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Pedestrian Accident Lawyer in West Palm Beach, Florida

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Pedestrian accidentsOur West Palm Beach Pedestrian Accident Attorneys are the people that you will have direct contact with. We are a small firm. We like it that way. We are hardworking and efficient. We know our clients and they know us. You are not a file, you become part of the family. As an attorney representing your best interests in an accident case, it is important to know and understand your concerns. Our firm is here to help. Our goal is to acquire maximum compensation for your injuries, your job is to concentrate on healing. Call us at (561) 746-7076.

Personal Injury Lawyer West Palm Beach Personal Injury Lawyer Badges Pedestrian Accidents InformationCauses of Pedestrian Accidents in Palm Beach County

The number of pedestrians struck by automobiles are increasing in Florida and throughout the United States.Pedestrians are often struck by vehicles because:

  • The driver of a motor vehicle fails to reduce speed when pedestrians are present.
  • Impaired drivers (drugs and/or alcohol)
  • Distracted driving ( talking on phone, texting, browsing the internet, etc.)
  • Drag racing, reckless or careless driving
  • Failure to adhere to the driving laws (running red light, failure to stop at stop sign, improper u turns,etc.)
  • Vehicles picking up or letting out passages in the roadway
  • Weaving in and out of traffic, maneuvering through traffic
  • Drivers not stopping for school bus
  • Weather conditions; Driving to fast in the rain
  • Crosswalk not function or insufficient crossing guards where pedestrian traffic is high

The results are that someone walking or jogging is seriously injured, sometimes resulting in death. When this unfortunate tragedy occurs, call the Law Office of Roger P. Foley, located in West Palm Beach at (561) 746-7076. You will always speak to an attorney.

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Statute of Limitations for Pedestrian Accidents

You must file a Florida personal injury claim within four (4) years of the pedestrian accident to preserve your rights, while you must file a wrongful death claim within two (2) years.

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Initiating a Pedestrian Accident Claim

To initiate a negligence claim against a driver, the injured party must prove that the accident was the fault of the driver. Without establishing negligence on behalf of the driver, the pedestrian will be unable to receive financial compensation for their injuries. In Florida, the claimant must establish liability, unlike the country of Nepal where “The rule of the thumb {in Nepal} is that if a pedestrian is hit, it is always the fault of the motorized vehicle” - Source: Nepali Times (2011).

Immediate relatives can file a claim if their family member is killed due to a pedestrian accident. This is called a wrongful death action. The family may be able to receive compensation for medical and funeral costs, pain and suffering prior to death, and loss of consortium. Do not hesitate, call an attorney now.

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How to Prove Negligence in a Pedestrian Accident

In a civil lawsuit, a plaintiff must prove negligence by a preponderance of the evidence, that means by a little more than fifty percent (50.01). A plaintiff must prove that:

  • The driver had a duty of care, for example to adhere to the posted speed limit;
  • That the driver breached his/her duty of care; and
  • That the driver’s breach caused the injuries sustained by the victim.

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How Do My Medical Bills Get Paid If I am Hit by a Car?

You can be financially compensated when you prove negligence, see above. At that point you can collect from the driver’s Personal Injury Protection policy (PIP) which covers up to ten thousand dollars. Thereafter, any bodily injury coverage will apply and you may receive additional money to pay for the remainder of your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Personal injury protection (PIP), is no fault insurance that covers medical bills due to a car accident. It helps drivers, passengers, and pedestrians in an accident. As stated above PIP handles up to $10,000 in medical expenses.

After being crashed into by a motor vehicle, it's important that you seek medical attention immediately. Many people hesitate going to the hospital because they are afraid of how the bills will be paid. Many of us live paycheck to paycheck and don’t have the necessary funds to be fully checked out. Do not worry. Everyone in Florida is required to have PIP in the amount of $10,000. If that is all the coverage that the negligent driver has then you look at your Uninsured Motorist coverage. If you have uninsured motorist coverage then your insurance will step into the shoes of the negligent party and pay. If you do not, have UM coverage then your health insurance kicks in. If you do not have health insurance then you can request that the hospitals waive their fees. This is referred to as indigent care and hospitals often write off millions of dollars per year for indigent persons. Contact an attorney immediately if you are the victim of a pedestrian accident.

