Many people enjoy walking Delray Beach while visiting the art shops, museums, boardwalk, and wildlife. After all, the area is known as Florida’s Village by the Sea. But pedestrians often need to dodge vehicle traffic.
Unfortunately, accidents involving pedestrians do happen. If you or a loved one has been hit by a car while walking, you not only need a good doctor, you need a qualified Delray Beach pedestrian accident lawyer.
Assuming a Duty of Care
Whether you are behind the wheel or stepping out into traffic, everyone is expected to follow traffic laws, be aware of others, and not cause an accident. This is referred to as the duty of care.
When someone is not paying attention, ignoring traffic rules, or simply being irresponsible, that is a breach of their duty of care and is also considered negligence. Negligence leads to traffic accidents.
What Is Considered Negligence?
Not all forms of negligence break the law, but many do. Examples of driver negligence include:
- Distracted driving
- Failing to stop at a stop sign or red light
- Failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing
- Ignoring other state and local traffic laws
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Pedestrians can also be guilty of negligence when walking on a sidewalk, along the roadway, and crossing the street. Some examples of pedestrian negligence include:
- Not looking before stepping into traffic
- Ignoring traffic signals
- Jaywalking which, although not illegal in Florida, is dangerous
- Distracted walking such as texting while walking
- Wearing headphones or earbuds
- Walking while drunk or on drugs
In a car versus pedestrian accident, either the vehicle driver or the pedestrian could be responsible. But there are also times when they may share responsibility.
Florida’s Comparative Negligence Law
Whether an accident consists of two vehicles or a car and a pedestrian, Florida recognizes that both could be negligent and partially to blame. When both parties share fault, it is considered comparative negligence.
Either party can still file for compensation for damages. The degree compensation may be awarded can depend upon the degree of responsibility.
A Driver Vs Pedestrian Scenario
Let’s say a pedestrian steps off the curb in the middle of the block and doesn’t pay attention to traffic. He is hit by an oncoming car and suffers a broken leg and bruising due to a fall when hit. Both parties could be found at fault.
The driver hit the pedestrian, but the pedestrian may be partially at fault for stepping out in front of oncoming traffic.
If a judge or jury finds the pedestrian to be 49% at fault and the driver 51% at fault, the pedestrian can sue for 51% compensation for his medical expenses. The driver can also sue the pedestrian for 49% compensation for damages to his car, even if he did not experience any injury.
Why You Need a Delray Beach Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Being hit by a car can be frightening. You need time to recover from your injuries and trauma. Let a qualified pedestrian accident lawyer in Delray Beach work on your legal case.
You can bet the vehicle driver’s lawyer will be working hard to lessen his percent of the fault. You need your own pedestrian injury accident attorney to fight for you with solid evidence to back up your case.
In Delray Beach, David Eltringham, founding attorney of Eltringham Law Group, could be the right lawyer for you. No matter your degree of injury, you deserve compensation for the injuries you have suffered.
What a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in Delray Beach Will Need From You
When you meet with David or any of his attorneys and staff, they will need to gather everything you know and can provide about the accident. Some of those things could be:
- The date, time of day, and location where you were hit
- What you were doing when hit
- The weather conditions at the time
- Information on the driver of the vehicle and his or her insurance
- The type of vehicle, make, and model
- Your recollection of the incident
- Any information you have of witnesses
- A copy of the police report
- Copies of your medical records following the accident
- Copies of your medical bills
In addition, they might want you to preserve the shoes you were wearing along with your unwashed clothing. Also, keep your purse, backpack, briefcase, or anything else you may have been carrying. These personal items may show rips and tears, blood, and debris from the scene that could be an asset to your case.
What Damages Can You Claim Following Being Hit By a Vehicle?
Damages fall into three categories – economic, non-economic, and punitive. You can claim all three in a pedestrian injury accident.
These are the things that come with a price tag. If you were a pedestrian hit by a car and suffered injuries, you can claim:
- Reimbursement of your medical bills
- Allotment for future medical bills
- Reimbursement for your loss of income from being off work
- Allotment for future loss of income
- Property damages
These are the damages that affect your quality of life. While difficult to quantify, your experienced pedestrian injury accident lawyer has his or her previous cases to refer to and place a figure to your damages. Examples of non-economic damages.
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of fulfillment in life
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
You are also probably dealing with a lot of emotional distress. Mental anguish also falls under economic damages.
Punitive damages are not necessarily to benefit the injured party. They are occasionally brought to punish the defendant and prevent a similar event from occurring in the future. Punitive damages may only be applied if the accident was the result of gross negligence or intentional misconduct. One example would be driving under the influence.
Punitive damage requests are a rarity and even less often awarded. Florida has a cap of three times the amount of the compensatory damages, or $500,000, whichever is greater.
Choosing the Best Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Delray Beach to Represent You
Your best chance at a favorable outcome is to hire a Delray Beach pedestrian accident lawyer to represent you and work hard on your case. You want someone straightforward while also being compassionate.
David Eltringham founded Eltringham Law Group to serve people just like you. Contact Eltringham Law Group for your free consultation and let David evaluate your case. No one will work harder to get you proper compensation for your injuries and suffering.