In any scenario that involves a collision between a moving vehicle and a person on foot, that walker is afforded no protection from the impact. This can result in injuries that will significantly affect the health and quality of life of an injured individual.
When these accidents are the result of another party’s negligence, an injured pedestrian has the right to demand compensation. A St. Petersburg pedestrian accident lawyer could help injured individuals in their goal of collecting these payments. A skilled personal injury lawyer can advocate for your rights throughout the process to help you recover the compensation you need.
Using the Concept of Negligence to Pursue a Claim
The vast majority of collisions between motor vehicles and pedestrians are accidents. While there are examples of collisions where the driver intended to hit the victim, most drivers do not mean to cause any harm. Unfortunately, this does not lessen the impact of the collision or mitigate the pedestrian’s injuries.
Because of this, Florida law allows people who have been injured due to accidental actions to demand compensation if the defendant’s actions were so careless as to be considered negligent. Negligence is a legal cause of action with a precise definition. A plaintiff must be able to provide evidence to meet this definition to win their case. A negligence claim consists of three main elements.
The plaintiff must demonstrate to the court that the defendant owed them a duty of care. In pedestrian accident cases this is always true since all drivers owe a duty of care to everyone they may encounter while driving.
The plaintiff needs to introduce evidence that the defendant’s actions, or lack of action, broke the duty of care. This can include ignoring a stop sign, speeding, or not letting a pedestrian use a crosswalk.
The plaintiff must suffer a physical harm in the incident. While other damages such as lost wages or mental anguish may certainly apply, the case must be centered on a physical injury.
Potential Trouble Points in St. Petersburg Pedestrian Accident Cases
Pedestrian accident cases may appear to be simple. Plaintiffs may assume that because they were on foot that they cannot possibly be at-fault for an accident. They may also assume that using a crosswalk means the defendant is automatically negligent if a collision occurs. These assumptions can lead to unrepresented plaintiffs being taken advantage of by defendants’ insurance companies.
In truth, pedestrian accident cases are just as complex as any other case involving a personal injury. A plaintiff still needs to demonstrate that their own actions were reasonable and that they would not have been hurt but for the actions of the defendant. The defendant’s insurance company will examine every aspect of the case including:
- The weather
- The traffic level
- The time of day
- If the plaintiff walked out between parked cars
- The presence of any traffic control signs or signals
Finally, a plaintiff’s case may fail if they do not file in time. Florida law harshly controls when their courts will hear a case. Florida Statute §95.11 creates a statute of limitations of four years. This means that if a plaintiff tries to file a claim more than four years after the date of injury, the court could refuse to hear the case. A St. Petersburg pedestrian accident lawyer could help deal with aggressive insurance companies and ensure that their case is pursued in a timely manner.
A St. Petersburg Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can be an Ally
A pedestrian who is struck by a vehicle may face life-changing injuries. Even if they are fortunate enough to eventually make a full recovery, they will likely endure psychological trauma, the need to receive emergency medical care, and require months of rehabilitation. Whether an accident results in a few cuts and scrapes or requires extensive surgery, pedestrians have the right to hold negligent drivers responsible for their actions.
A St. Petersburg pedestrian accident lawyer could lead the way in pursuing a personal injury claim. They work to gather evidence, recreate the accident, and demand compensation in a clear and forceful manner. Contact an attorney today to see how they could help you.