At Perenich The Law Firm, we handle all varieties of personal injury cases, from car accidents to construction site injuries. One specific subset of car accident claims that we deal with quite often is when a car or other motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian. Here are 3 questions about pedestrian accident claims commonly asked by our clients. Contact our office to learn more information.
3 Questions About Pedestrian Accident Claims | What Should I Do After an Injury?
Recently, a client asked, “What do I do if I’ve been hit by a car?” These can be the most serious injuries that can ever occur involving a motor vehicle accident here in Florida. The most important thing that a pedestrian can do is get medical treatment. I’ve seen a situation where a pedestrian didn’t want the ambulance to take them to the hospital which is a big mistake. Get in the ambulance and go to the hospital, even if you don’t feel badly injured. Even a small injury can get worse down the road.
Go to the hospital, get checked out, and do what the doctor is telling you to do. Let it be known by everyone around you that you’ve been injured. Sometimes, sadly, the motor vehicle may not even stick around. The absolute most important thing that you have to do is call an attorney who has experience representing pedestrians and is willing to take this case all the way to a trial.
3 Questions About Pedestrian Accident Claims | What if I was Partially to Blame for the Accident?
Florida law recognizes comparative fault. If you have partial responsibility and a jury ultimately determines that you’ve perhaps failed to use reasonable care, under the circumstances, they may apportion a degree of liability or a percentage of fault to you. On the other hand, they may weigh that percentage of fault with the driver of the vehicle that struck you.
In Florida, the driver of a motor vehicle has a duty to exercise reasonable care to avoid striking pedestrians. There may be a question about whether there was ample lighting, that the driver should’ve seen you. There may be a question as to whether or not that driver was distracted by something, perhaps a cell phone or something else that was involved. By the mere fact that you may have been comparatively at fault in this pedestrian accident in which you were struck, that does not mean that you do not have a case to be able to pursue a claim against an at-fault driver that was also potentially comparatively at fault.
3 Questions About Pedestrian Accident Claims | What Happens if the Car Drove Off?
Sometimes we will have a client say, “I was a pedestrian and I got hit by a car, but the car didn’t stay at the scene and I tried to get the tag, but I couldn’t.” Whether there are witnesses or not, it’s important for you to know that you still may indeed have a claim, even if an investigation cannot determine who caused that hit and run. It’s important for you to know that if you own a motor vehicle or you reside with a relative that owns a motor vehicle, there may be available insurance coverage under their motor vehicles, that either you own or they own, that would protect you in that event. That’s what’s called uninsured motorist coverage, which applies when a pedestrian gets struck by a motor vehicle. In fact, it even applies if the pedestrian is forced to take evasive action and is not actually even struck by that vehicle.
Were you or a loved one seriously injured while walking in Florida and have questions about pedestrian accident claims? Contact our dedicated Tampa Bay pedestrian accident lawyers at Perenich The Law Firm today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation.