Tampa Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
Tampa Bay is one of the most dangerous areas for pedestrians. According to the latest traffic crash report, 7,796 pedestrians in Florida suffered injuries and 667 died in traffic collisions in 2016. Hillsborough County recorded some of the highest numbers of pedestrian collisions in 2016, with 571 injuries and 50 fatalities. In such a dangerous city for walkers, runners, and hikers, you need Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers to protect your rights after an accident.
David Bulluck, the founder of Bulluck Law Group, recognizes the vehicle-focused design of the Tampa Metropolitan Area’s streets and crosswalks. Poor pedestrian walkways and badly designed intersections contribute to the number of collisions each year. He and his team of experienced attorneys want you to know you’re not alone. We’ve spent the last decade advocating for pedestrian rights in Tampa. We can help you explore your options for financial compensation. Call (813) 988-7800 to start with a free consultation for your Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers.
What to Do as an Injured Pedestrian in Tampa
As someone involved in a pedestrian collision in Tampa, your first goal should be to protect your physical health. Call 911 and request an ambulance if you notice any injuries. Even if you don’t think you have injuries, go to the hospital for a medical review. You may have injuries with delayed symptoms, such as a hidden brain injury, or your adrenaline from the crash could be preventing you from feeling your injuries. Seek prompt medical attention to help your health prognosis and to strengthen your claim.
If you can, start gathering evidence right at the scene of the accident. Ask a trusted friend or family member to stay behind and do so for you if you have to immediately go to the hospital. The more information you collect about the accident, the stronger your case will be against the driver. Get the names of the driver and any eyewitnesses. Take down the driver’s license number and insurance information. Take photos of the scene of the crash, if possible. Record the details of the environment, such as if there was a crosswalk or pedestrian walkway. Always call 911, and get an official record of your accident.
Before you call your insurance company to report the crash, contact Bulluck Law Firm. We’ll help you know what to say and what not to say when dealing with insurance companies before you make an irrevocable mistake. Your insurance company will pressure you to say yes to a quick, inexpensive settlement, even before they understand the full extent of your injuries. Once you sign away your rights during an insurance settlement, there’s no recovering another penny. Instead of trusting your insurance company, trust someone who has your best interests at heart – a personal injury attorney.
How Do Pedestrian Accident Claims Differ from Other Types?
Pedestrian collisions differ from other auto accidents by the nature of the victims’ injuries. Pedestrian accidents almost always result in serious injuries to the pedestrians, including broken bones and head and brain injuries. A pedestrian collision can be swift and deadly – often followed by the at-fault driver fleeing the scene. Due to the serious nature of pedestrian accidents, they require special legal attention.
Pedestrian accident injuries are often severe enough to qualify the victim for a personal injury claim beyond Florida’s no-fault insurance system. This means that you could recover greater compensation for your injuries through a civil claim instead of just settling for insurance coverage. Filing a claim is possible if your injuries result in long-term or permanent pain, disability, or disfigurement. To find out if you’re entitled to a personal injury claim, talk to our lawyers.
If a driver struck you while you were walking and ran from the scene, you could still recover compensation. Your own insurance company can cover your damages as if the driver had remained on the scene but lacked proper insurance. You need a lawyer to help you negotiate a fair settlement from your own insurance company, to make sure the claims adjuster isn’t underestimating the extent of your injuries and financial damages. Our attorneys can help you with your claim every step of the way.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pedestrian Accidents
In our 10-plus years as a personal injury law firm in Tampa, we’ve heard some of the same questions from clients again and again. We understand how confusing and intimidating the aftermath of a serious pedestrian collision can be and how desperate victims can be for answers. We’re here to help you in any way we can, starting with answers to a few frequently asked questions. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to call.
What compensation might I receive from a pedestrian accident?
The exact value of your pedestrian accident claim is unique and requires analysis from a personal injury attorney. However, the types of compensation remain basically the same. In Florida, the civil justice system allows you to seek recovery for your accident-related medical costs, past and future pain and suffering, lost income, and psychological harm from the collision.
If the courts deem the at-fault driver grossly negligent or reckless (as might be the case in a drunk driving accident or a hit-and-run), you could receive additional punitive damages as well. Wrongful death pedestrian accident claims could also result in compensation for funeral and burial expenses, loss of consortium, and the family’s mental anguish.
Who is at fault for my accident? Is it always the driver?
The obvious answer when determining fault for a pedestrian collision is the motorist that struck the person walking; however, this might not be the correct (or only) defendant. The driver might not be at fault if a third party caused the accident, such as a negligent roadway maintenance crew that failed to correct a malfunctioning traffic light. Possible at-fault parties can include:
- Another driver
- An auto part manufacturer
- The City of Tampa
- A property owner
- Another third party
All pedestrian accident cases require a thorough investigation to find out who might be at fault. Florida is a comparative negligence state, meaning that even if you were partially responsible for the crash as a pedestrian you could still be eligible for compensation. A personal injury attorney can help you prove fault and liability.
What are the most common causes of pedestrian accidents?
Human error is the number one cause of pedestrian collisions. Distracted, drunk, negligent, and reckless drivers can strike pedestrians when they don’t pay enough attention to the road. Speeding, running red lights, and making unsafe left-hand turns can all cause pedestrian collisions, as can unmarked crosswalks and busy streets. Pedestrians over the age of 65 and under the age of 15 are most at risk of pedestrian collisions according to national data.
If a bicycle injures me, do I still have a case?
Yes. If a bicyclist struck you instead of a motorist, your rights are much the same. You still have the right to pursue an insurance settlement through your insurer or through a personal injury claim if the bicyclist was at fault for the wreck. Bicycles are technically vehicles in Florida and must follow the rules of the road. Bulluck Law Group can work with you to understand the details of your unique pedestrian accident claim.
Is there a time limit for filing a pedestrian accident claim?
Yes. In Florida, you have four years from the date of your accident to file your claim against the at-fault party. Keep in mind that the deadline to file your claim with your insurance company is much shorter – typically as soon as possible. If your claim involves a government body such as the City of Tampa, you have three years to file. Wrongful death claims have a deadline of two years from the date of death.
How can a pedestrian accident attorney help me?
Pedestrian accidents can result in months or years of medical bills and pain and suffering. You or a loved one’s life might never be the same. If you’re the victim of a pedestrian accident in Tampa Bay, don’t attempt to settle your case alone. Hiring an attorney can make a huge difference in the outcome of your claim. Bulluck Law Group can put years of experience and education to work for you, fighting for your rights as the victim of someone else’s negligence. We have the resources you need. Learn more during a free case evaluation – call (813) 988-7800 or request a meeting online today.