No one sets out on a walk or jog thinking they will be involved in a pedestrian accident. However, they do happen – and more often than you might think.
Vehicle drivers are taught to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. But, far too often, drivers are distracted and simply not paying attention to the road and the environment around them. This creates a danger for those who are walking, running, or crossing the street. If you or a loved one is struck by a vehicle, a pedestrian accident lawyer can help.
Legal Options for Pedestrian Accidents
It can be scary when you are involved in a car accident. Now, imagine being struck by a vehicle without the protection of a car around you. Being involved in a pedestrian accident can result in serious – and even fatal – injuries.
Fortunately, if you are involved in a pedestrian accident, you have legal options. Since the law usually places the burden on drivers to keep pedestrians safe, if you are injured in a pedestrian-vehicle accident you are typically entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and related pain and suffering.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can happen at any time and under a variety of circumstances. Some common causes of accidents involving pedestrians and vehicles can include:
- Not walking in designated pedestrian areas, like a crosswalk. This can risk drivers not looking for walkers or joggers while they drive down a street, or in a motorist area.
- Hazardous weather conditions. Walking in the rain can prevent drivers from seeing pedestrians, or being able to make a quick stop to avoid hitting them.
- Walking at night. Walking when it’s dark can prevent drivers from seeing pedestrians crossing an intersection or walking in the street.
- Age. Young and old pedestrians might not have the same awareness as other walkers to quickly move out of the way of a moving vehicle, or see or hear situations on the road to avoid.
- Driving and/or walking under the influence. Alcohol, drugs, and other substances can both prevent drivers from being aware of their surroundings, as well as inhibit pedestrians from thinking clearly and being fully aware of where it is safe to walk.
What To Do If You’re Hit By a Vehicle
If you are hit by a vehicle, it’s important to take the right steps to both ensure you are OK, and also to gather the right information to build a legal case for a pedestrian accident lawsuit against the driver.
Some steps you should take are:
- First, you should seek medical assistance. Even if you think you are OK, it’s still important to be examined by a medical professional. This will ensure you are healthy and provide you with the medical records you will need if pursuing a lawsuit.
- Call the police. It’s important to call the authorities and have them on the scene to document the accident, get testimonies from you and the driver, and obtain statements from any witnesses. This will also ensure there is a formal police report filed on the accident.
- Document your injuries. It’s essential to take photos of any injuries you suffered in the accident, as well as retain any test results and medical records that state your diagnosis and prognosis.
- Avoid discussing fault. It’s important to not discuss who was at fault in the accident without your lawyer being present. Giving information like “I’m OK,” or “It wasn’t your fault” to the other driver or the insurance company can hurt your case against the driver. Always have your pedestrian accident attorney present when speaking about the accident to the other driver and the insurance company.
- Contact your insurance company. Alert your insurance company to the accident so they can start the claim and reach out to the needed parties.
- Hire a pedestrian accident lawyer. You need an attorney on your side to determine your legal options and navigate the process.
Why You Should Hire a Sarasota Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
If you’re involved in a pedestrian accident, trust the team at Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann. We are a premier injury law firm and our compassionate Sarasota area pedestrian accident lawyers have over 100 years of combined legal experience. If you have questions and need a lawyer, call us now at (941) 954-4000 for a free case review, or complete our easy form to schedule a free appointment anytime. We’re here for you 24 hours a day.
We represent clients throughout Florida, including Sarasota, Bradenton, Tampa, Saint Petersburg, Pinellas County, and surrounding communities.