While crosswalks are meant to serve as a designated place where pedestrians can safely cross the road, accidents in crosswalks occur far too often because of inattentive and careless drivers. When the operator of a motor vehicle fails to stop at a crosswalk and crashes into an unsuspecting pedestrian, the injuries sustained by the pedestrian are often catastrophic if not fatal. Oftentimes, these kinds of accidents involve innocent children who are walking to school and are struck by a vehicle speeding through a crosswalk even though school crossing signs are illuminated and crossing guards are working at the intersection.
At Hollander Law Firm, our West Palm Beach pedestrian accident attorney understands just how life changing serious accidents can be for victims and their families. Based in Boca Raton, Florida with offices in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, our law firm is committed to getting justice and compensation for individuals who have been injured in all kinds of pedestrian accidents, including crosswalk collisions. While no amount of money can ever repay you for what you have been through, we will do everything we can to get you the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses and other financial hardships so that you can get back on your feet.Pedestrians Have the Right of Way in a Crosswalk
Under Florida law, pedestrians have the legal right of way when crossing in a crosswalk. Even though it is clear that motorists have a legal duty to stop and allow pedestrians to cross the roadway when they are in a crosswalk, many drivers fail to stop or even slow down, particularly when they are talking to their passengers, texting on their phones, or engaging in other distracting activities. With so many motor vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles sharing the roads of South Florida, particularly in the West Palm Beach area, crosswalk accidents are not an uncommon occurrence. These kinds of unfortunate and preventable events can lead to disabling injuries requiring extensive medical care and rehabilitation. Additionally, many victims end up being off from work for extended periods of time and, in some situations, they may never be able to work again.What Should You Do Next?
If you have been injured in a crosswalk accident in West Palm Beach, or if you have lost a loved one in a crosswalk accident, what should you do next? In addition to scheduling a free initial consultation with a local lawyer, you should:Q&A with Boca Raton Wrongful Death Attorney Gregg Hollander Q: How Do I Know Who is My Loved one's "Personal Representative"?
There are two ways that one person can be designated as a decedent's personal representative. The first way is through the decedent's will. When preparing a will, it is standard practice to designate a personal representative who will be responsible for administering the decedent's final affairs after death. If your loved one prepared a will (and if his or her will is valid), then the will should specify who is entitled to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the eligible family members.
The second way a personal representative can be appointed is through the probate process. If your loved one did not leave a will, then a personal representative will need to be appointed by a Florida probate court judge. This is a legal process that has several important implications, so it is important to hire an attorney to guide you and your family as you move forward.Q: What Types of Financial Compensation are Available in Fatal Car Accident Cases?
In Florida, different family members are entitled to different types of financial compensation. Florida's wrongful death statute states:
- "Each survivor may recover the value of lost support and services from the date of the decedent's injury to her or his death, with interest, and future loss of support and services from the date of death and reduced to present value."
- "The surviving spouse may also recover for loss of the decedent's companionship and protection and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury."
- "Minor children of the decedent, and all children of the decedent if there is no surviving spouse, may also recover for lost parental companionship, instruction, and guidance and for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury."
- "Each parent of a deceased minor child may also recover for mental pain and suffering from the date of injury. Each parent of an adult child may also recover for mental pain and suffering if there are no other survivors."
- "Medical or funeral expenses due to the decedent's injury or death may be recovered by a survivor who has paid them."
In addition, the decedent's personal representative can also recover loss of earnings, medical expenses and funeral expenses on behalf of the estate, with these additional damages to be distributed among the decedent's eligible surviving family members.Q: Will I Need to Go to Court in Order to Recover Just Compensation?
Maybe. Similar to non-fatal car accident cases, most fatal car accident cases settle. With an experienced Boca Raton wrongful death attorney representing you, there is a good chance that you will be able to obtain a settlement without going to trial. However, the outcome of your case cannot be guaranteed; and, if the at-fault party's insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, then your attorney may need to take your case to court.Q: What if the Insurance Companies Say My Loved one Was Partially at Fault in the Crash?
If this happens, first of all, you should not assume that the insurance company is correct. This is a common tactic that insurance companies use to try to deny payment of just compensation. Second of all, even if your loved one was partially at fault, your family may still be entitled to partial compensation. Under Florida's "pure comparative fault" statute, families can recover financial compensation as long as their loved ones were not 100 percent at fault for their own fatal injuries.Discuss Your Crosswalk Case With a West Palm Pedestrian Accident Attorney
For over 25 years, the Hollander Law Firm has been fighting for the rights of accident victims in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale and other regions of South Florida. Our firm is committed to helping people get the compensation they are legally entitled to when they are harmed by the negligence and carelessness of others. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed while trying to cross the road, we encourage you to pick up the phone and call our law offices immediately. We realize that you may have many questions, and we will provide you with the answers you need to make the best decisions for you and your family.