Protecting The Rights Of Injured Pedestrians

Car crashes are dangerous enough when only motorists are involved. When the victim of an accident is a pedestrian, the results can be particularly devastating. Even though Florida law attempts to protect pedestrians through laws establishing the right of way in crosswalks, vehicle-pedestrian collisions are still all too common.

At Heller & Heller, P.A., in Coral Springs, we are here to help. Our injury attorneys begin with a full and thorough investigation of the accident. During this phase of a case, photographs may be taken, witnesses may be interviewed, medical records may be ordered, surveillance footage may be requested and other steps may be taken in an attempt to determine exactly what happened, how the accident could have been prevented and who may potentially be held liable for the pedestrian's damages in a court of law.

Pursuing Damages for a Pedestrian Injury

The usual means of holding a careless driver accountable for a crash is a negligence claim. In this process, the first step is proving that the driver owed the pedestrian a duty of care. This can be established in several ways, including the use of statutes and regulations such as the following:

  • When approaching an intersection that has a traffic control signal, a driver is to stop before entering the crosswalk. The driver is to remain stopped and allow the pedestrian to cross the roadway, if the pedestrian has a permitted signal, while the pedestrian is in the driver's half of the roadway or close enough to that half as to be in danger.
  • In situations in which there is not a traffic control signal or signage to the contrary, a driver is to slow down, or stop if need be, and yield the right of way to a pedestrian who is in the driver's half of the roadway or close enough to it as to be in danger.
  • When a vehicle is stopped at a crosswalk so a pedestrian can cross the street, other vehicles are not allowed to pass the stopped vehicle.

Once a duty has been established, the next step is proving that the defendant violated the duty in some way. Then, it must be shown that the breach was the proximate cause of the accident and that the claimant was harmed in some way. If all four of these elements of negligence can be established by a preponderance of the evidence, the next question typically becomes how much money will it take to compensate the injured person for what has happened to him or her.

  • There are several types of damages that may be available to pedestrians who are able to assert a case of negligence against a careless motorist. Among them are medical expenses, both those incurred immediately after the injury and those that may be reasonably necessary in the future.
  • There also may be lost wages, the loss of future earning capacity, scarring and disfigurement, and pain and suffering. Usually, the defendant's insurance company is the party responsible for paying a settlement or judgment, but in cases such as hit-and-run accidents, the claimant's own uninsured/underinsured motorist liability insurance carrier may be named in the suit as well.
  • In some cases, the defendant may ask for a reduction in the victim's damages due to alleged negligence by him or her. If the defendant is successful, the plaintiff's damages will be reduced in proportion to his or her percentage of fault for causing the accident under Florida's pure comparative fault doctrine.

Explore Your Options by Contacting Us

If you have been in an accident, you have only a limited amount of time to file suit against the responsible party, or else your claim likely will be barred by the statute of limitations. We have assisted accident victims in Boca Raton, Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Sunrise and throughout Broward County, among other communities. To schedule a free appointment, call our lawyer at 954-228-5940 or contact us online. We do not ask for a fee unless and until a settlement or judgment is reached in your favor.