Pedestrian accidents can occur in many ways in and around Zephyrhills. A driver might be texting instead of paying attention to the road, or a motorcycle rider might try to beat a red light while someone is starting to cross. Regardless of what caused the accident, pedestrian accident victims injured by negligent drivers have the right to be compensated by the people who caused their injuries.
Protect this right by consulting with an experienced Zephyrhills pedestrian accident lawyer as soon as you can after an accident. A lawyer can help you file your claim, determine the full value of your losses, and protect you from insurance company tactics designed to get you to settle your case for less than it is really worth. Call us today to schedule a consultation with a member of our team.
Walking Around Zephyrhills
There are many lovely walking paths in and around Zephyrhills. Outdoor enthusiasts might enjoy Zephyr Park or the Gunner Paw Park, an excellent place to walk and play with your dog. Hikers might also enjoy the walking paths along the Upper Hillsboro Trail or the Colt Creek State Park Yellow Trail. Main Street Zephyrhills provides shopping, dining, and entertainment in the bustling downtown district for those interested in a more urban walk.
The more traffic there is, however, the more likely it is that an accident will occur. Pedestrians should be careful when walking downtown or in other busy areas where traffic may be present. They should also be aware of their surroundings in parking lots, where drivers who are backing their cars out of spaces may not be paying attention to those walking around them. Always use caution when walking at night, in parking garages, during inclement weather, and any other time of limited visibility.
How Much is my Zephyrhills Pedestrian Accident Case Worth?
Money is often a poor substitute for a significant and permanent injury. However, it is the only legal means for compensating accident victims for their injuries and everything that they went through following their accident.
The ultimate monetary value of a pedestrian accident case depends on several factors, which include:
- The seriousness of the injuries you suffered in your pedestrian accident
- Whether you had to miss time from work as a result of the injuries you suffered in your pedestrian accident
- The cost of your related medical treatment, including the cost of surgical procedures and physical therapy
- Whether you had to switch jobs or careers as a result of your pedestrian accident injuries
- Whether you suffered an injury or disability that your health care provider deemed permanent
- Whether a health care provider has determined that you will need to seek medical care and treatment in the future
To recover monetary compensation for pedestrian accident injuries, the accident victim must satisfy his or her legal burden of proof. Specifically, the accident victim must show that the accident resulted from a driver or someone else’s carelessness or recklessness, that this negligence caused the accident, that the accident victim suffered injuries, and that the injuries resulted from the accident.
When an accident victim can satisfy this burden of proof, he or she could recover various forms of monetary compensation, including compensation for:
- All related medical care and treatment
- Lost earnings (and loss of earning capacity, in the case of a permanent impairment)
- Related inconvenience, pain, and suffering
- Loss of the ability to use a permanently disabled or disfigured body part due to your injuries
- Loss of enjoyment of life resulting from the injuries sustained
- Loss of spousal support and companionship
If you suffered injuries in a Zephyrhills pedestrian accident, the insurance company is not going to do you any favors. That is why it is important to have skilled legal counsel on your side advocating for you at all times. The experienced Zephyrhills pedestrian accident attorneys at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers can help you pursue these damages and get you the compensation that you need for your injuries.
What Steps Should I Take after a Zephyrhills Pedestrian Accident?
If you were in a pedestrian accident, there are certain steps that you should always take. If you are able, you should obtain contact and insurance information from any motor vehicle drivers who were involved in the accident. You should also speak with the police officer who responds to the incident to give your version of events. The police officer can prepare a report about the incident that may become important later on. In addition, a police report will typically indicate who caused the accident and whether or not the at-fault driver received a citation, such as for negligent or reckless motor vehicle operation.
If you believe that you suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident, first and foremost, seek immediate (if possible) follow-up medical treatment at a hospital emergency room or urgent care center. You should do this even if you are not sure whether you suffered any injuries—or if you are unaware of the extent of your injuries. This is because injuries are not always evident right away and can take days or even weeks to manifest.
You should also be sure to follow the emergency room or urgent care doctor’s treatment recommendations, which may include following up with a primary care provider or a medical specialist, such as an orthopedic doctor. You then need to make sure that you follow through with those recommendations and that you get the treatment that you need for your injuries.
The knowledgeable team of Zephyrhills pedestrian accident lawyers at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers can handle all of the legal aspects of your case while you concentrate your attention on recovering from your injuries. While you are still treating, we can begin the claims-filing process and get the ball rolling towards recovering monetary compensation for your injuries.
