South Floridians and tourists love strolling along Clematis Street in the heart of Downtown West Palm Beach, down Flagler Drive on the Intercoastal Waterway, and past the city’s boutiques, bars, and historical landmarks.
In peak season, the area is jammed with motorists and pedestrians who must stay vigilant to avoid one another on the streets. Unfortunately, vehicles can strike pedestrians, resulting in serious and sometimes fatal accidents.
If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one while walking the streets of West Palm Beach, you need a West Palm Beach pedestrian accident lawyer to navigate the complex legal landscape on your behalf and fight for the justice and compensation you deserve. Contact the legal team at Kaiser Romanello, P.A., to hear your legal options.
Why Choose Kaiser Romanello, P.A., for Your Pedestrian Accident Case?
At Kaiser Romanello, P.A., we understand the profound impact an accident can have on the lives of accident victims and their families. These incidents can lead to devastating injuries, mounting medical bills, lost income, and emotional distress. We are here to help. Our personal injury lawyers have recovered millions of dollars in compensation for our clients when they need it the most.
With a deep-rooted commitment to our community and a proven track record of success, you can trust Kaiser Romanello, P.A., to advocate for you when facing the challenges that follow a pedestrian accident.
Our experienced attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of Florida’s traffic laws and a relentless passion for justice. We take a compassionate approach to every case, ensuring you receive the personal attention and legal representation you need during this difficult time. Contact us today for your free consultation.
How Common Are Pedestrian Accidents?
More pedestrians are dying in motor vehicle accidents on U.S. roads than in the past 40 years, at a rate of about 20 per day, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.
Last year, motorists struck and killed more than 7,500 pedestrians. The rate of pedestrian accident fatalities has risen most significantly since 2010, when the number of SUVs substantially increased. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, motor vehicles struck 9,440 pedestrians in the Sunshine State last year, resulting in 7,285 injuries and 817 deaths.
The most common cause of pedestrian accidents is human error, often by the motor vehicle operator. A driver’s negligence causes them to collide with a pedestrian with catastrophic, if not deadly, results.
Victims of pedestrian accidents should not pay the financial repercussions of an accident that was not their fault. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer from Kaiser Romanello, P.A., can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.
Do I Have a Pedestrian Accident Claim?
Negligence is a legal concept used in personal injury cases, including pedestrian accident claims.
To establish a successful claim for negligence in a pedestrian accident, the plaintiff (the injured pedestrian) generally needs to prove four key elements:
Duty of Care: The first element is demonstrating that the defendant (usually the driver of the vehicle involved in the accident) owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. In pedestrian accident cases, drivers owe a duty of care to exercise reasonable caution and drive safely to prevent harm to pedestrians.
Breach of Duty: The second element involves showing that the defendant breached their duty of care. This means proving that the driver did not meet the expected standard of care. Examples of breaches in pedestrian accidents might include speeding, texting while driving, running a red light or stop sign, or failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.
Causation: To establish negligence, you must demonstrate that the defendant’s breach of duty caused your injuries. In other words, the plaintiff must show that “but for” the defendant’s actions (or inaction), the accident and resulting injuries would not have occurred. This element often requires expert testimony and evidence to establish a causal link.
Damages: The final element is proving that the plaintiff suffered actual damages as a result of the accident. These damages can include medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income, property damage, and other losses related to the pedestrian’s injuries or the accident itself.
In a pedestrian accident claim, the plaintiff’s attorney will gather evidence to establish these four elements. This may involve eyewitness testimony, accident reports, medical records, expert witness testimony, and other relevant evidence to demonstrate that the driver’s negligence led to the pedestrian’s injuries and resulting damages. If you can establish all four elements, you may recover compensation for your losses through a settlement or lawsuit.
Who Pays for a Pedestrian Accident Victim’s Medical Bills?
When a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian, extensive injuries and staggering medical bills can result. Who pays for the victim’s medical expenses depends on various factors.
Florida is a “no-fault” insurance state, so drivers in a motor vehicle accident can seek coverage for medical bills and loss of earnings (if they miss work due to their injuries) through their own personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage.
Florida requires all motorists to carry PIP insurance, and this coverage applies even if you were injured by a car while crossing the street or standing on the side of the road. If you do not own a vehicle, you won’t have PIP coverage. But you may be covered under the PIP policy of a family member residing with you.
Florida law only requires motorists to carry a minimum of $10,000 per accident of PIP coverage. When a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian, their medical bills can easily exceed this amount.
