Orlando, FL Pedestrian Accident Attorney
A pedestrian accident could have catastrophic injuries due to the nature of a vehicle colliding with an unprotected person. Depending on how the person is hit and with what type of vehicle, the accident could also be fatal. Just halfway through one recent year, Florida saw 3,869 pedestrian crashes. Of these, 279 were fatal. Orlando isn’t immune, either, with about 590 injuries and 50 deaths per year in the area.
If you were hit by a vehicle or have a loved one who was killed in a pedestrian crash, contact The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins, P.A. as soon as possible.
Why You Should Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Once you realize that you should contact a lawyer, make sure the firm has experience with pedestrian accidents. These accidents are a little different than an accident between two vehicles. First, injuries are probably worse, even in a minor accident. Additionally, a pedestrian accident lawyer knows how to deal with insurance companies who may try to find ways out of paying on the claim or who insist on offering an unfair settlement.
If You Think You Might Be at Fault
If you think you are at fault, never admit anything to anyone, not even the officer making the report. In many cases, the driver is also at fault. You may still be entitled to compensation if you are partially at fault for the accident. Our investigators will investigate the accident to help determine if you were truly at fault, and if so, how much of the accident was your fault.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
In many cases, drivers leave after a pedestrian accident. If your accident is a hit-and-run, take a picture of the license plate or write it down if you are able to. If you are hurt at all, it’s best not to move until paramedics check you out. If you believe you just have some scrapes and bruises and feel that you are able to move without putting yourself in danger, take pictures of the accident scene. You should also contact the police if no one has done it. As soon after the accident as you are able, contact a pedestrian accident lawyer.
Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrian accidents could cause many types of injuries from emotional trauma and physical injuries to death. A wreck with a small passenger vehicle that just nicks you with its bumper may cause damage, but that same type of accident with a pickup truck or even a big rig could mean extensive damage or even death. Pedestrian accident injuries may include:
- Emotional trauma, which may occur even if you did not suffer extensive or permanent physical injuries. Some forms of emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), could last for many years after the accident. Those who suffer from emotional trauma may have to have therapy sessions for some time after the accident so that they are able to cope with living, especially those who suffered long-term or permanent physical injuries.
- Soft tissue injuries such as lacerations, dislocations, bruises, tears, strains, and sprains. While some will heal on their own, you should have others attended to by medical professionals, especially the more painful soft tissue injuries such as strains and sprains. Lacerations could leave scars if not treated properly. They may also become infected if not cared for properly, especially when you have additional medical issues that may affect how your body heals, such as diabetes, auto-immune diseases or cancer.
- Fractures and compound fractures are common when a vehicle hits a pedestrian. A compound fracture is when the broken bone sticks out of the skin. Fractures may be as small as a hairline crack. You may not even know you have a fractured bone at the time of the accident. This is one of the reasons that you should always have medical professionals check you out even if you think you’re not hurt or if you think that your injuries are minor.
- Spinal cord injuries may range from a fractured spinal cord to dislocated vertebrae. If you are hit by a vehicle, you should always have medical professionals check you, including taking x-rays or other scans of your spine.
- Traumatic brain injuries may be minor or catastrophic. A violent blow to the head, even if you hit your head when you fall to the ground on grass is something you should always check, even in paramedics say that it doesn’t look like you suffered a concussion.
- Amputations may be necessary if the damage to an extremity is bad enough. If a minor injury becomes infected and cannot be saved, an extremity may have to be amputated.
- Death is a very real consequence of a vehicle hitting a pedestrian. You are being hit by something that is many time your weight. Just a tap of a bumper at low speeds could cause damage.
In some cases, injuries may not manifest until days or even weeks after an accident. It is always best to get thoroughly checked out right after an accident, even if you feel you don’t have any injuries. Some more things that you should do after a pedestrian accident can be found here.
Pedestrian Car Accidents
A pedestrian accident could be between a pedestrian and a bicycle, truck, passenger vehicle, or motorcycle. Pedestrians may be hit in many situations, including:
- In a crosswalk. If a vehicle fails to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian in the crosswalk, the pedestrian could be hit. While pedestrians in crosswalks have the right-of-way in Florida, the pedestrian should also abide by traffic laws such as waiting for lights and looking both ways before crossing. You can’t expect a vehicle that is going the speed limit to slow down and miss you if you step out into the crosswalk at the last minute.
