St. Petersburg Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Serving You and The State of Florida
With its ample sunlight and near-perfect temperatures, the St Petersburg area is ideal for pedestrians. If you live within walking distance of your workplace, you likely commute with your feet and leave the car in the garage. On weekends, you may enjoy a leisurely stroll around Sawgrass Lake Park or North Shore Park.
On the downside, Florida is one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians. According to a recent report by Smart Growth America, Florida ranked first on the list with 5,893 pedestrian deaths and a Pedestrian Death Index of 201.4. This index measures how dangerous it is for people to walk based on how many pedestrians have been hit and killed by drivers.
An accident involving a pedestrian and a motor vehicle will usually leave the pedestrian with devastating injuries. If you’ve been seriously hurt by a negligent or distracted driver, our car accident lawyer in St Petersburg will fight to see you compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. At the Lopez Law Group, we use an approach that combines compassionate care with aggressive advocacy. Let us fight for your best outcome so you can take care of your family and your recovery.
An Overview of Pedestrian Injuries
There are a number of factors that affect pedestrian injuries, including the speed of the vehicle, the angle and point of impact, whether a secondary impact occurs, and where and how the pedestrian lands. Common injuries include:
- Cuts and bruises, lacerations, abrasions, scrapes, and other mainly external injuries
- Broken bones, deep cuts, or other internal injuries
- Torn or strained ligaments
- Various head injuries, including cuts on the scalp, concussions, and traumatic brain injury
- Back and neck injuries, including spinal cord injuries
- Nerve or organ damage
- Amputation of body parts
- Wrongful death
According to the Centers for Disease Control, traffic crashes killed 5,977 pedestrians in the U.S. in 2017. That amounts to about one pedestrian death every 88 minutes. Furthermore, there were 137,000 nonfatal pedestrian injuries treated in emergency departments in 2017. On average, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a car accident than occupants of passenger vehicles.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
While many accidents are caused by driving under less than ideal weather conditions, others may occur when drivers operate their vehicles in a reckless or negligent manner. Common examples include:
- Speeding in violation of posted speed limits
- Driving too fast for the road or weather conditions
- Driving too fast for a safe stop
- Using a mobile device while driving
- Driving while distracted
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Ignoring a stop, yield, or merge sign
- Ignoring traffic signals
- Reckless or careless driving
Drivers are legally responsible for exercising reasonable care and for following the rules of the road while operating a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, impaired driving, speeding, and failure to stop at a red light are all common causes of drivers failing to uphold this duty of care, which can lead to pedestrian accidents. If this happens to you, an injury attorney in St Petersburg will help you pursue compensation.
Average Settlement for Pedestrian Hit by Car in St Petersburg
There is a wide variation in the average settlement amount awarded to pedestrians who are struck by cars. These amounts are determined by many factors, including the severity of the injuries and whether the pedestrian was at fault. Generally speaking, a claim that involves a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord damage will result in a higher settlement or award than one where the victim suffered a broken bone or whiplash.
Below are some examples of compensable damages in Florida:
- Medical bills
- Future medical care, including home care
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Punitive damages when the defendant was especially reckless or negligent
As soon as the at-fault driver’s insurance company discovers the accident, a claims adjuster will contact you. This is when many injured pedestrians damage their claim; the most innocuous comment, such as “I’m fine” can later be used to reduce or deny your compensation. Your St Petersburg pedestrian accident lawyer will handle all communications and negotiations with insurer representatives, making sure that they don’t find an excuse that impacts your compensation.
Pedestrian Accident FAQS
What Should I Do After a Pedestrian Accident in Florida?
Pedestrian accidents can cause serious injuries and lifelong consequences. Taking the right steps immediately after the incident can help ensure that you receive appropriate compensation for your losses.
The first thing you should do is call 911 and ask them to send the police. If you have visible injuries or can’t move, request an ambulance at the same time. While you’re waiting for help to arrive, get contact and insurance information from the driver who hit you, along with the names and contact information of any witnesses.
Even if you don’t think you’ve been seriously hurt, seek medical attention as soon as possible, as some serious injuries don’t always show symptoms right away. Once you receive confirmation that you’ve been hurt, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer in St Petersburg, Fl, so that you can get your claim for compensation started.
Who Pays My Medical Bills After a Pedestrian Accident in FL?
All registered owners of a motor vehicle in Florida must purchase a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage. This no-fault insurance covers the insured motorist against medical costs (and other expenses) arising from a crash, regardless of who was at fault and may cover the medical expenses of a pedestrian struck by the owner’s car.
If a motor vehicle hits you, the owner’s PIP insurance should cover your medical costs (as long as you reside in Florida), unless you have your own PIP insurance, in which case your policy will pay for your medical care. If you live outside Florida or the PIP benefits run out, your Florida personal injury attorney will help you identify additional coverage options, such as a personal injury lawsuit.
What if I Was Partly to Blame for the Accident?
In pedestrian accidents where more than one party is at fault, Florida follows a pure comparative fault rule. In other words, there is generally a reduction in compensation equal to your share of fault.
By way of example, let’s assume that your case is valued at $10,000, but because you jaywalked at a time of night that made it hard to see, your assigned percentage of fault is 40%. You would receive 60% of $10,000, which would be $6,000.
The insurance company responsible for compensating you may try to assign more blame to you in order to reduce their payout. Your personal injury lawyer at the Lopez Law Group will look out for your interests and take steps to prevent this strategy.
How Can A Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Help Me?
Insurance companies have deep resources to deal with complex and high-value claims. Having legal representation puts you on an equal footing. Our experienced pedestrian accident lawyers will communicate with the insurance company on your behalf and work to get you the compensation you rightfully deserve. Should negotiations fail, we will not hesitate to take the case to trial — and win.
In Florida, you generally have four years to file a claim against all liable parties after an accident. We will make sure that your claim is filed before this deadline and that your case for compensation is highly compelling.
Contact Our St. Petersburg Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
At the Lopez Law Group, we believe in exceptional client care, empathy, and results. That’s why we’re rated among the top pedestrian accident attorneys in St Petersburg. You can count on us to work tirelessly for your quality of life and help you move forward after suffering serious injuries. Contact us for a free consultation by calling 727-293-5746 or using our online form.
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What Our Clients Say
Mr. Lopez was a Godsend and really helped me with my situation. Him and the entire firm were very diligent and helped speed the early stages of the process along due to a pressing situation. Throughout my experience working with the firm, they were always responsive and available any time I had a question or wanted to check on the state of affairs. Hopefully I won’t have to recommend Lopez Law Group to my friends or family, but if those unfortunate circumstances arise then there’s only one name I would trust. Thank you again for all your help!