St. Petersburg has positioned itself as a top Gulf Coast destination for visitors from all over the world. Downtown St. Petersburg boasts luxurious resorts, elegant museums, and fine dining establishments, all within a walkable perimeter. Visitors get the most out of the city’s celebrated destinations by traveling on foot, which, while providing great exercise and views, can sometimes put them in harm’s way.
Unfortunately, many automobile drivers do not respect the rights of pedestrians. It’s the motorist’s responsibility to do everything possible to avoid pedestrian collisions. Turning motorists must yield to pedestrians at intersections with traffic signals. Motorists must yield to pedestrians crossing the street or driveway at any marked mid-block crossing, driveway, or intersection without traffic signals. When these types of rules are not followed, the pedestrian can suffer serious injury and even death.
According to a report by Smart Growth America, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area ranks 9th among the most dangerous metro areas for walking in the United States. The report claims that 900 pedestrian deaths occurred between 2008 and 2017, or about 3.07 fatalities per 100,000 people per year.
If you’ve recently been injured as a pedestrian, you may not realize that you have the same rights as any other car accident victim to seek legal representation and file an injury claim. With the help of a pedestrian accident lawyer who knows St. Petersburg, you can begin your path to recovery.
What Are Your Options If You Are Injured as a Pedestrian?
Your first step after being involved in an accident as a pedestrian should be to get yourself checked out at a clinic or hospital. If you’ve suffered an injury, you should check your insurance policy and determine your legal options for pursuing compensation. As a no-fault state, accident victims in Florida must file a claim against their own insurer before they can seek additional damages from the other party, regardless of who was at fault for the crash.
As a pedestrian, you might have additional options for recovery.
- PIP Coverage: The State of Florida requires every registered driver to have PIP insurance coverage. PIP, which stands for Personal Injury Protection, pays for a portion of accident-related medical bills. If you or a resident relative in your household carries PIP on an auto insurance policy, you can potentially use it to cover the medical expenses that resulted from your pedestrian accident as well.
- The At-Fault Driver: If the driver was at fault for your accident, you can file a claim against them and potentially recover compensation under this insurance policy.
- Liability Lawsuit: If the at-fault party does not have sufficient insurance coverage to pay for all your accident-related losses, you can file a civil suit in court for additional damages.
Pedestrian accidents become tricky situations when a person sustains an injury. If you attempt to file a claim on your own, your insurance company might try to downplay your injuries to pay the least amount possible. If you file against the other driver’s insurance, their insurance company may try to place some of the blame on you to avoid liability. Insurance companies employ numerous tricks to pay out smaller claims, so it’s important to work with an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer to have the best chance of receiving the compensation you deserve.
How PIP Coverage Helps Injured Pedestrians
In Florida, your PIP insurance will cover 80% of your medical bills and as much as 60% of lost wages until these expenses meet the policy’s limits. If your medical bills exceed what your policy can pay, you may consider stepping outside of the no-fault system and filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. To succeed, you would need to show the court that the other driver’s negligence caused the accident and your injuries.
Talk to an attorney to determine the best course of action. Marsalisi Law has helped thousands of injured victims, in and around St. Petersburg, recover the compensation they need for more than ten years. Call (727) 800-5052 for a free consultation with attorney Frank P. Marsalisi.
What Damages Could You Recover After a Pedestrian Accident?
Accidents involving pedestrians and drivers happen almost every day. Not all of them lead to serious consequences; however, it’s easy to see why these accidents hold such potential for extreme losses. With an accident attorney by your side, you may be able to file a claim for the following damages:
- Property damage;
- Lost wages;
- Cost of transportation to and from doctor appointments;
- Pain and suffering;
- Permanent disability and disfigurement;
- Household help for duties you can no longer do yourself;
- Other costs directly tied to your injuries in a pedestrian crash.
When Is the Pedestrian at Fault?
Sometimes, both parties involved in a collision carry some degree of fault. Although drivers are responsible for driving safely and giving pedestrians the right of way at crosswalks and intersections, pedestrians who fail to take proper precautions may be found partially at fault for their accident. Situations in which a pedestrian may be at fault include:
- Crossing against the light;
- Walking where it’s prohibited;
- Walking while intoxicated; and/or
- Walking while distracted.
If you’re found partially responsible for your accident, the state’s comparative negligence rule will limit your recovery. For example, if the insurer responsible for paying your insurance claim deems you’re 40% at fault for the accident, you could potentially only recover 60% of your losses.
Staying Safe While Walking Around St. Petersburg
Here are some pedestrian safety tips to lessen the likelihood of you becoming a pedestrian accident victim:
- Always walk on the sidewalk if it’s available to you. If there’s no sidewalk and you have to walk on the roadway, always walk facing traffic;
- Dress in brightly-colored clothing to be more visible, especially at night;
- Always cross the street at a marked crosswalk;
- Make sure that the driver you’re crossing in front of can see you;
- Never walk unattended while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Of course, accidents happen regardless of how cautious pedestrians are when sharing the roads with vehicles. If you’re hurt, don’t wait to contact Marsalisi Law to get started on your path to recovery.
Talk With a St. Petersburg Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
Attorney Frank P. Marsalisi strives to provide quality representation during what is usually a challenging and painful experience. He provides personalized attention to each and every client, and can even make home visits if you’re incapable of meeting him at his office. Frank will make you feel that you’re never alone during the healing process and will keep you informed about your claim 24/7.
Over the past decade, Frank P. Marsalisi has helped hundreds of pedestrians who were injured in St. Petersburg recover much-needed compensation for a variety of losses. As a member of the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association, Frank P. Marsalisi has successfully litigated many pedestrian accident claims so his clients could focus on regaining their health. If you’re ready to inquire about the injury claims process, call (727) 800-5052 or complete our contact form. At Marsalisi Law, this is where Law Gets Personal.
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“You can’t go wrong with Frank Marsalisi!”
Frank was referred to me by a former client of his after my accident with nothing but great reviews, both professionally and personally. From day one there was a level of comfortability and trust built based on what would be in my best interest moving forward. Never once did Frank make my case about what was in it for him but about healing my injuries in order to move on as normal as possible with my life.
“One of a kind lawyer …brilliance!”
Frank has exceptional auto accident liability law abilities and he is also very well-versed in state auto insurance laws. One of the things I like about Frank is that he never tried to sugar coat anything for me. If we were headed for trouble, he would let me know what the trouble was and what our options were. I always appreciated his honesty. This is trait that I do not find in many of today’s lawyers but Frank has performed integrity well beyond his means.
– Ms. C. M. Fraser