Walking and jogging may be great for your health, and New Port Richey’s weather makes these activities appealing. But they can also lead to catastrophic or even fatal pedestrian accidents. Walking through a parking lot, on a sidewalk, or across a drive-thru can be dangerous if drivers aren’t paying attention.
The situation is usually worse in the festive seasons. As the city comes alive, it draws bigger crowds than usual. For instance, New Port Richey and neighboring towns welcomed over 1 million visitors in a recent year. The municipality has some heavy-trafficked roads already. So when the festive seasons pack the streets with unfamiliar drivers—it increases the risk of pedestrian accidents.
If you have suffered injuries in a vehicle-pedestrian crash, you may be eligible for financial compensation to, at least, cover the impacts and expenses of your injury.
Read on to discover more about the pedestrian injury claim process and answers to FAQs about the same. You can also contact an experienced New Port Richey pedestrian accident lawyer from Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer Law Firm for a free initial case evaluation for answers specific to your case.
The Need for an Experienced New Port Richey Pedestrian Accident Lawyer
When walking or jogging down the street, you are unprotected compared to someone in a car. So when a truck clips you while crossing the street, the probability of suffering severe injuries is high.
If you can prove that the accident resulted from someone else’s negligent actions, you can potentially make them pay for the resulting injuries and damages.
Even so, getting compensated is often easier said than done. The liable parties won’t always accept the responsibility easily.
Insurance companies will work tirelessly to find ways to deny or devalue your claim. Hiring a lawyer to represent your interests gives you the power to take charge of the situation and demand your rightful financial compensation.
Your pedestrian accident lawyer can:
- Determine the causation, fault, and liability
- Help calculate the value of your claim
- Investigate your claim
- Collect relevant evidence to support your case
- Help secure economic and non-economic damages
- Negotiate fair compensation on your behalf
At Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer Law Firm, we are dedicated to providing strategic, aggressive representation for our clients. Our settlements and verdicts speak for themselves. We pride ourselves in leveling the playing field against insurance companies and large corporations—leveraging decades of experience handling personal injury cases to provide legal representation.
When you call us for help after a pedestrian accident, here’s what you can expect:
- A lawyer’s attention and respect as you discuss the crash and your legal options
- In-depth research and investigation into circumstances surrounding your pedestrian accident
- A careful and thorough analysis of relevant evidence: witness statements, accident reports, medical records, photographs, etc.
- Support and guidance as you make tough decisions
- Strategic and aggressive negotiations with liable parties and their insurance carriers
- Our Board Certified lawyers may argue your case in a trial, if necessary
At Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer Law Firm, our mission is to help you rebuild your life by recovering the maximum financial compensation you deserve under the law. Give our pedestrian accident lawyers a call to get started.
How common are pedestrian accidents in New Port Richey?
Pasco County’s roads are not the safest for walkers, joggers, and runners. Each year, the county experiences close to 200 pedestrian crashes.
The situation is even worse in New Port Richey, a non-surprising fact as the city is home to some dangerous roads and intersections.
In a recent year, there were 165 pedestrian accidents in New Port Richey. These accidents increased by 17+ percent within a short span.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the city experienced 194 pedestrian accidents in one recent year, with over 23 cases being fatal. Another recent year saw 167 vehicle-pedestrian accidents across the city and Pasco County.
New Port Richey: Home to Some of Florida’s Most Dangerous Intersections
When pedestrians leave the safety of dedicated sidewalks, they are often more likely to be involved in an accident. The majority of such accidents occur at crossroads and intersections.
Unfortunately, New Port Richey is home to some of the most dangerous crossroads and intersections in Florida, including:
Main Street and U.S. 19
This intersection is along the busy and construction-ridden US-19 road. That could explain the increasing number of reported accidents.
Madison Street and Main Street
The area overlooks the public library and has multiple blind spots. It’s not uncommon for accidents to occur here—causing pedestrian injuries.
Massachusetts Avenue and Congress Street
This intersection is prone to accidents significant enough to cause injuries and property damage.
Cecilia Drive and Madison Street
The intersection is called “fairly” tricky for drivers.
Other blind spots include:
- Madison Street and Main Street intersection
- U.S. 19 and Trouble Creek Road intersection
- U.S.19 (given its busy and construction-ridden nature)
- S.R. 52
- S.R. 54
Common Types of Pedestrian Accidents in New Port Richey
As noted, pedestrians are prone to accidents whether walking, running, jogging, or sitting in public. Often, pedestrian accidents involve cars and other vehicles.
Pedestrian car accidents occur between a motorcycle, car, bicycle, or truck and a person who’s not in a vehicle.
For walkers, runners, joggers, and shoppers, here are the common types of pedestrian accidents.
- Crosswalk Accidents: This happens when an individual is legally on a crosswalk. And the driver fails to yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian, striking the person within the crosswalk.
- Back-Over Accidents: This happens when a vehicle strikes a pedestrian when backing up/reversing. It could be pulling out or into a parking lot. Such accidents occur mainly when the parking lot is overcrowded with cars, blocking the driver’s view. And when shoppers are constantly or quickly crossing the parking space.
