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Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
Fort Lauderdale has one of the highest numbers of pedestrian accidents in Florida. According to a 2017 report by the Florida Department of Transportation, Broward County witnessed at least 1,914 pedestrian accidents, claiming 73 lives.
The report further reveals the sharp increase in pedestrian and bicycle-related accidents; Broward County witnessed 1,581 pedestrian accidents in 2010. By 2017, the number had grown to 1,941. That is a 21% increase over seven years.
The study also showed that the number of deaths caused by pedestrian accidents had increased by 2018% between 2010 and 2017.
In 2010, 57 people lost their lives due to pedestrian accidents. By 2017, the number of casualties had increased to 73.
Why Are There So Many Pedestrian Accidents in Fort Lauderdale?
Like the rest of Florida, Fort Lauderdale experiences warm temperatures almost the entire year. Such warm conditions are perfect for walking, cycling, or simply enjoying the outdoors.
But unfortunately, a warm day outdoors could quickly turn disastrous for both locals and tourists. This is because some drivers don't observe traffic rules while driving around the city.
If you or your loved one has been injured by a negligent driver, talk to a Morgan & Morgan pedestrian accident attorney right away.
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Common Causes of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Accidents in Fort Lauderdale
Multiple police reports point out the following as the leading causes of pedestrian accidents in Fort Lauderdale:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving, mostly through the use of cell phones while driving or walking
- Aggressive driving
- Unfamiliarity with local roads
- Not yielding to pedestrians
How a Fort Lauderdale Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
If you or your loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident in Fort Lauderdale, you may need the help of an experienced Fort Lauderdale pedestrian accident attorney. Here is a quick look at the different ways we might be able to help.
Gathering Important Reports and Evidence
The surest way to file a successful claim is to have strong supporting evidence. But, depending on the nature of the accident, you might not even have the time or energy to gather substantial evidence.
It's also important to note that you don't need evidence only for court cases; you must convince the other party that their insured is responsible for the accident even if you choose to settle the matter out of court. But you can only do this if you have strong evidence against the insured.
When collecting evidence, you need a lot of time and resources. This is where our attorneys come in to provide the much-needed legal assistance.
When you contact us for a free case evaluation, we'll analyze your case and weigh it against the available evidence. Then, if we believe that you have a valid case against the other party, we'll help you collect the evidence you need to support your case.
Witness statements help support your claim and boost your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome. If you have any contacts of witnesses, our attorneys can interview them on your behalf. In addition, their testimonies will be useful if the other party disputes your claim. We can also use statements from witnesses in court to prove your case if both parties fail to agree to an out-of-court settlement.
Adding Value Your Claim
Did you know that you may be eligible for compensation for more than the medical bills incurred due to the accident? Since Florida is a no-fault state, your PIP insurance should cover your medical expenses for injuries sustained in the accident. It can also cover at-home services such as house cleaning, pet care, and laundry, as long as these expenses arise due to the accident.
When you hire a Morgan & Morgan pedestrian accident attorney to handle your case, they'll ensure you receive compensation for every damage suffered due to the accident. Examples of such damages include:
- Lost wages
- Past and future medical expenses
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Property damage
You can also claim non-economic damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical impairment
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium (if you are the victim's spouse or child)
The main downside of PIP insurance is that it doesn't cover damages that are not related to bodily injuries after the accident. This insurance also doesn't cover medical expenses that exceed your coverage limits.
In Florida, the PIP insurance coverage limit is $10,000. So if your medical bill after the accident is $100,000, your insurance provider will not be responsible for the remaining $90,000. In that case, you'll have to file a claim with the liable party's insurer to recover the remaining amount.
But that's not always an easy thing to do, especially without the help of an attorney. The at-fault driver's insurance company won't write you a check without a fight. In fact, they'll try to come up with ways to dismiss your claim, even if it means hiring investigators to monitor your movements.
That is one of the many tactics insurance companies use to try and avoid liability. Some insurance companies will even monitor your social media accounts, looking for any reason to dismiss your claim.
Involving Experts if Needed
Some car accidents may require the intervention of experts in different fields to prove liability. The expert testimony could be the difference between winning or losing the case. The last thing you want is to work with a law firm that lacks the resources required to prove your case in court when the need arises.
If you hire an underequipped law firm, they most likely:
- settle for a low-ball offer just to close the case; or
- fail to conduct thorough investigations needed to support the claim.
At Morgan & Morgan, we are the largest personal injury law firm in the country, boasting unlimited legal resources to represent you in and out of court. Besides, we have practiced personal injury law for over three decades and built strong relationships with experts from different fields. When another party disputes the claim, we'll use every resource available to build a strong case against their insured.
