Tampa Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
After only a slight dip during the height of the pandemic, pedestrian accidents are back on the rise again, causing thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths in Florida every year. The year 2021 saw 9,569 pedestrian accidents in the state, nearly an 18% increase over 2020. These accidents resulted in 1,421 incapacitating injuries, 5,900 other injuries, and 835 fatalities. In Hillsborough County, 541 people were injured and 65 lost their lives in 655 pedestrian crashes, a 20% increase from the previous year.
Pedestrian accidents result in some of the most serious harm, including catastrophic and fatal injuries. The attorneys at Florin Gray can help you get the medical care and compensation you need to deal with your injuries and their aftermath, or to find justice for a loved one who was taken from you by a negligent driver. We’ll approach your case with diligence and dedication to getting positive results while providing you with the best service possible. Call our experienced Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers today.
Tampa, Florida, Is a Dangerous Place for Pedestrians
Too many cities in Florida have not been properly designed with foot traffic and pedestrian safety in mind. The organization Smart Growth America studies pedestrian safety in metro areas and releases an annual report called Dangerous by Design. Based on data between 2016 and 2020, Florida ranks as the number two worst state in the nation for pedestrians. Even more concerning, Tampa (Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater) ranks as the number four most dangerous metro region in the United States for pedestrians.
Statistics show that in the vast majority of pedestrian accidents, negligent drivers are to blame, as opposed to the pedestrian being the one at fault. Leading causes of pedestrian accidents in Tampa include:
- Drivers turning left or right at intersections while pedestrians are crossing the street
- Drivers running stop signs and red lights
- Drivers who swerve around a car that has stopped in traffic to allow a pedestrian to safely cross the street
- Distracted driving, including texting while driving
- Drinking and driving
Florida Pedestrian Safety Laws
Pedestrians in Florida have the right-of-way while crossing the street inside any marked crosswalk. If a pedestrian has stepped off the curb from the right side of the roadway or is coming from the left and is close to the driver’s side of the road, drivers must stop their vehicles and stay stopped until the pedestrian has safely crossed the street or crossed to the other side of the roadway.
Pedestrians should yield the right-of-way to vehicles any time they are crossing the street outside of a marked crosswalk. Pedestrians should not dart out into traffic, but they can lawfully cross the street at any point so long as no traffic is oncoming and it is safe to do so.
When walking along the road, pedestrians should use sidewalks whenever they are present. If no sidewalks are available, pedestrians should walk against traffic on the left shoulder of the road, preferably as far to the left as they can safely travel.
Recovering Compensation After a Tampa Pedestrian Accident
If you are injured as a pedestrian in a collision with a motor vehicle, you can apply for no-fault benefits through the Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance on your covered vehicle. If you don’t have a PIP-insured vehicle, you can still get benefits through a household member’s coverage or the PIP insurance of the driver who hit you. PIP benefits pay 80% of your medical expenses and 60% of your lost wages up to $10,000, assuming you sought medical treatment within 14 days of the crash and a doctor certifies you had an emergency medical condition. If you did not have an emergency medical condition, you can still receive up to $2,500 in benefits.
If your injury was serious, as is unfortunately likely in a pedestrian accident, Florida law allows you to bypass no-fault benefits and bring a negligence or fault claim against the driver and their bodily injury liability insurance coverage. In this type of claim, you can recover the full amount of your medical expenses and lost wages, plus other damages such as pain and suffering. A serious injury under Florida law is one that resulted in any of the following:
- a significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function,
- significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement, or
- a permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
With a PIP claim, you don’t have to prove the other driver was at fault or defend yourself against claims you were to blame for the accident; PIP claims are “no-fault.” If pursuing a negligence claim, the burden will be on you to prove based on a preponderance of the evidence that the driver was negligent and caused the accident through some fault of theirs, such as distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, disregarding a stop sign, etc. You’ll also need to be able to document and prove your injuries and justify the amount of damages you are seeking. At the same time, the driver’s insurance company might be claiming your own negligence caused or contributed to the crash. Even if you are deemed only partly to blame, it can still reduce the amount of compensation you can recover.
At Florin Gray, we work closely with you and assemble a team of attorneys with the best set of skills to pursue your unique claim. We put in the time and effort to investigate, document, and present a strong case that proves the full extent of the driver’s responsibility and liability to you. Whether settling your case outside of court or going to trial, we have the experience and record of success you can count on to deliver high-quality representation designed to get you the results you need and deserve.
Were You Injured as a Pedestrian When You Had the Right-of-Way? Call Florin Gray Today.
If you suffered a serious injury in a pedestrian accident in Tampa, or if a family member lost their life in a fatal pedestrian crash, the attorneys at Florin Gray can help you get justice and compensation for you and your family by holding the negligent driver accountable for the harm they’ve caused. Contact our experienced Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers today.