There are laws in the state of Florida specifically designed to safeguard the rights of pedestrians who experience injuries as the result of a motor vehicle accident. Although there are caveats and limitations, if pedestrian claims against drivers are justifiable, damages are warranted for both immediate and long-term injuries. Pedestrian safety is a serious issue. Under the law, negligent drivers are responsible for their actions. It is our job is to make sure that they are held financially accountable as well.
As a nation, we have a serious problem with pedestrian accidents. Every year more than 5,000 pedestrians in the United States are killed or injured after being struck by motor vehicles, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In our practice, we have found the majority of them result from negligence on the part of the motor vehicle driver. The collective experience of the civil litigators at the Dolman Law Group results in proven success in personal injury claims. Pedestrian accidents routinely cause grave injury, permanent disability, and, frequently, death. The legal team in our Doral location has the requisite background to navigate the complex issues associated with these accidents.
What makes Florida a hot spot for pedestrian accidents?
Every year, SmartGrowth America releases a list called the “pedestrian death index.” Last year, eight cities in Florida made the top ten.
“Florida has the third largest population in the USA with a population over 20.6 million, which accounts for 6.38 percent of the US population. It is also the 8th most densely populated state in the US. Florida has the highest percentage of people over 65.” ~Population USA
It’s all about the numbers. A large population, in conjunction with a high number of residents over age 65, sets the scene for a higher than average percentage of vehicle vs. pedestrian accidents. When tourism (100 million visitors every year) is figured into the mix, we end up with a perfect storm. When high numbers of drivers, unaware of the local traffic patterns, converge on areas with relatively high pedestrian activity, accidents are inevitable.
Should you decide to initiate a pedestrian accident personal injury claim:
- First and foremost, your health is important. Always be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible following the incident. The documentation is vitally important. While initially, you may not feel any discomfort or exhibit outward signs of trauma, you may have sustained an injury that is not immediately apparent. The severity of your injuries may come into play when filing a claim. Automobiles are powerful, and injuries stemming from a collision are usually severe. Pedestrians have no protection at all, and are subject to fractures (especially to the pelvis and lower extremities), internal bleeding, concussion, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, and lacerations.
- Maintain your credibility. Tell your physicians if you have had previous injuries to the same areas of the body. Be truthful. If you were not at fault, you have nothing to hide.
- Contact law enforcement and get a police report. Not every driver who injures a pedestrian is liable for damages. Driver negligence has many forms, all of which result in serious injury or wrongful death. A driver can be held accountable for a crash if he or she was distracted, impaired, using electronic devices while driving, not obeying traffic laws, or disregarding dangerous road conditions. Any one of these issues points to negligence. We must prove that a driver was at fault at the time of the incident so the victim can seek financial compensation. A thorough understanding of the events leading up to and following any vehicle-pedestrian impact is an important part of the litigation strategy, and will definitely impact the outcome of any settlement. A police report is an important piece of documentation as it can provide pertinent details such as the location of impact (crosswalk, sidewalk, traffic lane), the speed of the vehicle at impact, and if the accident could have been avoided. Physical evidence retrieved from the accident site is also often useful.
- Florida has specific traffic laws concerning pedestrians. These regulations are not negotiable. Get the name and contact numbers of any witness who will attest to the fact that you were obeying all traffic lights and street signs, and either walking on a sidewalk or on the shoulder of the road facing the traffic flow. It is often difficult to hold an at-fault driver accountable. Eyewitnesses are helpful.
- Take pictures of the immediate area. Problems with the infrastructure, or poor road conditions, may have a significant impact on a potential claim for damages. It is possible that compensation from construction companies or road maintenance crews is just as feasible as funds from at-fault drivers.
- Avoid discussing the details of the accident with anyone other than law enforcement, your physician, and your attorney. Do not post anything on social media, and do not speak to, or sign any document, from the driver’s insurance carrier or lawyer. Do not allow any recorded telephone calls.
What kind of damages are allowed? Under Florida law, a victim of a pedestrian accident is entitled to compensation for financial and personal costs. This includes medical expenses (present and future), rehabilitation costs, physical therapy fees, counseling expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and diminished quality of life. If the accident results in death, families are entitled to file a wrongful death claim.
Hire an Attorney for the Best Possible Outcome
Traffic and pedestrian laws in Doral are specific, time-sensitive, and complex. Contact a law firm experienced in handling personal injury cases. The skilled legal professionals at Sibley Dolman are standing by to help you obtain justice, and the settlement you deserve. Call us at (305) 930-7688 or write to us through our contact page for a free consultation and review of your case.
Sibley Dolman Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP
8400 NW 36th St Suite 450
Doral, FL 33166
What Our Clients Have to Say:
“My experience with this law firm has been extremely pleasant. After being involved in an accident where I was injured, I was able to seek treatment from the best doctors in the area. I was lucky to have a team that assisted in scheduling my appointments that worked around both my full time work schedule and my demanding grad school schedule. Even with a move out of state to New York, I was able to remain with this law firm and continue treatment in south Florida while remaining under the care of the doctors that I felt most comfortable with. Even though I suffered injuries and experienced difficulties in that aspect, the team here was able to make sure that I was able to continue work and stay on track with grad school all while I moved to a new state.”
Rating: 5/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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