Tampa Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
Exercise, fun, and sightseeing—these are a few reasons why we have so many pedestrians in Tampa. Some people simply prefer walking to driving, especially during the mild winter months between December and February when Tampa enjoys mile temperatures and low humidity.
Unfortunately, Tampa is a hotbed of pedestrian accidents as well. It is rated one of the worst areas for pedestrians. Pedestrians often suffer serious injuries because they cannot protect themselves from an out-of-control vehicle the way car passengers do with airbags and seatbelts.
If this happens to you, call Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers Frank and Jennifer Fernandez at the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys right away. We can help you seek compensation for your injuries if a negligent party hurt you and left you with bills that you shouldn’t have to pay.
Types of Damages Can You Recover From a Tampa Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit
If you have been harmed in a Tampa pedestrian accident because of another person’s wrongful actions, you may be entitled to certain types of compensation for your harm and losses. In Tampa, this compensation can include:
Economic Damages: These damages refer to the actual and measurable losses that result from an accident, including:
- Medical bills including past, present, and future medical expenses such as doctor visits, medications, hospital visits, surgery, and even medical assistive devices.
- Lost wages from not being able to work because of the injury.
- Lost earning capacity.
- Rehabilitative costs.
- Personal property repairs and replacements.
- Household replacement services.
- Any other out-of-pocket expenses.
Non-economic Damages: These damages are rather subjective losses that result from the accident. These losses are not easy to quantify and tend to include the following:
- Pain and suffering.
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of consortium.
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
- Loss of reputation.
- Loss of a limb.
In addition, a victim may also collect punitive damages. However, unlike the other damages, which compensate the victim for their losses following an accident, punitive damages punish the defendant for their wrongful actions and deter others from committing this act. However, courts only award these damages in cases where the victim’s lawyer provides clear and convincing evidence that the defendant was personally guilty of gross negligence or intentional misconduct.
Why You Need an Experienced Tampa Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Although it may seem like a pedestrian claim should be easy to resolve, this is not always the case. Not only will the insurance company often try to stop a pedestrian victim from recovering the compensation they need, but these cases also require the victim to provide relevant evidence and strong legal arguments proving what happened and who was at fault. Consequently, it is not easy for pedestrian victims to collect the money they require after an accident.
Fortunately, when you retain an experienced Tampa pedestrian accident lawyer at Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys Accident Injury Attorneys following this horrifying incident, you will not have to fight for these damages on your own.
Instead, our lawyers can determine whether you have a potential legal claim, figure out which legal options you can pursue, and investigate your accident thoroughly, making sure to secure the evidence required to prove fault and damages. In addition, if negotiations go south with the insurance company, we always prepare to take your case to trial, where we can fight for the maximum damages you deserve.
For these reasons, if a Tampa pedestrian accident injured you or a family member, do not wait any longer. Reach out to a skilled and knowledgeable Tampa pedestrian accident lawyer at Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys Accident Injury Attorneys as soon as possible for your free case consultation, and let us show you how we can pursue the financial recovery you deserve.
Tampa Pedestrian Accident Statistics
Overall, Tampa has much to offer pedestrians, including Tampa’s Riverwalk, a pedestrian path that offers numerous options for recreation areas, food, and museums. There is also Ybor City, best known as the entertainment capital of the region. Residents and tourists alike who are foodies also enjoy taking advantage of the Tampa Bay food tours that begin each September. These tours are set up so you can take advantage of brunch tours, dine and wine tours, or the Dunedin food tour.
Any way you look at it, people in Tampa love the opportunity to get out and enjoy the fair weather.
It may seem impossible to comprehend, but one recent year’s accident statistics for Hillsborough County showed more than 8,000 pedestrian accidents resulting in over 140,000 injuries, and more than 700 fatalities. These numbers are sobering at best.
When someone is walking and struck by a vehicle, take these immediate steps:
- Get to a safe location – the last thing you want is to suffer further injury. If you can move, make sure you get as far away from the street as possible.
- Contact law enforcement – use your cell phone or have someone nearby contact law enforcement immediately. Make sure they advise of any injuries at the scene.
- Obtain contact information – if the driver who struck you remains at the scene, get their contact information including their license number, and insurance information. If you can’t do this, ask someone at the scene to do it on your behalf. Obtain witness information.
- Take photos at the scene – any pictures can help. Photograph the area where the incident occurred, damage to the automobile, traffic signals, and anything else which may seem relevant.
- Seek medical care – never leave the scene of the accident and head home without seeking medical attention. This is important. Even if you think your injuries are minor, they could be more serious than you think.
Once you have sought medical attention, you should ask for advice from a pedestrian accident lawyer in Tampa. They can help you understand your rights and tell you about your legal options following a pedestrian accident.
