In 2011, injury and fatality rates in Florida were double the national average. In that year Florida had the highest pedestrian fatality rate among all the states based on statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Florida has the top four metropolitan areas recognized for dangerous walking in the nation, according to the “Dangerous by Design Report.” These are:
- Orlando – Kissimmee
- Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater
- Miami – Fort Lauderdale – Miami Beach
These and other pedestrian unfriendly areas are the targets of Florida’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Plan designed, through funding, to reduce pedestrian and bicycle injuries. This program moved Florida from the top spot on the most dangerous pedestrian state list, down to number 5 — but there is still much that needs to be accomplished.
Accidents involving pedestrians occur for many reasons including:
- Driver inattentiveness – This can be the result of distraction or fatigue. The increased use of hand held devices is a major contributor in pedestrian accidents. Dozing off while driving, even momentarily, can have devastating consequences.
- Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol – Statistics have shown that at least one person in a motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian had an elevated blood alcohol level in 49% of cases.
- Failure to yield to pedestrians – Drivers are required to yield to pedestrians in designated crosswalks. Very often they do not. Drivers, who are making a right turn on a red light, making a U turn at the intersection of a divided road, or making a left on a green arrow, are not always watching for pedestrians. They may not see them until it is too late.
- Speeding – Speeding is a leading cause of all accidents including those involving pedestrians.
- Reckless Driving – Operating a motor vehicle in a reckless fashion displays total disregard for the safety of others and is a frequent cause of death or injury.
If you are injured while walking, sitting of standing due to the negligence of the driver of a motor vehicle, you have rights under the law. Florida is a no-fault insurance state and a pedestrian is required to be covered for medical expenses under the policy of the driver. You may also sue for your pain and suffering, loss of wages, disability, punitive damages and more.
If you have been involved in pedestrian motor vehicle accident it is imperative that you seek medical attention immediately even if you feel you are not seriously injured. Leave that determination to a medical professional. Internal injuries and traumatic brain injuries may have slight or no immediate symptoms. Other injuries that may occur include spinal injuries causing paralysis, bone fractures, abrasions and lacerations and whiplash.
Each year pedestrian accidents resulting in injury total around 7000 in the State of Florida. If you have been injured by a negligent driver you may be entitled to compensation for financial loss, pain and suffering, diminished quality of life and more. It is the wisest decision to contact an experienced pedestrian accident attorney to evaluate your case.
Dolman Law has recovered substantial settlements for countless clients who were injured as pedestrians though the negligence of the driver of a motor vehicle. Let us provide you with a free consultation. You pay nothing unless we recover money for you.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765