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How Can Pedestrians Avoid Car Accidents?
  1. Assume others are not paying attention. Remember you are in Florida and there are a lot of bad drivers.
  2. Always cross in a crosswalk and always look both ways before crossing. Avoid Jaywalking.
  3. Don’t assume that cars see you or that you have the right of way. Assumptions can cause catastrophic injuries.
  4. Use reflective clothing especially in the early morning or in the evening.
  5. Look behind stopped cars to see what is coming. Just because the first vehicle stopped doesn't mean the car behind him is stopping.
  6. When exiting your vehicle make sure you are as far off the road as possible and check your side mirrors before exiting or allowing your passengers to exit.

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Questions and Answers for Pedestrian Vehicle Accident Victims in South Florida
Q: Should I Hire an Attorney If I Was a Pedestrian and Struck by Car in Palm Beach County?

There is no law that says you need to hire an attorney, however statistics overwhelmingly prove that using an attorney increases the amount of compensation received by a victim. A personal injury attorney cannot reverse your injuries, but they can use their training and experience to maximize the amount you receive. An Insurance Research Council study revealed that a “personal injury victim that was represented by an attorney won 3.5 times more in settlement compensation than a victim that had no representation.” Insurance companies are known to deny liability or give low ball settlement offers to unrepresented victims.Remember they are in the business of making money. The less they give you the more they make.

Q: How Do I Get Money for My Injuries, If I Am the Victim of a Pedestrian Accident in Florida?

Assuming liability on behalf of the driver or another party, you will seek damages for:

  • Medical expenses (current and future)
  • Compensation for lost wages and loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of Consortium
  • Punitive damages if driver acted with malicious intent or gross negligence
  • Funeral costs in accidents resulting in death
Q: What If I Was Partially Liable for My Pedestrian Accident in Florida?

As long as you can demonstrate liability on behalf of the other party, usually, the driver, then you have a right to make a claim. Florida law uses comparative negligence. See Florida Statute 768.81. Even if the accident was partially your fault you have the right to seek compensation for your injuries. For example, a jogger pedestrian is found to be 35% at fault in the accident for not using the crosswalk. Their percentage of fault will be deducted from the full value of their case. That means if their injuries were worth $100,000 then they would receive $65,000. That is the full value of the injury ($100,000) minus the comparative negligence of $35,000 resulting in a total amount to be collected of $65,000.

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Q: How Much Will My Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Cost in Florida?

Personal Injury cases, such as car and pedestrian accidents, are based on a contingency fee. You pay nothing out of pocket. When we collect the money we receive a portion of the settlement or verdict. Contingent Fees are governed by the Florida bar and are the same for all attorneys. Our number one goal is to acquire as much money as possible for your injuries.

Q: Who Pays a Pedestrian Accident Victim’s Medical Bills After Car accident?
  1. If the Pedestrian has an auto insurance policy or a relative they live with has auto insurance, it will pay up to ten thousand dollars in medical bills.
  2. If step 1 does not apply, then the victim goes to the at fault driver’s insurance company, regardless of fault. This is part of Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
  3. After PIP is used up the victim may still have a claim against the at fault driver for pain and suffering, out of pocket medical bills and any out of pocket medical bills/expenses or lost wages not covered by PIP.
  4. After PIP is exhausted the injured party can use their private health insurance, medicaid or medicare. However, private insurance, medicaid and medicare all pay a lesser rate than PIP. Hospitals or providers often, not always, reduce or write off the bill if there is no health care coverage.
Q: How Long Does It Take for a Pedestrian Accident to Settle?

Pedestrian accident settlement time depends on three major factors: Amount of the insurance coverage policy, extent of injury, and what percentage of fault is assigned to each person. If the driver is 100% at fault and the injury is severe, insurance will likely pay quickly. If limits are very high, and the injury is minor, but the injured person needs an extended period of physical therapy, treatment will continue until the patient reaches maximum medical benefit. In such cases, insurance companies will take longer to pay.

