Tampa Pedestrian Accident Attorney
When a careless driver hits someone who is on foot or riding a bicycle, the results can be catastrophic. Victims often suffer severe, permanent injuries or death. If you or a loved one has been injured in such a scenario, contact a Tampa pedestrian accident attorney at Capaz Law Firm for a free case review.
Pedestrian Accident Statistics
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- 76,000 pedestrians were injured in crashes in the U.S. one year
- 4,743 pedestrians were killed in crashes
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles:
- 7,413 pedestrians were injured in crashes in Florida
- 473 pedestrians were killed in crashes in Florida
Common Injuries in a Pedestrian Accident
Situated along the Gulf Coast, Tampa is a beautiful city to experience on foot. However, this sprawling metro isn’t short on dangers for pedestrians. Busy intersections, gridlocked streets, and narrow lanes can quickly turn a casual stroll into a dance with death.
While there are many traffic laws designed to protect pedestrians, motorists often fail to look out for the most vulnerable road users. According to Smart Growth America, Tampa Bay ranks as the eighth deadliest destination for those on foot.
Let’s take a look at common injuries suffered by pedestrians in an accident:
- Spinal Cord Injuries: Crash forces can do considerable damage to the spine, causing fractures or dislocating vertebrae. As the spinal cord helps send signals between the brain and the rest of the body, even minor damage can be both psychologically and physically debilitating.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: A violent blow to the skull or sudden jolt can lead to bleeding, bruising, torn tissues and other damage to the brain. Victims can experience a wide range of life-altering symptoms, such as seizures, slurred speech, memory loss, impaired judgment, and profound confusion.
- Broken Bones: A sudden impact can cause bones to snap and fracture. Not only are these injuries incredibly painful, but victims may also be unable to work or engage in other activities until their bones have healed.
- Soft-Tissue Injuries: Lacerations, tears, dislocations, bruises, and sprains—soft-tissue injuries are commonplace in a pedestrian accident. While most don’t require treatment, these kinds of injuries often lead to considerable pain, affecting the victim’s quality of life.
- Amputation: Car accidents are one of the leading causes of “traumatic amputations”, i.e. the loss of a digit or limb in a crash. In a pedestrian accident, a collision can cause irreparable damage to the victim’s limbs or extremities, leaving healthcare providers with no other option than to amputate the injured appendage. Alternatively, a pedestrian’s limb may be severed by a sharp metal object or by being crushed in a collision.
What Damages Might Be Available in My Pedestrian Accident Case?
Whether the driver that struck you was distracted, failed to yield or was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, you have a right to hold them accountable for their negligence. Depending on the circumstances of your accident, you may seek compensation for your past and future medical bills, past and future wages, pain and suffering, and more.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can review your case to determine what damages you may be entitled to. In some cases, the driver may blame the pedestrian for the accident. They may claim, for example, that the pedestrian was improperly crossing the road. However, it’s important to note that even if the victim was partially at fault, they may still file a claim to seek compensation for their injuries. When this happens, the court will determine whether the pedestrian was partially at fault and may limit the amount awarded to the victim based on their percentage of blame in the accident.
Let’s look at some of the damages that might be recoverable in your case:
- Medical Expenses: When a car collides with a pedestrian, the consequences are often deadly. Those on foot have little protection in an accident, leaving them at the mercy of dangerous crash forces. Victims often suffer catastrophic injuries such as brain trauma, internal bleeding, and whiplash. If you were injured by a negligent motorist, you may have accrued a small fortune in medical expenses. From the initial visit and subsequent procedures to follow-ups and physical therapy, there is no shortage of costs after a crash. Fortunately, you might be able to recover compensation for any medical expenses—both past and future—resulting from the accident.
- Lost Earnings: A serious injury can leave you unable to return to work, causing you to miss out on days, weeks, or even months of wages. If you suffered a permanent injury or disability, you may never be able to work again, putting you and your family in a precarious financial position. Such lost earnings may be recoverable as part of your claim. We can review your case, evaluate your damages, and consult with vocational experts to help prove that your injuries have affected your job performance or impeded your ability to do your job.
- Pain and Suffering: When you’re counting the costs of a serious injury, invoices and receipts only tell one side of the story. While an accident can have a significant impact on your financial stability, it can also take a toll on your emotional well-being. Many victims suffer considerable pain due to their injuries, leaving them unable to engage in activities that used to bring them joy. As such, you have a legal right to seek compensation for these non-economic damages. To calculate the value of such losses, an attorney might multiply the total value of your tangible losses by a number between 1.5 and 5. Typically, this multiplier is based on the severity of your condition. Alternatively, he or she may assign a dollar amount to each day from the date of the accident until the day you achieve maximum medical improvement.
How Long Will My Personal Injury Claim Take?
In an ideal world, we could give you an exact timeline for your case. However, every claim is unique, and there are many different factors that could affect how yours unfolds.
Let’s take a look at some of these factors below:
- How Complex Is Your Case? If you were injured by a speeding driver while making use of a marked crosswalk, your case may be fairly simple to prove. After all, you had the right of way, and the motorist was clearly violating the law. However, there are many situations where proving liability may pose a significant challenge. Your attorney might need to gather additional evidence and hire an accident reconstruction expert to overcome any disputes that may arise. Alternatively, if you suffered a catastrophic injury—such as brain trauma—and will require long-term care, the insurer may dispute the necessity of certain healthcare interventions.
- How Serious Are Your Injuries? Claimants are often advised to wait until they’ve achieved maximum medical improvement (MMI) before accepting a settlement offer from the insurer. MMI is the point in your recovery where your injuries have healed, or your condition is not expected to improve with further treatment. It’s not until you’ve reached this point that you will have an accurate idea of the total costs involved with treating your condition. Typically, the more serious your condition, the longer it may take to resolve your claim as you will need additional time to recover.
- How Many Liable Parties Are Named in Your Claim? If you were struck by a motorist, you may think that they are the only party who is responsible for your injuries. However, it’s not unusual for multiple parties to share fault for an accident. For instance, the driver may have struggled to come to a stop due to a mechanical failure. Alternatively, he or she may have been on the clock for their employer at the time of the accident. With more than one party involved, you may encounter disputes over how liability is apportioned which will likely lead to delays.
- Did You Make Any Mistakes? Even minor errors can turn a cut-and-dry case into a prolonged uphill battle. As such, you will have to be careful about everything you say and do until your case is resolved. For instance, you should not post about the accident on social media as your comments could be used as evidence to dispute liability and damages. At Capaz Law Firm, we can guide you through proceedings, advising you on how to avoid common mistakes and protect your claim.
Contact a Tampa Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in any kind of accident, contact Capaz Law Firm. Our attorneys represent victims who have been injured due to the negligence of others. We will fight to hold the responsible party accountable and seek compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. If your loved one suffered a fatal injury, we can help you file a wrongful death claim. Call 813-440-2700 for your free consultation.
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