If you suffered serious injuries or your close relative died due to a pedestrian accident, you could potentially recover compensation for emergency room costs and other healthcare expenses, income loss, pain and anguish, and other damages.
Depending on your individual case, a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer who handles pedestrian accidents can help you negotiate a fair settlement with the at-fault insurance and take your case to trial to help you recover what you need and deserve.
Compensation victims and their families could recover
If you have experienced an accident with a motor vehicle or a loved one succumbed to their injuries in a pedestrian accident, you could have several options, including suing the at-fault driver for payment.
You may have insurance coverage
In some cases, injured parties and their families can approach their insurance company for help. Personal injury protection (PIP) can provide benefits for medical costs and other losses up to a certain amount. If an injured pedestrian has PIP insurance, they could potentially get coverage.
Likewise, if the driver took off after the accident, pedestrians may be able to recover compensation from their uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.
However, some pedestrians may not own a car and, therefore, may not have PIP insurance or uninsured motorist cover. The best way to find out about what you are entitled to can be to consult with a personal injury attorney in Fort Lauderdale who can help you file and track insurance claims and advise you on your legal rights.
You could sue
In some cases, filing a personal injury can be a good idea. If victims suffered serious or life-changing injuries and cannot receive an adequate settlement from their insurance company or the insurance company of the at-fault party, a lawsuit can help them recover their due.
Similarly, if an individual died due to an accident, a wrongful death action can help the surviving family recover damages and avoid financial hardship.
Types of compensation available
Depending on a victim’s injuries, they could recover the following damages, as well as others, in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Past, present, and future healthcare costs
- Income loss and any future loss of income
- Costs of medical devices and accessories
- Transportation expenses
- Out-of-pocket expenses related to the accident
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
A wrongful death action can allow the surviving family of a deceased victim to recover damages for the financial as well as the emotional impact of losing their loved one. This can include but is not limited to:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of income from the deceased
- Loss of services and benefits
- Medical costs incurred before death
- Emotional distress
To recover adequate damages, injured pedestrians and surviving families will have to prove the negligent driver was at fault with relevant evidence.
Our pedestrian and personal injury lawyer in Fort Myers can help with gathering proof for your claim and calculate your damages comprehensively.
Your Fort Myers car accident lawyer from our team can, in the first instance, help you get clear on your legal option and best next steps when it comes to recovering compensation for your ordeal and financial losses.
Timely action can be crucial for a pedestrian accident case
After a tragic accident, severely injured individuals and families who have lost a loved one undoubtedly need time to recover and grieve. However, waiting too long to seek legal advice can be a mistake.
Victims generally have four years to file a personal injury lawsuit and only two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida, per Florida Statutes § 95.11 (3)(a).
While there can be some rare exceptions, not filing within the applicable deadline could potentially leave you without legal recourse. However, if too much time has passed, you should speak to a pedestrian hit by a car lawyer in Fort Myers as soon as possible. There may still be ways for you to recover compensation.
Pedestrian accidents are on the rise
In the past few years, pedestrian deaths have increased dramatically all over the United States. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), pedestrian fatalities increased by a staggering 53 percent between 2009 to 2018.
Florida is one of the states where pedestrians have a higher-than-average chance of losing their lives in a pedestrian accident. GHSA figures show that only five states, including Florida, account for almost half of all pedestrian deaths.
Negligent drivers cause pedestrian accidents
While pedestrians can take some steps to increase safety, such as wearing bright clothing and crossing at crosswalks, accidents frequently happen due to the negligence of motor vehicle drivers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol are two of the main causes of accidents involving pedestrian fatalities. However, drivers can cause accidents due to various negligent behaviours and acts, including but not limited to:
- Texting while driving and other distractions
- Running red lights or making turns on red where prohibited
- Failing to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks
- Making illegal turns and U-turns
- Failing to use a signal when turning
- Driving fatigued
- Driving generally recklessly
Unfortunately, getting your due if you have been hit or your loved one died due to another’s negligence in Florida can be challenging. While drivers are generally covered by their car insurance, up to a degree, pedestrians may not be. Therefore, legal action could be the only way for an injured pedestrian or the family of a deceased victim to have a chance of getting their due.