Pedestrian Car Strike Injuries
Approximately 2.5 million pedestrians in the United States sustain injuries as result of accidents involving motorists each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many of these individuals sustain significant injuries that call for appropriate compensation.
Why should I work with an attorney?
A number of significant reasons exist as to why an injured pedestrian should -- indeed, must -- retain the services of qualified, experienced personal injury attorney. The reality is that in the absence of suitable legal representation, an injured pedestrian typically is unable to obtain the level of compensation to which he or she is entitled.
A key reason why an injured pedestrian should consider seriously retaining an experienced personal injury attorney centers on negotiations with an insurance company. Despite what a representative of a driver's insurance company may state in regard to "helping" an injured pedestrian, an insurer has one priority: making money on behalf of its shareholders. (As an aside, some insurers are "mutual" insurance companies. In such a situation, the insurer does not have shareholders. However, the objective of a mutual insurer remains making money and limiting that amount of money paid out in claims.)
An experienced personal injury attorney understand how to successfully take on even the most aggressive insurance company. A tenacious lawyer understands what must be done in order to maximize a settlement with an insurance company for an injured pedestrian.
Beyond dealing with an insurance company, an injured pedestrian is wise to retain legal counsel in anticipation of a lawsuit. The fact is that the Florida laws and court process associated with personal injury cases are complex. In the end, only a well trained and highly experienced personal injury attorney is in the best position to navigate effectively the laws and judicial procedures in order to prevail in a pedestrian lawsuit lodged against a negligent motorist.
Another reason why it is important to retain an attorney in a pedestrian injury case rests in the reality that a person with a lawyer obtains higher compensation than one without, according to the American Bar Association. This holds true even though an injured individual pays part of any settlement or judgment to an attorney for fees and costs associated with the case.
What kind of damages can a pedestrian accident case pursue?
When a pedestrian is injured as the result of the negligence of a motorist, that individual is entitled to compensation for a variety of different types of damages. As an aside, a qualified and experienced Florida personal injury attorney is in the best position to assist in identifying the full range of compensation to which an individual is entitled because of damages and injuries sustained because of someone else's negligence.
An injured pedestrian is entitled to compensation for what legally are known as actual or compensatory damages. In addition, in some cases, a pedestrian may also be entitled to punitive damages as well.
Actual or compensatory damages
Actual or compensatory damages include pain and suffering. An injured pedestrian is entitled to compensation not only for current pain and suffering but for reasonably anticipated future pain and suffering as well. A stark reality of an automobile-pedestrian accident is the fact that the injured pedestrian may end up experience pain and suffering for an indefinite period of time.
An injured pedestrian is also entitled to compensation for current and future medical bills. The expenses associated with the care and treatment of an injured pedestrian can end up being a significant amount of money.
Lost wages represent yet another type of damages to which an injured pedestrian is entitled to compensation. As is the case with pain and suffering and medical expenses, an injured person is entitled to both current and future lost wages. Unfortunately, in many instances, a pedestrian injured as the result of a negligent driver faces a permanent disability that impacts his or her ability to return to the same type of gainful employment enjoyed prior to the accident.
In some instances, an injured pedestrian may be able to receive compensation for a lost opportunity. For example, if a person injured as the result of another's negligence was slated to begin college and cannot do so because of the accident, he or she may be entitled to compensation for that loss. In other cases, a pedestrian may be entitled to damages for damages associated with emotional or mental health issues directly associated with the accident. For example, if an injured pedestrian suffers from depression as a result of the accident, he or she may be entitled to compensation for that injury.
Another type of actual or compensatory damages to which an injured pedestrian may be entitled is that associated with property. In some cases when a person is injured by a negligent motorist while walking can sustain damage to personal property.
Beyond these types of actual or compensatory damages, in some cases an injured pedestrian may be entitled to punitive damages. Punitive damages represent additional compensation awarded when a motorist is particularly reckless in causing an accident. Punitive damages are designed to "punish" the negligent party for his or her particularly egregious conduct in causing the accident in the first instance.
What if the driver has no insurance?
In Florida, if an injured pedestrian has automobile insurance of his or her own, that individual may be able to submit a claim for compensation under the uninsured motorist provision of that policy. Uninsured motorist coverage applies in Florida when an injury occurs "arising out of the use, maintenance, or operation of a motor vehicle." Even in the case of a pedestrian hit by a motorist, any injuries arise out of the operation of a motor vehicle.
In addition, in the absence of insurance, an injured pedestrian can still file a lawsuit against the uninsured driver. If the driver has any assets (money in the bank, a home or other property), those assets can be used to satisfy any money awarded to an injured pedestrian in a lawsuit judgment.
How is compensation calculated?
Some of the compensation associated with the damages and injuries sustained by a pedestrian are relatively easy to calculate, at least on the surface. For example, medical expenses and lost wages represent examples of losses that permit a seemingly ready calculation of compensation due to an injured pedestrian.
The compensation calculation for future lost wages and medical expenses becomes more problematic. In this regard, estimates need to be made, oftentimes based on similar types of cases settled or litigated in the past.
Putting a dollar amount of current and future pain and suffering represents a far more complicated compensation calculation. Insurance companies for negligent drivers strive to minimize the compensation paid for pain and suffering. Insurance companies frequently rely on a formula through which pain and suffering is calculated based on the amount of money expended for actual medical expenses.
The importance of receiving full and fair compensation for pain and suffering, as well as all other losses sustained as the result of a pedestrian accident caused by a negligent driver, underscores the need for legal representation.
Why choose our law firm?
The law firm of Shapiro Goldman Babboni & Walsh has a team of tenacious attorneys with extensive experience in fighting for the rights of clients in personal injury cases, including injured pedestrians. Shapiro Goldman Babboni & Walsh has an established reputation of being willing and able to take a case to trial -- and prevail. For this reason, insurance companies are more likely to negotiate an appropriate settlement for clients of the firm.
Fighting to Protect Your Rights
At the Florida law firm of Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni and Walsh., our attorneys have 100 years combined experience representing those injured in motor vehicle accidents and we know that too often, drivers fail to acknowledge basic rules of the road when they encounter a pedestrian.