Contact The Barker Law Firm today if you have suffered personal injuries as a result of a pedestrian accident. You will immediately receive prompt, courteous attention, and the help you need in deciding how to deal with medical bills, property damage, wage loss, insurance claims, and other important questions that you or your family may have following an accident.
Everyone is at some time a pedestrian. Pedestrians are especially vulnerable to injuries since they are not protected by a motor vehicle or any clothing that would keep them safe from injury in a collision. Pedestrians are afforded no protection from accidents with any kind of motorized vehicle. A pedestrian being hit by a motor vehicle is a scary occurrence, both for the pedestrian and for the driver.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Association reports that every year nearly 5,000 pedestrians are killed as a result of a motor vehicle-related accident in the State of Florida. Non-vehicular pedestrian accidents occur as well involving premises liability, poor maintenance, sidewalk or parking lot defects, construction or other debris on sidewalks.
When a pedestrian is injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident, a pedestrian is entitled to receive compensation for injuries, medical expense reimbursement and other damages if the negligence of any motor vehicle operator caused the pedestrian’s injuries. Negligence is the failure to do or not to do something that a reasonable person would have done in the same situation to protect others from foreseeable risk or injury.
To establish negligence in a pedestrian accident claim, the injured pedestrian must prove that the motor vehicle operator (or other individual or corporation) was responsible for the pedestrian’s injuries. This would include:
The operator of the motor vehicle owed a legal duty to the pedestrian to operate their motor vehicle in a safe, lawful and proper manner and avoid hitting the pedestrian.
The operator of the motor vehicle breached or neglected its legal obligation to the pedestrian either through action or failing to act appropriately.
The operator of the motor vehicle caused the injury to the pedestrian.
The pedestrian was injured or harmed as a result of the negligence of the operator of the motor vehicle.
A determination of fault in a pedestrian-motor vehicle accident is determined by the duty of care of those involved in the accident. Both the driver and the pedestrian are legally bound to follow the rules of the road and exercise reasonable care and due diligence. A driver who negligently operates their motor vehicle may be required to pay damages for personal and property damage caused by the driver’s negligence.
Drivers need to exercise reasonable care under all circumstances. Failure to do so is negligence. Some of the activities of drivers while operating a motor vehicle that may cause a pedestrian accident include:
Speeding – everyone is in a hurry to get somewhere. When drivers are in a hurry or late, they try to compensate by driving just a little faster. While driving faster, a motor vehicle driver may fail to see a pedestrian crossing at a crosswalk or intersection, striking the pedestrian and causing the pedestrian to sustain injuries.
Ignoring traffic signals and signs – driver trying to beat a yellow light before it turns green or failing to completely stop at an intersection where there is a stop sign before moving forward. When a driver is trying to beat a light, they are not concentrating on the traffic signal and not the pedestrian who is proceeding on the roadway, causing the pedestrian to be injured.
Talking or texting on their cell phones – modern technology is a wonderful thing. Computers, GPS, cell phones, watches that do all kinds of things are great conveniences. In a car, though, these devices such as cell phones and GPS devices become distractions that take away the driver’s attention from a pedestrian on the roadway, even if for just a split second. A lot can happen in a split second when your eyes are not on the road causing an accident. Cell phones records can be obtained that will show whether a driver has been using their cell phone at the same time they were involved in a collision. When this information comes to light, attributing liability to the driver who was distracted by technology becomes easy.
Weather conditions – weather conditions affect traffic and often result only in traffic delays. But a driver who is not familiar with operating their motor vehicle in dense fog, rain, slick roads and high winds or other adverse weather conditions needs to adjust their speed and pay closer attention to traffic on the roadway. Even though the weather condition may have caused a driver to not keep their vehicle under proper control, the driver is still the one held that is held responsible for the accident.[/dt_list_item
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol – Under no circumstances should the driver of a motor vehicle operate a vehicle while their faculties are impaired due to the abuse of alcohol or drugs. It is impairs their vision, their ability to control a motor vehicle and often they just do not see a pedestrian on the roadway until it is too late.
Although the operation of a motor vehicle while a pedestrian is not within the control of the pedestrian, there are some safety tips that pedestrians can observe to reduce the likelihood of being struck by a motor vehicle:
Follow the rules of the road just as you would if you were operating any kind of motor vehicle. Motor vehicle drivers expect predictability out of pedestrians and that they will obey the rules of the road too.
