Frequently Asked Questions

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  • I was injured while riding my bike by a car exiting a parking lot. The collision damaged my bicycle frame which costs more than $1000. What should I do in order to be reimbursed for this loss?

    I recommend if your bicycle is hit by a car, you should always take it to an approved bicycle mechanic to verify its condition. Many modern bicycles are made of materials which are not easily repaired and might even become dangerous if they’ve been damaged. Once you have established that your bicycle needs to be repaired or replaced, you should make a claim against the driver responsible for the accident.

    People who are injured in a Florida bicycle accident may end up dealing with three separate adjusters:

    • The PIP/No-Fault adjuster of their own auto insurance company for their medical bills,
    • The property damage adjuster for the At-Fault party responsible for the accident, and
    • The Bodily Injury adjuster for the At-Fault party’s insurance company for their bodily injury and pain and suffering.

    Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • Does Florida have a Mandatory Helmet Law for Bicyclists?

    Florida does not have a mandatory helmet law for bicyclists who are 16 years or older. However, anyone who is younger than 16 years old and riding a bicycle is required by state law to wear a helmet that is properly fitted and securely fastened. It is generally recommended that people of all ages wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

    Why require children to wear bicycle helmets? The reason Florida children are required to wear helmets when riding a bicycle is the same reason adults are advised to wear helmets: safety. Multiple studies have proven that helmets save lives. Why take a risk with one so important to you?

    Bicycle Helmets and Personal Injury Claims

    If you or your child were injured in a bicycle accident, even if you weren’t wearing a helmet, you may have the right to recover compensation for your injuries. In other words, if your child is struck by a car and not wearing a helmet but the driver who struck your child is determined to be at fault, they will still be held liable for your child's injuries.

    In many states, and for a time in Florida, someone's decision to forego wearing a helmet while riding a bike could be used to reduce the value of their injury claim. The argument was that by not wearing a helmet, the victim is contributing to his or her injuries. It is similar to the rule that allows people injured in car collisions to be held responsible for a portion of their injuries for not wearing a seatbelt.

    Fortunately, that ship has sailed. Florida Statutes section 316.2065(18) explicitly states, "the failure of a person to wear a bicycle helmet or the failure of a parent or guardian to prevent a child from riding a bicycle without a bicycle helmet may not be considered evidence of negligence or contributory negligence." The statutes forbid any consideration of fault for not wearing a bike helmet.

    Interestingly, in cases involving motorcycle riders, Florida law still allows for an apportionment of fault for choosing not to wear a helmet. This is often referred to as the “helmet defense” and can be a crucial factor in cases involving traumatic brain injuries.

    Have You Been Injured In A Bicycle Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a Florida bicycle accident you should speak with an experienced bicycle injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free, no obligation consultation.

  • Who is Considered a Pedestrian in Florida?

    According to state laws, any person “afoot” is considered to be a pedestrian in Florida. This means any person on foot, in a wheelchair, on a skateboard or on roller skates is also considered a pedestrian in Florida.

    The Florida statutes regarding pedestrians state that where a sidewalk is provided, a pedestrian must not walk on the road but should walk only on the sidewalk. In places where a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian may walk on the road but should be cautious of cars and other vehicles.

    When a sidewalk is not provided, a pedestrian in Florida should walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the roadway, facing oncoming traffic.

    The failure to obey these rules can result in a serious pedestrian accident. Even when a pedestrian doesn’t obey these rules, an accident may be caused by someone else’s negligence. If you are injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation in a Florida personal injury claim.

    Have You Been Injured In A Pedestrian Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a pedestrian accident you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free consultation.

  • When is a Pedestrian in Florida Allowed to Stand or Walk on the Road?

    Short answer: when they have to be on the road for safety and they aren’t doing anything illegal.

    According to Florida law, a pedestrian may stand or walk on a road in which a sidewalk is not provided. In such a case, the pedestrian should walk only on the shoulder on the left side of the road. This means the person should be walking against oncoming traffic and never in the actual lane for vehicles.

    Florida pedestrian laws prohibit a person from standing on a road that is paved for vehicular traffic in an attempt to solicit a ride, solicit employment or solicit business from the occupant of a vehicle.

    In addition, a person cannot walk on any road where a sidewalk is provided, as long as that sidewalk is passable. Situations where a sidewalk may be found to be impassable include instances of sidewalks in disrepair or sidewalks with safety hazards. Think of construction cones and caution tape blocking access to a sidewalk.

    Florida pedestrian laws are meant to protect people from the dangers of motor vehicles. A violation of these laws may result in a non-criminal traffic infraction and a fine, not to mention the danger of being struck by a vehicle while in the road.

    If you were hit by a car while walking in the street and cited for being in the road improperly, you may bear some responsibility for the accident. But, that doesn’t mean you are wholly responsible for your injuries. If the driver was distracted, impaired or simply not paying attention, you may have a claim against his insurance company for your injuries. 

    Have You Been Injured In A Pedestrian Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a pedestrian accident you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free consultation.

  • What Should I Do After a Florida Pedestrian Accident?

    If you were injured or someone you love was killed in a pedestrian accident, there are certain steps that you should take immediately to protect your health and your interests in a personal injury claim.

    Steps You Should Take After a Pedestrian Accident

    • Call the police – Immediately call the police. When the police arrive they will make a report, which will serve as an official record of the pedestrian accident. Too many people regret not calling the police after an accident when they later find out the insurance card they were given was expired or their injuries are much worse than they initially thought.
       
    • Get the contact and insurance information of the other person(s) involved – You will need this information to file an injury claim. When the police arrive, they often handle this for you by getting the information of everyone involved, verifying it and compiling it in an Exchange of Information.
       
    • Get the necessary medical attention – Even if you don’t believe that your injuries are serious, you should see a medical professional right away. You may have suffered injuries that, due to shock and adrenaline, you won’t feel until later on. Often, internal injuries to the organs, traumatic brain injury and whiplash go unnoticed until days after the accident. Additionally, you must see a medical profession within 14 days of your accident to qualify for your No-Fault/PIP benefits.
       
    • Contact an attorney – An attorney will conduct an investigation and evaluate your case, letting your know whether you have a strong case for compensation for your injuries.
    For more information on what to expect after being hit by a vehicle, request our free Pedestrian Acident Guide today. If you have questions you need answered right now, give us a call at 727-446-0840. We never charge to discuss your case.

    Have You Been Injured In A Pedestrian Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a pedestrian accident you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free consultation.

  • I was Jogging in a City Park in Tampa, Tripped on Broken Sidewalk and Broke My Arm. Is the City Liable?

    If you have broken your arm while jogging on a broken Tampa sidewalk, the city is not necessarily liable just because the sidewalk was broken. On the other hand, if the city had been notified of the sidewalk’s broken condition, they should have put up a sign or a barrier to prevent a pedestrian accident. Therefore, the city may be held liable for your broken arm in some cases.

    If you choose to pursue damages in a personal injury claim, the city may argue that you were partially at fault for trying to cross the broken sidewalk. The outcome of your case will depend on your ability to present a valid argument. To build your case against the city, you can get the professional help of a lawyer.

    It is important to keep in mind however that suing a government entity such as a city or other government office has a different set of standards and deadlines than personal injury claims against people or other types of businesses. Often, victims are only allowed only an incredibly short timeframe to notify the government entity of their intent to seek damages. That is why it is vital to speak with a lawyer right away to avoid missing the statute of limitations on these types of claims.

    After your type of pedestrian accident, you may be compensated for current and, if necessary, future medical expenses. You may also be compensated for your pain and suffering, and any wages that you may have lost.

    Have You Been Injured In A Pedestrian Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a pedestrian accident you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free consultation.

  • How Does Florida’s No Fault Law Affect Pedestrian Accident Claims?

    As the name implies, Florida no fault law pays for vehicle and pedestrian accident claims regardless of who was at fault.

    Florida is one of 12 states that has implemented a no fault system. It was designed to help bring down insurance premiums by preventing frivolous lawsuits. Understanding Florida no fault law and how it applies to your accident is crucial to the successful resolution of an injury claim.

    In Florida, all drivers of motor vehicles registered in the state are required to carry No-Fault insurance coverage. If you were hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian, your own No-Fault or PIP insurance will pay for certain percentages of:

    • medical bills;
    • disability benefits;
    • household services;
    • transportation; ands
    • death benefits (if applicable).

    If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you need to report your accident to the insurance company that will be covering you. If you (or a relative who lives with you) are an insured driver of a motor vehicle registered in Florida, you have no fault coverage and your auto policy will cover you, even if you were not in your vehicle at the time of the accident.

    If you are not an insured driver of a motor vehicle registered in Florida, then you will be covered by the insurance of the driver who injured you. However, you may need to fill out certain applications and agree to a recorded statement. It is best to seek the advice of a lawyer at this time to make sure you are not being taken advantage of by the insurance company.

    You may have another avenue for recovery if you have Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage on your auto policy. For more info on this, click here.

