A Boca Raton Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Fighting for Victims
As pedestrians, there is little protecting us from any number of hazards. One such hazard is posed by a careless driver. Injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident can be severe and even life-threatening, requiring extensive rehabilitation and sometimes permanent alterations to the victim’s lifestyle. Boca Raton pedestrian accident lawyer Michael K. Grife is dedicated to making sure that people responsible for such injuries are held accountable. Mr. Grife aggressively protects the rights of his clients, pursuing the compensation that they deserve.
Establishing Liability for Florida Pedestrian Accidents
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that in 2012, over 7,000 pedestrians were injured in car accidents, and approximately 500 pedestrians are killed in these collisions annually. Some of the most devastating pedestrian accidents happen at night, since visibility is less keen, and there are more impaired or fatigued drivers on the road. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to damages through a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death claim.
Various factors can contribute to a car crash involving a pedestrian, from a speeding vehicle to a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Many of these factors can indicate a driver’s negligence in causing a collision. To establish that a defendant was negligent, an injured pedestrian, or plaintiff, must show the following elements:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to act as a reasonable and prudent person would have acted under similar circumstances;
- That duty was breached by the defendant;
- The breach was a proximate cause of the pedestrian’s injuries; and
- Damages resulted that are reasonably quantifiable.
All drivers owe other users of the road, including pedestrians, a duty of reasonable care. When a driver strikes a pedestrian because he or she runs a light, fails to yield the right of way, or is distracted by a phone, he or she likely would be found negligent. Other parties may also be held responsible for a driver’s negligence. For instance, a truck driver’s employer may be vicariously liable for damages if the trucker was acting within his or her scope of employment at the time of the accident.
Once negligence is proven, a victim can potentially recover damages for past and future medical costs lost income and earning capacity, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, and any other costs or losses that may have occurred. In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is four years from the date of an accident, whereas wrongful death lawsuits must be filed within two years from the date of the victim’s death. Given the time-sensitive nature of these cases, consulting a knowledgeable attorney as soon as possible is important to make sure proper action is taken.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Most pedestrian accidents are caused by negligence on the part of the driver. Some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents include the following:
- Reckless driving
- Running stop signs or stop lights
- Driving while distracted
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Driving while drowsy
Driving while using a smartphone is especially dangerous for pedestrians in that it causes the driver to take their eyes off the road and take at least one hand off the wheel. Whatever the cause of your accident may be, you may be entitled to compensation if you can prove that it was caused by the driver’s negligence. A Boca Raton pedestrian accident lawyer can help you prove your claim so that you can get the compensation you need.
Our Boca Raton Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Outline Florida’s Laws
In order to understand your rights in the event of an accident, it is perhaps helpful to review the laws governing pedestrians on public roadways. Florida law states the following:
- Drivers must stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk
- Pedestrians may walk in the road if there are no sidewalks
- Pedestrians are obligated to obey traffic signals when present
- Pedestrians are obligated to use sidewalks when they are available
- Pedestrians must yield to vehicular traffic in the crosswalks
- Pedestrians must use crosswalks with traffic signals when they are present
- Drivers have a legal obligation to use due care and avoid accidents with a pedestrian
Accidents involving a pedestrian who is struck while legally crossing in a crosswalk are perhaps the most straightforward, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a claim if you were injured in some other scenario. Florida is a comparative negligence state, which means that you may be entitled to compensation even if you were partly at fault in causing the accident. As a result, you should contact a Boca Raton pedestrian accident attorney even if you were not crossing at a crosswalk.
“Don’t Walk” Accidents
We have all crossed the street when the “don’t walk” signal is illuminated. Even though it may appear safe, pedestrians are at risk of being struck by drivers who are distracted or otherwise not paying attention. Even though you may have been crossing against the light, drivers are still obligated to use due care and avoid an accident. As a result, you may still be entitled to compensation even if you were in the crosswalk when the “don’t walk” sign was lit.
“Jaywalking” isn’t necessarily against the law in every case – pedestrians are allowed to cross the street when there are no crosswalks available. And similar to “don’t walk” accidents, jaywalking does not relieve a driver of their responsibility to avoid an accident with a pedestrian. If you were struck by a car or truck while crossing the road, you should discuss your options with a Boca Raton pedestrian accident lawyer.
Accidents Resulting from Falling into the Roadway
In some cases, the pedestrian was struck when they slipped or tripped and fell into the roadway. This can raise a number of questions – whether the driver could have avoided the accident or whether the property owner is at fault for not maintaining the sidewalk.
Stepping Out into Traffic
Some accidents occur when the pedestrian steps out into traffic, often because they need to step out in order to see whether there is any oncoming traffic. Again, this raises questions as to whether the driver could have avoided the accident or whether the property owner is at fault for not providing a clear view of the road.
Accidents Involving Children
Children lack the experience and judgment to avoid hazards that are obvious to adults. Drivers who fail to exercise additional caution in residential areas or school zones may be held liable for any accidents that occur.
The bottom line in all of these scenarios is that you may be entitled to compensation even if you may not have clearly had the right of way. Before making any decisions about your case, we recommend that you speak with a Boca Raton pedestrian accident lawyer.
A Boca Raton Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help You Get the Compensation You Deserve
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you are entitled to be made whole. This means that you may be entitled to compensation that includes the following:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Any lost wages or other income
- Your pain and suffering
Most non-lawyers settle their claims for far less than they are worth, only to later discover that they have losses they will be unable to recover. A Boca Raton pedestrian accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you need to rebuild your life.
Our Attorneys Answering Your Most Common Pedestrian Accident Questions
What can I do if the driver fled the scene?
While these cases pose obvious challenges, all hope is not lost. An experienced Boca Raton pedestrian accident lawyer can help you locate the driver or evaluate other options in order to pursue your claim. They can handle the leg work so that you can focus on your recovery.
The driver’s insurance company said that the accident was my fault. Do I still have a claim?
Insurance companies are quick to deny claims in order to avoid paying. However, the fact that they have denied liability does not mean that you do not have a claim. As discussed above, drivers have a legal obligation to avoid accidents with a pedestrian. An attorney can advocate for you and make sure that you get whatever compensation you are entitled to.
What if the driver wasn’t at fault?
You may have a claim against some other party even if the driver couldn’t avoid the accident. You may have a claim against the government or other property owner for failing to maintain a clear view of the road, or perhaps the traffic signals were malfunctioning. At a minimum, you should discuss your case with an experienced Boca Raton pedestrian accident lawyer. They can investigate your case and identify whatever other options you may have.
Discuss Your Claim With a Top Boca Raton Pedestrian Accident Lawyer at The Grife Law Firm
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, the team at The Grife Law Firm can help you determine your course of action. Mr. Grife assists injured individuals in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, and other cities throughout South Florida. Contact us online or call us at (855) 998-0770 to schedule a free initial consultation to explore your legal options.
Turn To A Boca Raton Pedestrian Accidents Attorney At The Grife Law Firm
No Fees Unless You WinIf you have been injured because of someone else’s careless actions on the water, you should contact a Boca Raton boat accident attorney at The Grife Law Firm to find out more about your legal options. We assist injured individuals throughout Broward and Miami-Dade Counties, including in West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami. Call us at 855-998-0770 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. We also are available to assist people who need a cruise ship accident attorney when they are injured on vacation.
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