Driver Negligence and Pedestrian Accidents
Drivers owe a duty of care to pedestrians, as they do to other drivers with whom they share the roadway. Some of the negligent behavior that injures a pedestrian includes:
- Distracted driving – risky behavior that diverts a driver’s attention including texting, eating, or adjusting the GPS can result in serious injuries. Distracted driving is dangerous for everyone, but distracted drivers put pedestrians at especially high risk for injuries.
- Failure to yield – pedestrians have certain rights in crosswalks and at intersections when the driver must yield the right of way. When drivers violate these rules, pedestrians can suffer serious injuries.
- Ignoring the rear of the vehicle – a driver who is backing up and fails to verify there is no pedestrian behind them can cause serious injuries to a pedestrian who is unaware a car is about to back up.
When a vehicle operator ignores traffic signals, fails to slow down in school zones, or fails to follow the rules about when to yield to a pedestrian, the resulting accident can cause devastating injuries, and in some cases, may result in the death of a pedestrian. When you are a victim of a negligent driver, or you lose a family member in a pedestrian accident, you should find out what your legal rights are and how to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence. You can do this by contacting a Tampa pedestrian accident lawyer. Contact the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys today to learn more.
Injuries Suffered by Pedestrians in an Accident
Because pedestrians have nothing protecting them from injury, they often suffer chest, abdominal, head, and injuries to the extremities when a moving vehicle strikes them. Naturally, age and physical condition, among other factors, will determine the severity of their injuries. However, other factors, including the speed of the vehicle that struck them and the speed at which the vehicle was traveling will also determine how serious a Tampa pedestrian accident injury is.
Some of the most common injuries include:
- Broken bones – A speeding vehicle can break a pedestrian, the victim can suffer broken legs, arms, pelvis, or ribs. These painful injuries can require weeks of recovery.
- Head and brain injuries – Unfortunately, pedestrians nearly always suffer some form of head trauma. Whether a victim ultimately has a concussion, or a more serious traumatic brain injury (TBI) ultimately depends on how hard their head hits the pavement.
- Spinal cord injury – These injuries can result in permanent damage leaving victims paralyzed or suffering a loss of motor skills depending on the area of the trauma. Car accidents remain a major cause of spinal cord injuries for victims under the age of 65.
- Loss of life – Sadly, death occurs in too many pedestrian accidents in Tampa. When you lose a loved one in a preventable Tampa pedestrian accident, you should speak with an attorney who handles Florida wrongful death claims to make sure you know your legal options. Contact Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys today.
Walking is good for your health and allows you to see the sights without worrying about driving while distracted. Unfortunately, Tampa pedestrians still face the risk of distracted, drunk, or reckless drivers. The result of this type of negligent behavior can be serious trauma or death.
What Compensation Can Pedestrian Accident Victims Collect?
Victims of a Tampa pedestrian accident suffer economic losses because they need time to recover from their injuries. When filing a claim against the responsible party, it is always a good idea to understand what types of economic and non-economic losses you may include.
Some of the most common sources of economic losses a Tampa pedestrian accident victim can claim include:
- Wage losses – you may include wage losses while recovering from an injury in a claim. However, what is important to remember is this does not always mean only hourly wages. Other losses may include bonuses that a worker may have earned had they worked, loss of deposits to profit-sharing plans, and other funds the employee could have earned had the victim remained working. In some instances, victims may have had to use sick, personal, or vacation days to recover. Since these benefits are no longer available to the employee, these may be able to be included in their claim as well. Keep in mind, victims who cannot return to work can also claim estimated lost income opportunities.
- Medical expenses – after lost wages, medical expenses are one of the most sought-after sources of financial recovery. Initial ambulance fees to transport a Tampa pedestrian accident victim from the scene are only the beginning. Victims may spend time in the hospital initially but may also require follow-up services. You may include transportation to and from medical appointments, hospital bills, rehabilitation therapy services, mental health services, prescription medications, and surgery to repair the damage in your claim.
- Modification and equipment – some victims may require home modifications to remain in their houses during recovery or after full recovery. In addition, some victims may require adaptive equipment such as a hospital bed, wheelchairs, etc. When these modifications are necessary for the health and safety of a Tampa pedestrian accident, they should be included as part of the overall claim when you file it.
- Funeral and burial expenses – when you have lost a loved one, the last thing you want to be concerned about is the unexpected expenses associated with a funeral or burial. You can include these expenses in the claim you file with the responsible party’s insurance company or a wrongful death lawsuit.
There are also some non-economic losses you might include in your accident claim.
Some of these include:
- Pain and suffering – the physical pain a Tampa pedestrian accident victim suffers following an accident can be devastating. Depending on numerous factors, there may be an option to demand compensation for the physical pain suffered.
