Did you know that Florida is one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians in the United States? During the last ten years, more than 5,000 people in Florida were killed by a car while walking, and pedestrians older than 65 are more likely thank younger ones to be struck by vehicles. Both poor engineering of roads and inattentive or aggressive driving contributes to these statistics, so if you or a loved one have been injured by a motor vehicle while you were walking, be sure to contact the Dolman Law Group to discuss your legal rights to compensation today.
Dangerous Vehicle vs. Pedestrian Accidents
You don’t need to think about it much to know that the higher the speed of the vehicle, the more likely a pedestrian will suffer a serious or fatal injury as the result of a crash. However, depending on the way a pedestrian’s head hits the concrete after a fall, even a crash that occurs when a vehicle is moving at eight miles per hour can result in immediate death. All car, truck, or motorcycle accidents involving a pedestrian are dangerous, but the most commonly seen accidents are:
- Dart-out accidents – Occur when the pedestrian suddenly darts out onto the road and the driver does not have sufficient time to react. This may be caused by no fault of the pedestrian, though—for example, if she was in the crosswalk but the other driver’s view was blocked by a stopped vehicle such that it only looked as if she darted out onto the road.
- Intersection accidents – Occur when a pedestrian is quickly trying to cross an intersection such that the crossing is mistimed and the driver does not have sufficient time to react.
- Passing accidents – Occur when a negligent driver cannot see pedestrians because a bus or other vehicle has stopped to allow pedestrians to cross. In this case, the negligent driver may strike a pedestrian while trying to pass the stopped vehicle.
- Vehicle turn and merge accidents – Occur when the driver is focused on making a turn or merging into traffic. Drivers often alternate between looking both ways and don’t see pedestrians until after they start to make turns or merge.
- Vendor accidents – Occur on neighborhood streets when children run to catch ice cream trucks or when people wait around food trucks.
- Back-up accidents – Occur when a driver hits a pedestrian while backing up without first looking behind the car—typically in a parking lot.
Overall, the most common reason for a daytime pedestrian collision—when the pedestrian was clearly visible to the driver—is distracted driving. A distracted driving accident is defined as a crash that occurs because a driver was doing one or more of the following:
- Using an electronic communication device
- Using another electronic device
- Talking to passengers
- Eating and drinking
- Adjusting the radio
- Looking at something else, such as another roadside accident
Unfortunately, most vehicles cannot stop on a dime, and by the time a driver sees you, you may already be on the ground. That’s why distracted driving is considered negligence in Florida. Speak with a personal injury attorney about your legal options for compensation if you believe the driver who hit you was distracted.
In addition to distracted driving, a large number of pedestrian-vehicle accidents resulted from the use of alcohol by either the driver or pedestrian. Most serious pedestrian accidents occur at night in urban areas, but not at intersections. For the most part, this means that many pedestrian accidents occur because of insufficient traffic control devices and crosswalks for those attempting to cross certain thoroughfares. In these cases, speak with a Florida personal injury attorney to discuss whether you have a claim against the municipality or state for negligent engineering.
Most Common Pedestrian Injuries
Nearly half of all pedestrian accidents involve lower extremity injuries, including feet, ankles, knees, and legs. Injuries to the head, face, and neck made up the next most common injuries. Upper extremity injuries were next on the list. Surprisingly, women were more likely to suffer severe pelvic injuries than men, such as broken hips, an especially serious condition for the elderly. The most fatal injuries are those pedestrians suffer to their heads and chests. If these injuries do not prove fatal, they can require a lifetime of medical treatment and cause permanent disabilities.
Recovering Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident
If you were hit by a vehicle in Florida, you may avail yourself of the negligent driver’s no-fault insurance policy, which can help cover your medical expenses and lost wages up to the policy maximum. Florida drivers are required to carry at least $10,000 in insurance coverage—but this might not even cover the costs of a broken bone. Accordingly, a Florida personal injury attorney may negotiate with the liable insurance company to help you receive compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Medical equipment and medication
- Rehabilitation and nursing services
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
If the insurance policy itself is not sufficient to cover your expenses, discuss what it would mean to litigate your case with a Florida pedestrian accident lawyer.
Contact the Dolman Law Group’s Florida Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Today
There is almost nothing scarier than seeing a vehicle coming toward you and knowing you cannot escape—or getting hit by a car before you realized what happened. Pedestrian accidents are serious, and so is your subsequent legal case. If you were injured while walking, running, jogging, or biking in Florida, the Dolman Law Group has experienced pedestrian injury attorneys in the Clearwater area. Contact us online or call at (727) 451-6900 today for a free, no-risk consultation.