West Palm Beach is considered a pedestrian-friendly city. You can easily walk from the beach to local shops, and tourists and residents alike enjoy the tropical weather. Unfortunately, drivers may not always see pedestrians on the road, leading to accidents that can cause serious injuries.
If you or a loved one is injured in a pedestrian accident, you have legal rights. At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, we have helped thousands of people get the compensation they deserve after they’ve been injured. We have the resources and experience needed to fight for your rights. Give us a call at 800-431-6841 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today.
What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident in West Palm Beach, it’s vital that you try to get to a safe location if it’s possible to do so. If you’re seriously injured, don’t move! The pavement may be hot, but dealing with the heat will be much better than aggravating or worsening a back, head or neck injury.
Call 9-1-1 as soon as possible if the driver or any witnesses don’t do so first. While you’re waiting for the ambulance, try to exchange information with the driver. This may be difficult if you’re seriously injured, and it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get their information immediately.
When the ambulance arrives, follow any and all medical advice the EMTs provide. If they tell you to go to the emergency room, do so — don’t worry about the cost of the ambulance ride. Be sure to follow up with your primary care provider, and follow all treatment regimen you are prescribed.
As soon as you’re able, be sure to call a West Palm Beach pedestrian accident. The sooner you call a lawyer, the sooner they can begin building a case on your behalf.
Evidence You Need to Get the Compensation You Deserve
A pedestrian accident victim or loved ones who have lost a family member in an accident can pursue a claim from the driver responsible for the accident. To make a successful pedestrian accident claim, the injured victim will need to show:
- That the driver was unreasonably negligent or careless (more on this below)
- That the carelessness or negligence was the cause of the accident
- That some type of harm such as injury or death resulted from the driver’s behavior
- That the driver or insurance company has the means to compensate
Evidence from the scene of the accident, a police report, witness statements and expert testimony from an accident reconstruction specialist can all be used to help you prove these elements of your case. A West Palm Beach pedestrian accident lawyer will work with you to maximize your compensation.
Determining Fault in a Pedestrian Accident
Contrary to popular belief, the driver is not always at fault in a pedestrian accident. For example, if a pedestrian crosses the street in a location or at a time when they aren’t allowed to, they may be held partially at fault. For example, pedestrians generally can’t cross the road against a red light. However, pedestrians are allowed to cross the street even if there’s no crosswalk, given that they give right-of-way to vehicle traffic.
Florida follows a comparative negligence law. This means you can still receive compensation for your injuries and other damages. However, the amount you receive will be lessened by the amount you are at fault. If the driver is considered to be at fault, they must have either intentionally caused your injuries or, much more likely, acted negligently.
Negligence is a legal term meaning someone acted in a way that a reasonable person wouldn’t, and therefore caused injury. Four general elements must be proven to show negligence, which were briefly mentioned before. They include:
- Duty of care: Everyone on the road has an obligation to follow traffic laws and take all reasonable steps to ensure they don’t cause an accident
- Breach of duty of care: If a driver fails to take proper precautions to avoid an accident, and they hit a pedestrian, they are said to have breached their duty of care
- Causation: You must be able to show that your injuries were directly caused by the accident
- Real damages: Finally, you must have real damages that can be compensated. In Florida, this means medical expenses, lost wages and other damages that aren’t covered by personal injury protection (PIP) insurance
How a West Palm Beach Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Can Help You
Dealing with the insurance company after a pedestrian accident can be a nightmare. They may offer a settlement that’s far less than what you’re actually owed. But they also know you may be struggling financially with medical bills and being unable to work, so they hope you’ll take a low-ball offer. However, once you accept that offer, you forfeit your right to seek greater compensation.
Before you accept any kind of settlement offer from the insurance company, speak to a pedestrian accident attorney in West Palm Beach. An experienced attorney can review all of the details of your case and help you determine all of your legal options.
At Steinger, Greene & Feiner, our lawyers have decades of combined experience helping injury victims get the compensation they deserve. We have recovered over $1 BILLION on behalf of our clients. Give us a call at 800-431-6841 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation consultation today.