Pedestrian Accidents

Who’s at Fault in a Pedestrian Accident?

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

It is important for drivers to operate their vehicles carefully and safely, especially when there are pedestrians present. In most accidents involving pedestrians, the driver of the vehicle is at fault for the accident and may be held liable for any injuries sustained by the pedestrian. However, there are some cases when a pedestrian may be partially responsible for their own injuries. When is a Pedestrian Responsible for an Accident?  A reasonably cautious driver would take steps to avoid hitting a pedestrian in any situation. However, sometimes, pedestrians do things that make it difficult for a driver to avoid a collision such as: Walking down a busy highway at night in dark clothing Suddenly darting out into the street Walking along a highway or bridge where pedestrian traffic is prohibited Suddenly crossing against the traffic signal If a driver is doing everything they can reasonably do to avoid an accident with a pedestrian and there is still an accident, then a pedestrian may not be able to recover compensation for their injuries. When the Driver and the Pedestrian are Both at Fault In a more common scenario, a driver and a pedestrian can both be at fault for an accident. For example, a pedestrian may be crossing against the signal, but the driver was driving over the speed limit and unable to stop in time. In this case, both parties may bear some responsibility for any injuries. In Florida, the rule of pure comparative negligence would apply in a case where both the pedestrian and the driver are at fault. In a pure comparative negligence scenario, the damages sustained are divided between the parties based on the percentage of fault they have for the injuries. If for example, a pedestrian was found to have sustained $100,000 in damages as a result of the accident, a jury would determine the percentage of fault for each party. If a jury found that the pedestrian was 40% at fault by jaywalking and the driver was 60% at fault for speeding, the pedestrian may be able to recover $60,000 in damages from the driver. Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney Determining fault in a pedestrian-car accident can be difficult. If you’re a pedestrian who has been injured in an accident, you may want to consult with an experienced pedestrian accident attorney in Florida. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have been helping accident victims in Tampa Bay for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Hit and Run Pedestrian Accidents

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

When you’re a pedestrian who has been hit by a car, it can be a scary situation. This scenario can become even more frustrating when the responsible party leaves the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime in Florida, but it still happens. It seems like almost every week there are reports of a hit and run pedestrian accident in Tampa Bay. What are your options if you are a pedestrian struck by a hit and run driver? After the Accident It is important that you take the right steps after a hit and run accident to make sure you have a strong claim: Call the police—it’s essential that you immediately report the hit and run to the police. Give the police any identifying information about the vehicle that you have and the names and contact information of any witnesses. Seek medical treatment—you’re likely seriously injured if you’ve been struck by a car, but even if you are not certain of injury, it’s still important to seek treatment Speak with an experienced accident attorney—issues of compensation for your injuries can be complicated in a hit and run pedestrian accident, so you may want the assistance of an experienced pedestrian accident attorney Your Own Insurance If you’ve been the victim of a hit and run pedestrian accidents, then you’ve likely sustained serious injuries and are facing mounting medical bills. If you have your own car insurance, you can look there to pursue compensation. Your personal injury protection (PIP) will cover some of your medical bills and lost wages. However, if you also have uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) coverage, you will be in an even better position as this insurance will cover you if a driver flees the scene. The Crimes Compensation Trust Fund Because hit and run pedestrian accidents are crimes, you may be entitled to compensation from the Crimes Compensation Trust Fund. In order to receive compensation, it is important that you have reported the crime to the police within 72 hours of it occurring and that you apply to the Florida Bureau of Victim Compensation within one year of the incident. Contact an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney If you’ve been the victim of a hit and run pedestrian accident, you may want to have an experienced pedestrian accident attorney evaluate your case. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping injured Floridians. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Pedestrian Deaths at a 30 Year High

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

A new report from the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) found that pedestrian deaths in 2018 hit the highest level in almost 30 years. According to the report, 6,227 pedestrian fatalities occurred in 2018. The report showed that many of these deaths occurred in big cities. Florida, along with four other states (Georgia, Texas, California, and Arizona) made up more than half of these fatalities. Tampa Bay has ranked among the top 10 places for pedestrian deaths.  Reasons for the Increase in Pedestrian Deaths Long stretches of highway designed for commuter traffic can be an unsafe situation for pedestrians who are forced to walk along these roadways. Not enough crosswalks and signage to protect drivers can be a contributing factor in pedestrian deaths. Telling pedestrians to use crosswalks is useful advice but not practical when there are several miles between crosswalks.  According to the GHSA report, one of the most dangerous factors that are leading to an increase in pedestrian deaths is cell phone usage by both drivers and pedestrians. Drivers who are distracted are not on the lookout for pedestrians on the road. By the same token, pedestrians who are looking at their phones and not at their surroundings can quickly become the victim of a negligent driver. In addition to distracted driving from cell phone use, the increase in pedestrian deaths can also be the result of larger vehicles on the road. Pedestrians don’t have walls of steel protecting them so when they are struck by a vehicle, they can be seriously injured. If this vehicle is a large truck or an SUV, it is more likely that these injuries will be fatal.  Solutions to the Problem There are a number of technologies and solutions that may be on the horizon. Designing roadways to be more pedestrian friendly with more sidewalk space and protected crosswalks is one approach. Pedestrian-sensing technology on vehicles can also be helpful in curbing the problem. However, reducing distracted driving would be the most helpful measure in preventing pedestrian fatalities. Enforcing distracted driving laws and educating the public could save hundreds of lives.  Contact a Pedestrian Accident Attorney If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you should consult with an experienced injury attorney. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we’ve been helping injured pedestrians for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Common Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

