For those who go out to the bars, New Year’s Eve is typically one big mess. It can be a fun mess, but it’s still a mess – people trying to connect with their friends or find that special someone before midnight, drivers acting frustrated and crazy, and everywhere you go you face crowds, crowds, crowds. Living in a warm state like Florida gives you an advantage in this regard: if one place is super busy, you and your friends don’t have to drive to have fun – just walk to the next bar down the street!
Unfortunately, not everyone does this. Some just can’t leave their cars behind – even if they have been drinking. As you might imagine, crowds of pedestrians and lots of intoxicated drivers to not mix well. If you were hit while bar hopping, what are your options? How can you receive compensation as a pedestrian?
Florida is already the most dangerous state for pedestrians. Orlando, Tampa, Clearwater, and Jacksonville are all at the top of the list as the most dangerous cities for pedestrians.
The rate of pedestrian deaths in the Orlando-Kissimmee area is 2.75 deaths per 100,000 people. That sounds low, but compare it to the national average rate: 1.56 deaths per 100,000 people.
Because of this high rate of pedestrian accidents in general, Florida personal injury lawyers are quite familiar with and how much it can cost when a pedestrian is hit by a negligent driver.
So let’s go back to the original question: what are your options after being hit by a driver?
Receiving Compensation through Your Insurance
When you are injured in a pedestrian accident, you may be able to receive compensation by filing an insurance claim rather than going straight for a lawsuit.
If you have auto insurance, you can file for damages as if you had been in an accident while driving a car. Florida is a “no-fault” state when it comes to personal injury protection, which means that you are covered for up to $10,000 no matter who caused the crash.
If you were working at the time of your accident, you may also have the option of receiving worker’s compensation. Your own personal medical insurance should also be helpful. Your health insurance provider will cover the costs of your care as outlined in your plan and then seek compensation from the driver’s auto insurance.
If, however, your injury is so severe that your costs exceed $10,000, a civil claim may be your only recourse. In most pedestrian accidents, an injury claim is weighted in the victim’s favor. After all, there are laws in place requiring drivers to yield to pedestrians.
New Year’s Eve and everything associated with it could make your case more difficult, though.
About the Author:
John K. Lawlor, a South Florida personal injury attorney who focuses his practice on complex personal injury, wrongful death, and professional malpractice, founded the law firm of Lawlor, White & Murphey in 1996. Since 1995, Mr. Lawlor’s trial advocacy and litigation skills, as well as his wide-ranging legal expertise, have provided plaintiffs and their families with a distinct advantage when seeking financial compensation and justice for injuries caused by the negligence of others. Mr. Lawlor is an EAGLE member of the Florida Bar Association and an active member of the American Association for Justice, the Broward County Justice Association, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and several professional associations.