- Loss of Control Accidents: For instance, sideswiping a pedestrian on a sidewalk. These accidents happen when the driver has lost control of the vehicle.
Pedestrian accidents may also be “hit-and-run,” especially if traffic conditions are light and the victim has sustained severe injuries. A hit-and-run could result from panic; nonetheless, it’s still considered a felony under Florida law.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in New Port Richey
Causes of accidents involving pedestrians include:
That is, driving while:
- Using an app on the phone
- Reading a map or using GPS
- Changing radio station
- Eating or drinking
- Looking at signs
- Talking to passengers, etc.
Poor road visibility can result from:
- Adverse weather conditions
- Bright lights shining on the driver or pedestrian’s eyes
- Faulty headlights
- Road construction
- Pedestrian in dark clothes at night
- Drivers in sunglasses, especially at night
An attorney can help determine who’s responsible for the poor viability that contributed to the accident, or the party that failed to exercise appropriate caution in case of poor visibility.
Parking Lot Accidents
Drivers in reverse at a parking lot may fail to ensure a clear driveway, leading to fatal pedestrian accidents.
Failure of Traffic Lights
Poor physical road planning or faulty traffic lights can lead to pedestrian accidents. (Think of when road signs contradict traffic control signals.) In such cases, the New Port Richey municipality may be to blame.
Pedestrian accidents may occur in instances where private companies or businesses near the road fail to ensure the public rights-of-way is free from falling objects or obstructions.
Left-hand turns can sometimes prove tricky for drivers. In such cases, drivers are more concentrated on getting through the intersection than watching out for pedestrians.
- Drowsy or drunk driving slush walking
- Driver fatigue
- Road rage
- Inexperienced drivers
- Negligent vehicle maintenance
- Over speeding
- Road defects
Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries
Pedestrians are likely to sustain severe or even fatal injuries in a crash. The reason is, they are unprotected or lack cover that can absorb or cushion their blow.
At Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer Law Firm, we represent New Port Richey victims who suffer different pedestrian injuries, including:
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Nerve disruption
- Neck and back injury
- Muscle strains
- Chest injury
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- And more.
Our compassionate wrongful death lawyers also represent families who have lost a loved one in a fatal pedestrian accident. Call our law office for your free consultation to discuss your case and legal options.
FAQs About Pedestrian Accidents Claims in New Port Richey
Each pedestrian accident claim involves unique facts, situations, and circumstances. Here are answers to frequently asked questions about such claims in New Port Richey.
What do I do after a pedestrian accident in New Port Richey?
Right after the accident, you should remain calm as possible. Move to a safer spot until the first responders come to the rescue. If your injuries aren’t severe, check whether other accident victims need immediate medical help, and call 911 if they do.
Most importantly, don’t admit fault. In other words, avoid saying you’re sorry or didn’t see the incoming vehicle or something else in those lines.
Keep in mind that the things you do and say in the hours or days following the accident can significantly impact your ability to recover substantial compensation.
You can better your odds of winning your claim by following these steps.
Step 1: Seek medical attention
If involved in a pedestrian accident, seek medical attention immediately. That’s even if you feel or believe you’re not seriously injured.
Seeking medical attention diagnoses and treats your injuries and creates an official record documenting them, their degree of severity, and current and possible future treatments and their costs.
Note that delaying to see a doctor may imply your injuries were not serious, which can give the defense a reason to devalue your claim.
Here’s a list of medical hospitals you can contact to arrange for a medical evaluation:
- New Port Richey Surgi Center: (727) 848-0446
- Medical Center of Trinity: (727) 834-4000
- Morton Plant North Bay Hospital: (727) 842-8468
- Medical Center of Trinity West Pasco Campus: (727) 845-9180
- DocMJ: (888) 908-0143
Step 2: Record information about the incident/accident
Memories fade with time, making accounts of the accident unreliable. As such, note down as many details about the incident as possible, and if possible, right after the accident.
Examples of facts you can record include:
- Pictures of the crash scene
- Snapshot of the driver’s vehicle
- The driver’s name and other identifying information
- Police report
- Applicable insurance information
- Images of the crash scene
- Identification details of witnesses to the crash
Step 3: Report the accident to your auto insurance company
Florida’s no-fault insurance will be the primary coverage for damages resulting from the accident.
That means in the case of a child, the PIP insurance of their guardian will apply. If the victim is an adult and lacks PIP coverage, the at-fault driver’s auto insurance becomes the primary coverage.
You must, however, seek medical attention within 14 days of the crash to receive the no-fault benefits.
Step 4: Get a police report.
Report the accident to the City of New Port Richey Police Department at (727) 841-4550 ext. 1, or the nearest police station. The goal is to have the crash documented. In case of severe injuries or property damage, call 911 instead.
Cooperate with the police as they conduct their preliminary investigation, but don’t admit fault or apologize.
