Many pedestrian injuries – such as those resulting from nighttime pedestrian accidents – are never reported to the police, according to research into hospital records. These types of accidents are often tragic for victims, since pedestrians struck by cars, trucks, buses, or motorcycles have no protection from impact. Contributing factors to these accidents are pedestrian or driver distraction (phones, texting, listening to music while walking), alcohol, drugs, and illegal driving or walking actions.Learn more about your legal options after a severe pedestrian accident from the experienced Orlando Pedestrian Accident Attorneys at Michael T. Gibson, P.A., Auto Justice Attorney.
Fortunately, there are pedestrian laws in Florida that help bring justice to negligent drivers and compensate the unfortunate victims. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a pedestrian accident, you need a legal team that knows the ins and outs of pedestrian law in Florida.
I am attorney Michael T. Gibson and I have been helping Central Florida residents seek justice when they are harmed by negligent drivers. Pedestrians already have a disadvantage when sharing the road with vehicles – don’t let yourself be at a disadvantage during your personal injury case as well.
Pedestrian Laws in Florida
The prevalence of Orlando pedestrian accidents and pedestrian accidents across the state has led to the development of extensive pedestrian laws. Whether the injuries you sustained were from nighttime pedestrian accidents or daytime incidents, as an injured pedestrian you have rights to compensation for the damage you sustained.
According to the pedestrian laws in Florida, a pedestrian is responsible for:
- obeying the instructions of pedestrian-specific traffic control devices;
- utilizing sidewalks when provided;
- walking on the shoulder of the left side of the road when sidewalks are not provided;
- utilizing crosswalks when available; and
yielding the right of way to oncoming traffic if crossing a roadway where a crosswalk is not available.
Aside from the pedestrian laws in Florida governing practical pedestrian behaviors, laws also stipulate driver behavior that is intended to decrease the number of Orlando pedestrian accidents. The laws help ensure that drivers:
- allow pedestrians in crosswalks to completely cross the road before continuing through the intersection;
- do not attempt to pass or overtake another vehicle stopped at a crosswalk while a pedestrian is within its perimeter; and
- exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or person propelling a human-powered vehicle.
The latter point of exercising due care to avoid pedestrian accidents is a big contributor to many nighttime pedestrian accidents – many drivers fail to be extra aware of others in or near the road when the sun goes down.
The Deadly Truth
According to the NHTSA, the majority of the 487 fatal pedestrian accidents in Florida occurred between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Pedestrian fatalities peaked between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.
For weekdays it may be the result of rush hour traffic, and weekends drunk drivers may be to blame. Whatever the either case, driver negligence is often a major culprit for these Orlando pedestrian accidents.
Drivers who are involved in accidents must stop and render aid when they strike a pedestrian. Unfortunately, some choose not to do so and may continue to drive, later arguing that, because it was dark outside, they were unaware that they struck anybody.
This may result in hit-and-run accidents that can leave victims believing they are unable to seek justice for the injuries they have sustained. But I work to help these victims obtain justice for their damages – even if the driver did not remain at or return to the scene.
Connecting with Attorneys for Orlando Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrian accidents can be difficult to handle, especially if the driver leaves the scene. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident in Orlando or in the surrounding Central Florida counties of Seminole, Orange, Lake, Osceola, or Volusia, contact me as soon as possible. I can represent you in a personal injury case, filing a claim on your behalf to recover the financial compensation you need and deserve.
Insurance companies are quick to point out any way they can put the blame for Orlando pedestrian accidents on the pedestrian instead of the driver. As the victim of an accident, you may face accusations of being at-fault for the accident – stress you do not need while recovering from your injuries. I work to help you recover the compensation to which you may be entitled and take the burden of dealing with the insurance companies off your shoulders.
I have represented individuals in all types of personal injury cases and I can negotiate with insurance companies to obtain a fair and just settlement for pedestrian accidents in Orlando. If such a settlement is not forthcoming, I will represent you in civil court and continue to work vigorously to obtain the maximum compensation to which you may be entitled including that for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Orlando Pedestrian Accident FAQFollowing an accident as a pedestrian in Orlando, many victims have substantial questions about their legal rights and responsibilities. What comes next? How much compensation do you deserve? We attempt to answer some of the most commonly asked questions below. If you have specific questions about your pedestrian accident claim, contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney today.
