Tampa Pedestrian Accident Lawyers - Paul Knopf Bigger
Getting hurt as a pedestrian in a motor vehicle accident in Tampa can be devastating. You may be coping with serious injuries that require expensive medical treatment and long-term care. But you may have the right to pursue compensation from the driver or others responsible for causing your injuries.
At Paul Knopf Bigger, we can help you seek the financial relief and accountability you deserve. Our attorneys and staff have devoted their careers to advocating for the rights of injury victims. We have the experience, resources, and skills to pursue the maximum compensation for your injuries and other losses. With a proven track record of litigating and winning cases — including some of the state’s most complex catastrophic injury claims — we are prepared to get you the best possible outcome.
Contact Paul Knopf Bigger today for a free consultation with a Tampa pedestrian accident attorney.
What Are the Florida Pedestrian Laws?
In Florida, pedestrian laws aim to increase the safety of pedestrians and other road users. These laws give pedestrians certain rights and impose obligations to ensure everyone can safely share the road. Some of the most important laws for motorists and pedestrians in Florida to know include the following:
- Pedestrians must obey all traffic control devices applicable to pedestrians unless otherwise directed by a law enforcement officer.
- Pedestrians must follow all traffic control devices at intersections.
- Pedestrians may not walk on the road if the street or highway has sidewalks.
- If a road lacks sidewalks, pedestrians should walk on the left shoulder or left edge of the roadway, facing traffic approaching from the opposite direction.
- Drivers approaching an intersection must stop and yield at the crosswalk for a pedestrian with a permitted signal or a pedestrian already in the crosswalk.
- If an intersection lacks traffic control devices or signs, drivers must stop and yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the crosswalk.
- Pedestrians may not step into the roadway so close to an approaching vehicle that the driver cannot stop or yield.
- Drivers may not overtake vehicles stopped to yield to pedestrians crossing the road or intersection.
- Pedestrians crossing the road other than at a crosswalk or intersection must yield to oncoming vehicles.
- Pedestrians may not cross the road between adjacent intersections with traffic control signals except at the intersection or a marked crosswalk.
- Pedestrians may not cross intersections diagonally except where authorized by traffic control devices.
What Are the Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
Many pedestrian accidents happen due to the careless or reckless behaviors of motorists. Some of the leading causes include the following:
- Texting while driving and other distracted driving behaviors
- Speeding or driving too fast for conditions
- Reckless driving, such as street racing or swerving through traffic
- Aggressive driving and road rage
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Failing to yield at intersections and crosswalks
- Turning without signaling or checking for pedestrians in the crosswalk or on the sidewalk
- Backing up without looking behind
- Drowsy or fatigued driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Other factors that cause or contribute to pedestrian accidents include poor visibility and low lighting, vehicle mechanical failures caused by defects or inadequate maintenance, unsafe road or intersection design, and malfunctioning traffic control devices.
How Many Pedestrians Are Killed in Tampa Each Year?
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 9,569 pedestrian crashes occurred across Florida in one recent year, resulting in more than 800 pedestrian fatalities, over 1,400 incapacitating injuries, and nearly 6,000 non-incapacitating injuries. In Hillsborough County, where Tampa serves as the county seat, 655 pedestrian crashes occurred that year, causing 65 pedestrian fatalities and injuries to over 500 other pedestrians.
Who Can Be Held Liable for a Pedestrian Accident?
Typically, a driver who hits a pedestrian will be liable for injuries and other losses related to the collision. However, other parties could bear responsibility for the crash in certain circumstances. For example, if a driver hits a pedestrian while the driver is on the clock for their employer, the driver’s employer may also be liable for the pedestrian’s injuries.
When a pedestrian accident occurs due to a mechanical issue, such as a brake failure or a stuck throttle, the designer, manufacturer, or retailer of the defective part or the vehicle itself could be liable for crash-related injuries and other losses.