    Have You Been Injured In A Pedestrian Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a pedestrian accident you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free consultation.

  • Do Drivers Always have to Yield the Right of Way to Pedestrians in Florida?

    When you get behind the wheel of an automobile you are piloting a potentially deadly weapon. Therefore, you must yield the right of way to pedestrians and bicyclists in almost any situation. If you were involved in a pedestrian accident, you likely would be eligible for reparations for expenses related to the accident.

    There are specifications to the right of way law, which your pedestrian accident lawyer can explain to you. Generally, if you were crossing the road at either a marked or unmarked crosswalk you had the right of way. A marked crosswalk is denoted by either signs or painted lines on the pavement.

    An unmarked crosswalk is harder to define, which is why your lawyer becomes so useful. It can be considered the space between the road and the sidewalk and also the space at the meeting of intersecting roads. Not all intersections have walk signals and this is where the unmarked crosswalk comes into play.

    In terms of stopping for a marked crosswalk, drivers must yield the right of way in almost every situation. They must yield the right of way to:

    • pedestrians already in the crosswalk who are on the same side of the roadway as their vehicle;
    • pedestrians in the crosswalk on the opposite side of the roadway who are close enough to their side to face possible danger; and
    • pedestrians who are about to step into the crosswalk.

    In summary, if you adhered to pedestrian and cyclist rules but still were injured by a driver who failed to yield the right of way, you have a right to compensation for bodily and property damages. Recovering from your injuries should be your main priority, not dealing with insurance adjusters and complicated legal paperwork.

    Before accepting a settlement offer contact the Jim Dodson Law to set up a free consultation at 888-207-0905.

  • Do Bicycle Riders have to Yield to Pedestrians in Florida?

    Yes! In Florida, pedestrians always have the right of way. The law requires all vehicle drivers (including bicyclists) to yield and give right of way to pedestrians. This holds true whether the bicycle is riding on a sidewalk or road.

    Why? Bicycle riders have to yield to pedestrians because pedestrians are much more vulnerable to injury than drivers and bicyclists in the event of a collision.

    When a bicyclist rides on the sidewalk, he or she must give an audible signal before passing a pedestrian. This can be a bell, horn or the rider saying “passing left.”

    When a cyclist rides on the road, he or she is bound by the rules for other vehicles like stopping on red and going on green. If the road lane is less than 14 feet wide it is considered a substandard lane and the rider can take up the entire lane.

    Just like the driver of a motor vehicle, if a bicyclist hits a pedestrian, he or she may be held responsible for any injuries sustained.

    An accident involving a pedestrian or bicyclist can have devastating consequences. Most of these accidents are the result of bicyclists being inattentive or negligent regarding the traffic rules. However, pedestrians must also act responsibly and abide by the rules of the road. Florida law allows an injured person who is partially liable for an accident with a bicyclist to recover damages for their injuries, but these damages will be reduced based if the pedestrian’s own actions contributed to or caused the collision to take place.

    The law surrounding pedestrian and bicycle injuries can be complicated. These cases are not always handled the same as a traditional motor vehicle accidents from an insurance perspective and so an attorney who has never handled a case with a pedestrian or cyclist will have a steep learning curve. 

    Have You Been Injured In A Pedestrian Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a pedestrian accident you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free consultation.

  • Can I Receive Compensation if I was Struck By a Car While Jaywalking in Florida?

    If you were hit by a vehicle while crossing the street in Florida, you may be entitled to file a personal injury claim to recover damages for your injuries even if you were jaywalking. You may have a case even if the police gave you a ticket and said you were at fault. Each accident is different and the specific way it happened will be important. Your lawyer will be looking for any argument the driver was also responsible and could have avoided hitting you.

    For example, if you can prove the driver was negligent in not paying attention to the road, texting while driving, or digging through a purse, this will help your claim. Excessive speed, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and other illegal activities can also help your case.

    Any insurance company will use the argument you were jaywalking against you. It gives the insurance company a reason to discredit your claim, blaming you for your injuries by failing to obey proper traffic crossing signals and not crossing at a crosswalk. That’s why it is so important to have a lawyer in your corner who knows the right arguments to make and how to make them.

    When someone hurts you, even if you were jaywalking, you owe it to yourself to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney. We are happy to evaluate your claim and explain your legal options for free. Give us a call today at 727-446-0840.

    Don’t forget to order our FREE Florida Pedestrian Accident Guide to find out what to expect in the coming weeks and months of your recovery.

    Have You Been Injured In A Pedestrian Accident?

    If you've been hurt in a pedestrian accident you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free consultation.