1. Who pays my medical bills after a pedestrian accident in Orlando?Pedestrian accidents often result in substantial injuries. You may, as a result, have substantial medical bills that you need to pay. Many accident victims wonder if they can leave responsibility for those medical bills on the shoulders of the party that caused those injuries. Ultimately, the injured party must take responsibility for his or her own medical bills. However, as the injured party, you do have several options to pursue compensation for your injuries and resulting medical bills, including: Personal injury protection insurance. Florida drivers must carry personal injury protection (PIP) insurance along with their liability insurance to legally drive an automobile. If you carry personal injury protection insurance for your vehicle, you can also use it to cover the first percentage of your medical bills in the event of a pedestrian accident. Health insurance. If you carry health insurance, it can prove incredibly valuable in helping you pay your medical bills following a serious accident. Your health insurance may have copays and deductibles, or may offer coverage only if you use specific providers. Following a serious accident, including a pedestrian accident, contact your insurance company to learn more about what it will cover. You may need to ask questions like: What kind of copays or deductibles can I expect for emergency treatment? How many physical therapy sessions will my insurance cover each year? What does my coverage look like for long-term treatment? You should notify your insurance company about your accident as soon as possible to help prevent any delays in paying for your medical expenses. Your agent can also answer any questions that you have about coverage under your insurance policy. A pedestrian accident claim. If another party caused your accident, you can file a pedestrian accident claim that will help provide compensation for the medical bills you face as a result of your injuries. An attorney can help you understand how much compensation you deserve for your injuries. In addition, an experienced pedestrian accident attorney can put together a letter of protection, which will indicate your plan to pay your medical expenses once you receive a settlement or award for your accident.
2. How much compensation should I seek after an Orlando pedestrian accident?A pedestrian accident claim following an Orlando pedestrian accident can help provide vital compensation for many of the expenses that you face due to your injuries. To establish how much compensation you deserve, however, an attorney will need to determine: Who caused your accident? Florida drivers carrying minimum liability insurance may provide up to $10,000 in coverage for injuries suffered in an accident caused by that driver. Other parties, including Uber and Lyft drivers, commercial truck drivers, and auto manufacturers, may carry substantially higher-value insurance policies. What injuries did you suffer? Even minor injuries can lead to substantial medical bills. A broken leg, for example, can cost $2,500 to treat if it does not require surgery. Surgical treatment may cost as much as $35,000, depending on the complexity of the break and where you receive treatment. In evaluating your pedestrian accident claim, an experienced pedestrian accident attorney will consider the medical costs related to your accident, including the cost of emergency treatment, hospitalization, any surgeries or other treatments necessary to help heal from your injuries, and therapy. Consult an attorney to learn what other costs can count toward those medical expenses. How much time did you have to miss at work due to your injuries? Your ability to return to work after an accident will depend heavily on the types of injuries that you’ve sustained, your job, and your employer. Some employers will work with you, as much as possible, to get you back to work soon after an accident. Others prefer for you to make as full of a recovery as possible before you come back to work. Some injuries may also prevent you from completing your usual job tasks or managing your usual duties, resulting in further lost wages. Not only that, but in the case of some injuries, including traumatic brain injury or spinal cord damage, your injuries may also prevent you from ever completing those job tasks again. An attorney will evaluate all of the aforementioned factors to better understand how much compensation you should seek for your Orlando pedestrian accident. At the same time, an attorney cannot guarantee that you will receive any compensation for your injuries. The insurance company that covers the liable party may also have a substantial impact on the compensation you ultimately receive.
3. How do I know who caused my Orlando pedestrian accident?Most obviously, the driver who hit you may bear liability for your accident. However, in the case of a pedestrian accident, other parties may also share liability: not just in the case of multiple drivers contributing to the accident, but in the case of other parties that led the driver to lose control of the vehicle. The manufacturer of the vehicle or a mechanic who recently worked on the vehicle, for example, may share liability for the accident if a mechanical failure caused that accident. Furthermore, a driver on the clock at the time of the accident may share liability with his or her employer. An attorney will work to investigate all of the elements that led to your accident, including all parties who might share liability for your injuries. Your attorney may bring in an expert witness to evaluate the damage done to the vehicle involved in the accident. Your attorney may hunt for video footage of the accident, including dashcam footage, traffic camera footage, or security footage from local vehicles. Your attorney may also investigate the driver’s employer, including the employer’s policies and the driver’s past driving history. This thorough investigation can help identify all parties who share liability for a pedestrian accident.
4. What rules do I, as a pedestrian, have to follow to avoid an accident?Pedestrians must follow the same rules of the road that apply to drivers. You must, for example, pay attention to traffic signals and the flow of traffic. You cannot simply run out in the street at random. You may need to use a crosswalk or stay on the sidewalk, rather than walking in the road, if possible. As a pedestrian, you should familiarize yourself with those rules to ensure that you can safely walk around the streets of Orlando.