Why Zephyrhills Pedestrians Are Especially Vulnerable to Injuries
Unlike operators of motor vehicles, pedestrians have no protection from the force of impact at the time of a collision. Vehicle occupants are protected well by airbags, seat belts, vehicle bumpers designed to absorb an impact, and even the frame of the vehicle itself. Motorcycle riders have helmets and riding leathers to protect them. Even bicyclists usually have the protection of a helmet, a critical safety measure that can prevent the wearer from sustaining a fatal brain injury during an accident.
Of course, pedestrians have none of these protections, which is why high-speed collisions are often fatal. A secondary impact frequently follows the initial impact of the vehicle, with a pedestrian being thrown to the ground or against another object, like a tree or wall. This second impact can result in injuries that are as bad or worse than those sustained from the first impact.
Common Zephyrhills Pedestrian Accident Injuries
While almost any part of your body could sustain an injury from a pedestrian accident, here are some of the most common injuries:
- Brain injuries
- Back injuries
- Severe soft tissue injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Internal bleeding
- Damage to the internal organs
- Crush injuries
The most severe injuries can result in death. If a pedestrian passes away due to their injuries, surviving family members may be able to file wrongful death claims against the at-fault driver.
What Causes Zephyrhills Pedestrian Accidents?
In an ideal world where drivers stop and look left, right, then left again before driving and pedestrians only cross at crosswalks, pedestrian accidents would not happen. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world, and pedestrians are injured by negligent motorists every day around the United States.
Some of the more common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
- Impaired driving
- Distracted driving
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Driver fatigue
- Driving without headlights
- Improper turns
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Violating traffic laws
- Improper vehicle maintenance
- Texting and driving
Protecting Your Rights after a Zephyrhills Pedestrian Accident
If you have recently been injured in a pedestrian accident and are home and considering your next steps, it’s important to know there are still things you can do to protect your rights.
Some of the steps you should take include:
- Seek a thorough medical evaluation, even if the EMTs at the scene did not suggest further treatment or you were discharged from the hospital
- Stay off of social media—even seemingly innocent posts could hurt your claim
- Do not accept a settlement or provide a statement before talking to an attorney
- Retain a Zephyrhills injury lawyer as soon as you can
Types of Compensation Required by Law
Florida law entitles people who are injured by the negligence of others to compensation for their accident-related losses. Often, these losses include tangible losses (those documented with receipts or bills) and intangible losses (such as a decrease in the victim’s quality of life). Future losses (anticipated losses not having taken place yet, such as surgeries or future lost income) can also be sought in personal injury claims.
Lost Wages and Future Decreases in Earning Capacity
If an injury victim misses a few days or a few weeks of work, it is relatively easy to calculate their lost wages. The employer will provide documentation of the employee’s pay rate and the number of work hours missed. Multiply these figures together to calculate the exact amount of wages the victim was unable to collect.
If the employer pays on a salary basis, the figure can be prorated based on a 40-hour workweek. If an employee can prove that they also missed out on bonuses, commissions, or over-time due to the accident, compensation may be available for these as well.
Some injuries are so severe that they permanently affect the victim’s ability to work and earn a living. Some injury victims can only return to part-time employment after an accident. Others must take a lightened workload that comes with lower pay. In the most serious cases, an injury victim might not be able to return to work at all.
These circumstances also result in lost wages that the at-fault party is obligated to compensate. The at-fault party may also be responsible for paying for the employee’s lost health insurance, employer contributions to a retirement fund, and any other employment benefits that the victim missed as a result of the accident. The number of factors can make it difficult to project the exact value of future earnings in need of compensation.
A personal injury attorney will almost always hire an expert to calculate these expenses and act as an expert witness on the issue of their value.
On the other side, a defense lawyer might argue that the victim is actually able to return to work and is merely choosing not to do so. The defense is allowed to hire a vocational expert to assess the victim’s ability to return to work. If the vocational expert determines that the victim can return to work, they will also assess the wages they could earn in the job market with their current physical limitations.
The plaintiff is permitted to hire their own vocational expert as a rebuttal witness to the defense expert. Often, these cases come down to which expert is more persuasive to the jury. For this reason, victims must retain an experienced attorney, especially when future lost income is at issue.
