Vacationers swell the population of the state of Florida on any given day. Thus, the state thrives on tourism dollars and goes to great lengths to protect visitors. However, the state cannot protect a visitor to Florida from being hit by a car, regrettably. Non-residents of Florida have legal rights if they were injured or a loved one was killed in a pedestrian accident in Florida.
The state of Florida does not distinguish between a resident and non-resident for the purpose of claiming and winning damages arising from a pedestrian accident. Under Florida law, a person injured or the representative of the estate of a pedestrian killed in an accident in Florida must prove that the driver of the vehicle that struck the pedestrian was at fault. Therefore, the plaintiff, who is the party who brings the claim, has to prove to a judge or jury that the driver who hit the pedestrian was careless and that person’s carelessness leads to the injuries sustained by the injured pedestrian or inflicted the fatal injury on the person who died. Next, the pedestrian has to prove to the court that the medical bills, future medical costs, lost wages, lost a chance for future economic gain, catastrophic loss, amputation, wrongful death, or other damages stems from the injuries sustained in the accident. A claimant can still file a case for damages even if he or she was partially at fault for the accident. An insurance company lawyer or adjuster will look at the case with an eye toward whether you can prove it in court. You have a better chance of settlement when you have a strong case.
Out-of-state residents have particular challenges when filing a pedestrian injury or wrongful death claim in Florida. Non-residents of Florida need to level the playing field to maximize the recovery they could win from an insurance company in a pedestrian accident. Leveling the playing field comes down to choosing the right lawyer for you and your family. Otherwise, you will be fighting a seemingly insurmountable battle in your efforts to obtain justice for you and your loved ones.
Winning Damages for Your Pedestrian Accident in Florida
Pedestrian accidents in Florida occur at an alarming rate. Most pedestrian accidents in Florida happen at night, but not all. Pedestrians victimized by careless motorists have the legal right to pursue a damage claim against the driver, and other parties if the evidence warrants. Businesses, vehicle owners, the state or municipality could face liability in addition to the driver for a pedestrian accident.
Many victims of Florida pedestrian accidents mistakenly believe that they are protected by walking in the crosswalk. Certainly, Florida law theoretically protects a pedestrian from harm while he or she is walking in a crosswalk. Sadly, the white parallel lines painted on the ground do not afford protection from a careless, distracted, or inebriated driver.
Notwithstanding all of the laws on the books in Florida designed to protect people walking on Florida’s thoroughfares, pedestrians in Florida must be careful not to be the cause of an accident.
The victim of a pedestrian accident or the representative for the estate of a pedestrian killed in Florida has the right to file a lawsuit to recover damages even if he or she caused the accident in some way. Florida’s rule of contributory negligence gives injured pedestrians a chance to recover damages even if he or she contributed to the crash. The percentage of negligence the jury believes is attributable to the pedestrian will reduce the cash award by that amount.
Pedestrians sometimes forget they are subject to certain rules of the road while walking in Florida. Observing these rules will not only help you avoid getting hit by a car in Florida but can help you win your legal claim if you are a pedestrian accident victim. Accordingly, people walking on the street in Florida must remember that they must follow traffic lights, walk in crosswalks, walk corner to corner, and remain on the curb until the traffic signal permits advancing.
If you or a loved one have been harmed in any type of pedestrian accident, it is essential that you contact one of our pedestrian injury attorneys right away. Call Parker Waichman LLP at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) for your free case review.
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