Pedestrians are exposed and unprotected. Therefore, injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident versus a car accident are rarely minor. In general, the faster a car is traveling, the more severe the resulting injuries. However, even a car traveling at a lower speed can cause a debilitating injury. Some common injuries sustained in pedestrian accidents include: Traumatic Brain Injury  When a pedestrian is struck by a car, they can suffer anything from a mild concussion to a severe brain injury. Traumatic brain injuries are typically caused by an external force on the head, such as a blow or a jolt. A pedestrian who is struck by a car may hit their head on the pavement or on the vehicle itself. This can cause severe trauma and life-changing injuries. Spinal Cord Injury A spinal cord injury can result from a blow to the back. When a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, the spine can become fractured, or vertebrae can become dislocated. Even a small amount of damage to the spine can result in devastating injury such as partial or full paralysis. Even in the case where the damage is relatively minor, the results can be permanent.  Fractures When the physical force on a bone is stronger than the bone itself, the bone will fracture. Leg, arm, pelvis, and hip fractures are common in pedestrian accidents. Although they can be treated, fractures sometimes require surgery and can lead to life-long pain and complications. Soft Tissue Injuries Injuries such as bruises, abrasions, lacerations, dislocations, tears, and sprains can also result from a pedestrian accident. Soft tissue injuries can cause a victim significant pain and can lead to lost time from work. They can also leave a victim with scarring and lasting pain and complications. Neck Injuries Neck injuries such as whiplash can occur, especially if a pedestrian is hit from behind. Whiplash is an injury caused by the rapid back and forth movement of the neck. Whiplash can be very painful and, in some cases, can lead to long-term pain and complications.  Contact a Pedestrian Accident Lawyer If you’ve been injured in an accident as a pedestrian, you should have an experienced injury attorney evaluate your case. The attorneys at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience representing pedestrians injured in accidents. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to schedule your free consultation.

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Report Shows Pedestrian Deaths at Highest Level in Decades

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

Walking to work, taking your dog for a walk, or just taking a leisurely stroll have all become very risky activities. A report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) shows that the rate of pedestrian deaths is the highest it’s been in 28 years. The report found that in 2018, 6,227 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle crashes. This is a 4% increase in 2017 figures and the highest rate since 1990. The GHSA found that there were a number of different factors that may be contributing to the mortality rate. More SUVs and Trucks on the Road According to GHSA, the number of SUVs involved in pedestrian deaths has increased by 50% since 2013. By comparison, the rate of passenger vehicles involved in fatalities only increased by 30%. There are more SUVs and trucks on the road now. The size and weight of these vehicles make it increasingly likely that a pedestrian will die in an accident or suffer severe injuries. Distracted Driving The GHSA also points to increased use of smartphones and other technology that may be leading to more distracted drivers on the road. This is especially dangerous for pedestrians who are not as visible as vehicles are on the road. Impaired Drivers and Pedestrians The study found that in about half of the crashes involving pedestrians, either the driver or the pedestrian was under the influence of alcohol. Driving, and even walking, while impaired by alcohol is extremely dangerous and can lead to risky behavior. Population Growth More people means more pedestrians. In addition, over the last decade, more people have decided to walk places rather than take transportation. A survey cited in the study found a 4% increase in the number of people who walk to work since 2007.   Where Does Florida Stand? Florida is known to be one of the most dangerous states for pedestrians. According to the study, Florida was one of 5 states (including Arizona, California, Georgia, and Texas) that accounted for close to half of the pedestrian fatalities in 2018. Contact an Experienced Pedestrian Accident Attorney If you or someone you love has been injured in a pedestrian accident, you may want an experienced pedestrian accident attorney on your side. The lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk have over 30 years of experience helping injured Floridians. Contact us online or call us at 800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Pedestrian Accidents