- Parking lot accidents. It’s easy to get hit in a parking lot. Many times, a vehicle may be backing out of a spot and may not see a pedestrian because of limited visibility. Pedestrians should always assume that someone backing up cannot see them. Another common place for a pedestrian to be hit is as he or she is crossing the entrance or exit to a parking lot. Before crossing in front of a stopped vehicle, be sure the driver sees that you are going to go in front of the vehicle—or better yet, wait for the vehicle to leave if it is the only one leaving the lot.
- Along the side of a street. Walking along the side of the street could be dangerous. A driver could lose control of his or her vehicle. Even on a less busy street, there is always the possibility that a driver could lose control because:
- Someone hit the driver;
- The driver is distracted;
- The driver is driving under the influence;
- The driver hits something in the road; or
- The driver tries to avoid something in the road or an oncoming vehicle in the wrong lane and doesn’t see you.
While it would be nice to be able to walk and not worry about vehicles, you should pay extra attention to your surroundings, especially on busy city streets. You may be able to avoid a nasty accident by jumping out of the way if you see a vehicle coming at you.
Damages That a Plaintiff Might Recover in a Pedestrian Accident
Damages will vary from accident to accident and from person to person. A subcompact car could tap you with its bumper and cause minor damage if you are a 200-pound man, but the same accident with the same car at the same speed could cause catastrophic injuries to a 50-pound child. Damages you might recover because of a pedestrian accident include:
- Medical bills – These are the current medical bills, and in the case of long-term or permanent injuries or in the case of emotional trauma, bills for future medical care.
- Loss of earnings – This is to compensate you for the time you lost from work because of the accident.
- Loss of future earnings – If your injuries preclude you from going back to work, you may recover loss of future earnings, especially in cases where you suffer permanent disabilities because of the injuries.
- Household expenses – If you are unable to perform household duties that you would normally perform, you may be compensated for those duties.
- Costs for altered plans – If you have to cancel a trip because of your injuries, you may receive compensation for the trip you are not able to take.
- Pain and suffering – Compensation may be awarded for short-term pain and suffering from the accident or for long-term pain and suffering if the accident leaves you with injuries that are long-term or permanent, such as back pain that never goes away.
- Mental anguish – If you are suffering from emotional trauma because of the accident, including PTSD, you may be paid for the mental anguish you are going through in addition to compensation for ongoing therapy sessions.
- Loss of consortium or companionship – If a loved one was killed in an accident or injured so badly that he or she cannot provide you with the emotional and physical support you are accustomed to, you may be entitled to compensation for the loss of that companionship.
If the pedestrian accident resulted in a fatality, family may be entitled funeral expenses, the cost of any medical care that took place prior to the death of the victim, loss of financial contribution, emotional distress from losing a loved one, loss of support and services provided by the lost loved one, and loss of consortium and companionship.
If the person who hit you or your loved one was grossly negligent, you may be awarded punitive damages. If a driver was driving and texting or driving under the influence, he or she may have to pay punitive damages. If the driver committed an intentional tort, such as battery, he or she might have to pay punitive damages. Think of punitive damages as a punishment for the person who injured you or who killed your loved one because of his or her negligent actions.
How Can I Afford a Pedestrian Attorney?
If you are injured or you lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident, our initial case consultations are free. Most cases are handled on a contingency basis. This means that you pay no attorney fees up front, and fees and costs are recovered out of any settlement or award you receive. In many cases, the costs associated with obtaining medical records, investigating the case and hiring expert witnesses to testify about long-term injuries are also paid once the case settles.
Never Try to Settle With the Insurance Company Myself
It is never advisable to settle with an insurance company yourself. Often, personal injury cases are complicated matters. Many times, more than one insurance company is involved. Additionally, if you are entitled to future medical costs, future wages or even punitive damages, you may not get that from an insurance company without the help of an attorney. Keep in mind that insurance companies—even yours—are not out to protect you. They are in business to make money and want to protect their bottom line, which means that even though you paid all those premiums, the insurance companies are still going to try to get away with paying as little as possible.
If we cannot get the insurance company to come to a fair and reasonable settlement, we will not hesitate to take your case to court. Often, if an insurance company knows that we are not afraid to go to court, we’ll get a fairer settlement.
Contact The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins, P.A.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident or you lost a loved one because of injuries from a pedestrian accident, contact The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins, P.A. at (407) 287-6757 as soon as possible. Florida law does not allow you to collect on a settlement or go to trial once the statute of limitations expires, which means that you have a limited time to file your case. And, it is always better to contact an attorney while the incident is still fresh in your mind so that you are able to give us as many details as possible.