Carrollwood Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Largely because of the year-round mild weather in Tampa Bay, many pedestrians are on area sidewalks. That’s especially true in downtown areas and around schools. The increased pedestrian traffic should prompt motorists to keep a sharper lookout for these individuals, especially in certain areas at certain times of day. But that’s usually not the case. When a speeding car hits a helpless pedestrian, the result is often tragic for the victim.
The experienced Carrollwood pedestrian accident attorneys at Moore Law routinely handle these matters in Pinellas County and nearby jurisdictions. So, we know what it takes to build a solid claim for compensation. Furthermore, our expertise allows us to predict insurance company defenses. So, we are well-positioned to handle them. The end result is usually maximum compensation for victims. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
A few pedestrian accidents happen in permanent or virtual crosswalks. A virtual crosswalk is a temporary crosswalk that features flashing yellow lights which direct motorists to stop.
Liability in a permanent crosswalk accident usually depends on the light’s color. If the pedestrian was in the crosswalk with the light, the tortfeasor (negligent driver) clearly failed to yield the right of way.
Other crosswalk accidents are not as straightforward. Yellow light accidents are a good example. Most Hillsborough County roads have wide lanes and short red lights. If a person has any mobility impairments, it’s almost impossible to get across these streets before the lights change color. The duty of reasonable care normally requires motorists to yield to pedestrians in such situations.
Many people are surprised to learn that even if the pedestrian was in the crosswalk on red, compensation might still be available. In these situations, jurors must normally divide responsibility for the accident between the victim and tortfeasor.
Most pedestrian accidents happen outside crosswalks. Speed usually plays a role in these accidents. If the tortfeasor was travelling under 25mph, the pedestrian death rate is about 10 percent. The fatality rate skyrockets to 90 percent if the tortfeasor was travelling more than 45 mph.
As mentioned, the duty of care usually applies in these cases. Motorists have a duty to drive defensively and avoid accidents when possible, no matter what another person does or doesn’t do.
Non-crosswalk pedestrian accidents often involve the sudden emergency defense. This defense excuses negligence if the tortfeasor:
- Reasonably reacted to
- A sudden emergency.
Most people react reasonably to non-crosswalk pedestrian accidents. They render aid if possible and wait for emergency responders to arrive.
The second element is more difficult for insurance companies to prove in court. In this context, “sudden emergency” has a very narrow meaning. Episodes in this category include tire blow-outs, hood fly-ups, and other completely unexpected situations. In contrast, a jaywalking pedestrian is usually an everyday hazard, like a stopped-short car.
Under the duty of care, motorists must anticipate such obstacles and be ready to deal with them. So, the sudden emergency defense usually does not apply.
Rely on an Experienced Hillsborough County Lawyer
Injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in Carrollwood, contact Moore Law by going online or calling 813-510-5400. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.