Gainesville Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Gainesville residents and visitors enjoy warm weather year-round, which makes it enjoyable to skip the traffic and walk to your destination. Many people also walk or jog throughout the city for exercise or enjoyment with their families. All these benefits for pedestrians can mean little when a negligent driver crashes into someone walking, causing severe injuries.
Pedestrians in Florida enjoy the protection of several state and local laws so they can safely walk to destinations. However, the unfortunate truth remains that many pedestrians still suffer injuries due to the negligence of other parties. When this occurs, the negligent driver or party should be fully liable for all the losses of the injured pedestrian.
Holding drivers accountable is more complicated than it seems in most cases. Anybody who suffers injuries in such an accident will want to hire an experienced Gainesville pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as possible to protect their legal rights.
At Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A., we seek compensation for injured accident victims, including pedestrians.
We have obtained many successful results in traffic-related cases, including:
- $3.5 million following a car accident
- $2.5 million after a truck crash
- $800,000 for an injured motorcyclist
These are a few examples of how we fight for full compensation for clients after traffic collisions. Please contact our firm immediately to learn more about how we help pedestrians and for a free case evaluation.
Pedestrian Accidents in Gainesville
Florida authorities reported 9,553 pedestrian accidents last year. Those accidents resulted in 844 deaths throughout the state. Recent reports ranked Florida first among the states for pedestrian deaths, with 5,893 pedestrian fatalities over the last decade. Florida also experienced a 31-percent increase in pedestrian fatalities last year.
Gainesville ranked ninth out of 36 larger Florida cities for the most pedestrian accidents and injuries, with 161 in the area.
While the city implemented a Vision Zero program to reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths, critics note the efforts center around the University of Florida campus. While pedestrian accidents are common near the university, they also happen in other parts of the city that are not experiencing safety improvements.
Whether a driver hits you on University Avenue or across town, you deserve compensation for your injuries and losses. Our attorneys know the risks to pedestrians in Gainesville, and we are ready to do our part to hold drivers accountable and improve safety. Reach out to our office today for your free consultation.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Florida
Pedestrian crashes can stem from various causes, with some of the most frequent including:
- Rolling stops – Some motorists fail to come to complete stops at intersections, usually ones involving stop signs. Drivers hurrying to get through these intersections without coming to complete stops can easily strike pedestrians who rightfully begin crossing the street while expecting drivers to stop for them.
- Nighttime accidents – It can be more difficult for drivers to see pedestrians at night. This is not an excuse for driver inattention, however. Instead, drivers should be extra vigilant at night when watching for people walking.
- Reckless driving – In Florida, reckless driving involves operating any motor vehicle in a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of either persons or property. Many traffic violations fall under the umbrella of reckless driving, all of which can lead to pedestrian injuries.
- Speeding – Many drivers in Florida operate over posted speed limits, especially in residential areas, and speeding drivers often cannot come to complete stops in time to avoid striking pedestrians. Many drivers fail to slow down in school or construction zones, putting those walking in such areas at grave risk of severe harm. Even increased penalties for speeding in these zones do not deter drivers from putting pedestrians in harm’s way.
- Parking lot accidents – Drivers attempting to find parking in some areas of Gainesville might focus on seeking open spaces and thus disregard the people walking around the parking lot. Drivers might also back out of spaces without adequately checking for people walking by. As a result, many pedestrian accidents stem from driver negligence in parking lots.
- Poor intersection design – The government is responsible for designing and constructing intersections and roads that keep people safe, including pedestrians. When an intersection does not have proper crosswalks, signs, signals, or markings to allow pedestrians to safely cross the street, it might be partially the government agency’s fault.
- Improper or inadequate vehicle maintenance – In some instances, drivers may have valid claims that they tried to stop to avoid hitting pedestrians, but their motor vehicles were to blame. In these cases, it may be possible that a manufacturer or maintenance company will bear responsibility for injuries rather than the driver.
- Drunk or drugged driving – Everybody knows that Florida prohibits all drivers from operating motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance. However, some people still get behind the wheel in these circumstances, and drunk or drugged drivers are incredibly more likely to cause pedestrian accidents. Pedestrians who assume they are visible to oncoming traffic can become victims when drunk or drugged drivers do not stop because of their intoxication.
- Driving in reverse or left-hand turns – When a motorist operates in reverse or turns left, pedestrians may not become apparent until it is too late. Drivers are still responsible for thoroughly looking around for pedestrians and liable for the injuries they cause in these circumstances.
- Distracted driving – Many drivers are trying to accomplish other things while behind the wheel, with talking or texting on cell phones being the most common distractions nowadays. Distractions make it even more challenging for drivers to notice and react to pedestrians.