Q: What Is Tort Threshold in Florida Personal Injury Cases?

It is a fancy way of saying that the victim, the injured party, must be messed up for life to recover for non-economic damages. Specifically, Florida statute 627.737(2) states to recover damages in tort for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience you need the following:

(a) Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function

(b) Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement

(c) Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement

(d) Death

Florida’s Tort Threshold only applies to non-tangible damages like pain and suffering and does not apply to economic damages or actual damages, such as medical bills and out of pocket expenses.

Insurance companies often claim that the injured party, the plaintiff, does not have a permanent injury.It's ridiculous, especially in pedestrian accidents because a 2500 pound vehicle is making contact with a 180 pound person. The response is that the injury is permanent within a reasonable degree of medical certainty.

Q: What Are Some Factors That May Lead to a Higher Payout for My Injuries?
  • Photos of the accident scene
  • Photos of the injuries at the scene, at the hospital and after medical treatment
  • Taking an Ambulance ride to the hospital after accident less likely to question causation
  • If the injured party has surgery payouts are often 2-3x higher than non-surgery
  • The injured party must follow the doctor's treatment plan.
  • Need for future medical treatment
  • Stay off social media as it can be used against you
  • Don’t rush to accept an settlement offer as insurance companies often low ball at first and deny liability
  • If the driver gets a ticket- it's not admissible in a jury trial but it may be helpful in negotiations with the insurance company

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Where Do Pedestrian Accidents Occur in Palm Beach County?
  • Tourist Areas such as the beaches, nightlife areas with bars, clubs and restaurants
  • Roadside shoulders where there is no sidewalk, always do your best to walk alongside oncoming traffic so that you have a view of the cars heading in your direction.
  • Parking Lots where both drivers and pedestrians often fail to take precautions
  • Cross Walks are the proper place to cross but do not assume, because you have the right of way, that you are safe. Always look both ways and be alert.
  • Jaywalking is when people cross in the middle of the street and do not use the crosswalk.
  • Crossing the Interstate is prohibited. However, every so often you hear of a pedestrian crossing I-95 and they are fatally injured. The loss of life is sad but generally does not warrant financial compensation for the family of the deceased.

See Palm Beach MPO Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Study

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Examples of Pedestrian Accidents in West Palm Beach

In each example we will assume the driver of the truck or automobile was negligent as all motorists are expected to adhere to the traffic laws.

Example 1: A silver BMW is traveling on Palm Beach Gardens Blvd. The posted speed limit is 45 mph, however the driver of the vehicle accelerates to 65 mph and changes lanes to avoid stopping at the traffic light. In doing so, he fails to stop and strikes a pedestrian in the crosswalk. The pedestrian has catastrophic injuries; 13 broken bones, traumatic brain injury and a ruptured spleen.

  • The driver’s duty of care in this example was to obey the traffic laws; slow down when the light turned yellow and not to exceed the speed limit
  • The driver breached his/her duty of care by failing to obey the laws
  • The BMW Driver’s failure to adhere to the traffic laws caused the injuries to the pedestrian

Example 2: A husband and wife arrive at Publix, in Jupiter,and park their car. They exit their vehicle and grab a shopping cart from the corral. While walking through the parking lot a car suddenly reverses hitting the wife. She falls to the ground breaking her ankle and hip. Paramedics soon arrive and carry the injured woman to the hospital.

  • The driver’s duty of care was to exercise care when reversing in a parking lot. It is normal for pedestrians to be walking to and from their cars.
  • By not looking in the rear view mirror and not backing slowly that duty was breached.
  • The failure of the driver to use reasonable care caused serious injury to the woman.

Whenever driving, motorists should always assume that pedestrians are nearby. Even a slow moving automobile striking a pedestrian can lead to major injuries.

