Tampa Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Pedestrians face considerable risks when traversing the sidewalks and crosswalks of Tampa Bay. Negligent and reckless drivers threaten pedestrian safety by drinking and driving, texting behind the wheel, and otherwise failing to pay attention to the road. Some drivers simply ignore pedestrian right-of-way, turning into crosswalks when they shouldn’t.
If a vehicle recently struck you while you were walking in Tampa, talk to the Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers at Williams Law, P.A. to discuss your legal options with one of our experienced lawyers. Our team of attorneys offer a FREE initial consultation to discuss your case and how we can help. Don’t wait if you’ve been hit by a negligent driver while you were walking, our pedestrian accident attorneys in Tampa can help! Call us today.
Who Is Responsible for Paying Damages in a Pedestrian Accident?
Tampa’s congested urban streets can often be hazardous to pedestrians. Impatient drivers can make turns when they aren’t supposed to or roll through red lights. Walking around at night is particularly dangerous. Not only are pedestrians less visible to drivers, but there is a higher chance of drunk drivers on the road. Anywhere there are a high number of vehicles interacting with pedestrians, there is risk of a harmful or deadly collision. Unfortunately, injured pedestrians don’t always have the right to file claims against vehicle drivers.
It’s a common misconception that the driver is always liable for pedestrian accidents. While it’s true that pedestrians have the right-of-way in many scenarios, sometimes it is the pedestrian who causes the collision. Crossing the road without waiting for the “Walk” signal, crossing in front of a vehicle without giving it enough time to stop, and jaywalking (crossing where there is no crosswalk or intersection) could all place fault with the pedestrian for a collision. Pedestrians have responsibilities just like motor vehicle operators. However, they also have rights.
If you believe you were in the right when a vehicle struck you in Florida, contact a Tamp pedestrian accident lawyer. At the time of your incident, do your best to collect information such as the names and phone numbers of any eyewitnesses. These witnesses can attest to the fact that you had the right to cross at the time of the collision. Get the driver’s information as well. If you were in a hit-and-run pedestrian accident, your own insurance may cover your damages. Your insurance company will treat these cases like uninsured/underinsured motorist claims. Talk to our Tampa pedestrian accident attorneys for help with these types of claims.
Florida’s Pure Comparative Negligence Rules
Chapter 768.81 of the Florida Statutes explains the state’s pure comparative negligence laws. As a pure comparative negligence state, Florida allows a party to collect damages even if he or she was partially at fault for the accident. Comparative negligence is a common defense drivers use in pedestrian accident cases. The driver could allege the pedestrian did not have the right-of-way or was not paying attention to the road when he/she left the sidewalk. In these cases, the courts will assign a percentage of fault to both parties – the driver and the pedestrian. The pedestrian who filed the claim would then receive compensation reduced by his/her percentage.
For example, say a pedestrian walked across a marked crosswalk in Tampa on a “Don’t Walk” signal. A driver was texting and driving and didn’t notice the pedestrian crossing. If the driver struck the pedestrian, the courts could find both parties partially at fault; the pedestrian partially at fault for walking when he didn’t have the right-of-way and the driver for failing to pay attention to the road. If the total compensation amount was $100,000 for the pedestrian’s permanent injuries, but the courts found the pedestrian 30% at fault, the individual would take home $70,000 ($100,000 minus 30%, or $30,000).
Regardless of the circumstances of your pedestrian accident, speak to our Tampa personal injury attorneys. We offer free, confidential consultations so you can tell your story and receive professional legal counsel without cost. We can tell you whether we believe your case has merit and help you file a claim if applicable. Contact us today to set up your evaluation in Tampa Bay.