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Pedestrian Accidents

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Orlando Pedestrian Accident Attorneys

Pedestrian Accidents Under Florida Law - Your Rights and Legal Options

Pedestrian Accident Attorney Orlando

Pedestrian accidents are an unfortunate reality that can affect anyone, anywhere. If you are injured in one of these accidents within the Central Florida area, securing the assistance of our experienced pedestrian accident attorneys in Orlando is crucial. They can help you navigate the complex legal process necessary to obtain the compensation required to cover your medical expenses and other damages.

What is a Pedestrian Accident?

A pedestrian accident occurs when a person who is walking, jogging, or on foot gets involved in a collision with a motor vehicle like a car, truck, or motorcycle. These incidents can result in various injuries, ranging from minor scrapes to severe harm, and tragically, sometimes even lead to loss of life.

The Grim Reality: GHSA Analysis

A recent study by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) tells us some really sad news. In the first half of 2022, drivers in the United States hurt or killed 3,434 people who were walking – that's 168 more than the same time last year, which is a 5% increase. This is a big problem because last year, there were already a lot of people getting hurt or dying while walking, and this trend has been going on for ten years.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

  • Distracted Driving: Drivers who are distracted by activities like texting or phone calls may fail to see pedestrians, leading to accidents.
  • Speeding and Reckless Driving: Speeding or reckless behavior reduces a driver's reaction time and increases the risk of collisions with pedestrians.
  • Failure to Yield Right of Way: Some drivers disregard traffic rules and do not yield to pedestrians at crosswalks or intersections.
  • Jaywalking: Pedestrians crossing roads outside designated areas or against traffic signals can surprise drivers, increasing the chances of accidents.
  • Impaired Driving and Walking: Alcohol or drug impairment affects both drivers and pedestrians, impairing judgment and coordination.
  • Poor Road Conditions and Visibility: Uneven sidewalks, potholes, and inadequate lighting can contribute to accidents. Adverse weather conditions also reduce visibility and road traction.
  • Poorly Maintained Infrastructure: In some cases, pedestrian accidents are not solely the result of driver negligence but are also due to poorly maintained infrastructure. Cracked sidewalks, malfunctioning traffic signals, and inadequate lighting can contribute to accidents, making the government or property owners liable. Legal action in such cases involves demonstrating that the responsible parties failed in their duty to maintain safe pedestrian infrastructure. This may require expert testimony and documentation of the hazardous conditions.
  • Distracted Pedestrians: A prevalent and potentially life-threatening issue in pedestrian accidents is the distraction of the pedestrians themselves. With the advent of smartphones, many individuals have become addicted to their screens, oblivious to their surroundings. Whether it's texting, scrolling through social media, or listening to music through headphones, these distractions can lead pedestrians to overlook critical warning signs, such as the sound of an approaching vehicle. When a pedestrian is engrossed in their smartphone or wearing headphones, their ability to hear approaching cars, horns, or sirens is compromised. This distraction can prove disastrous when crossing busy streets or navigating intersections. In these cases, the pedestrian may not even realize the danger until it's too late to react, resulting in collisions and serious injuries.

Types of Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents

Some of the most common pedestrian accident injuries our clients face include:

  • Orthopedic Injuries: One of the most common injuries in pedestrian accidents is orthopedic injuries, such as broken bones, fractures, and dislocated joints. These injuries often require surgery and extended rehabilitation.
  • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): Head injuries are particularly severe in pedestrian accidents. TBIs can lead to long-term cognitive impairments, memory loss, and changes in behavior. Seeking immediate medical attention is crucial.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Pedestrians who experience spinal cord injuries may suffer from partial or complete paralysis. These injuries necessitate a lifetime of medical care and support.
  • Internal Injuries: Trauma from the impact can cause internal injuries that may not be immediately apparent. These include organ damage, internal bleeding, and other life-threatening conditions.
  • Road Rash and Scarring: Abrasions and road rash can result from contact with the road surface. Severe road rash can lead to disfiguring scarring, which can have a lasting impact on a person's quality of life.
  • Emotional Distress: The emotional toll of a pedestrian accident can be significant. Victims may experience anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Death: In pedestrian accidents, individuals can tragically lose their lives, succumbing to their injuries either at the accident scene or in the hospital while receiving medical treatment. The force of impact or the severity of injuries sustained can lead to immediate fatality at the accident scene, which can be traumatic not only for the victim but also for witnesses, emergency responders, and the broader community. In other cases, individuals may initially survive the accident but later pass away in the hospital due to the severity of their injuries. These injuries can be so profound and life-threatening that, despite the best efforts of medical professionals, they prove fatal. This can be an agonizing and emotionally challenging time for the victim's family and loved ones.

