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Tampa Workers' Compensation Attorney / Blog / Personal Injury / Motorists Fatally Strikes Tampa Pedestrian

Motorists Fatally Strikes Tampa Pedestrian


Few details were available about an accident involving a motorist and a pedestrian at the intersection of South Carter and West Julia streets. She was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a new release.

Evidence in Pedestrian Accident Claims

For a Tampa personal injury lawyer, starting from square one is nothing new. Even if almost no evidence is available at the scene, experienced lawyers can still prove negligence, or a lack of care, by a preponderance of the evidence, or more likely than not, and obtain compensation in court.

This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Compensation is usually available no matter who had the light in an intersection pedestrian collision. More on that below.

Evidence in a pedestrian intersection crash usually includes witness statements, the police accident report, and medical bills. A lack of witness statements at the scene is a very difficult test. This weakness affects not only the witness statements themselves, but also the police report. If officers only hear the tortfeasor’s (negligent driver’s) side of the story, the police report is clearly biased.

Attorneys know how to locate witnesses and encourage them to share their stories. Even if a witness only saw part of the accident, that testimony could be the critical missing piece of the puzzle.

Witnesses must be competent and credible. Witnesses are competent to testify if they have no interest in the case. Interested witnesses include passengers in a tortfeasor’s car and people with certain racial or political biases. Credible witnesses tell jurors what they saw, not what they heard someone else say or what they assumed to be true.

Liability Issues

Note that we discussed evidence collection in a pedestrian accident claim before we discussed the legal issues. A good Tampa personal injury attorney collects evidence first and lets that evidence dictate the liability issues. Other lawyers latch onto liability theories and then find evidence that supports the claim, no matter how tenuous that claim is.

These wrecks are legally complex because, in most cases, the pedestrian victim was crossing the street against the light and outside a marked crosswalk.

These victims are still eligible for compensation, because the duty of care still applies, no matter what color the light was. This duty requires drivers to avoid accidents whenever possible. They cannot strike jaywalking pedestrians and then blame dead people for their own injuries.

That being said, jaywalking pedestrians clearly bear some responsibility in these cases. The amount of responsibility usually depends on the additional facts, such as the tortfeasor’s speed, if the tortfeasor kept (or didn’t keep) a proper lookout, and the victim’s status, such as mobility impairments.

Based on all the evidence, jurors must divide responsibility on a percentage basis (50-50, 60-40, etc.). Florida is a pure comparative fault state. Even if the victim was 99 percent responsible for the wreck, the tortfeasor is liable for a proportionate share of damages.

If the pedestrian was in the crosswalk and had the light, the case is usually more straightforward since the negligence per se rule normally applies. Tortfeasors could be liable for damages as a matter of law if they violate safety laws and those violations substantially cause injury.

The negligence per se rule could also apply if the victim was in a virtual crosswalk. Pedestrians activate these temporary crosswalks, which are usually outside intersections, by activating flashing yellow lights that require all approaching motorists to stop and yield the right-of-way.

 Work With a Diligent Hillsborough County Lawyer 

Injury victims are entitled to important financial benefits. For a confidential consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Tampa, contact Kobal Law. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we start working for you.



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