other side will very likely have representation of their own. Schedule a free consultation with our team of diligent, experienced lawyers at Goldman & Daszkal. We provide representation to clients in Palm Beach County, Broward County and throughout the state of Florida.