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 5,000 pedestrians die in automobile accidents annually. This averages to one pedestrian death every 1.6 hours. Thousands of more pedestrians are injured by motor vehicles. Even at low speeds, serious injuries can occur. Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents Pedestrian accidents are typically the result of negligence on the part of the motor vehicle driver. Common causes of pedestrian accidents include: Distracted Driving – if a motorist is texting, talking on the phone, or programming their GPS system, they may not see a pedestrian legally crossing the road. Turning – a driver can cause serious injuries if they turn at a green light ignoring a pedestrian crossing the street who has the right of way due to the visible “walk” signal. Not Focusing on Pedestrians – sometimes drivers are so focused on other cars that they don’t even see pedestrians. Impaired Driving – driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can affect a driver’s cognitive abilities which can cause them not to see pedestrians or to drive up on a sidewalk.  Ignoring Red Lights and Stop Signs – drivers who recklessly fail to follow traffic controls can hit pedestrians who are legally crossing a road. Speeding – drivers in a hurry don’t wait for pedestrians to cross the road and attempt to cut between them or in front of them. Drivers who are speeding are also less likely to pay attention to the road. Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries Pedestrians who are hit by a motor vehicle can sustain serious injuries because they don’t have the protection that passengers in a car may have. Also, pedestrians are likely not wearing helmets or any kind of protective gear. Common pedestrian accident injuries include: Traumatic Brain Injury – any time the head is involved in a collision, the results can be serious. Fractures – among the most common injuries suffered by pedestrians, broken bones may be caused by the impact of a motor vehicle on a human body Spinal Cord Injuries – this type of injury can be life-changing and devastating. A fractured spine or dislocated vertebrae can result from an impact Soft Tissue Injuries – bruises, lacerations, tears, sprains, and dislocations can all result from a pedestrian accident Contact a Florida Pedestrian Accident Attorney If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, you should have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have 30 years of experience helping injured Floridians. Contact us online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to set up your free consultation today.

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Pedestrian Accidents

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

In 2016, Florida had the 2nd  highest number of pedestrian deaths in the country according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) with a fatality rate of 3.22 per 100,000 residents. Walking should be a safe and easy way to get around, but when drivers don’t follow the rules, the results can be deadly. Accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians often cause very serious injuries including fractures, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries because a human body doesn’t stand a chance against a two-ton passenger vehicle. Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents When a pedestrian is seriously injured in an accident, it is usually the result of some negligence on the part of the driver. Some common causes of pedestrian accidents include: Distracted driving Missing signal lights or not paying attention to signs Impaired or drunk driving Excessive speed Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians Passing a stopped bus Failure to look for pedestrians when making turns Backup accidents in parking spots and parking lots Compensation for Pedestrian Accidents When a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, they are automatically covered by either their own or the driver’s no-fault car insurance benefits. These benefits cover economic losses such as a portion of the medical costs and some lost wages. No-fault claims insurance must be filed in a timely manner, so it is important to seek medical attention and act quickly. However, if a pedestrian has sustained a serious injury, he or she may be able to file a negligence claim against the driver who caused the injury. In a negligence claim, the pedestrian may be able to recover for non-economic damages such pain and suffering as well as compensation for all economic damages including lost wages and past and future medical expenses. In these cases, negligence on the part of the driver and the existence and cause of the serious injury will have to be proven. Safety Tips for Pedestrians When confronted with a reckless driver, sometimes there is not much a pedestrian can do, but there are steps you can take to stay safe: Cross at crosswalks only Don’t cross against the light Check for turning vehicles even when you have the right of way Stay alert and don’t text and walk, especially when approaching an intersection Walk on the sidewalk and not along the road Contact a Trusted Personal Injury Attorney If you were a pedestrian who was seriously injured in an accident, you should have an experienced attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to schedule your free consultation.

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Pedestrian Accidents

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

Florida, including the Tampa Bay area, is one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians. More than 100 pedestrians were killed in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco counties in 2017 alone.  Accidents involving vehicles and pedestrians often cause severe injuries including fractures, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries because a human body doesn’t stand a chance against a two-ton passenger vehicle. Causes of Pedestrian Accidents Drivers have an obligation to exercise due care around pedestrians. When a pedestrian is injured by a vehicle, there is usually some negligence on the part of the driver. Some of the common negligent actions by drivers include: Texting or talking on the phone while driving Not paying attention to signs and signal lights. Drunk or impaired driving Speeding Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians Pedestrian Accidents and Compensation When a pedestrian is struck by a motor vehicle, that person is automatically covered by No-Fault car insurance benefits. These benefits cover economic losses such as medical costs and some lost wages. No-Fault claims must be filed in a timely manner, so it is important to act quickly. However, if a pedestrian sustains a serious injury, he or she may be able to file a negligence claim against the driver. In a negligence claim, the pedestrian may be able to recover damages for pain and suffering as well as compensation for all economic damages including lost wages and past and future medical expenses. In these cases, negligence on the part of the driver and the existence of a serious injury will have to be proven. Pedestrian Safety In some cases, there is not much a pedestrian can do when faced with a reckless driver, but there are steps that pedestrians can take to stay safe: Always be sure to cross at a crosswalk Never cross against the light Check for turning vehicles even if you have the right of way Stay alert and avoid texting and walking especially when approaching an intersection Stay on the sidewalk and do not walk along the side of the road Contact an Experienced Attorney If you are a pedestrian who was seriously injured in an accident, you should have an attorney evaluate your case. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-538-4878 to schedule your free consultation.

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Pedestrian Safety Islands: What are They, and Can They Make Florida Roads Safer?

