There is perhaps nothing scarier than being hit by a car as a pedestrian. We learn from a young age to always look both ways before crossing the street and to be careful when walking near roads. We’re also taught as drivers that we must always yield to pedestrians and use caution when driving in areas with high volumes of foot traffic.
Being involved in a pedestrian accident can be incredibly stressful for each party involved. Having a pedestrian accident attorney to guide you through this difficult time can be very helpful. The attorneys at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys law firm are here for you.
What should I do if I have been hit by a car?
If you’ve been hit by a car as a pedestrian, it’s important to remember to follow these steps to ensure you receive the proper care, both medically and legally, to recover from the accident.
First and foremost, you absolutely must call for emergency services after being hit by a car. By calling 911, you can ensure that emergency personnel will arrive as soon as possible and the 911 dispatcher can remain on the line with you until help arrives.
Seek medical attention
Not only do you have to seek medical attention for your own safety and well-being, but having medical records from immediately seeking medical attention following the accident will serve as strong evidence for your lawsuit. While your health and well-being are always the primary concern, it’s also important to start thinking about evidentiary matters as soon as possible after the injury occurs.
Gathering strong evidence is one of the most crucial aspects of developing a successful lawsuit. Evidence is the defining factor of many lawsuits, and the experienced pedestrian accident lawyers at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, are well-versed in this process. There are many different types of evidence that can be utilized in a lawsuit, so it’s important to discuss with your attorney what your options may be for your particular case.
Evidence is used to determine who is responsible for your injuries, so you want to provide evidence that demonstrates that an injury occurred and that the other party caused it. The most common evidence to rely on in these circumstances includes the following:
- Eyewitness accounts: An eyewitness is someone who has observed either the accident or the aftermath. Eyewitness accounts are often delivered by bystanders who happened to be at the scene of the incident and don’t personally know the parties involved. Eyewitnesses typically describe what they observed, such as the defendant running a red light or texting while driving. In addition to providing insight into what they witnessed, eyewitnesses may also testify should the case make it to trial.
- Expert witnesses: Expert witnesses are those who have a particular expertise or skill set that makes their observations on the matter very insightful in a legal setting. Expert witnesses are often heavily relied on in personal injury cases to demonstrate that the defendant did in fact cause the plaintiff’s injuries.
- Other types of evidence: There are many other types of evidence that may be relied upon in your pedestrian accident claims that don’t just involve witness testimony. For example, photos or videos of the accident and copies of your medical records are typically relied upon heavily in personal injury lawsuits.
Contact Tampa’s best personal injury lawyers
The pedestrian accident lawyers in Tampa at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, are an aggressive and seasoned team of litigators who zealously represent accident victims. Victims of pedestrian accidents often have multiple options regarding how they can seek compensation, and the Jack Bernstein attorneys are here to help.
This team of professionals helps you at every stage of your case to ensure that you take the right steps throughout the legal process. These attorneys develop a strong legal strategy that is geared toward guaranteeing your success. At Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, you are guaranteed a legal team of over 40 members who are focused on making sure you win your lawsuit.
Common injuries caused by pedestrian accidents
Similar to regular car accidents, different injuries can result from the incident. Some of the most common injuries caused by pedestrian accidents include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Organ damage
- Broken bones
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken or bruised ribs
- Dislocated joints
- Loss of limbs
Pedestrian accidents are often traumatic for those who are involved, especially with so many possibilities for different types of injuries to arise from these incidents. Regardless of the extent to which you have been injured, an experienced personal injury attorney can guarantee that you are properly compensated for the pain you have experienced.
Who pays a pedestrian’s medical bills if they are hit by a car?
A common question in pedestrian accident cases is “Who pays my medical bills after I have been hit by a car?” The answer to this question varies based on which state you are located in. Typically, the party who is liable for the incident is the one who must pay for all accident-related damages, such as medical bills. The responsible parties typically consist of:
- The driver involved in the incident
- The pedestrian’s own personal insurance
- The owners of the cars involved in the incident, if they weren’t the drivers
- Anyone who may have been part of the cause of the accident
Many people have their own insurance company pay for their medical bills, as they can be reimbursed later on in the settlement. It’s important to discuss these options with your attorney to ensure that you are properly compensated for your medical bills, as they can be quite costly.
Who is at fault when a car hits a pedestrian?
Determining who is at fault in a pedestrian accident depends entirely on the circumstances at hand. Since Florida is a comparative negligence state, both the driver and the pedestrian are considered when determining fault after an accident. In the event that the case makes it to trial, the jury will determine the percentage of each party’s fault for the incident.
Florida is unique in that it has a right-of-way law that usually helps pedestrian accident victims claim compensation following the pedestrian accident. This law means that, even if a pedestrian was wrong by jaywalking when they were hit by the car, it’s still possible for the pedestrian to prove that the driver is either partially or entirely liable for the accident.
