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    How Injured Pedestrians Get Compensation

    Attorney David I. Fuchs

    Attorney David I. Fuchs

    Car Accident, Car Accident Law, Hit And Run Car Accident, Pedestrian Accident

    Whether it’s an effort to save gas or take advantage of gorgeous Floridan weather, walking or riding a bike could be one of the most dangerous activities in the Sunshine State. In fact, according to an article by the Sun-Sentinel, there were 1,675 pedestrian deaths in South Florida between 2010 and 2019. That equals 2.8 deaths for every 100,000 people.

    And while there are circumstances where the pedestrian may share most of the blame for any incidents involving a vehicle striking them, the non-profit group Smart Growth America indicates roadways are designed for speed of travel, not the safety of pedestrians.

    If I’m Hit by a Vehicle, How Do I Get Compensated in Fort Lauderdale?

    According to Florida law, pedestrians can essentially be any kind of “vulnerable road user,” like someone walking along the road, riding a bicycle, e-bike, scooter, moped, or even someone riding an animal. By law, if a driver strikes a pedestrian, they must stop and remain at the crash scene until they have fulfilled their legal obligations.

    Leaving the scene of the crash could be considered a first-degree felony. If someone is hit by a car, they should take the same steps a driver in the same situation would take: call the authorities, seek medical treatment, collect evidence, and contact your insurance provider.

    How to Recover Damages

    Like most personal injury cases, the victim is tasked with proving the driver was negligent — meaning that at the time of the crash, the driver wasn’t focusing 100% on the task at hand like another driver would have in similar circumstances.

    To prove negligence, the victim will need to establish the driver needed to be following the traffic laws but didn’t, resulting in the accident. The victim will also need to prove the driver did not follow the laws — for instance, if the driver was drunk while behind the wheel.

    Then, the victim must prove that the driver’s negligence — driving drunk, like the example above — caused the victim’s injuries and those injuries negatively affected the victim’s life, thus requiring compensation to recover.

    Each case is unique, but personal injury claims can take anywhere from 9 to 18 months.

    What is the Claims Process in Florida?

    The claims process can be lengthy and complicated, even if a pedestrian-vehicle accident seems cut and dry. To keep profits high, insurance companies often offer low-ball settlements to victims. Getting all sides to agree on a settlement can be a timely process, so it’s best to exercise patience.

    You should seek treatment after a crash and keep a record of everything. You should also notify your insurance provider that you were struck by a vehicle within a timely manner. Depending on the level of injury, you may be looking at a quick settlement; if the injuries sustained in the incident were severe, the process could take longer.

    That process may involve an investigation, getting reports from law enforcement officials, and gathering evidence surrounding the accident. Once you know who is responsible and have enough evidence, you can send over a demand letter to get the claims process going.

    A lawsuit may be necessary to get the compensation you or a loved one needs. Once all parties agree on the amount owed to the victim, then a settlement can be reached.

    Who Pays for Damages?

    In most pedestrian accidents, the at-fault driver will be held responsible and pay for the damages, economic loss, and possible ongoing medical care for the victim. Whether that’s the driver themselves or their insurance, the victim should be able to file for a settlement or a claim against the negligent driver.

    Personal Injury Protection claims

    Florida requires its drivers to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. Pedestrians are entitled to PIP coverage if they are hit by a car, as long as a member of their household carries PIP for their own vehicle. If the victim doesn’t have PIP, they will be covered by the driver’s PIP insurance. PIP insurance provides up to $10,000 for the victim to use towards medical expenses.

    What Happens if the Driver Does Not Have Insurance?

    Florida insurance agencies are required to offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. If the victim of a pedestrian-car accident carries the UM and the driver does not have insurance, they should be covered. The UM will take effect once other insurance payments are exhausted.

    Things to Remember as a Fort Lauderdale Pedestrian

    While Florida weather generally makes walking tempting, traveling alongside roads or even crossing them can be dangerous. Refer to these safety tips from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to stay familiar with the best practices of walking near vehicles.

    A key point: jaywalking is illegal in most Floridan municipalities. If you jaywalk and are struck by a car, it could impact the amount of money you receive in a settlement or lawsuit.

    Turn to a Trusted Fort Lauderdale Pedestrian Accident Attorney

    After you or a loved one has been the victim of a pedestrian-vehicle car accident, it’s crucial to get the help you need to receive the maximum compensation possible.

    The injury and accident attorneys at David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer, P.A. have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the complicated claims process and will work for you with insurance companies to get you the money you deserve.

    Contact us online to get started.

    Every day that goes by costs you more.
    Let us help put a stop to that. Contact us today for a free consultation.

    In addition to a free consultation, we’ll help cover the cost of your car repairs and provide you with a rental at no cost to you. We’ll put a hold on your medical bills to stop them from piling up on the kitchen table. And most importantly, we’ll find those at fault for your car accident injury and make them pay for the damages lost. Call a Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyer today to maximize the potential of your case.