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

Pedestrian safety islands are small strips of sidewalk or asphalt protected by barriers like concrete, fencing, and landscaping that protect pedestrians as they cross roads. They come in a variety of forms, and chances are that you’ve seen and used them in your travels as a pedestrian through Tampa and the surrounding area. But just how effective are they? Pedestrian Safety: An Issue Tampa Residents Should Take Seriously While you might feel safe enough walking alongside the road in our region, very serious accidents involving pedestrians happen all too often in our area, a fact our Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers know all too well. The Tampa Bay Times reports that at least 100 pedestrians were killed in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Pasco county in 2017 alone. And those numbers are consistant with a pattern of poor pedestrian safety in our area. In fact, the Dangerous by Design study from Smart Growth America recently ranked the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater area as the seventh most dangerous region in America. The truth of the matter is that we could be doing a much better job when it comes to safety infrastructure for pedestrians in Tampa, Clearwater, and the surrounding area.  Pedestrian Islands and How They Work Also known as refuge islands or pedestrian refuges, pedestrian islands are typically found on wider streets in our area. Their purpose is to give pedestrians a place to stop safely when crossing the street quickly is difficult. For example, they are often used in on wider urban streets that are difficult to cross in a single traffic light signal. They also provide safe harbor for pedestrians on busy roads where there is no light and pedestrians need to be able to cross safely regularly. In many areas in our region, these islands are quite simple, consisting of a strip of street level sidewalk protected by banks of higher concrete and other barriers. In more developed neighborhoods and districts, pedestrian islands are created with aesthetics in mind and buffered by items like landscaped shrubs or street lamps. Some even serve a dual purpose as a small parks. How Can Pedestrian Safety Islands Improve Road Safety We’ve all seen pedestrians forced to navigate busy roads and intersections in our area without so much as a crosswalk or sign to protect them. Maybe you have to cross some of these streets sometimes yourself. The truth is that even the simplest pedestrian refuge provides more safety than nothing at all. But, according to the Federal Highway Safety Commission, there are ways to make these islands even safer. Raised medians in particular have been shown to be a simple design improvement that protects pedestrians further by elevating the entire island up by several inches or more.  Do You Know Someone Who’s Been Hurt in a Pedestrian Accident? We know all too well how serious the injuries and losses caused by these types of collisions can be. We’ve Abrahamson & Uiterwyk has been committed to protecting the rights of everyone who shares our streets, including pedestrians, for decades, and our pedestrian accident attorneys are focused and determined to pursue just compensation for victims of negligent driving. Please call us today if you or a loved one has been hurt in a pedestrian accident in Tampa, Clearwater or the surrounding area. We may be able to help and can provide you with a free evaluation of your case.

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Are Drivers Liable if They Hit a Protester Blocking the Streets?