- Mental anguish – depression, grief, post-traumatic stress, and anxiety are common after any accident. Talk to your car accident lawyer about your options under Florida statutes to include a monetary award as part of an insurance claim.
- Loss of companionship – you may include this as part of a wrongful death lawsuit but it may also apply if a victim has suffered irreparable damage that limits their functions. Reach out to a pedestrian accident attorney, like ours at the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, to discuss this compensation.
Florida statutes also provide an opportunity for personal injury victims to claim punitive damages. However, per these statutes, there are burdens of proof placed upon the victim. When a victim of a Tampa pedestrian accident believes the person responsible for their injury acted grossly negligent or knew their actions could injure another party, their attorney may seek punitive damages.
Insurance Adjusters and Tampa Pedestrian Accident Victims
Florida is a no-fault insurance state. This can complicate insurance claims for pedestrian accident victims.
In a Tampa pedestrian accident, if you have auto insurance, you file your initial claim with your own insurance company. Up through the limits of the mandatory personal injury protection (PIP), victims can collect lost wages and reasonable medical expenses. However, if you exhaust your own coverage, are still under medical care, and still losing wages, you may file a claim against the responsible party’s insurance company.
This is a very good reason to hire a Tampa auto accident attorney as soon as possible. These accidents can be extremely complicated and the insurance rules in Florida often mean you will be dealing with more than one insurance adjuster. It is more likely that these adjusters will not be working in your best interests, as they work for an insurer who is determined to pay as little as possible in claims.
Insurance adjusters can be aggressive with accident victims. They hope by making a quick offer before you have time to fully comprehend the extent of financial damage your injuries will have on your life and that of your family, they can get you to accept a quick settlement. Victims should know ahead of time: accepting a quick settlement is not often a good idea.
Once a Tampa pedestrian accident victim accepts a settlement from an insurance company, they may not have any further legal options to collect lost wages and medical costs. This is because the insurer will have you sign a waiver that relieves them of any future costs associated with your injury and the accident that caused them. Unfortunately, a victim will never recover from some injuries, and that means an ongoing loss of wages and medical costs.
FAQ: Tampa Pedestrian Accident FAQ
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are almost 6,000 pedestrians killed in the United States every year, which equates to about one death every 88 minutes. Yet, those that survive this horrific accident are not left unscathed either. In fact, many of these victims often have to endure debilitating injuries, astronomical medical expenses, and a lot of hardships and stress for the rest of their lives.
Yet, if you went through this devastating accident because of another person’s wrongful actions, you should not be left to pick up the pieces alone. That is why in this post, we have prepared the following FAQs in hopes of providing you the answers you need regarding the legal options you have following a Tampa pedestrian accident.
1. What Are Some of the Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Tampa?
Even though pedestrian accidents can happen for several reasons, in Tampa, some causes contribute to this horrifying and often deadly accident more often than others, such as:
- Intoxicated drivers
- Distracted motorists
- Reckless drivers
- Speeding vehicles
- Impatient drivers, such as those who try to drive around pedestrians walking in crosswalks
- Bad weather
- Road construction areas, which often force pedestrians to walk in places where motorists do not expect to see them
- Motorists making a left turn since many times they are concentrating on the traffic instead of watching out for pedestrians
- Multi-lane roads
2. Why Do So Many Pedestrian Accidents Happen in the Tampa Area?
Although Tampa is known for its tourist attractions and amazing weather, it is also known as the eight-deadliest metro area in America for pedestrians. In fact, according to a study called Evaluating Bicycle and Pedestrian Quality of Service, 77 percent of the roads in Hillsborough County have dangerous conditions that make them hazardous to pedestrians.
For instance, the majority of streets in this county ranked the worst for pedestrians because they do not have sidewalks on both sides, making it challenging for pedestrians to get around. In addition, since the area has an obsession with keeping traffic moving at all times, it has resulted in missing crosswalks, lanes that are too wide, intersections that are difficult to cross on foot, and why adding sidewalks is considered a too costly endeavor, but money can always be found to widen the roads in the city.
As a result, pedestrians must pay attention to their surroundings in Tampa, especially in areas that have been known for their deadly accidents, such as:
- Waters Avenue and Himes Avenue N.
- Anderson Road and Waters Avenue W.
- Bruce B. Downs Bl. and Fletcher Ave. E.
- Sheldon Road and Waters Avenue W.
3. What Should You Do Following a Tampa Pedestrian Accident?
After a pedestrian accident, you need to take action. Although the scene may be chaotic and stressful, it is important to realize that the things you do after this incident can not only protect your health and safety but your legal rights as well.