An experienced pedestrian accident attorney, such as the ones at Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys, will be able to help assess your situation and determine who may be at fault in your particular pedestrian accident. There are many factors that come into play in these situations, so having a strong attorney by your side through this process is necessary for your success, regardless of whether you’re the pedestrian or the driver.
How do I prove a driver’s liability?
In order to prove the driver’s liability, it’s necessary to establish that the driver was negligent in the situation. You must establish the four elements of negligence:
- The presence of a legal duty: Everyone has a duty to act responsibly and not endanger others. This includes drivers. When you get behind the wheel, you have a legal duty to drive carefully, and pedestrians have a reasonable expectation to feel safe when crossing the street, given they have the right of way.
- There was a breach of duty: A breach of duty occurs when the negligent party fails to act responsibly, and their reckless behavior endangers others.
- This breach caused the accident: If the driver breached their duty by driving recklessly and, as a result, hit a pedestrian, then it is likely that you can satisfy this element of negligence.
- The accident resulted in damages to the victim: If the victim suffers any type of damages, including monetary or physical damages, then it is likely that this element of negligence may also be satisfied.
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to guide you through these elements, to establish negligence and obtain a successful outcome in your pedestrian accident case.
How is a pedestrian hit by a car compensated for their injuries?
There are many elements to take into consideration when determining how a pedestrian may be compensated for their injuries in a pedestrian accident. It’s necessary to determine who was at fault and to what extent each party was responsible for the incident. A pedestrian can be paid by their insurance company or the liable parties.
Some key aspects to take into consideration when determining how to compensate the pedestrian for their injuries include whether the driver was negligent and what injuries the pedestrian has suffered.
Was the driver negligent?
One of the most important factors to take into consideration in a pedestrian accident case is whether the driver was negligent. If the pedestrian can establish this, then it is likely the driver will be responsible for compensating the pedestrian for their injuries.
What injuries you have
The injuries you have may determine the extent to which you may be compensated. More serious injuries would result in higher medical bills and more lost wages, thus requiring higher compensation.
What damages can a pedestrian hit by a vehicle claim?
A personal injury case such as a pedestrian accident has many different damages that the plaintiff can claim. The most common types of damages claimed in pedestrian accident cases include the following:
The plaintiff in a pedestrian accident case will likely incur plenty of medical bills, which can be difficult to manage, given how costly medical treatment can be. A pedestrian accident damage award compensates the victim for the medical expenses incurred due to the accident. This aspect of the settlement will compensate the victim for past medical expenses as well as future medical expenses that the victim will likely incur as a result of their injuries.
Pain and suffering
This type of damage is as straightforward as it sounds and compensates the victim for any pain and suffering they may have endured as a result of the pedestrian accident. This includes any past pain and any ongoing pain the victim is likely to experience.
Loss of wages
In most personal injury cases, many victims are unable to work due to their injuries and thus experience a loss of income. Pedestrian accident victims can receive compensation for any lost wages they have suffered, including both past income and future income that the plaintiff is now unable to earn due to the accident injuries.
It’s not uncommon for pedestrian accident victims to suffer emotionally as well as physically. Many accident victims experience a level of post-traumatic stress disorder that impacts their daily lives. Compensation for emotional distress and trauma is common when calculating damage awards for pedestrian accident victims.
Statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim
In every lawsuit, there is a statute of limitations that the plaintiff must abide by when filing their claim. The statute of limitations determines the time period in which a lawsuit may be filed and can vary from state to state. If a plaintiff attempts to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, they will be ineligible from pursuing that claim. Statutes of limitations ensure that cases are filed within a reasonable time frame to make it fair for all parties involved. They also ensure that cases are filed while evidence is easier to collect, and the incident is fresh in everyone’s minds.
The statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim in Florida is four years from the date of the accident. This means that the plaintiff has four years starting from the date of the pedestrian accident to file a lawsuit against the driver. If the plaintiff fails to file their lawsuit within this timeframe, they will be barred from doing so altogether.
How can a personal injury lawyer help me?
A pedestrian accident attorney handles everything that you need to win compensation for your pedestrian accident case. You can expect our pedestrian accident attorneys in Tampa to handle all of the following:
- Evaluating your case to determine if you have a first-party claim, third-party claim, or both types of claims
- Honest and informed guidance about the value of your case, the strength of your case, and what you can expect in a legal claim
- Direct negotiation with the insurance companies to resolve the case as expeditiously as possible
- Preparing legal documents and formal filing of the case in court
- Discovery to build the evidence and fully value all damages that you can claim
- Legal strategy to ensure preparation for trial
- Representation through non-trial resolution procedures, including mediation and settlement offers
- Appearance at trial and collection of judgment
Burgoyne, J. (2023). 15 Common Car Crash Injuries.
Driscoll, B. (2022). Florida Personal Injury Statute of Limitations 2023.
Goguen, D. (2023). Car Accident Defenses: Contributory and Comparative Negligence.
Goguen, D. (2023). Pedestrian Hit By a Car: Legal Options.
Goguen, D. (2023). Personal Injury Damages and Compensation.