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

Automobile Pedestrian Accident Attorneys Protecting the Rights of Injured Protesters in Tampa Since long before the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement, protesting has been an effective way for individuals and groups with causes that challenge the prevailing standards to have their voices heard. The right to peaceably protest is engrained in our Constitutional society; irrespective of how popular or unpopular an opinion might be, freedom of speech provides us all with the privilege and the right (within Constitutional limits) to say what we have to say. Of course, this is not to say that protesters should not expect to face certain challenges. Protesting is a unique form of expression, and there are laws – established and affirmed by some of the most famous cases ever decided by the U.S. Supreme Court – that impose guidelines for lawful protests. Then, there are the practical issues inherent in taking to the streets. These include the very real risk of being injured in a vehicle-pedestrian accident. Florida’s Law Governing Vehicle-Pedestrian Accidents To understand your rights as a protester who was injured in an accident involving a car, truck, or SUV, let’s start with the general rule: Under Florida law, drivers who cause pedestrian accidents are liable for the victims’ losses – including both monetary and non-monetary damages. This is based on the legal principle of “negligence.” In Florida (and in all other 49 states around the country), drivers on public roads owe a legal duty to exercise reasonable care. If they breach this duty and cause an accident – whether with another vehicle or a pedestrian – they become financially liable for the consequences of their actions. In a typical case, this means that a negligent driver will be liable for the victim’s: Medical bills (current and future) Loss of income Lost future earning capacity Property damage Pain and suffering Scarring and disfigurement Emotional trauma Loss of companionship, support, and enjoyment of life Assuming the driver is insured, his or her auto insurance policy will typically apply, and the victim will usually be able to recover his or her losses through the driver’s insurance company. This usually means negotiating a settlement, but in some circumstances it will be necessary for the victim to take his or her case to trial. In either scenario, getting an at-fault driver’s insurance company to pay just compensation is not easy, and pedestrian accident victims will benefit greatly from hiring an experienced personal injury attorney. Are Protesters to Blame in Pedestrian Accidents? Understanding “Contributory Fault” Another legal concept that is relevant to all accident cases, but which often takes on particular importance in accidents involving protesters and other pedestrians, is the concept of “contributory fault.” Under Section 768.81(2) of the Florida Statutes: “In a negligence action, contributory fault chargeable to the claimant diminishes proportionately the amount awarded as economic and noneconomic damages for an injury attributable to the claimant’s contributory fault, but does not bar recovery.” In other words, if you are partially at fault in an accident, your financial recovery can be reduced based upon your percentage of fault. If you are protesting in the street, could you be considered partially at fault if you get hit by a car? While there are certain things that can make a finding of fault more likely, there is no easy answer, and understanding your legal rights will require a careful assessment of the unique facts and circumstances involved. Proving Your Claim for Compensation After a Pedestrian Accident In order to prove that the driver who hit you was at fault (and that you were not), you will need as much evidence as possible. While the process of investigating the accident should be left to your Tampa accident attorney – who may request traffic camera footage, subpoena phone records, and hire accident reconstructionists and other experts to determine what happened – there are certain steps that injured protesters and other pedestrians can take to help with their cases. For example, after an accident, it is generally a good idea to: Collect Information from Witnesses – In the case of a protest, talk to your fellow protesters. What did they see? Did they take pictures or video? Will they testify on your behalf, if necessary, at trial? Take Photos with Your Phone – Try to take as many photos as possible. If you are physically able, take photos before you leave the scene of the accident. Try to capture images of the protest, the car that hit you, any traffic signs or signals in the area, the weather conditions, the damage to your clothes and personal items, and your physical injuries. Call 911 – Report the accident to the police and seek medical attention right away. If there are police officers on the scene monitoring the protest, you can report the accident to them as well. For purposes of your personal injury claim, seeking prompt medical attention is critical. You want your medical records to reflect that you received treatment for injuries consistent with a vehicle-pedestrian collision as soon as possible after the accident occurred. Protect Your Story – If someone from the driver’s insurance company contacts you, tell them that they will need to speak with your injury attorney. The insurance company is not on your side, and insurance adjusters are trained to solicit information that can be used to minimize accident victims’ claims for compensation. At this point, it will also generally be a good idea to stay off of social media. While you might think that what you are posting is harmless, there is a good chance that the insurance adjusters and defense lawyers involved in your case will find a way to use it against you. Remember, these are just examples, and they should not be taken as a substitute for legal advice. To learn more about your rights, contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today for a free consultation. Pedestrian Accident Lawyers Serving the Greater Tampa Bay Area With decades of legal experience, the injury lawyers at...

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What You Need to Know About Pedestrian Accident Prevention

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

When you’re in a pedestrian accident because of someone else’s irresponsibility or negligence, it can cause many emotions to bubble up. Fear, frustration, and even outright anger are not uncommon. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to control other people’s behavior on the road. After all, reckless and dangerous drivers have been around since the invention of the automobile. However, there are many things you can do to avoid vehicle-pedestrian accidents. Here are just a few of them: Use crosswalks and designated intersections whenever possible. In some municipalities, walking outside these areas is actually illegal, and is known as “jaywalking.” Make sure you’re seen. You can increase your visibility to drivers by wearing bright or reflective clothing, or by carrying a flashlight when walking at night. Avoid traveling by foot after dark. Speaking of walking at night, try to avoid it if you can. The same goes for walking in bad weather, which tends to increase roadway accidents of all kinds. Use the sidewalk. It goes without saying that pedestrians should use the sidewalk, but if one isn’t available, walk on the shoulder facing traffic. Look both ways. Mother’s advice still holds true: always look both ways before crossing the street, and don’t try to dash between cars if there’s not enough time. Travel with friends. Walking in groups provides much greater visibility than walking alone. Be alert. Don’t be distracted from walking safely by talking or texting on your cell phone, or listening to music, which drowns out the sound of passing cars and horns. Don’t drink and walk. Just as you shouldn’t be drinking and driving, don’t walk home from a party or bar intoxicated. For one thing, public drunkenness is often a crime by itself. But more importantly, it leaves you extremely vulnerable to a pedestrian accident. Watch out for more than passing cars. Vehicles that are backing out of their driveways, parking lots, and alleys can hit a person just as easily as a car or truck speeding down the road. Get an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer For more tips on auto-pedestrian accident prevention — or for a free case evaluation if you’ve been in an accident — call the firm of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk. Our staff is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-538-4878 to assist you.

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When Is a Pedestrian at Fault In a Tampa Pedestrian Accident?

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

The facts on pedestrian accidents are pretty shocking. According to a study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 70,000 pedestrians were injured in such accidents in 2008, and over 4,000 died in them. Many people are under the impression that pedestrians always have the right of way. However, that is often not the case. Let’s take a look at some scenarios where pedestrian accident fault comes into play. Pedestrian responsibility in auto accidents The law typically holds that both drivers and pedestrians are responsible for exercising caution when traversing the nation’s roads. If either party fails to do so, they can be held liable if something they do (or neglect to do) results in an accident. Examples of pedestrian negligence include: Not obeying traffic signals when crossing the street Attempting to cross major highways that do not have traffic signals Jaywalking (going outside a crosswalk while attempting to cross the street) Walking in places where pedestrians are prohibited (except during emergencies), such as major highways What happens if both parties are at fault? Sometimes, car accidents are a clear-cut case of fault: either the pedestrian or the driver is to blame. But often, things are more complicated, and both parties may share the blame for an accident. Each state has different laws that determine fault, as well as the effect this has on what compensation (if any) the parties may be entitled to. It is best to contact an attorney to get more information. Talk to a Tampa pedestrian accident attorney today! Do you or someone you know have further questions for our jaywalking injury attorneys? The staff of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk is available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week, and can be reached at 1-800-538-4878. Call us today for a free evaluation of your case.

