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Pedestrian Accidents Attorney in Altamonte Springs, Florida

According to data gathered by the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA), in Florida in 2022, 824 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents, down 9 from the year before. Overall, there were more than 10,000 pedestrian accidents statewide. The Florida pedestrian fatality rate equates to 3.82 persons for every 100,000 in population, one of the highest rates in the nation.

A lone individual, or a group of individuals, struck by a vehicle weighing 3,000 pounds or more can result in devastating effects. It's surprising that the fatality rate isn't higher, but even minor injuries can lead to lifelong trauma and other emotional and physical challenges.

If you or a loved one has been injured as a pedestrian by a motor vehicle in or around Altamonte Springs, Florida, contact me at the Law Office of Mark A. Cornelius P.A.

Since 1994, I have been helping victims of other people's negligence recover the just compensation due them for their injuries and other losses. Reach out in confidence. Your first consultation is free, and you won't owe a dime unless I win your case for you.

I proudly serve clients throughout Central Florida, including not only Altamonte Springs, but also Seminole, Orange, Osceola, and Volusia.

Recovering Your Damages

If you're struck as a pedestrian and have car insurance of your own, your first recourse is to seek compensation for injuries and medical expenses from the personal injury protection (PIP) provision of your insurance policy. However, it's important that your first step is to contact a personal injury attorney, who will work with your insurance company and advocate for your rights.

If you're not covered by your own policy or your family's, then the driver's PIP provision is required to pay.

Pedestrian Right of Way

Florida has laws regarding pedestrian right of way. These laws shield pedestrians from liability if they are obeying traffic laws, crosswalks, and traffic signals.

For instance, pedestrians must use sidewalks if they're available and must stay off the roadway. In addition, they cannot cross over the curb at an intersection until the signal indicates that they can.

Otherwise, pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, signalized intersections, parking lots, and roundabouts. Drivers should yield to the pedestrians in these situations.

Duty of Care

By accepting a driver's license, any owner or operator of a vehicle in Florida accepts a duty of care toward others on the road, not only those in vehicles but also those on foot or on bicycles.

The duty of care is spoken of in terms of negligence. That term is defined in the law as reasonable care. Reasonable care may be different from one activity to another. When sitting on the couch not much attention is needed. It is reasonable to doze off. When driving a car - which can easily weigh 3,000 pounds and kill people - it is reasonable to expect drivers to be exercising the utmost caution to avoid harm to others. If they do harm others, they can be subject not only to traffic violations but also legal claims from the injured person to recover their medical bills, lost wages, and possibly pain and suffering damages. If the legal claim is not settled by their insurance company or them, then they may get sued and be the defendant in a lawsuit.

Comparative Fault in Florida

Until March 2023, Florida observed pure comparative negligence but then switched to modified comparative negligence, also known as the 51 percent rule.

Under modified comparative negligence, each party is assigned a percentage of fault. Say you're struck in a crosswalk by a vehicle, but you are judged to have stepped off the curb a second or two before the walk light came on. You might be assigned 30 percent (or more or less) of the fault.

Thus, if you're seeking $50,000 in damages, the reward would be reduced by 30 percent, so you would end up with $35,000 instead of $50,000. If you are found to be more than 50 percent at fault, you can obtain nothing - thus the appellation "51 percent rule."

If the person claiming damages (you) is determined by a jury to be more than 50% at fault the claimant can recover nothing. Presuit this means if the insurance company believes you to be more than 50% at fault they will offer you nothing." Change the second paragraph to "However, if you are not more than 50% at fault you can still recover but your recovery will be reduced proportionally with your portion of fault. Simply put, if you have $100,000 in damages and are found to be 30% at fault you will only recover $70,000 since $30,000 (30% of $100,000) will be taken off your recovery since you were responsible for that 30%.

Filing a Lawsuit for Personal Injuries

You will have to prove negligence on the part of the driver who injured you, and you will also be subject to the rule of modified comparative negligence if you file a lawsuit. Since drivers are assumed to have a duty of care toward others, you can often prove negligence by their actions. Perhaps they were speeding or were distracted while driving.

It's important to note that in Florida, there is a two-year statute of limitations on filing personal injury lawsuits. That means you have two years to file your lawsuit from the date you sustained your injuries.

Damages Available

Damages refer to compensation you can receive for your losses. While PIP will cover medical and treatment expenses and lost wages from missing time at work, PIP does not cover these categories fully. For instance, you can receive only 60 percent of lost wages from PIP, and PIP does not pay 100% of the medical bills either. PIP also does not cover your pain and suffering or loss of consortium (companionship). Only a personal injury claim or lawsuit against the at fault party can include non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.

Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Altamonte Springs, Florida

If you or a loved one is injured as a pedestrian by a driver anywhere in Central Florida, reach out to me as soon as possible at the Law Office of Mark A. Cornelius P.A. I will discuss the circumstances of your accident with you and advise you of the best steps forward to receive the just compensation due you. I will negotiate with the insurance companies involved and will file a personal injury lawsuit if necessary. While you recover, let me handle the details of getting you the compensation you deserve.