Medical Bills and Future Medical Expenses
An at-fault driver has a legal obligation to pay for all medical bills incurred from their negligence. Typically, this obligation is discharged by the driver’s insurance company. Insurance companies and their lawyers may challenge the total value of the medical bills or try to claim the treatments were related to a pre-existing condition. An injury victim has the right to hire medical experts to testify about the necessity of their medical treatment.
Many injury victims require medical care long after their personal injury case is over. An at-fault party is still responsible for the ongoing medical care that was made necessary by their negligence.
To determine the value of an adequate settlement, the cost of your future medical expenses must be estimated before you resolve your personal injury claim. You might require an expert witness (such as a life-care planner) to testify about the types of medical care you will need. An economist could calculate the value of this care.
Once your claim comes to a resolution, either through a settlement or through a jury verdict, you can no longer go back to claim additional expenses from the at-fault driver. A personal injury lawyer who knows how to account properly for future medical expenses is absolutely essential.
Many injury victims require rehabilitative services to recover their health and well-being. Rehabilitation might include physical therapy, occupational or vocational therapy, speech therapy, or chiropractic services. All of these services can dramatically improve the quality of an accident victim’s life.
Unfortunately, insurance companies will most likely challenge the cost of these services. Rehabilitative services use more subjective indicators of success (such as whether the victim’s level of pain has decreased) instead of the objective measures of success used in some fields of medicine. Defense attorneys may argue that the service is excessive, no longer needed, or was never necessary in the first place. An experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to defend your claim against these attacks.
Unlike rehabilitative services, calculating the cost of property damage is much more straightforward and is neatly itemized on a repair bill or replacement receipt. Although they wouldn’t have a damaged vehicle, pedestrians may still have property damage. Perhaps your expensive cell phone, laptop, or smartwatch was broken in the accident. You can seek compensation for any personal property damaged in a pedestrian accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
Pain and Suffering
You are also entitled to compensation for your intangible losses (also known as non-economic damages). Such a loss might be a decrease in the quality of your life or the inability to participate in a beloved hobby. Perhaps you can no longer play sports because of your injuries, or maybe you simply lost the sense of pride that comes from having a successful career.
Though these losses are subjective, they are very real, and you are entitled to compensation for them. The law collectively refers to these intangible losses as pain and suffering. As the name implies, the loss includes compensation for the physical pain of your injuries and the emotional suffering of being involved in an accident.
Pain and suffering is usually the largest component of a personal injury award. It is also the most subjective, meaning the insurance company will try to devalue it as much as possible. A skilled personal injury lawyer will know what a fair compensation offer should be in your case. He or she will also know how to prove the specific nature of your pain and suffering to come to a satisfying settlement offer or prove your case to a jury.
If you don’t get a fair settlement offer, you will almost certainly need an attorney to file a lawsuit and take your case to trial. These tasks find quicker resolution in your favor if engaged an attorney in your case from the start.
Zephyrhills Pedestrian Accident FAQs
Pedestrian accidents can happen just about anywhere that pedestrians tend to be present, including in the Zephyrhills Downtown Historic District. Unlike the occupants of motor vehicles, pedestrians do not have an outer covering or shell that surrounds them at the time of their accident. When a motor vehicle forcefully collides with a pedestrian, it could knock the pedestrian to the ground and cause serious—and sometimes extremely debilitating—injuries and damages.
If you or someone you love suffered injuries in a Zephyrhills pedestrian accident, get experienced legal counsel on your side to represent you and advocate for your interests. You can be sure that the at-fault person’s insurance company is not going to do you any favors when it comes to getting you the full amount of compensation that you deserve.
The experienced Zephyrhills pedestrian accident attorneys at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers know how to take on the insurance company and work to negotiate a favorable settlement offer in your case. If the insurance company stubbornly refuses to offer you the compensation that you deserve, we could file a lawsuit on your behalf in the Florida state court system, and if necessary, take your case to a jury trial.
What follows are the answers to some commonly asked questions that victims of pedestrian accidents often have. For more information about how we could assist you with handling your case, please give us a call today.
Where Do Zephyrhills Pedestrian Accidents Typically Occur and Why Do They Happen?
Pedestrian accidents can occur anywhere—especially in the Zephyrhills Downtown Historic District, where large numbers of pedestrians tend to be present. They can also happen at traffic intersections with people walking in crosswalks, parking lots, and parking garages.
Pedestrian accidents typically occur when someone drives negligently.