What Are Common Injuries Someone Can Sustain in a Pedestrian Accident?
Because pedestrians have little to protect them in a collision with a motor vehicle, they often suffer severe, life-altering injuries. Some of the most common injuries someone can sustain in a pedestrian accident include:
- Abrasions and road rash
- Degloving injuries
- Crush injuries
- Dislocated joints
- Ligament sprains and tears
- Muscle or tendon strains/tears
- Broken bones
- Neck and back injuries, such as whiplash or herniated spinal disc injuries
- Internal organ damage and internal bleeding
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Amputation or limb loss
What Compensation Can I Recover After a Pedestrian Accident?
If you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, you may have the right to recover compensation for financial expenses and personal losses you incur. You could seek money for the following:
- Medical treatment and rehabilitation, including ambulance services, emergency care, surgeries, hospitalizations, physical and occupational therapy, or pain management care
- Care or support services for long-term or permanent disabilities, including home health services, housekeeping, personal assistance, medical or mobility equipment, or installation of disability accommodations
- Lost wages or income from missed time from work or reduced earnings while in a part-time/light-duty role as you recover from your accident injuries
- Lost future earning capacity and employment benefits due to disabilities rendering you unable to return to your job or other kinds of work
- Physical pain and anguish from your injuries and subsequent treatment
- Emotional trauma or distress from the accident, your injuries, or resulting physical disabilities, scarring, or disfigurement
In rare cases, injury victims in Florida can recover punitive damages in civil lawsuits. A judge or jury may award punitive damages in cases where a defendant is found guilty of intentional misconduct or gross negligence. Gross negligence means the conduct was so reckless that it constitutes a conscious disregard for or indifference to the life, safety, or rights of others. Unlike compensation damages, which aims to make the injured party whole, punitive damages do not compensate for losses; instead, they punish the defendant for egregious conduct and deter others from engaging in similar conduct.
How Long Do I Have to File a Pedestrian Accident Lawsuit in Florida?
Under Florida’s statute of limitations, you typically have two years from the date of a pedestrian accident to file a claim against at-fault parties. While two years may seem like plenty of time, building a robust case can take months or years. Your attorney will need time to investigate the accident and prepare compelling arguments to support your claim.
Any lawsuit filed after the statutory deadline can be dismissed by the court, regardless of the case’s merits. If this happens, you could lose your right to seek compensation in civil court. That’s why it’s crucial to contact a lawyer from Paul Knopf Bigger as soon as possible after a pedestrian accident in Tampa, to ensure your lawsuit gets filed on time.
Benefits of Hiring a Tampa Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Recovering from a pedestrian accident’s physical and emotional wounds often takes considerable time. You may find it challenging to focus on seeking the compensation you need for your medical bills while trying to heal from your injuries.
Let a Tampa pedestrian accident attorney from Paul Knopf Bigger handle every detail of your case, giving you the time and space you need to move forward. When you hire our legal team, we will build a solid case in your favor by:
- Thoroughly investigating the crash and gathering crucial evidence, such as police accident reports, eyewitness statements, accident scene photos, surveillance/traffic camera footage, and accident reconstruction expert reports
- Determining the party or parties that could be liable for your injuries and other losses
- Identifying all potential sources of compensation, such as insurance coverage, to help you seek maximum financial relief
- Documenting your injuries and calculating your losses to help you pursue the money you need for your current and future crash-related expenses
- Communicating with insurers, defense attorneys, and other parties on your behalf
- Vigorously pursuing maximum compensation, whether through a negotiated settlement of your claim or by taking your case to trial
Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney in Tampa Today
If you were hurt as a pedestrian in a collision with a motor vehicle in Tampa, you need a reputable and experienced law firm to seek the compensation and accountability you deserve. At Paul Knopf Bigger, we have the resources to take on the insurance companies and pursue full financial relief for your injuries and other losses. Contact our office today for a free consultation and learn more about your legal options.