Negotiating on Your Behalf
Just because you pay your insurance premiums every month doesn't mean that your PIP insurance provider will approve your claim right away. In fact, they'll most likely dispute your claim. However, in cases where the evidence is overwhelming, insurance companies will try to settle for the lowest amount possible.
They do this with the help of insurance claims adjusters. The primary job of a claims adjuster is to evaluate a claim's value on behalf of the insurance company. But as their job title suggests, insurance claims adjusters' natural response is to adjust the claim's value to suit their employer's interest, in this case, the insurer. So, for instance, if your claim is worth $10,000, they'll most likely find a way to reduce it to $100 or even less.
They also assume that you don't have legal representation. But when you involve an attorney, insurance companies realize that they can’t bully you into accepting less than what you deserve as a settlement for your injuries.
At Morgan & Morgan, we have helped our clients recover over $13 billion as compensation so far. Part of the reason we have such a high success rate is that we are never afraid of bullies. We know that insurance companies can intimidate victims or even some attorneys but not us.
When they realize that you have Morgan & Morgan by your side, chances are they'll not want the case to proceed to court. Insurance companies all over the country know that we don't settle for less when fighting for our clients' rights, and we have the track record to show.
Providing Expert Legal Advice
Each pedestrian accident case requires a unique approach. For this reason, a pedestrian accident lawyer can provide critical legal advice regarding your case, increasing your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome.
Here's an example of a scenario that demonstrates the role of an attorney in providing critical legal advice.
John suffers severe injuries after being hit by a negligent driver and files a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company. After recovering his medical bills, he signs the release of liability (settlement) agreement to finalize the settlement.
By signing this agreement, John can't pursue further legal action against the insurance company. Two months after signing the agreement, he complains of constant headaches. He then visits the doctor and discovers that he also suffered brain damage from the car accident. But since John had agreed to sign the release, the chances of pursuing further legal action against the insured driver is almost zero.
The only way he may be able to pursue further settlement for the same claim is if:
The offer was fraudulent: Even so, he must prove the fraud, which is usually quite challenging to do with or without an attorney.
Multiple parties were at fault: This works if multiple parties were responsible for the injury and he only collected settlement from one party. In that case, he can still pursue compensation for the same injury by suing the other party involved.
Now let's discuss how a pedestrian accident attorney from Morgan & Morgan can help in such a scenario.
An experienced attorney knows that it’s never advisable to rush into accepting any settlement offer without factoring in every damage arising from the injury. In fact, after suffering such an injury, an experienced attorney will advise you to seek medical treatment for as long as it takes and as long as doctors recommend.
This strategy helps doctors detect and treat every possible injury or condition deriving from the accident. In addition, an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer will only accept a settlement if it covers all of your damages.
This includes past, present, and future damages emanating from the accident. In simpler terms, sometimes playing the waiting game is part of the many legal strategies experienced attorneys use to deal with insurance companies. Because they know that insurance companies are always rushing to close the case to limit the amount of compensation you deserve, your attorney's responsibility is to ensure that you receive total compensation.
Representing You in Court
There's always a possibility that the negligent driver's insurance company will decide to take the matter to court. Some insurance companies choose this path, hoping to force you into accepting a low-ball offer.
Half of the time, many accident victims settle for low-ball offers to avoid the frustrations of pursuing such a case in court. Understandably, when you are the victim of such an accident, you're probably dealing with physical, mental, and emotional pain. The last thing you want is to handle complex legal processes and the possibility of facing aggressive and dismissive defense attorneys during trial.
But when you have Morgan & Morgan attorneys by your side, we'll not only negotiate a reasonable settlement on your behalf but also take the matter before the court if the other party refuses to settle. The best part is that you don't have to worry about the fees because there are no fees involved unless we win.
Giving You Peace of Mind
A pedestrian accident attorney gives you peace of mind when they handle your case on your behalf. As a result, you won’t have to deal with the scare and intimidation tactics insurance companies use to jeopardize your claim. In addition, when you’re in physical, mental, and emotional pain due to the accident that harmed you or your loved one, you may not be able to fight for your right to compensation. Insurance companies know that they have a higher chance of manipulating you when you’re at your lowest, and that’s why they’ll keep contacting you when they know you don’t have legal counsel.
Contact a Morgan & Morgan Pedestrian Accident Attorney Fort Lauderdale
Don't feel intimidated by the tactics of insurance companies in your pursuit of the compensation you need and deserve to get on with your life after the devastating accident. Call our Fort Lauderdale office at (954) 318-0268 to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation today.