Pedestrian Accidents - Damages That May Be Recovered

If a pedestrian is injured as a result of a collision with a motor vehicle, he/she may be entitled to file a personal injury claim and obtain monetary compensation to alleviate the burdens caused by these injuries. Among the recoverable damages are:

  • Medical Expenses: Victims can seek compensation to cover past and future medical costs, including hospital bills, surgeries, physical therapy, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost Income: Many victims find themselves unable to work due to extended recovery periods or permanent disability. Compensation can provide relief by covering lost wages and potential future earnings.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation extends to the physical and emotional pain endured by victims in the aftermath of the accident.
  • Property Damage: Personal property damaged in the accident, such as clothing or electronic devices, can also be covered.
  • Wrongful Death Claims: In cases of pedestrian fatalities, surviving family members can pursue compensation through wrongful death claims.

Pedestrian Accident Claims in Florida - Statue of Limitation

If you are a pedestrian accident victim, you must be aware of the statute of limitations, which is the legal deadline for filing a lawsuit after the incident.

On March 24, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis took action by signing HB 837 into law, marking it as one of the most pivotal reform bills in the state’s history. This law brings substantial changes to long-standing Florida civil tort law across multiple areas, with its most significant impact concerning the statute of limitations for personal injury negligence cases.

In essence, the new law slashes the longstanding Florida statutes for negligence claims from four years to two years. In practical terms, this means that individuals filing negligence lawsuits must do so within two years or risk being barred under the new regulations. These changes directly affect general negligence claims, which encompass the majority of personal injury cases caused by negligence—such as car accidents and slip and fall incidents.

As outlined in H.B. 837, these updated statute of limitations rules do not retroactively affect negligence claims that arose before the law's effective date (March 24, 2023). In other words, these alterations solely impact causes of action that occur after this effective date, while actions predating it still retain the four-year limit.

What to do if you’re involved in a Pedestrian Accident

  • Call 911 and Contact Law Enforcement: Call the police to report the accident. An official police report can be valuable for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Your health and well-being should be the top priority. Seek medical attention immediately, even if your injuries seem minor. Seeking medical treatment shortly after your accident is necessary to access your PIP benefits, commonly known as "The 14-Day Rule" in Florida.
  • Exchange Information: Exchange contact information with the involved parties, including names, addresses, phone numbers, and insurance information.
  • Gather Witness Information: If there are any witnesses, try to get their contact information. Their statements may be crucial in determining fault.
  • Document the Scene to Preserve the Evidence: Take photos of the accident scene, including the vehicles, any visible injuries, traffic signals, and any relevant road conditions.
  • Do Not Admit Fault: Avoid making statements to the other party, the police or to any insurance representative that could be interpreted as an admission of fault. Stick to the facts when discussing the incident.
  • Notify Your Insurance Company: Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with the necessary information and follow their guidance.
  • Consult with an Attorney: In order to obtain the maximum compensation possible you should consider consulting with a personal injury attorney experienced in pedestrian accidents. They can provide guidance on your rights, potential claims, and the legal process. Our personal injury attorneys are very experienced and have helped many clients in the past obtain fair compensation. Call us today!
  • Preserve Evidence: Keep records of all medical treatment, expenses, and any other costs related to the accident. This documentation can be useful for insurance claims and legal proceedings.
  • Be Cautious with Statements: Be careful about what you say, especially when dealing with the other party's insurance company. Consult with your attorney before providing detailed statements.

Pedestrian Accident Attorneys at NeJame Law

NeJame Law is a dedicated advocate for pedestrian safety. As personal injury law attorneys, we see firsthand the trauma and devastation caused by pedestrian accidents. We offer compassionate and highly skilled legal help to those who have been injured or who have lost loved ones in pedestrian accidents.

We will work tirelessly with you to investigate the accident and determine who was responsible. We will also negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to get the compensation you deserve. If necessary, we will take your case to court to fight for your rights.

Remember, if you or your loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, it is extremely important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible and without delay.

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