- Passing stopped school buses – Florida law requires all motorists to stop as they approach any school bus with red lights flashing or its STOP arm extended. Drivers in a rush in a school zone tend to ignore these warnings and are at greater risk of striking pedestrians – usually small schoolchildren.
Furthermore, it is also possible that pedestrians can suffer injuries in accidents that involve no motor vehicles. For example, a falling object from a building can strike a pedestrian, and the building owner can then be liable for the injuries.
Some of the most common kinds of pedestrians who suffer injuries include:
- Joggers or runners
- Utility cyclists
- Roller skaters
- Elderly individuals
- Segway riders
If the law classifies you as a pedestrian and you suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you need the right legal help from our Gainesville pedestrian accident lawyers today.
Many negligent drivers and their insurance companies claim that pedestrians walking in the dark or crossing the street are to blame for their injuries. This is a tactic to avoid or reduce liability, and you should never fall for this game. You should retain legal counsel for assistance fighting these claims and disproving allegations of liability on your part.
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrians have no protection in a collision with a motor vehicle – not even a helmet like cyclists wear.
These crashes can cause:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Broken bones and fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Nerve damage
- Sprains and strains
- Internal organ damage
- Facial injuries
- Wrongful death
Pedestrians regularly suffer life-threatening injuries, and you might immediately know you need medical attention. However, even if you don’t know whether you suffered injuries, you should still err on the safe side and get an evaluation. Many people feel stiff or sore after an accident and decide to tough it out, only to learn that they have serious injuries days or weeks later.
To protect your rights following a pedestrian injury, seek proper medical care. You should also set up your free case evaluation with our attorneys to learn about your legal rights.
Seeking Compensation for Florida Pedestrian Injuries
Florida has no-fault auto insurance laws, meaning every driver must carry a personal injury protection (PIP) policy. Drivers must have at least $10,000 in PIP coverage, and the policy should pay out regardless of fault for a traffic accident. If a child or another non-driver does not have PIP coverage, they usually fall under the coverage of a household member.
PIP claims are not straightforward just because they involve your own policy. These insurance companies still want to save money and limit the money you receive for your injuries. Always have a pedestrian accident attorney handling all insurance communications following your injuries.
Because pedestrian accidents can cause severe injuries, $10,000 will often not cover all the damages victims sustain. Your pedestrian accident lawyer can determine whether you are eligible to step outside the no-fault system and seek compensation from the negligent driver. Doing so opens the possibility of additional compensation not available under PIP coverage.
With our help, victims with serious injuries that negligent parties caused in pedestrian accidents might recover:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses relating to an accident
- Mental anguish
- Wrongful death damages
Once you file a claim against a negligent driver, you will deal with another insurance claim. This insurance company will also try to limit your payment at every turn. You need our lawyers handling all communications and negotiations to ensure you receive the settlement offer you need to cover your past and future losses.
We can file an injury lawsuit in civil court if the at-fault insurance company does not make a fair offer. We never shy away from litigation against negligent parties when settlement negotiations fail to obtain full compensation for our clients.
For a pedestrian accident claim, you need a skilled negotiator and litigator on your side, and you should look no further than Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A.
Why You Need a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Many injured accident victims try to handle their claims without legal assistance, which is a mistake. When you have life-changing injuries and overwhelming losses, you are vulnerable, and insurance companies know this. They often take advantage of accident victims eager to get money to pay their bills. Too many people accept low settlements that leave them with unpaid losses.
A pedestrian accident attorney knows how to take on the insurance company for you. You want them to handle all communications, as the insurance company is waiting for you to say or do something wrong.
An attorney can:
- Identify all liable parties
- Calculate your damages
- File PIP and at-fault claims when possible
- Provide all necessary evidence to the insurance companies
- Identify when settlement offers are inadequate
- Negotiate for higher settlement amounts
- Escalate the matter to civil court when necessary
Many people believe they will save money if they don’t have to pay an attorney for services. However, a pedestrian accident lawyer can often obtain much more than you can independently. Even after paying legal fees at the end of your case, you will likely walk home with significantly more compensation with our lawyers on your side.
Call Us for Your a Free Consultation With Our Gainesville Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
If you or your loved one suffered harm in a pedestrian accident in Gainesville, you always want to find legal representation quickly. The Gainesville pedestrian accident lawyers at Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A., can fight to recover every last dollar for you.
Our firm can conduct an independent investigation into your accident and secure all the evidence necessary for proving driver negligence related to your crash. We have the resources and experience to handle the toughest cases and go up against major insurance companies.
Call (800) 800-2575 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation and let us go over all of the details of your case in a lengthy discussion. Case evaluations are always free, and you never pay anything for our services unless we obtain compensation for you. Contact our team immediately to get started.