Step 5: Retain legal counsel.
Retaining a pedestrian injury lawyer is essential. For one, the lawyer can leverage their years of experience to smoothen the legal process. They are better poised to evaluate your case and negotiate a fair settlement, or fight your case in court, if necessary—all while observing the strict statutes of limitation.
Having an attorney can make it easy for you to ignore efforts by adjusters to coerce you into accepting lowball settlements. Instead, you can direct all conversations and questions to your pedestrian accident lawyer.
Who is liable for my pedestrian accident injury in New Port Richey?
Driver’s fault in pedestrian accidents: Florida road traffic law requires drivers to be alert to road hazards when driving. If the driver forfeits their obligation, they may be considered liable for the crash.
A driver may be considered at fault if:
- They owed the pedestrian a duty of care (to drive reasonably)
- They breached their duty of care (drove unreasonably)
- The breach of care caused or contributed to the accident
- And the victim died or suffered injuries as a result
A driver may be deemed negligent for:
- Not using turn signals
- Driving under the influence
- Over speeding
- Driving while distracted
- Failing to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at crosswalks, etc.
What should I expect after filing a pedestrian injury claim?
Pedestrian accident victims mainly use auto insurance claims to obtain their deserved financial compensation, whether in or out of court. Civil litigation undergoes specific proceedings.
Of course, each case is unique, but here’s a typical process.
- You consult with an experienced pedestrian injury lawyer about your claim. The goal is to ensure you have a case before investing your time and resources. A lawyer also helps check whether the Florida statute of limitations expired.
- Your legal counsel conducts a preliminary investigation to understand your background, facts, and circumstances surrounding the accident, etc.
- The lawyer gathers relevant medical records and reviews them to gauge whether you have a case.
- If you have a case and have attained maximum medical improvement, the lawyer may send a demand letter to the liable carrier. That is a letter detailing your injuries and circumstances surrounding the crash. The letter of claim also explains why the defendant is deemed responsible for any damages.
- The liable insurance carrier will then investigate the claim and give feedback stating whether or not the fault lies.
- While awaiting the feedback, your pedestrian accident attorney can gather relevant evidence to support your claim and quantify your damages.
- If liability is accepted, your lawyer will negotiate with other parties in an attempt to reach reasonable compensation.
- If the insurer denies liability, the lawyer may file a lawsuit—particularly if you sustained a permanent impairment.
- In the discovery phase, the period awaiting trial, your attorney will investigate the defendant’s defense points and legal claims. They will make relevant inquiries and take witness depositions.
- After the discovery phase, your lawyer may continue to negotiate for fair compensation—enlisting the help of a mediator if need be.
- If the parties cannot agree on reasonable compensation, the claim may go to trial, in which case you may need to attend a hearing.
- If the lawsuit is successful, you may be awarded compensation by the court. Your attorney can assist you in collecting any court-ordered damages.
How much is my pedestrian accident claim worth?
Each personal injury claim is unique, and the value varies based on several factors, including:
- The severity of the injuries
- Whether you experience temporal or permanent disability
- How do injuries impair your income earning potential?
- How you’ve been affected psychologically and emotionally
- How have your injuries affected your ability to enjoy life?
- Your proportionate responsibility in causing the accident
- The at-fault driver’s level of insurance coverage
- Whether you have included all the damages when calculating your case value
- Your patience during the claim and settlement process, etc.
Overall, compensations include economic damages, non-economic damages, or both.
Economic damages are compensations for specific financial losses you incurred due to the accident.
- Current medical expenses, including surgery, medication, and hospitalization
- Future medical bills including therapy, rehabilitation, and cost of medical equipment
- Lost wages
- Nursing care and support
- Reduced earning capacity
- Funeral expenses if the accident is fatal
Non-economic damages include an amount for less-tangible losses like:
- Emotional stress
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Post-traumatic disorder
- Lost enjoyment of quality life
- Disfigurement and scarring
In some cases, you might be eligible for punitive damages, but only if the liable party intended to harm you or acted with gross negligence.
How much time do I have to file a personal injury claim in New Port Richey?
Florida’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is four years starting from the date of the accident.
Take care to ensure that your injuries are diagnosed and treated to maximum medical improvement promptly, allowing your attorney time to send a demand package well before the statute of limitation expires.
There are a few exceptions to the 4-year limitations; however, some may work against you. For example, if you believe the city is responsible for your accident, you’ll have less time than four years to file a claim.
You’re, therefore, better off contacting a lawyer immediately after the accident to discuss your case and legal options.
How Can Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer Law Firm Help Me?
You deserve the chance to focus on healing after a pedestrian accident in New Port Richey. Don’t juggle recovery with a convoluted legal claim. Let the board-certified pedestrian accident lawyers at Lucas, Macyszyn & Dyer Law Firm pursue financial compensation on your behalf.
Call us at (727) 849-5353 or contact us online to schedule your free claim evaluation today. Here, we’ll discuss your case and determine your eligibility for financial compensation.