In this case, the injured pedestrian may be eligible to file a claim against the driver’s insurance for medical bills that exceed their own policy limits. They may also seek compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering if their injuries are considered permanent under Florida law.
Florida defines these injuries as meeting one or more of the following criteria:
Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function
Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement
Who May be Held Liable in a Pedestrian Accident Case?
In a pedestrian accident claim, liability (responsibility for the accident and resulting injuries) can extend to various parties, depending on the specific circumstances of the accident.
In some cases, you may have grounds to seek compensation from more than one party.
Here are some potential parties who may be held liable in a pedestrian accident claim:
The Driver of the Vehicle
The driver of the vehicle involved is the most common party held liable in pedestrian accidents. If the driver’s negligence led to the accident and caused harm to the pedestrian, you can hold them responsible for the pedestrian’s injuries and damages. Examples of driver negligence include speeding, distracted driving, running a red light, or failing to yield the right of way.
Employer of the Driver
If the driver acted within the scope of their employment at the time of the accident, such as driving a company vehicle while on the job, you can hold their employer liable under the legal principle of vicarious liability. This allows the injured pedestrian to seek compensation from the employer’s insurance or assets.
Poor road conditions or inadequate signage, crosswalks, or traffic signals may sometimes contribute to a pedestrian accident. If the accident resulted from a dangerous road condition or negligence by a government entity responsible for road maintenance, you can hold them liable. Claims against government entities often involve special procedures and shorter time limits, so consult an attorney experienced in such cases.
If a defect in the vehicle played a role in the accident, such as brake failure, you may hold the manufacturer of the vehicle or its parts liable for the pedestrian’s injuries. This would typically fall under product liability laws.
In some cases, liability may extend to other parties not directly involved in the accident, such as a bar or restaurant that served alcohol to a minor driver who caused an accident or a property owner whose negligence contributed to the accident, such as lack of proper lighting in a parking lot.
Can a Pedestrian Bear Fault for an Accident?
While pedestrians typically have the right of way in many situations involving motor vehicles, they can bear some responsibility if a car strikes them.
Unfortunately, insurance companies know this and may try to get pedestrian accident victims to admit fault and use your words to devalue your claim. For this reason, limit what you say to the insurance company when reporting your accident and let your attorney handle discussions with them to protect your rights.
How Can a Lawyer Help With My Pedestrian Accident Claim?
Here are several ways in which a pedestrian accident attorney from Kaiser Romanello, P.A., can assist you with your claim:
Our personal injury attorneys are well-versed in the relevant laws and regulations. They can provide legal advice on how the law applies to your case.
Our attorneys have the resources and experience to conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your accident. This may include gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and obtaining accident reports and medical records to build a strong case.
Determining who is at fault in a pedestrian accident can be complex. A lawyer with our firm can help establish liability by analyzing factors such as traffic laws, eyewitness accounts, surveillance footage, and expert opinions if necessary.
Our lawyers can assess the full extent of your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future expenses related to your injuries. They can seek fair compensation for all your losses.
Negotiation with Insurance Companies
Dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, as they may minimize the compensation they offer. Your attorney can negotiate on your behalf to recover a fair settlement that covers your needs.
If negotiations with the insurance company do not lead to a satisfactory settlement, your lawyer can represent you in court. They will file a lawsuit and advocate for your interests during the litigation process.
Statute of Limitations Compliance
Personal injury claims have time limits, known as statutes of limitations, within which you must file your lawsuit. Your lawyer can file your claim within the required timeframe.
Mitigating Comparative Fault
In some cases, both the pedestrian and the driver may share some degree of fault for the accident. Your attorney can minimize your responsibility and maximize your compensation.
Access to Medical Experts
Our lawyers have connections to medical experts who can provide testimony about the extent of your injuries and the long-term consequences, which you need to prove your case.
Peace of Mind
An attorney can alleviate some of the physical, emotional, and financial stress of your pedestrian accident, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Contingency Fee Structure:
The personal injury lawyers at Kaiser Romanello, P.A., work on a contingency fee basis, so we only get paid if you win your case. This fee structure makes our services accessible for all individuals who need legal representation in pedestrian accident claims.
Contact the Pedestrian Accident Lawyers from Kaiser Romanello, P.A., Today
If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident in West Palm Beach, don’t wait to seek the legal help you deserve. We make your rights and future well-being our top priority.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation with our experienced West Palm Beach pedestrian accident lawyers. Let us assess the strength of your case, discuss your legal options, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Don’t bear the burden alone.
Take the first step towards justice and a brighter future by contacting us today (844) 877-8679 or through our online form for your free, no-obligation consultation.