Negligent driving can take many forms, including:
- Driving at an excessive rate of speed and violating other Florida traffic laws and rules of the road
- Engaging in distracted driving and failing to see a pedestrian—especially in an area that is not well lit, such as a parking garage
- Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and alcohol
If you or a person you love sustained injuries in a Zephyrhills pedestrian accident due to someone else’s carelessness, the experienced legal team at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers is ready to help you with your case. We can start by investigating the cause and circumstances of your accident and then working to obtain the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
What are Some Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries?
When a motor vehicle collides with a pedestrian, it is almost always the pedestrian who suffers the more serious injuries. Pedestrians, unfortunately, have very little protection surrounding them at the time of a collision. Consequently, they have total exposure to the environment surrounding them, and if they strike the ground, they will almost certainly suffer serious—and sometimes permanent—injuries and damages.
Injuries that victims of Zephyrhills pedestrian accidents often sustain include:
- Blunt head injuries
- Concussion, traumatic brain injury, or coma
- Internal damage or hemorrhaging
- Soft tissue injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
If you suffer one or more of these injuries in a pedestrian accident due to someone else’s negligence, the experienced Zephyrhills pedestrian accident attorneys at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers can help you pursue and recover compensation for your injuries.
Will my Zephyrhills Pedestrian Accident Case go all the Way to Trial?
Many personal injury accident cases, including those that involve pedestrian accidents, settle long before the case ever goes to trial. However, in some instances, the insurance company may not be willing to compensate the accident victim fully for his or her injuries. When that is the case, you may need to file a lawsuit in the state court system.
Once you file a lawsuit, the case can still settle at any point along the way. You, as the accident victim, make the final decision about whether to accept a settlement offer or take your case to trial.
When deciding whether to accept a settlement offer in a Zephyrhills pedestrian accident case, you should ask yourself:
- Whether the settlement offer fully compensates you for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, inconvenience, and other damages
- Whether there is a chance that you will need future medical treatment for your injuries, which is common with severe injuries that have permanent effects
- Whether you have any health care liens to pay back after your case, including liens for Medicare and Medicaid
- Whether a health care provider has determined that you suffered a permanent injury or disability in your pedestrian accident
In most pedestrian accident cases, the initial offer that an insurance company puts on the table is far below the actual value of the case. An experienced Zephyrhills pedestrian accident attorney at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers can negotiate with the insurance company adjuster on your behalf and work to pursue a favorable settlement offer on your behalf. If the insurance company refuses to offer fair and full compensation for your pedestrian accident injuries, we can file a lawsuit in the Florida state court system and zealously litigate the case on your behalf.
While the ultimate decision to accept a settlement offer or take your case to trial is up to you, our legal team can make a recommendation as to whether it’s in your best interest to accept a pending settlement offer.
How Long Do I Have to File a Zephyrhills Pedestrian Accident Claim or Lawsuit?
Victims of Zephyrhills pedestrian accidents do not have an unlimited time in which to file a claim or lawsuit arising from injuries suffered in the accident. Under Florida‘s four-year personal injury statute of limitations, you have four years from the date of your pedestrian accident in which to file a claim or lawsuit seeking monetary compensation and damages.
If you do not file a lawsuit within that four-year deadline, the law will bar you from seeking monetary compensation for your pedestrian accident injuries. Therefore, in light of this harsh rule, it is important to take prompt action as soon as possible after suffering injuries in an accident.
The Florida personal injury statute of limitations is in place for several different reasons, including making sure that witnesses remain available to testify should the matter proceed to a jury trial. These time deadlines also exist to ensure that witnesses’ memories about the pedestrian accident remain fresh.
Your attorney needs to have sufficient time to prepare your case and to file a lawsuit in the court system if one becomes necessary. Therefore, if you have injuries from a pedestrian accident, contact experienced legal counsel in your case as soon as possible.
The skilled legal team at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers is well acquainted with the Florida statute of limitations that applies to personal injury pedestrian accident cases. We will make sure that your pedestrian accident lawsuit begins on time and well in advance of the statute of limitations deadline that applies to your case.
Speak to an Experienced Zephyrhills Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today
If you were in a Zephyrhills pedestrian accident caused by someone else’s negligence, the skilled legal team at Nicoletti Accident Injury Lawyers are ready to help you with every aspect of your case—from beginning to end. We help many injured accident victims pick up the pieces and move forward in the best position possible.
For a free case evaluation and legal consultation with an experienced Zephyrhills pedestrian accident attorney, please call us today for more information about how we can assist you.