You’ve come to the right place. The Cloud Law Firm represents pedestrians who have been injured in an accident.
Prior to your pedestrian accident, you may have believed that you would never need to hire an attorney. However, your accident may be the most violent and stressful thing that has ever happened to you. Now your life is in disarray. You may be unsure how you are going to pay the medical bills or make up the missed work. The insurance company will likely try to rush you to settle your claim for a small fraction of your actual loss. The decisions you make shortly after the pedestrian accident, such as contacting the right Lake Placid accident lawyer, will play a large role in determining the strength and value of your injury claim. You will only get one bite at this apple. You need a compassionate and experienced attorney who will out-think and outwork the at-fault party and their insurance company.
Call the Cloud Law Firm now for a free, no hassle consultation at: (863) 402-2207. We will be happy to meet with you in person at our Highlands County office located at 205 S Commerce Ave, Sebring, FL 33870. We want you to know your rights and we will provide the advice and help you are searching for. If you retain us, we will get to work on your case right away. You have nothing to lose by calling because there are no attorneys’ fees unless we win your personal injury case.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents usually involve being struck by a motor vehicle that negligently drifted over the line, inappropriately drove into an pedestrian-only area, or failed to yield the right-of-way. Quite commonly, pedestrian accidents occur in parking lots, crosswalks, or other locations where pedestrians cross the road. Occasionally, pedestrians are even hit on sidewalks.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
As you can imagine, pedestrian accidents happen far too often and frequently result in serious injuries. According to the United States Centers for Disease Control, almost 130,000 pedestrian-related accidents occur in the United States each year. Of those accidents, almost 6,000 result in the pedestrian’s death. Similarly concerning statistics are available from the NHTSA.
Common Lake Placid pedestrian injuries include: cuts and bruises; sprains; broken bones; neck, back and spinal cord injuries; shoulder, arm, wrist and hand injuries; hip, knee, ankle and foot injuries; joint dislocations; concussions; traumatic brain injuries; and even death. Many of these types of injuries require costly surgical and/or long term treatment.
Florida Statutes Concerning Pedestrians
The Florida Uniform Traffic Control Law, codified in Chapter 316 Florida Statutes, contains the statutory laws which generally govern the rules of the road in the State of Florida. Within this Chapter, the two sections most pertinent to pedestrians are § 316.075 and § 316.130, Florida Statutes. In a nutshell, pedestrians are required to follow traffic control signal devices and use crosswalks where available. Further, vehicles are generally required to yield the right of way to pedestrians.
Proving Negligence in a Lake Placid Pedestrian Accident Case
Most pedestrian accident claims are based on the legal cause of action called “negligence.” Simply put, every person and business owes a duty to use reasonable care. If a person or business fails to use reasonable care, then they have acted negligently. If that negligence injures someone, the injured person has a civil cause of action against the negligent party for money damages. Without getting too technical, in pedestrian accident cases, negligence is typically proven based upon the circumstances of the accident (i.e. how and where the accident occurred). Violation of Florida statutes may also be used as evidence of negligence in pedestrian accident cases (e.g. failure to yield the right of way or failure to obey a traffic control device).
Since pedestrian accident cases sometimes involve children, it is noteworthy that motorists owe children a heightened duty of care when they knew or should have known that small children are at play in the area. This heightened duty is particularly applicable to accidents that occur near schools, parks, and residential areas.
Florida follows the rule of “pure comparative negligence.” This means that the jury may determine that more than one person negligently contributed to an accident, and allocate a percentage of fault for the accident to each of the negligent persons, potentially including the injured person. If so, following the trial, the court will reduce the injured party’s award of money damages to the percentage allocated to the defendant in the lawsuit.
Pedestrian Accident Victims May Be Entitled to PIP/No-Fault Insurance Benefits
Under Florida law, every motor vehicle owner is required to maintain $10,000 Personal Injury Protection (PIP) auto insurance coverage that pays 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages, up to the $10,000 PIP benefit limit, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. § 627.733, Fla. Stat. Regardless of who was at fault for the accident, pedestrians and bicyclists qualify for PIP: (1) from your own auto insurer if the accident occurred in Florida and the accident involved physical contact with a motor vehicle; (2) from a resident relative’s auto insurer if you do not own a vehicle, the accident occurred in Florida and the accident involved physical contact with a motor vehicle; or (3) from the at fault driver’s auto insurer if no other PIP benefits are available to you. § 627.736(4)(e), Fla. Stat.
Please Read the Frequently Asked Questions Below for Additional Information