Walk on sidewalks when they are available. Walking in the street where motor vehicle operators are lawfully driving will make you at least partially responsible if you are injured in an accident.
Don’t be distracted by electronic devices such as cell phones and/or texting. Keep your eyes and ears on the road, especially if you are walking in the street because there is no sidewalk.
Cross streets are corners, crosswalks and intersections. This is where drivers expect to see pedestrians. Be sure to look for cars in ALL directions before proceeding to cross the street./dt_list_item
If a cross walk, corner or intersection is not available, locate an area to cross that will enable you to have the best view of the traffic that is on the roadway. Pay attention to cars that are coming around a corner and/or changing lanes. Continue to watch for traffic as you cross the street and if a car suddenly appears use caution.
Always make eye contact with the driver to make sure that they see you.
Wear bright color clothing during the day, during inclement weather and especially at night. Reflective materials and a flash light are also advisable.
As you are approaching a driveway, or a parking lot, look for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.
Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking. Just as it is unsafe to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, your judgment as a pedestrian can be impaired.
It is hard to think clearly after you have been involved in an accident. Your mind is racing and you think of many things that you should do. Sometimes your actions are just reactions to the accident and you are not thinking at that moment how what you do in those first few minutes will affect you. In those immediate moments after an accident, there are some things you should not do:
Never try to represent yourself against an insurance company. This occurs when people do not understand their legal rights and mistakenly believe that the insurance company will be fair and offer an adequate settlement.
Do not think that hiring a large personal injury firm based on radio and television commercials is the best choice because of the size of the firm. In large law firms, there are many levels of staff that you will talk to before you get to talk to your attorney. In some instances, a client who hire large firms never actually get to speak to their attorney who is assigned to their case. Although you may sometimes speak to the paralegal assigned to your case at The Barker Law Firm, it is your right to speak directly to your attorney any time you want to. Attorney Brian Barker is available to speak to all of his clients personally.
If you are involved in any kind of motor vehicle accident do not leave the scene. Call 911 immediately so they can send policeman or deputy to the scene of the accident in addition to an ambulance and EMT’s to do an on-site assessment of your injuries.
Don’t apologize to the other driver and do not admit any fault for the accident. Anything that you say at the scene may be brought up later and used against you.
Do not tell anyone that you are not hurt or that you are okay. You have just had an accident, you are not thinking clearly and at that point you really don’t know if you are okay.
Do not leave the scene of the accident without taking pictures, preferably if you are able to, while the cars are still in the position immediately after the accident. Almost everyone has a cell phone that can take pictures. These pictures could be very important later on when the adverse driver’s insurance carrier tries to dispute liability.
Do not forget to obtain the other driver’s insurance information and if possible take a picture of the license plate of the other driver’s car or truck.
Do not refuse to be medically assessed at the scene of the accident. Some injuries will take a few days before you are really feeling pain as you try to go about your regular routine. The other driver’s insurance company will try to say are not hurt because you refused treatment at the scene or did not go to the hospital.
Do not speak to anyone from an insurance company or a private investigator. They are going to try to get information from you that they will use to hurt you later on. Tell whoever calls you to contact your attorney. Insurers will often reach out to accident victims immediately and try to offer them a few hundred dollars in exchange for an all-inclusive release. If you sign that release you will never be able to file a claim, even if your injuries are very serious.
To really protect yourself and your future after a pedestrian accident that is not your fault, you need to retain the services of a law firm that has represented injured clients and knows how to deal with insurance carriers.
The Barker Law Firm will make sure that you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries, your pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost wages. We will make sure that the insurance company for the at-fault party does not have the opportunity to take advantage of you and settle your claim for a nominal amount which is likely significantly less than what your case is really worth.
If you are a pedestrian injured in any kind of accident, contact The Barker Law Firm to represent you. And when the adverse insurance company calls you to settle with you for $500, you can tell them call to call your attorneys – The Barker Law Firm at 727-328-9000
To schedule a free consultation or request additional information about our services, please contact The Barker Law Firm at 727-328-9000 or click here to contact us by e-mail.
We want to be your pedestrian accident lawyer in St Petersburg