Miami Pedestrian Accident Lawyers
What to Do If You Were Hit by a Car or Vehicle While on Foot
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 76,000 pedestrians were injured in U.S. traffic accidents in 2012. This number is alarming because, as you may suspect, pedestrian injuries caused by vehicle crashes can be severe. Not every pedestrian will walk away from the scene of an accident. When injuries and deaths occur due to the fault of another, victims and their families need skilled legal professionals to assist them.
Greenberg, Stone & Urbano takes pride in its successful record of representing pedestrian accident victims and survivors. Firm partners Stewart G. Greenberg, Mark D. Stone, and Dennis N. Urbano have over a century of shared experience litigating personal injury and negligence claims. Our attorneys conduct and oversee investigations, negotiate with insurance companies, and advocate for victims in an effort to obtain full compensation for their clients. Once retained, our entire legal team acts expeditiously to secure important evidence to substantiate your case and maximize your chances of recovering monetary damages.
We Have the Resources to Fight for You
Although pedestrian accidents are caused by a wide variety of circumstances, too often, negligence on part of a vehicle driver is to blame. As prominent personal injury attorneys, our team has significant experience with motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents. Greenberg, Stone & Urbano has numerous resources and a wealth of litigation experience to call on when handling your claim.
Pedestrian accident cases often involve devastating injuries, like spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries, which is why we employ attorneys who are extensively experienced in catastrophic injury cases. When more expertise is needed, our firm has an established network of medical experts and accident reconstruction experts to help us better understand your case and explain it to a jury.
Our attorneys know what it takes to procure the compensation and accountability clients deserve. An injured pedestrian is often entitled to recover the past and future medical expenses, plus other compensation like lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment. It is important to our attorneys that they achieve the best possible recovery for you.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians can be injured in a wide array of scenarios because they are extremely vulnerable when they must cross paths with motor vehicles. Successful litigation of a pedestrian accident lawsuit requires careful evaluation of the cause of the accident and the potential parties responsible.
While there are many factors that play a role in pedestrian-vehicle collisions, some common examples include:
- Drunk or drug-impaired driving
- Lack of attention (distracted driving)
- Running red lights and stop signs
- Poorly designed roadways
- Declining to activate turn signals
- Lack of crosswalk and pedestrian safety features
- Failing to compensate for wet roadways or poor visibility
- Refusing to yield to pedestrians at crosswalks
- Speeding, especially in areas where pedestrians and children are present, like parking lots
Who Is Liable for Your Injuries?
When motorists violate traffic safety laws or otherwise fail to observe safe driving practices, they can be liable for damages. However, some pedestrian accidents occur because of the failure of municipalities, counties, or the state of Florida to provide safe roads that adequately protect pedestrians. If an unsafe crossing or another roadway defect contributes to a pedestrian accident, the public entity responsible for the design, construction, and/or maintenance of the roadway might share liability with a negligent driver. At Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, we carefully investigate the potential liability of public entities, especially when the at-fault driver has no insurance or insufficient coverage.
Because we are committed to identifying all potential insurance sources to satisfy a judgment or settlement, we also explore the liability of other parties who might be responsible for a pedestrian accident, such as:
- The employer of the driver
- Vehicle owners
- Parties that loan the vehicle to an unqualified driver
- Manufacturers of defective vehicles or components
Strategies Used to Avoid Liability in Pedestrian Accident Lawsuits
While there are myriad defense approaches the driver’s insurance company might use to limit your recovery, the most common approach is to attempt to shift the blame to you, the pedestrian. Although pedestrians have the right-of-way at intersections and crosswalks, they still have a duty to exercise reasonable care for their own safety. If a judge or jury finds a pedestrian engaged in conduct amounting to comparative negligence, the amount of the injury victim's damages will be reduced in proportion to the fault assigned to the pedestrian.
Common types of conduct that insurance company lawyers contend constitute comparative negligence by a pedestrian include:
- Pedestrian neglecting to use a marked crosswalk
- Children "darting" in front of a motor vehicle
- Failing to obey the "don't walk" signal at an intersection
- Entering traffic at a non-intersection and disrupting the flow of traffic (“jaywalking”)
Special Problem of Child Pedestrians
Although people of all ages can be injured in pedestrian accidents, children face the greatest risk of being run down by a careless or inattentive driver. Children are prone to being hit by motor vehicles because they are less aware of the risk posed by motor vehicles. This limitation is based on the fact children have less familiarity and experience in judging traffic safety risks. Since children have less innate ability to judge speed and distance accurately, the law provides special protection to children who, if they were adults, would be found to have been negligent in the same situation.
Insurance companies routinely rely on the "darting child" defense to claim that their insured could not have avoided the accident because the child stepped immediately into the pathway of their insured's vehicle. However, it is much harder for these companies to prove that a child acted negligently due to the fact that children generally cannot be held to the same standards of reasonable caution as adults.
When motorists fail to stop for buses that are loading and unloading children, slow their speed in school zones, or drive cautiously near parks and residential neighborhoods, a lack of prudent and safe driving might constitute a basis for imposing liability for injuring a child pedestrian.
Contact Our Attorneys Today for Your Free Consultation
The Miami pedestrian accident attorneys at Greenberg, Stone & Urbano have over 130 years of combined experience litigating all types of accident claims. Our attorneys have been voted "South Florida's Top Rated Lawyers" by the Miami Herald and many have received the prestigious AV® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®. They have also been selected for inclusion in the Florida Super Lawyers® list.
Reach out to us today to schedule your free consultation with one of our firm's attorneys. We understand the importance of your pedestrian accident case and want to assist you in pursuing your legal right to compensation.
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