That is why if you are in a pedestrian accident:
- Contact 911 – Following your collision, you need to contact 911 as soon as possible. This is the quickest way to alert the authorities that you need medical help and get your accident on record. Once the police arrive, they can investigate the collision and jot down their observations in their police report. If you decide to pursue legal action after your pedestrian accident, this police report can provide you with valuable evidence regarding what happened and who was at fault.
- Collect Evidence From the Scene – If you can, you should try to collect as much evidence from the accident scene as possible. This should include photos and videos of the vehicles involved in your collision, skid marks on the road, weather conditions at the time of the accident, traffic signs near the crash location, and any other evidence that can help show what happened.
- Obtain Information From Those Involved – Try to get details from those involved in the accident. This should include names, contact information, insurance information, and driver’s license numbers.
- Check for Witnesses – If there were people present at the scene, make sure you get their information. These witness statements can often provide you with further information regarding the incident and help back up your claim.
- Watch What You Say – As you talk to the others at the crash scene, you need to watch what you say. Do not make any definitive statements about the crash, take the blame for anything that happened, or apologize for anything. These types of accounts can be used against you and impact the amount of money you can receive.
4. If The Tampa Pedestrian Collision Resulted in Minor Injuries, Do You Still Need to See a Doctor?
Even if your injuries appear minor, you should still see your doctor as soon as possible following your accident. Many times, serious injuries such as head and brain trauma can take days to weeks to show up. Yet, the longer you delay getting medical treatment, the more deadly the injury can become. That is why it is best to get the medical help you need promptly after your accident.
In addition, getting this swift medical attention can be valuable to your claim. Many times insurance companies will try to use any information they have against you to deny your claim. By not getting prompt medical attention, these insurers will argue that your injuries are not that serious or a result of a subsequent event. Fortunately, when you see your doctor immediately after your pedestrian accident, they can document your injuries in their medical report and provide you with evidence of a direct connection between the accident and the harm you sustained.
5. Should You Speak to the Insurance Company Following Your Tampa Pedestrian Accident If They Keep Calling?
After an accident, most people assume that an insurance company will want to work with them to get the money they need. However, this is not necessarily the case.
Insurance companies are like other businesses, and they want to make a profit. By offering you less money than you deserve or denying your claim altogether, the more money they make. That is why insurance adjusters will often do whatever it takes to get you to admit fault for the accident, so they can justify not getting you the money you need.
For these reasons, it may be in your best interest to let an experienced Tampa pedestrian accident attorney take over these conversations for you. This can help ensure that you do not say anything that can impact the value of your claim while they fight for the maximum damages you deserve.
6. If You Have Been Harmed in a Tampa Pedestrian Accident, How Much Money Can You Expect to Receive For Your Injuries and Losses?
One of the most common questions clients have after a pedestrian accident is how much money is their case worth.
Unfortunately, no attorney can provide you with an exact answer to this question since too many factors can affect the value of your damages, such as:
- Your injury and its severity.
- The extent of your medical treatments and whether you will need future medical care.
- Whether the harm you sustained is permanent.
- The medical bills you endured.
- Whether there is insurance available.
- The reliability of the witnesses and evidence presented.
- The defendant’s culpability.
- The extent of your pain and suffering and the impact of your injury on your everyday activities.
Even though no lawyer can promise you a certain amount of compensation for your injuries and losses, when you work with a skilled Tampa pedestrian accident, these attorneys can make sure they prepare the strongest case on your behalf and pursue the maximum compensation you need.
7. How Much Time Do You Have to Bring an Injury Claim in Tampa Following a Pedestrian Accident?
Every state has rules relating to the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit following an alleged offense. If you do not bring your claim within this deadline, the statute of limitations, you cannot collect compensation for your injuries and losses.
In Florida, to bring an injury claim following a pedestrian accident, the statute of limitations indicates that you only have four years from the accident date to file your case. However, this rule also has various exceptions that can shorten or extend the amount of time you have to file your suit. For these reasons, you should speak with an experienced Tampa pedestrian accident attorney as quickly as possible. These personal injury lawyers can promptly go over your claim, figure out the maximum amount of time you have to file your suit, and make sure that all your legal documents and motions are prepared correctly and filed before your time expires.
Call the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys’s Tampa Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Today
If you suffered an injury in a Tampa pedestrian accident or your family lost a loved one because of a reckless driver, seek immediate legal advice. Learn your legal rights and options so your family does not suffer the financial consequences of these injuries.
Discuss your case with an attorney who has experience handling these accidents and find out what steps you can take immediately. Contact a Tampa pedestrian accident lawyer at the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys today at (813) 278-1032. There is no obligation, and the consultation is free.
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The Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys
2503 W Swann Ave #100
Tampa, FL 33609