What to Do If You Are a
Pedestrian Struck by a Car
If you’re driving along one of Florida’s highways and another vehicle runs into yours, causing you injuries, state law requires you to turn to your own auto insurance to cover initial medical expenses and other losses unless the injuries are serious. But what if you’re a pedestrian who is struck by a vehicle and injured? What recourse do you have?
In fact, in this situation, if you own an automobile, or live with a relative that owns an automobile, the insurance from yours or your relative's vehicle will cover your initial medical bills. This is due to Florida's Motor Vehicle No Fault Law.
However, just like in an automobile to automobile crash, if you’re injured as a pedestrian and it can be shown it was your fault for violating the law, you may not be able to recover anything from the driver or their insurance company. However, if you have the right of way as a pedestrian and you’re struck, then you can certainly file a personal injury claim, and if necessary a lawsuit.
There is also a middle ground in which both the driver and pedestrian share fault. In that case, Florida follows the pure comparative negligence rule. For example, if you as the pedestrian are judged to be 20 percent at fault, you can recover 80 percent of your medical expenses, losses, and other compensable damages.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a pedestrian by a motor vehicle in or around Altamonte Springs, Florida, contact me at the Law Office Of Mark A. Cornelius P.A. I have more than 25 years of experience in helping others recover from the injuries they have suffered because of the negligence of others.
The Law Office Of Mark A. Cornelius P.A. also proudly serves clients in Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Volusia, Polk County, Lake County, and throughout Central Florida.
Florida Pedestrian Laws
If you’re injured in a pedestrian accident with a vehicle, you must have the right of way in order to recover damages for your suffering and injuries. According to Florida pedestrian laws, you must:
Obey all traffic signals or Do Not Walk signals at intersections and cross only when the roadway is clear if there are no signals to guide you.
Look left, right, and left again before crossing, and try to make eye contact with all oncoming drivers.
Yield the right of way if trying to cross at a roadway point where there is no crosswalk, but you cannot cross between two signalized intersections unless there is a marked crosswalk.
Do not stand in a roadway to hitchhike or ask for donations, and don’t enter limited access roads such as a freeway or interstate highway.
What to Do If You Are
Injured as a Pedestrian
If you are injured in a pedestrian accident, the first step is to seek medical attention. If you are able to use your cell phone, call 911 to seek emergency assistance and also notify the police. If you are able to do so, also document evidence at the scene by taking photos with your cell phone. Photos of the area, the car that hit you, the driver's license of the driver of the car that hit you, and his/her insurance card are all great photos to have.
If there are witnesses, try to get their contact information and version of what happened. Obtain the driver’s contact and insurance information. When you have a chance, write down or record everything as you remember it. Keep copies of all medical records and invoices. These will be essential tools for filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
As soon as you’re able to, get in touch with a personal injury attorney to pursue the compensation due to you for your injuries and other losses.
Prevailing in a Personal Injury Case
Personal injury lawsuits are based on proving negligence by the other party whom you claim caused your injuries. The four elements of a negligence lawsuit involve:
Showing that the other party owed you a duty of care
Showing that the duty of care was breached
Showing that the breach caused your injuries
Showing that you suffered losses and damages due to your injuries
As for duty of care, all drivers in Florida are required to operate their vehicles with the safety of others foremost.
As mentioned above, however, negligence can be a two-way street under Florida’s use of the pure comparative negligence rule.
The attorney or insurer for the driver will try to pin fault on you to lessen the compensation you can receive or even to deny your claim altogether. But, under pure comparative negligence, you are still entitled to compensation if you’re 50 percent or more at fault. There is no cap as there is under modified comparative negligence.
Compensation That You Can Recover
If you file a personal injury lawsuit for injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident, you may recover damages for:
Funeral expenses if the pedestrian passed away
Pain and suffering
Permanent disability or disfigurement
Loss of consortium
Legal Advocacy That You Can Trust
It’s important to get moving quickly once a pedestrian injury accident has occurred, and it’s also important to have experienced legal counsel helping you recover compensation. Though a pedestrian accident may seem like a clear-cut case of the driver’s negligence, matters can get complicated if it can be shown that you played any role in the accident.
I have more than 25 years of experience in dealing with personal injury claims with insurers and lawsuits before judges and juries. I will meet with you, hear the details of what happened, investigate, and then advise you of your options going forward to aim for the best result possible.
While my office is in Altamonte Springs, I represent injured persons throughout the State of Florida, particularly Central Florida, contact me immediately at the Law Office Of Mark A. Cornelius P.A. if you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident. Your initial consultation is free.