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3 Back to School Safety Tips for Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents around Tampa

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

With the summer all but over, it’s time for children to head back to school. This means that there will be more young pedestrians on our roads walking and biking to and from school. In our area, Tampa drivers can do their part in ensuring that our communities are safe for kids on the go by being extra vigilant for pedestrian safety during this time. Be mindful of school zones School zones are well marked and deserve extra care when you are commuting during certain times of the day. Be sure to drive below the posted speed limit and plan ahead to give yourself a little extra time if you know that you’ll be driving through these areas when school is starting or getting out. Stay vigilant for young pedestrians, especially in residential areas Remember, younger children can be harder to see due to their height, and they are often moving quickly when they are at play. Many young pedestrians also are not familiar with the rules of the road and may not be mindful of traffic. Be prepared to stop with very little notice if necessary. Take the time to educate your own children about pedestrian safety If you have children of your own, sit down with them and have an open conversation about the importance of pedestrian safety. Some important safety topics to consider include: Following proper street-crossing etiquette. Obeying all traffic signs and personnel. Avoiding common distractions like smartphones and other devices. Never darting into the street, especially from bushes or parked cars. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk Today to Put Our Experienced Tampa Pedestrian Accident Lawyers to Work for You! If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident in our area, our Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers may be able to help. Call the injury law team of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk now at 1-800-538-4878 to get started today.

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Florida Pedestrian Accident Statistics: So, Just How Dangerous is Our State for Pedestrians and Cyclists?

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

When it comes to traveling safely on foot or by bicycle in Florida, it can be all too easy to forget how quickly someone else’s mistake can put us at risk for being seriously injured or even killed in an accident. Here in our state, some alarming new Florida pedestrian accident statistics have revealed just how dangerous our roads can be for pedestrians and cyclists. The Most Dangerous State in the Nation? According to a recent study by Smart Growth America, nearly 5,200 pedestrians were killed in traffic-related accidents in Florida between 2003 and 2012. Pedestrian deaths accounted for 17.7% of all traffic-related fatalities that occurred in our state over this period. That is a particularly high number of deaths compared to rates of pedestrian fatalities in other parts of the country. The study found that Florida comes in first as the most dangerous state in the nation for pedestrians, according to the Pedestrian Danger Index. The Pedestrian Danger Index is calculated by examining the number of local commuters who walk to work compared with the number of pedestrian fatalities that occurred in the last five years. Florida’s Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians In addition to coming in first as a state, the top four most dangerous cities for pedestrians are alllocated in Florida, according to the study. These cities include: Orlando, FL Tampa, FL Jacksonville, FL Miami, FL Common Factors in Fatal Pedestrian Accidents in Florida The study found that 63.3% of the fatal pedestrian accidents in Florida occurred on arterial roads. According to Smart Growth America, these roads are often designed and maintained with a focus on maximizing speed for traffic rather than on protecting pedestrians and cyclists. Other findings of the study include: Nearly 75% of all fatal pedestrian accidents in Florida occurred on roads with a speed limit of 40 MPH or higher. Florida ranks 5th for the pedestrian fatality rate for pedestrians aged 65+. Between 2003 and 2010, 233 children under 16 and 960 adults aged 65+ were victims of fatal pedestrian accidents. Have you been injured in an accident in the Tampa Bay area? Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878. If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident in our area, you may need the help of a Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers or Tampa bike accident lawyers who will stand up for your rights. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today and get started by speaking with a member of our injury law team for a free evaluation of your case.

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Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in Clearwater