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Intoxicated Pedestrians

If Pedestrians are intoxicated and deemed more than fifty percent (50%) at fault then the case will not be successful. See Florida Statute 768.36

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Pedestrian Protection

If you are a pedestrian and are hit by a car that has no insurance or the insurance is not sufficient to pay the value of your damages you may seek payment from your own insurance company. A pedestrian victim can seek payment from their own insurance company if they have uninsured motorist coverage. Contact a West Palm Beach Pedestrian Accident Attorney now.

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Car Accidents and Pedestrian Accidents Statistics in Florida
  • In 2020car crashes in Florida totaled 341,399
  • Fatalities from car accidents were 3,332
  • Pedestrian accidents totaled 8117
  • There were 715 pedestrian fatalities in 2020
  • There were 699 pedestrian fatalities between 1/1/2021 and 12/2/2021
  • Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Administration (FLHSMV) statistics prove that pedestrian accidents are on the rise
  • FLHSMV reported a higher number of Pedestrian fatalities in 2020 and 2021, even with Covid-19 and reduced travel to the Sunshine state.

A pedestrian crash can occur at any moment.When it does, it's often a catastrophic accident.Although all Florida motorists are required by law to purchase at least $10,000 in insurance to cover car crash injuries, that amount is often not enough. A personal injury lawyer will look for bodily injury coverage of the negligent driver or uninsured motorist coverage of the victim to help them get the maximum financial compensation.

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How Can Automotive Technology Improve Pedestrian Safety?

Automobile makers have made great strides by introducing driver assisted packages, such as rear view cameras, proximity sensors, turn signal cameras, automatic braking systems and adaptive driving beam headlights. Unfortunately, not all vehicles are equipped with these technologies. Headlights, for example, have been slow to be updated based on antiquated laws that state that high beams and low beams could not be used simultaneously. In addition, many car owners fail to maintain their standard headlights because it's not a mechanical failure that affects drive ability. Many cars and trucks can be seen with yellowing or cloudy headlights, something AAA states reduce candlelight by as much as 80 percent. Accordingly, night driving visibility is greatly reduced, increasing the chances of accidents, especially those involving pedestrians.

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Recovery Is Possible, Even If Pedestrian Was at Fault

The insured or their insurance company may claim that the pedestrian was at fault. For example, the injured party ran out in front of them and did not use the crosswalk. The driver may claim that it was not their fault because they did not see them. If our client is comparatively negligent, we will fight to reduce the percentage and acquire the maximum amount of compensation.

Contact Our West Palm Beach Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

The Law Office of Roger P. Foley is here to help you in your time of need. Our pedestrian accident attorneys can assist you in filing your accident claim.

Take advantage of our legal experience and allow us to go after the parties responsible for your injuries. We understand the stress caused by your accident and are here for you. We understand that there are many choices to choose from and we appreciate you selecting our firm. Our attorneys will do everything possible to assist you in getting paid for your injuries. You deserve to be compensated and our goal is maximum compensation.

The Law Office of Roger P. Foley has received numerous awards for their legal knowledge. The awards include: Elite Lawyer For Personal Injury 2022, National Trial Lawyers Top 100, AVVO 10+ Rating, Florida’s Legal Elite, Better Business Review A+ Rating, Super Lawyers, Florida’s Legal Elite and America's TOP 100 Personal Injury Attorneys. We are here to help you. You will always speak with Attorney Roger P. Foley as he personally oversees each case to ensure that your case receives the personal attention it deserves.

Attorney Roger P. Foley, “Call Me South Florida!” at (561) 746-7076

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I was charged with Domestic Violence few years ago and I was referred to Roger Foley from a family member! Roger is a BULLDOG! He was great ... Thomas
My wife (Mother of Stepson) and I Hired Mr Foley to represent my stepson in a minor criminal case. We would highly recommend ... Steve
Roger P. Foley got me reinstated. Also he got my COS waived, and got me to still be terminated off of probation on my expected termination date ... Jamar
Roger is a very compassionate person, he truly cares about his clients. He helped me with my case and was there for me every step of the way ... Cassandra G.
I think your firm did a great job on 3 cases that were 28 years old. The results are better than expected. I truly appreciate the hard work that ... Jim