Since pedestrians have little protection against vehicles, even the slightest accidents tend to lead to severe injuries. If you’ve been hurt or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
By working with a Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorney from the Eltringham Law Group, you can strengthen your case and improve your chances of fair damage recovery.
Who is Responsible for a Pedestrian Accident?
The answer isn’t always obvious. To file a claim against the at-fault party, you need to determine their liability. In some cases, more than one person could be responsible, including pedestrians themselves.
- Vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle) driver – if a vehicle driver acted negligently on the road and broke traffic laws, they are likely to be liable for the pedestrian accident.
- Employer (truck company, ride-sharing, delivery) – if the vehicle driver is executing their duty at the time of the accident, their employer may be responsible.
- Manufacturer – if a vehicle manufacturer made a negligent mistake (installed a faulty part, didn’t recall the car on time), you could sue them for product liability.
- Government – if the government entity acted negligently by failing to provide proper road maintenance or put up pedestrian crossing signs, it could be liable for the accident.
- Another pedestrian – a jaywalking pedestrian could cause the vehicle to swerve and hit another pedestrian. In this case, the jaywalker could be partially responsible for the crash.
With in-depth investigation, straightforward pedestrian accidents could turn into complex personal injury cases. That’s why you may need a Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident lawyer on your side. The at-fault party’s attorney will do everything possible to avoid liability or minimize the settlement. It’s up to you to put up a strong fight and get the money you deserve.
While you are recovering from both physical and emotional injuries, fighting a legal battle can be nearly impossible. That’s why many people choose to rely on attorneys to do it for them.
Comparative Negligence in Fort Lauderdale
When it comes to pedestrian accidents, Florida follows the pure comparative negligence principle. It allows pedestrians who are partially at fault for the accident to recover damages.
If you are partially liable for the accident, the payout will be decreased by the percentage of your fault. For example, if you file a claim for $10,000, but the judge finds you 10% responsible for the accident, you can only receive $9,000 ($10,000 minus 10%).
What Are the Damages in a Pedestrian Accident?
If you can prove negligence in a pedestrian accident, you can file a claim against the negligent party to recover the following damages:
- Economic damages – any past and future expenses related to your injuries in the pedestrian accident, including medical bills, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, and property damage.
- Non-economic damages – any past, current, and future non-tangible damages related to your quality of life after the accident, including mental anguish, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
- Punitive damages – in some cases, the judge may award punitive damages. This can happen if the at-fault party’s behavior was reckless and outrageous (e.g. DUI).
The amount of the damages you can recover depends on many factors. They include:
- The extent of your injuries
- Amount and quality of evidence
- Details of the police report
- Testimonies of expert witnesses
- The expertise of your attorney
The better you can demonstrate how the pedestrian accident changed your life, the more damages you can expect to recover. With the assistance of a pedestrian accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale, you can make sure that the insurance company and the court have sufficient information to make a favorable decision.
Who Pays Damages After a Pedestrian Accident?
Once you determine the amount of damages, you need to file a claim. Whom do you file it against?
- Insurance company – if a driver or their employer is responsible for the accident, you can file a claim with their insurance company. In many pedestrian accidents, insurance companies cover damages without proceeding to court.
- At-fault party – if the liable party doesn’t have insurance, you can file a lawsuit against them directly. This usually happens if the driver is uninsured or underinsured or if the at-fault party is a manufacturer or a government entity.
No matter who is liable after a pedestrian accident, they may not cover your damages if you file the claim too late.
The Statute of Limitations on Pedestrian Accidents in Fort Lauderdale
The statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Florida is four years. This means you have four years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. If you don’t, your case is likely to be dismissed.
While four years is a long time, waiting to file a claim isn’t a good idea. With time, evidence starts to disappear while witnesses begin forgetting the circumstances. Building a strong case without this information can be problematic.
If you don’t feel up to dealing with claims after the accident, don’t wait. Consider delegating all the legal matters to pedestrian accident attorneys.
What Can a Pedestrian Accident Attorney Do?
If you hire a pedestrian accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale, you can get help with:
- Conducting an extensive investigation.
- Recovering, collecting, and presenting evidence.
- Finding all liable parties.
- Proving four aspects of negligence.
- Building a strong case.
- Negotiating a fair settlement.
- Presenting your case in court.
While you may be able to recover some damages without legal assistance, getting a fair amount is nearly impossible.
Call a Fort Lauderdale Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
At the Eltringham Law Group, we have years of experience fighting legal battles for pedestrians in Fort Lauderdale. Our experienced attorneys are always ready to help you get the money you deserve.
Call our pedestrian accident lawyers in Fort Lauderdale to schedule a free case review today.