Frequently Asked Questions

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  • 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.

  • Can I Recover Compensation if I was Struck By a Car While Crossing the Street Outside of a Crosswalk?

    If you or someone you care about was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street and the accident report places you outside the crosswalk at the time of the impact, you may be wondering about your legal options.  

    The good news is you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries even if you were hit outside of a crosswalk. Since every pedestrian accident case is unique, it would be in your best interest to give us a call to discuss the details of your accident.

    A number of different factors need to be considered in determining whether you can file a successful injury claim, especially if you were crossing the street outside of a crosswalk. Most important is that your actions were not the sole cause of your accident.

    Florida follows the doctrine of pure comparative negligence, which means you can seek compensation for your injuries even if you were partially at fault. Listed below are examples of shared responsibility for an accident, making you eligible for compensation in an injury claim:

    • The driver that hit you was operating the vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
    • The driver was texting, talking or using their phone;
    • The driver was simply not paying attention;
    • The driver was distracted by someone or something in their vehicle;
    • The vehicle had a mechanical failure that contributed to the accident; and/or
    • The driver was speeding or driving recklessly.

    People injured by motor vehicles have the right to be paid compensation for their medical expenses related to the accident, lost wages for the time they missed work during their recovery and loss of ability to earn money in the future pain and suffering they have dealt with as a result of their 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.

  • Does Florida have a Mandatory Helmet Law for Bicyclists?

    If you or your child were injured in a bicycle accident, even if you weren’t wearing a helmet, a bicycle injury lawyer can help you 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.

    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

    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.

  • What is an Unmarked Crosswalk in Florida?

    In Florida, you’ll find there are 2 types of crosswalks: marked and unmarked. A marked crosswalk is what we all imagine when we think of a crosswalk. There are lines painted on the ground to mark the boundaries and there may even be a button to push for a walk signal.

    The law in Florida gives extra protection to a pedestrian hit by a vehicle when the pedestrian is in a crosswalk. If you were injured while crossing the road at an intersection without crosswalk markings you may have been in an unmarked crosswalk.

    An unmarked crosswalk occurs at every intersection where the sidewalk meets the road, and is part of the roadway. There is not necessarily any paint or other marking to indicate the bounds of an unmarked crosswalk.

    Florida Statutes Section 316.003 Defines a Crosswalk as:

    • That part of a roadway at an intersection included within the connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides of the highway, measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from the edges of the traversable roadway.
    • Any portion of a roadway at an intersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other markings on the surface.

    In order to determine the location of the unmarked crosswalk, you should picture the sidewalk or shoulder extending across the roadway until it meets the other side of the road. The unmarked crosswalk is measured from curb to curb. If there are no curbs, it is measured from the edge of the road.

    Whether there is a marked or unmarked crosswalk, drivers should be mindful of the pedestrian right-of-way in Florida. Drivers who do not stop for pedestrians crossing the road may cause a motor vehicle versus pedestrian accident, which rarely ends well for the person on foot.

    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.

    After dealing with many cases involving injured pedestrians, we realized the same questions come up time and again so we wrote a short book you can order to get you up to speed on the process of holding the driver responsible for your injuries. Request it here for free.

  • Who Will Pay My Medical Bills After a Florida Pedestrian Accident?

    In Florida, if you are the owner of a motor vehicle that is registered in the state, your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or No-Fault auto insurer may pay for your medical bills and lost wages after you are injured as a pedestrian even if the accident was not your fault.

    According to Florida law, all motorists must have a minimum of $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) insurance coverage. PIP coverage will pay for your medical expense or lost wages up to a total of $10,000.

    If you have health insurance coverage, it will also contribute to your medical bills. However, your No-Fault auto insurer will be the primary responsible party up to the limits available.

    Your Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage carrier may also contribute to your medical expenses if the driver who caused your injuries doesn’t have any or enough insurance to cover your bills or if you were unable to locate the driver of a hit-and-run accident.

    Watch this for more on the importance of UM.

    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 Happens if a Florida Pedestrian is Hit By Someone Without Insurance? How Do the No-Fault Laws Fit Into the Situation?

    The Driver had no Insurance

    If you were the victim of an accident in Florida and were hit by an uninsured driver while walking, your own automobile insurance may cover the damages you have suffered, but only if you have Uninsured Motorist (UM) coverage. Your own insurance company may cover your medical expenses, permanent disability, and lost wages.

