Marion County Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
It is no secret that Florida is a popular tourist destination and retirement community. Given the high number of automobiles continuously pouring in and out of the state, it is also no surprise that Florida ranks highest in the nation for pedestrian accidents.
Injuries from being struck by a motor vehicle are typically more severe than sprains or small scratches. Individuals struck by vehicles while walking may be hospitalized from weeks to months, and the injuries they sustain can easily create an ongoing need for medical treatment, potentially leading to skyrocketing medical bills and even loss of employment. By contacting a Marion County pedestrian accident lawyer, you could have an advocate to communicate the insurance companies and investigators and help you get your life back to normal. Call a compassionate attorney today to schedule a consultation.
Marion County Pedestrian Laws
A pedestrian is defined by law as an individual not occupying motor vehicle, bicycle or mobile conveyance. Florida Statutes §316.130 provides a list of regulations that all pedestrians must abide by, many of which are similar to those that motor vehicles must follow.
In Marion County, a pedestrian has a duty of care to act responsibly when motor vehicles are present. Some of the duties include obeying official traffic control devices applicable to pedestrians at intersections, using sidewalks where provided unless circumstances do not allow for it, and using the shoulder on the left side of the road where sidewalks are not provided. In addition, pedestrians should always be on high alert while walking in high traffic areas, especially where a motorist may not expect a pedestrian to be present.
In the same vein, Florida law provides that motorists also have a duty of care toward pedestrians. Motorists should exercise reasonable care to avoid collisions with any pedestrian and give warning and precaution when there is a child or incapacitated person present. The failure of a driver to exercise their duty of care could qualify as legal negligence, but more importantly, could lead to a pedestrian accident or fatality.
Common Pedestrian Accident Causes and Damages
Pedestrian accidents often occur due to the actions of a negligent motorist. These accidents can occur in several ways:
- A motorist failing to yield to a pedestrian’s right of way
- Distracted driving, often because of cell phone usage
- An unsafe lane change or turn
- Sideswiping a pedestrian on the side of the road
- Not yielding to children exiting a school bus
In order to successfully bring a claim forward for damages after a pedestrian accident, the injured party must be able to prove that there was negligence. The elements of negligence are as follows:
- The driver had a duty to exercise reasonable care while driving
- The driver breached that duty through a negligent action or failure to act
- The driver’s negligent behavior directly caused the accident in question
- The plaintiff in the case now has injuries and quantifiable damages as a direct result of the accident
Additional Legal Concerns
Florida is a comparative fault state. This means that whatever degree to which the plaintiff in a pedestrian accident case was responsible for the accident and/or their injuries limits the amount they may be able to recover. For example, if a pedestrian was texting while crossing a busy four-lane street, failed to pay attention to the traffic lights, and was subsequently struck by a car, the court could assign a percentage of fault for the accident to them. A Marion County pedestrian accident attorney could explain if this principle may apply to a client’s individual case.
Furthermore, Florida law allows only four years from the date of a pedestrian accident in which an accident victim may file a claim. This law is meant to ensure that evidence relevant to the claim does not become lost or obscured, but it can also prevent an injured party from receiving any civil compensation whatsoever if they do not file before the deadline passes.
Speak with a Marion County Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
The time after a pedestrian accident can be confusing, especially if you are dealing with significant personal injuries on top of a potential civil claim. You may have all types of questions and concerns, but fortunately, there are resources available to help you answer them. Do not let another day go by without contacting a Marion County pedestrian accident lawyer to get professional legal help throughout this challenging and complicated process.