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, some 69,000 pedestrians were injured in accidents in 2011, including 11,000 children. Most of these injuries were caused the same things that play a role in pedestrian accidents in Clearwater time and time again. By understanding how these accidents take place, we can take steps to improve our own behavior and improve pedestrian safety in our area. Speeding The National Safety Council has found that some 85% of all pedestrian accidents occur in urban areas. Respecting the speed limit in these areas plays a key role in pedestrian safety. This is particularly important in areas where children may be walking and playing. Distracted Driving With more people than ever using mobile devices, distracted driving has become responsible for a growing number of pedestrian accidents. Although texting while driving is now banned here in Clearwater, many drivers continue to engage in this dangerous behavior. Other common distractions like answering phone calls and operating music devices can take a driver’s attention away from the road long enough for an accident to take place. Left-hand turns Many pedestrian accidents take place at intersections as a driver attempts to make a left-hand turns without checking for pedestrians. Drivers are typically focused on waiting for an opening in oncoming traffic in these cases, while pedestrians are looking straight ahead while crossing the street assuming that vehicles will heed their right of way. Driving Under the Influence Substance abuse is responsible for all too many pedestrian injuries and fatalities. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 37 percent of pedestrians who lost their lives in an accident had a blood alcohol content of more than 0.08 percent in 2011. Drunk drivers were responsible for 13% of all fatal pedestrian accidents in that year. Ignoring Pedestrian Warnings Signs When drivers fail to heed warning signs indicating crosswalks and school zones, accidents involving serious pedestrian injuries can occur. Poorly marked crosswalks also play a role in some pedestrian accidents. Do you need help from a Clearwater pedestrian accident lawyer? Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878. When a pedestrian is hit by a moving vehicle, the injuries can be severe and even life threatening. A Clearwater pedestrian accident lawyer may be able to help if you or a loved one has been hit by a driver in our area. Call our injury law team today at 1-800-538-4878 to find out how we may be able to help.

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Recent Pedestrian Accident Statistics in Tampa and Nationwide

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

Recent pedestrian accidents statistics reveal that pedestrian safety continues to be a problem in Tampa and throughout the country. Florida is one of the four leading states for pedestrian accidents along with California, Texas and New York. These four states account for 41 percent of all fatal pedestrian accidents that take place in our country. Here in Florida, 7,894 pedestrian accidents took place in 2010, represent a decline of 4.29% from 2009. These accidents resulted in 7,290 pedestrian injuries and 499 pedestrian fatalities. The pedestrian fatality rate in Florida has declined in recent years from 3.11 per 100,000 residents in 2001 to 2.65 in 2010. Pedestrian injuries have declined somewhat as well from 7,894 in 2001 to 7,290 in 2010. Nationwide, pedestrian accident statistics are improving as well. 4,280 pedestrian fatalities took place in the United States in 2010, compared to 5,585 in 1995. That’s a drop of 23 percent. Similarly, pedestrian injuries dropped from about 84,000 in 1995 to 70,000 in 2010, a decline of 17 percent. Someone is injured in a pedestrian accident on an average once every 8 minutes while a pedestrian is killed once every 2 hours. According to the Centers for Disease Control, pedestrian are 1.5 times more likely to lose their life while traveling from point A to point B than vehicle occupants. Children continue to be at particularly high risk for being seriously injured or killed in pedestrian accidents. 20% of the pedestrian fatalities that occurred in 2010 were of children aged 5 to 9. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, pedestrian injuries and fatalities involving children under 15 costs the economy $5.2 per year. Most pedestrian accidents take place in urban areas, at non-intersections and at night. The groups at highest risk for pedestrian injuries and fatalities are children, the elderly and pedestrians who are under the influence of alcohol. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today to put our Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers to work for you! If you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian accident, Abrahamson & Uiterwyk may be able to fight for compensation for your injuries. Call our Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers now at 1-800-538-4878 to get started.

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What are Your Rights as the Victim of a Pedestrian Accident in Florida?

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

Pedestrian accidents occur all too often in Florida, sometimes resulting in severe injury or death to the victims. Being aware of rights and responsibilities as a pedestrian can help individuals avoid accidents and protect their rights. Rules of the Road Florida has laws that address the responsibilities of pedestrians and motorists. Both groups are expected to exercise due care when they are on or near roadways. They must also obey all traffic devices, such as crosswalk signals. Comparative Fault Florida has comparative fault laws. This means that, if an accident occurs, the fault of each party is weighed if one party is not completely at fault. For example, if a pedestrian is injured in an accident caused by his own negligence that could have been prevented if a driver had exhibited more care, both parties may be found at fault to some degree. Pedestrian Risk Today, pedestrians may be at risk for various reasons. One growing concern is distracted driving. Other drivers may drive in an unsafe manner by not looking for pedestrians. Effect of Police Investigations Police do not directly control whether a pedestrian or his or her family can pursue a civil suit. Even if there was no investigation or an unfavorable investigation, this information does not preclude a civil claim. Help from a Personal Injury Lawyer If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, a Florida pedestrian accident lawyer may be able to help. An experienced attorney can discuss the facts of the case, Florida law and whether a victim may eligible for compensation for his or her injuries Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free initial consultation and evaluation of your case with an experienced lawyer.

