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 accident can be difficult. If you’re a pedestrian who has been injured in an accident, you may want to consult with an experienced accident attorney. At Abrahamson & Uiterwyk, we have been helping accident victims in Tampa Bay for over 30 years. Contact us online or call us at 800-753-5203 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 800-753-5203 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 800-753-5203 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 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 800-753-5203 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 800-753-5203 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 diein automobile accidents annually. This averages to one pedestrian death every 1.6 hours. Thousands 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 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 onlineor call us at 1-800-753-5203 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 1-800-753-5203 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 1-800-753-5203 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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