5. What rules do drivers have to follow to avoid an accident with a pedestrian in Orlando?Orlando drivers must follow all the rules of the road, including yielding to pedestrians in the road. A driver cannot rage and hit a pedestrian, even one who takes too long to cross the street. Orlando drivers should look twice to ensure that they do not miss the presence of pedestrians.
6. The driver claimed he did not see me on the road. Does he still bear liability for the accident?Drivers must exercise care to decrease the risks of causing a pedestrian accident, even if the driver does not see a pedestrian in the road. Many pedestrians travel through the streets of Orlando every day, including residents of Orlando’s many hotels and resorts. Drivers’ minds may not focus easily on the presence of pedestrians, because they do not fit the visual pattern associated with vehicles. Not only are pedestrians much smaller, but also they can prove harder to see at high rates of speed due to the driver’s focus on the road and other vehicles. That lack of focus, however, does not excuse a driver who causes an accident with a pedestrian, and he or she will still bear liability for such an accident.
7. How soon after an Orlando pedestrian accident do I need to file a personal injury claim if I want compensation for my injuries?Ideally, you want to contact an attorney as soon after your accident as possible. An attorney can start working to collect evidence immediately after your accident, and much of that evidence may prove more difficult to collect compensation if you let a substantial amount of time pass. You must also start seeking compensation for your injuries before Florida’s statute of limitations runs out. Often, however, an attorney will find exceptions to the statute of limitations that will allow you to file your pedestrian accident claim even if the statute of limitations seems to have run out. In some cases, your attorney may also advise not filing a pedestrian accident claim immediately. Your attorney may need time to investigate all of the circumstances that led to your Orlando pedestrian accident, including any outside factors, like mechanical failure or manufacturer error, that might have contributed to the accident. In addition, you may need to make some progress through your recovery before you fully understand your future prognosis and how much mobility, strength, and independence you will regain after your injuries. An attorney may advise waiting until you have an accurate picture of your prognosis before moving forward.
8. How long will it take to receive compensation for my injuries?It takes time to settle accident claims, including pedestrian accident claims. You may need to go through several rounds of negotiation with the insurance company before arriving at a settlement agreement that fits your needs and reflects what the insurance company will willingly pay. Some victims cannot reach an agreement with the insurance company, which may necessitate mediation or even taking your claim to court before you receive the compensation you deserve. You should expect it to take several weeks or months to receive compensation for your pedestrian accident. Contact an Orlando pedestrian accident attorney to get an estimate of your timeline.
9. The liable driver’s insurance company got in touch with me just a little while after the accident and offered me a settlement. Should I take it?Often, the liable driver’s insurance company will contact you soon after an accident with a settlement offer. That offer may look good on the surface, and if you accept it, the insurance company will likely get the money in your hands quickly. Unfortunately, many insurance companies will not issue a settlement offer that reflects the true cost of your injuries. Instead, the insurance company will likely attempt to minimize your compensation. If you accept that offer, you cannot claim future compensation from the insurance company. Instead, talk to an experienced Orlando pedestrian accident attorney before accepting the offer. Our Orlando pedestrian accident attorneys will give you a better idea of the full compensation you deserve and how accepting a settlement offer could influence your financial future. Our Orlando pedestrian accident attorneys can also help you understand what factors contributed to the accident and all parties that share liability: both the liable driver and other parties who may have contributed.
10. What if my child suffers injuries in a pedestrian accident? Does my child have the same right to compensation?Children often prove unpredictable. In the blink of an eye, a child can slip away from a parent’s restraining grasp. Not only that, but children are also even more difficult for drivers to see than adults due to children’s smaller stature. If your child suffers injuries in an Orlando pedestrian accident, your family has the same right to compensation that you would have if you, as an adult, suffered serious injuries. Children deserve protection, and they have the right to compensation when they suffer serious injuries. You can use that compensation to pay your child’s medical bills and to handle other expenses you may face as a result of your child’s injuries, including the need for in-home care for your child following his or her accident.
Experienced Orlando Pedestrian Accident Attorneys
If you have been hurt in a pedestrian accident in the greater Orlando area or in the surrounding counties of Seminole, Orange, Lake, Osceola, or Volusia, contact us today at 407-422-4529 or use the form found on this page to schedule your free Orlando Pedestrian Accident Consultation. We are here to help and want to get the best possible results for your Pedestrian Accident. Our Orlando Pedestrian Accident team and I are familiar with Florida injury and accident laws, insurance rules, and we can review and evaluate your case under personal injury laws.
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