Tampa Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Getting hit by a car as a pedestrian is one of the scariest and most serious injury accidents one could encounter. Unfortunately, if you live in Tampa, your risk of a pedestrian accident is greater than just about anywhere else. Not only is Florida the worst state in the country when it comes to pedestrian accidents; Tampa, Florida, is in the top ten most dangerous cities for pedestrians in the entire United States. To make matters worse, pedestrian accidents are on the rise in America, including hit-and-run accidents that make it even harder for crash victims to get the financial help they need to recover from their injuries.
Yes, these facts are alarming, but they are all the more reason to get a legal professional on your side who knows the law and is dedicated to helping you. At Moore Law, our lead attorney has over 25 years of experience handling personal injury matters from both sides of the case. He knows what your case is worth and how to get full value for your claim. Of all traffic accidents, pedestrian accidents are the ones most likely to result in catastrophic personal injury or wrongful death. This means your needs and costs will be high, and the higher they are, the harder the insurance company fights to protect its bottom line. Call Tampa pedestrian accident attorney Eric Moore and his team at Moore Law if you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a Florida pedestrian accident. Don’t settle for less. Get Moore.
What Causes so Many Pedestrian Accidents in Tampa?
Over 600 pedestrian crashes happen in Tampa and Hillsborough County every year, causing nearly 570 injuries and more than 50 deaths, on average. Injury or death occurs in 99% of these accidents, a rate far higher than any other type of car crash, including collisions with motorcycles and bicycles. Distracted driving and distracted walking are a likely cause of the increase in pedestrian accidents, with more people keeping their eyes and attention on their phones instead of the road and the traffic around them. Drunk driving, speeding and other negligent driving behaviors are also to blame. Pedestrians can be hard to spot by a driver in a fast-moving vehicle, and taking one’s eyes off the road for just a second or two can spell disaster to a pedestrian on the road.
Common causes of pedestrian accidents in Tampa include:
- Running a red light after a pedestrian has entered the roadway
- Turning at an intersection without checking for pedestrians first
- Stopping the car in the crosswalk, so that the pedestrian has to walk into traffic to get around
- Pulling out of a parking lot, driveway, alley or side street without looking out for pedestrians first
- Swerving around a stopped vehicle that has stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross (This maneuver is specifically against the law since it poses such a grave danger to pedestrians)
Some of the more serious results of a pedestrian accident can include:
- Broken bones, including especially the ribs, arms and legs
- Internal injuries
- Torn ligaments or tendons, particularly in the legs, knees and arms
- Spinal injuries, including herniated discs and temporary or permanent paralysis (paraplegia/quadriplegia)
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) including concussions, skull fractures, and brain bleeds
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological injuries
- Wrongful death
Do Pedestrians Have the Right-of-Way in Tampa?
The laws for pedestrians are fairly clear in Florida. Pedestrians must stay out of the street and use sidewalks whenever they are available unless there is some obstruction that keeps people from safely using the sidewalk. Where sidewalks don’t exist, pedestrians should travel on the left shoulder of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
Pedestrians have the right-of-way when crossing the street at a marked crosswalk. The rule for drivers is to stop and stay stopped. This means the vehicle should stop and yield to a pedestrian whenever the pedestrian is entering the crosswalk or already in it. The vehicle must stay stopped as long as the pedestrian is on the same half of the roadway as the vehicle. If the pedestrian is approaching from the other half of the roadway and it would be unsafe for the vehicle to move forward, the driver should stop and stay stopped until the pedestrian is safely across.
For their part, pedestrians should yield to drivers at intersections that don’t have marked crosswalks or if they are crossing in the middle of the street where there is no marked crosswalk. Note that it is not necessarily illegal for pedestrians to cross in the middle of the street, but the burden is on them to do so safely and yield to vehicular traffic.
What Help Is There for Pedestrians Injured in a Tampa Traffic Accident?
If you are injured as a pedestrian, your first recourse will be to your PIP coverage, even though you weren’t driving at the time. This no-fault coverage can provide up to $10,000 in medical benefits and lost income if you apply correctly. If you aren’t covered by PIP for yourself or through a member of your household, you might be able to access the driver’s PIP coverage. As noted earlier, however, injuries in a pedestrian accident are likely to be severe and exceed the serious injury threshold needed to sue the at-fault driver and recover the full amount of damages, including pain and suffering. You can sue the other driver, but you’ll need the help of an experienced auto accident lawyer to be sure you are successful and receive the appropriate amount, whether through an out-of-court settlement or a jury verdict at trial. This is where Moore Law can be of help.
Call Moore Law for Help After a Pedestrian Accident in Tampa
If you or a family member has been injured or worse in a Tampa pedestrian accident, call Moore Law at 813-510-5400 for a free case analysis. We do what we can to get the most for our clients in need.