Have You Been In A Florida Pedestrian Accident?
Pedestrians are some of the most at-risk road users in Florida, simply because they lack the protection of automobile drivers. If you are struck by a car or motorcycle while out on Florida’s roads, your injuries are likely severe, and you may need experienced legal help to get through the legal process of seeking compensation. Pedestrians deserve to be shown just as much respect and care as drivers on the road.
Likelihood Is High
Florida has consistently been one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians for a variety of reasons. In 2019, 9 of the 20 most dangerous metropolitan areas in the U.S. were in Florida, with the Tampa metro area coming in at No. 9. The state has been described as being “built for speed,” with a marked lack of pedestrian infrastructure, especially in lower-income areas. Lack of lights, sidewalks, and other tools designed to help pedestrians use Florida roads safely put walkers, bicyclists and other non-automobile drivers at risk.
In addition to infrastructure issues, the types of vehicles that predominate on Florida roads can also play a role. Florida has a high proportion of SUV drivers, and because of their unusual center of gravity and their drivers’ tendency to speed, SUVs are more likely to kill a pedestrian in the event of an accident than a standard automobiles. Any bad combination of factors can lead to serious injury, however, and if you are injured, trying to navigate insurance and any potential liability can be complex and confusing.
If you are injured in an auto accident, even as a pedestrian, Florida requires that most cases be handled through personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. Florida has a no-fault system of auto insurance, which means that instead of filing suit if you are injured, most cases where the medical bills do not reach more than $10,000 are settled by filing a claim with one’s PIP insurer – each Florida driver is required to carry at least $10,000 in PIP coverage, and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage, or face financial penalties and potential license suspension.
If your injuries are severe – “significant and permanent” is the legal standard – you are permitted to file suit in the appropriate court. Most personal injury cases are filed under a theory of negligence; this means that in order to recover, you must show that the defendant owed you the duty to exercise reasonable care toward you (which can generally be stipulated – every driver owes reasonable care to those who share the road with them). If that duty exists, you must then show that it was breached directly because of the defendant’s actions, which in turn caused your harm.
Call A Tampa Pedestrian Accident Attorney
It can be both confusing and frightening if you are involved in an auto accident, especially as a pedestrian, away from the protection of a vehicle. If you have been through this situation, calling a compassionate and dedicated Tampa pedestrian accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group may be the first step toward getting the compensation you need. Contact us today for a free consultation.