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Kids and Young Adults Distracted by Devices Increasingly at Risk for Pedestrian Accidents

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

Global organization Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization working to reduce injuries suffered by children, has released some revealing results from a recent study. According to the organization, a 2012 report revealed pedestrian injuries involving 16 to 19 year olds have increased by 25 percent during the last five years. Furthermore, teenagers within this age group account for half of all pedestrian deaths involving individuals under the age of 19. What does the Safe Kids Worldwide study reveal? According to the study’s findings, young individuals walking to school are in danger of injury or death due to distraction. Children, who use ear buds, constantly look down at a mobile device or text while walking are at an increased risk of death or injury while walking to and from school or to and from other destinations. The president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide has the following to say about the findings: “Distraction is a big problem, both while driving and walking. Parents need to talk to kids to ensure they are paying full attention when crossing the street. We adults need to follow our own advice and put our devices down as well. This will make kids more likely to do the same.” Other facts revealed in the Safe Kids Worldwide study: The pedestrian death rate is 1.8 times higher for boys than for girls. However, girls are more likely to be distracted while walking Teens who are distracted are usually texting or wearing headphones. One in eight middle school students and one in five high school age students were observed crossing a street while distracted. Older teens account for half of all pedestrian deaths among individuals 19 years of age and younger. Around 78 percent of teens assume the most at-risk age group regarding pedestrian deaths or injuries is a group other than their own. You Don’t Have to Go Through it Alone: a Personal Injury Attorney can Help If you or someone you love has become the victim of someone else’s negligence, call Tampa pedestrian accident lawyers Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

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Some Believe Drivers Who Cause Pedestrian Accidents Should Face Stiffer Penalties

Category: Car Accidents |

According to a Federal Highway Administration 2005 report, 107.4 million Americans consider walking to be a substantial part of how they travel. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that from 1997 to 2006 there were 49,128 pedestrian fatalities, accounting for 12 percent of all traffic-related deaths. Estimates show that the pedestrian was in a crosswalk for one-third of these deaths. Burden of Proof An article in the Bay Citizen highlights the lack of prosecution in the San Francisco bay area for drivers who injure or kill pedestrians. In the Bay Citizen’s article by Zusha Elinson, prosecutors point to the difficulty to meet the burden of proof as a factor. How Unprotected are Pedestrians? A person out for a walk is on the losing end of the scale when struck by a one and a half ton moving vehicle. Factors cited in most police reports include not seeing the pedestrian, speed, and impaired or distracted driving. To establish more responsibility for vehicular collisions involving unprotected pedestrians, some states are working to enact laws to protect the unprotected. These states, such as Oregon, are passing vulnerable user ordinances to protect pedestrians. These laws put in place additional penalties for reckless drivers that include community service, driving school, fines, and/or license suspension. Working for Walkers Several groups have been working to change the American mindset from considering pedestrian-related vehicular collisions a minor offense. In the 1980’s, Mothers Against Drunk Driving brought the issue to national attention, while organizations such as California WALKS continues to promote pedestrian safety and walkable communities today. By seeking stiffer penalties for drivers who injure or kill pedestrians and creating safe walking conditions, the goal is to make sure these “accidents” are no longer considered a minor offense. Have you been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident in our area? Our experienced Tampa injury attorneys may be able to help. The unfortunate fact is that pedestrian injuries caused by automobiles often goes without penalty. Family members or the victim themselves may need assistance in seeking compensation for injuries or death. If you’ve been seriously hurt due to the negligence of an irresponsible driver in our area, it may be helpful to seek out the advice of a Tampa personal injury lawyer. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

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Common Types of Pedestrian Accidents in Florida

Category: Pedestrian Accidents |

Every year, many people are seriously injured or killed in pedestrian accidents. Even more tragically, many of these accidents are completely preventable and are the cause of the negligence of other people, businesses or governmental entities. By recognizing the common types of pedestrian accidents in Florida, these parties may be able to take steps to prevent more of these senseless accidents from occurring. Types of Pedestrian Accidents There are many possible causes of pedestrian accidents. Some of the most common causes include slips and falls, falling debris, and motor vehicles. Slips and Falls Many slip and fall accidents in Florida occur when pedestrians fall due to potholes, uneven sidewalks and other hazardous conditions that are permitted on walkways. Other individuals may sustain injuries when they fall due to cracks or broken steps. When a property owner does not provide adequate lighting or maintenance for public areas, pedestrians may be seriously injured in a slip and fall accident. Falling Debris Pedestrians may also sustain injuries when they are struck by falling debris in construction areas and other commercial zones. If there are no warning signs, pedestrians may not be aware of danger ahead. Automotive Accidents The majority of pedestrian accidents occur when a car, truck, bus, or motorcycle strikes a pedestrian. Automotive accidents may be the result of negligent or reckless behavior, including speeding, driving while impaired, ignoring traffic signals, inattention, and distracted driving. Pedestrians are particularly susceptible to injuries at intersections where drivers may fail to yield or stop when pedestrians are legally in a crosswalk. Involved in a Pedestrian Accident? Put Our Injury Law Team’s 100+ Years of Experience to Work for You! All of these types of accidents may be due to the negligent actions of others. An injured victim may be able to receive assistance from a personal injury attorney who can help explain whether the victim has a viable claim against a negligent party. A pedestrian injury attorney in Florida may be able to help gather evidence to help prove the victim’s claim, such as his or her medical records, witness statements, police reports, and other documents and evidence that help substantiate the victim’s case. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, a Tampa personal injury attorney may be able to help. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-538-4878 for a free initial consultation.

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