    Every car registered in Florida is required to have No Fault/Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance. This helps protect everyone on the roads in the event of an accident. Unfortunately, it only provides up to $10,000 for medical expenses and wages lost if you have been injured as a pedestrian.

    The Driver Left the Accident Scene

    If the driver fled the scene of your pedestrian accident and you are injured with PIP, your own insurer must pay for your medical expenses and disability. It doesn’t matter who caused the accident. As long as you can prove you suffered a permanent injury, scarring, or loss of bodily function, you will be eligible for compensation.

    If you carry uninsured motorist coverage in Florida (which is a voluntary, but highly recommended coverage) and are struck in a hit and run pedestrian accident or by an uninsured motorist, you may recover money from your UM coverage. Survivors of a deceased victim may also be eligible to recover for their loss as well.

    A case involving the injury or death of a pedestrian caused by an uninsured or hit and run driver is best handled by an attorney with experience representing victims against their own insurance companies. Rest assured, we understand how to recover for your losses after a pedestrian crash causing injury, or even worse, a loved one’s death.

    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.

    Just pick up the phone and call us today to discuss your case. There is never a charge to discuss what can be done. If you prefer, tell us what happened by filling out the contact form.

  • Why Do Children Suffer So Many Fireworks Related Injuries?

    Children want to be near fireworks and have little understanding of their potential danger. Many times injuries occur because a child is too close when a firework explodes. Sparklers burn at 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and can ignite clothing. Children are curious. They want to handle them. Sometimes, a “dud”, which initially fails to ignite will do so after a child has picked it up. They also lack the physical coordination to evade sudden danger.

    Because of the emotion involved, child injury cases are some of the most difficult to handle. Some of the injuries children suffer are the same as adults, such as auto accidents (the leading cause of injury to children) as well as slip/ falls.

    But many injuries are unique to children. For example, burns, fireworks injuries, school injuries, daycare injuries, golf cart, scooter/razor injuries, bicycle injuries, dog bite/animal attacks, and playground injuries are some of the injuries our office handles which are unique to children. You need an attorney you can trust, one who is genuinely interested in protecting the rights of children, and who will advocate on behalf of your child and your family.

    Has Your Child Been Injured In An Accident?

    If your child has been hurt in an accident it's important to contact an experienced child accident injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free consultation.

  • My 10-year old son was seriously injured when he was hit by a car while riding his razor scooter on the sidewalk. The car that hit him was at fault. What insurance will pay his medical bills and pain and suffering?

    Your son is treated similar to a pedestrian and would be covered by the No-Fault/PIP insurance of the car that hit him. That coverage would be obligated to pay the first $10,000 of his medical expenses. In addition, the bodily injury liability coverage insuring the at-fault driver would be available to pay up to the limits of the policy for any medical expenses not paid by PIP, as well as his other damages, including physical pain, suffering, scarring, disfigurement, loss of the enjoyment of life, medical expenses to be incurred in the future, and, potentially, loss of future earning capacity. If your son’s damages were greater than the liability insurance coverage available, any uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage on your car insurance would be available as well, if your son resided with you.

    Has Your Child Been Injured In An Accident?

    If your child has been hurt in an accident it's important to contact an experienced child accident injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 727.446.0840 to schedule your free consultation.

  • What Determines Who Is Responsible for a Florida Traffic Accident?

    In any Florida traffic accident, someone is liable. The simple rule is, whoever was careless was the liable party. In some cases one party violated a traffic law in which case determining negligence fairly straightforward. Others instances aren’t so clear-cut.

    Some states, including Florida, use what is called comparative fault to measure damages. This means that negligence in a Florida traffic accident can be shared among involved parties. For instance, let’s say Tricia was involved in an accident with Allison. It was determined that Tricia was 80% responsible and Allison was 20% responsible for the accident. Total damages to Allison’s car were $10,000. Allison would be able to recover $8,000, or 20% less than the total amount. She would be liable for the remaining $2,000 in damages.

    The insurance claims adjuster will initially determine comparative liability in a car accident. This can be based on the accident report, an assessment of the vehicles involved, and other factors.

    This is where hiring an attorney can be very useful and a financially astute move. An attorney is experienced in negotiating with insurance adjusters and can help compile evidence to prove the other party’s liability in your case.

    Have You Been Injured In A Car Accident?

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