Parkland Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Especially in places like Florida where the weather is relatively mild most of the year, pedestrian accidents have increased significantly since 2010. The average settlement amount has gone up as well, mostly because medical bills have increased since the Great Recession ended at about the same time. The medical bill increase has an indirect effect on other types of compensation as well. Most attorneys multiply the economic losses to ascertain fair compensation for noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
The experienced Parkland pedestrian accident lawyers at Lyons & Snyder know what it takes to obtain maximum compensation for your serious injuries. We start by collecting evidence which supports your claim and refutes some common insurance company defenses. Then, we put these pieces of evidence together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Throughout this process, we proactively communicate with you, so you are never in the dark.
Evidence in Pedestrian Accident Claims
Victim/plaintiffs have the burden of proof in injury claims. They must establish relevant facts by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not. That’s the lowest burden of proof in Florida. So, a little evidence goes a long way.
However, in civil claims, as in most areas of life, minimum efforts usually produce minimum results. There’s usually a direct relationship between the amount of evidence presented and the amount of compensation Broward County jurors award.
In pedestrian accident claims, this evidence usually includes the police accident report, witness statements, and medical bills. However, these items are sometimes misleading or incomplete.
A police accident report is a good example. The victim fatality rate is very high in pedestrian accident claims. In fact, if the tortfeasor (negligent driver) is travelling faster than 40mph at the moment of impact, the victim survival rate is less than 50 percent. Since most pedestrian accidents happen in non-intersections and outside crosswalks, many drivers are moving at least that fast.
If the victim doesn’t survive, a police officer’s narrative resort obviously only includes the driver’s side of the story.
Furthermore, emergency responders are on scene to help injured victims and secure the scene, not to collect evidence for a future civil claim. So, some items might get overlooked.
In these situations, our Parkland pedestrian accident lawyers often use electronic evidence to fill in the gap. Surveillance video footage is a good illustration. At least one security or other camera covers almost every stretch of roadway in Broward County. A camera lens is like a completely impartial eyewitness who is never incorrect or biased.
As mentioned, this evidence must establish negligence and also refute some common insurance company defenses. Sudden emergency and distracted walking are two of the most common examples.
According to the sudden emergency doctrine, tortfeasors are not liable for pedestrian and other injuries if they:
- Reasonably react to
- A sudden emergency.
To set up the sudden emergency defense, many insurance company lawyers argue that the victim “darted out into traffic” and the driver couldn’t avoid the accident. That may be the way things happened. But a jaywalking pedestrian, even one who darts out into traffic, is not a sudden emergency. Instead, a sudden emergency is a tire blow-out or another completely unanticipated event.
Distracted walking, which is an offshoot of comparative fault, is a similar defense. Essentially, insurance company lawyers argue that the victim didn’t look both ways before s/he crossed the street. Smartphone or other device use sometimes comes into play here.
Basically, the insurance company must prove that the victim was so distracted that s/he completely ignored all the surroundings. Even then, distracted walking only reduces the amount of compensation, at the most.
Rely On an Experienced Broward County Pedestrian Accident Attorney
Injury victims are usually entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer in Parkland, contact Lyons & Snyder, Trial Lawyers. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.